Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Little Town (and the one next door!)

  Unbelievably, it is supposed to be in the 70s--near 80--for the next few days.  I remind you that it is March and this is Maine.  I know plenty of people who are thrilled to have this weather and plenty more who wish they could have it.  If I could send it to them so I do not have to experience it, I would do it.  Alas, I cannot, so I simply have to act like it is summer.  I am planning cold suppers for the next couple of days, I dug out my lace socks, and got out the summer clothes.
    This morning we left at about 9 to walk over to Topsham, the town next door where Bill works.  He wanted to walk partway to his place of employment so he could see how he felt and how much time it took.  We took the walking bridge over the Androscoggin River.  On one side is Brunswick and on the other is Topsham.  The bridge is about a 10 or 15 minute walk from our home.  We ended up walking about half the distance to work and then came home a different way, taking a different bridge a little further down the river.  Bill felt good and figures he can get to work in about an hour on foot.  We both thought that he would not be able to do it if he was still on the diltiazem, so we were reminded again about how glad we were that he is off it now.
   We stopped on the second bridge and watched and listened to the water of the river roaring underneath us and I thought about how peaceful I felt here.  I had noticed last week that I seem to be entering my usual spring depression early this year.  It usually arrives in April as it starts to feel like spring and I know that the hell of summer is almost upon me, but this year it had already started, so I decided I had better take some steps to mitigate the effects.  I cannot avoid summer, although I would if I could, and I am unlikely to ever truly like it, but I also can't wallow in my misery.  I started volunteering at the food bank last week and will be doing that twice a week from now on.  That will help, I think, because it feels like I am doing something useful there, and I will be observing and analyzing a topic that I find exceedingly interesting--keeps my mind busy :-)  What I learned today, though, is that I also need to make it a point to get outside and walk around my little town even if I don't have to be anywhere.  I have set up my life so that I can walk to the places I need to be--grocery store, library, etc.  That is good and it works well for me.  But I also need to walk to the river just to look at it or wander around to look at the scenery, even if I don't have to be anywhere.  This is harder for me because I tend to want to just sit still and not move in the summer, since moving means sweating.  But I lived for a long time before Brunswick in a place that depressed the hell out of me, in part because it seemed dead--lots of brown and dried up looking stuff.  I am lucky to live in this lovely little town and I need to make sure that I appreciate it.
   Bill and I took a ride to Westbrook yesterday afternoon, where we picked up a cheapo computer monitor that ad been advertised on Craigslist.  The screen on his laptop went black and he needed a monitor to still be able to use it.  We had to drive through Portland.  Both of us got tense and I got my usual bad vibe.  I don't like cities.  I never really have, but it seems like I have less tolerance for them now.  Portland, Maine is not a big city by any stretch of the imagination, but it gives me the same tensed up and unpleasant feeling that I always get.  Both of us try--pretty successfully--to avoid it.  When we first came to Maine, we thought we might live there.  I knew on the very first day that I did not want to do that and when we got to Brunsiwck a week later, I knew that this is where we needed to stay.  I am glad we ended up here.  It won't be forever--no place ever is with me.  But I am here now.  I do not have to love summer, but I can be grateful that I am here instead of where I used to be, that I am not in a city, and that it is green and pretty and not dead.

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