I'm "home" again. Wow. From a town of 250 to the big city. I'm budgeting like crazy these days, so Vancouver's coffee bars and restaurants are mostly off-limits to me as I try for the first time in my life to save money, to live within my means. It's actually kind of exciting to do this after years of turning a blind eye to financial planning.
I literally don't have a moment to re-aquaint myself with my city; it's full-time hours at the pumpkin patch for the first time in years and although it's hard to get up early in the morning, I enjoy the job so much that I can't complain. I'd rather have the routine (and the paycheque) of work than be floating aimlessly.
Time, as always, becomes elastic; it's as if I've never been away and yet there are changes, of course there are. The baby cat has become an adult in my absence; businesses have closed, or opened, or burned down; best of all: I have new friends from the north who I now know and love right here in my city. After an amazing summer I have new confidence which I bring to my work, my home life... Even the Vancouver rain can't bring me down. Yet.
I love my pumpkin patch job, did I already say that? It's been at least a dozen years since I began there (good lord) and it changes a little bit every year but basically the combination of outdoors and music and goofiness and routine is just perfect for me. Today I had to fill in for the Pumpkin Princess, and as I pranced around in a borrowed wig and costume, waving a wand made of a leafy twig I'd found, I figured that I was either the luckiest 40 year-old in the world, or the most pathetic. I lean towards the former.
Today was a funny day at the patch. The power kept going out on stage, leaving the band high and dry. I had to fill in for someone, hence the Pumpkin Princess role. It got rainier as the day went on, so it was quieter than usual. I forgot that my friend wasn't working there today, so I took the long way to work. I dropped my brand-new smartphone on the sidewalk, resulting in scratches on my new baby. My accordion straps parted ways from the instrument, only minutes into my shift. Then, as I finished singing to a wagon-load of people, a 6 year-old girl said to me "Can I have your hand for a minute?" Bemused, I gave her my right hand; she took it in hers and held it to her forehead. "Oh, she's blessing you," her mom told me. Slightly weird, and yet her blessing jolted me out of my frustration and reminded me to be grateful and happy for what I have.
I went on the first of my internet-induced dates the other night. He's too old, of course. I've been with older guys but he looks like an old man and his hands are too small. I don't think I can feel attracted to him. But he has a lovely smile, he's funny and smart, we have a lot in common. We sit over a fifteen dollar sushi meal and talk for hours. He walks me home, we kiss chastely. I don't want to be a tease, but at the same time I don't want to let him go out of my life because we have a connection, whatever it is. I like his emails a lot... I guess we'll figure it out as we go. I have another date with someone else on Tuesday.
Not to mention dinner with family, friends... I finish every bite of the chicken and roast veggies on my plate, cooked by my brother who is also a friend and room mate, and I know that I am a lucky girl. And a happy one. Thanksgiving indeed.