In the awesome news department, unless anything changes, The Boy will be released tomorrow morning! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh with the whole family is still a possibility!
I always hedge things like that, just in case...lest I jinx anything.
Being released tomorrow morning is dependent on his remaining afebrile and the cultures remaining negative. Generally if something is going to grow, it grows in a hurry, and we haven't heard anything about them being positive. You know what I think? The Boy couldn't leave town without saying goodbye to his girlfriends, his favorite nurses in particular. Additionally, the child life specialists and music therapists are favorites of his.
Assuming that The Boy does get out tomorrow morning, tonight is likely my last night in this house. Forever. This house was our first house. We bought it. We got a good deal on it, although we had to spend several weeks working on it. It was about 2 weeks before it was even suitable for us to sleep here, as the previous owners had 4 dogs and 2 cats, and we had to clean up that mess (with respirator masks and hazard coveralls on). Ripping up the carpet was oodles of fun. Pulling up the staples was even more fun. My hands were sore for a month.
The house wasn't quite ready for Thanksgiving, thinking back to five years ago. It probably looked a lot like it does now, with some stuff in some places but most of it elsewhere. We did much of the moving ourselves although with all of that having been two lifetimes ago, I don't remember. I am certain that we got help from my father-in-law and brother-in-law. I can look at things in the house and remember...
This was our boys' first house. This was their first neighborhood. The Boy went to the comic book store before he even came home for the first time. Yes, my husband is a nerd. Story behind that was, we left the hospital at the same time as my father-in-law, who was coming to our house to videotape our arrival. He needed to be ahead of us in order to do that, so we stalled by stopping at the comic book store.
I like this neighborhood because so much is within walking distance--the drugstore, the library, the Quick Chek, the comic book store (I don't read comics although I would if I had the time, but the fact that the store is within walking distance meant that Daddy could take the boys for an outing).
We didn't have many friends in this neighborhood, though. One family for sure, but Musical Daddy already knew them from work. We socialized a bit with other families at the park, but for the most part, friends were elsewhere. Family isn't close by. Well, they are, but not close enough apparently. I do have a relative on my father's side who lives nearby that I should have kept up with more, but that was a failure on my part. I haven't had a teaching job that was close to home, where it was likely that many people from work would also live nearby (and in fact, very few people did).
There was such an outpouring of support from my colleagues and principal in my now former school district when The Boy was diagnosed, when The Boy was raising money for the walk-a-thon, and again at this time when it came time to move. I loved working with the people in that district, I will miss them tremendously. I felt as though I had great relationships with many other teachers and that my efforts to be a part of the school community, not just a part of the music faculty, really paid off. Additionally, I had amazing students. They were enthusiastic, intelligent, and willing to work. My colleague at the middle school had a discussion with me about the concept of music class being "fun" upon which I often reflect, and that is, sure, music class is fun. It's fun because you do the work and it is REWARDING to hear the fruits of your labors. It is fun to sound good and fun to cooperate with other people who sound good. This concept is one upon which he and I agreed, for sure, regardless of our opinions on various orchestral minutia.
I had a great time here in the barbershop community. I first got involved in barbershop as a spectator. FRED changed my life. That's a quartet, not a single guy, and no one in the quartet is actually named Fred. I participated in two quartets and a chorus (not all at once). I "represented" this area of the country as a spectator at two BHS international conventions. I participated in the regional Sweet Adelines contest in a chorus once and in a quartet twice. And anywhere I went, barbershop-wise, I could count on being able to find 3 other people to "do a tag" or sing a song. Perhaps once things settle down, I can do some of that again. I've been singing a lot of low stuff (like lullabies to my children in the guys' "lead" range), so maybe I can sing bass in a women's quartet. That's the part that I'd REALLY like to sing.
It is with a heavy heart that I leave here. I wish that we didn't have to do it if for no other reason than I hate moving. Joking aside, I am hoping that leaving this house and leaving this state brings us the change that we so desperately need. I desperately need it. I've had a successful career here, and of course I have my husband and my children whom I love, but just about everything else is a mess. And I get the feeling that I could easily take my career and plunk it somewhere else in the name of improving the rest of our lives.
So goodbye once again, Garden State. I'll come visit. But now my home is elsewhere.