Back from the other end of the country

Back from the other end of the country

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t been a very timely blogger as of late. It’s probably not super-surprising since I’m not always the most reliable life-chronicler, but I am sorry for neglecting you, dear blog. The truth is, the world’s been a little big and busy lately for me to give you the tender, loving attention that you need and sometimes for one’s own health you have to step back and not rehash all of the moments, big or small, that have happened to you. Recently the world has just been a little too overwhelming for me to revisit. Even my normal recounting via lists seems like it would just bog me down in the things that have already happened. Ugh, once again I’ve started a blog sounding depressed, haven’t I? Sorry. Once  again, I promise it isn’t the case! My natural optimism is just trying to fight back against the ease of being overwhelmed with the future and its uncertainties. (That was also sort of a depressing sentence, I apologize).

While the realities of job-searching, finances, health and general quarter-life issues have been weighing me down recently, there have been some pockets of sunshine which made a good-sized dent in the gloom trying to weasel its way into the Manck/White life. After an awful stretch of events including (but not limited to) the awfulness described in my last entry, combined with Bill’s gramma passing away and the school in Waco passing on Bill, we had an all-to-brief respite from the ways of the world when we got to drive up to Albany for part of last week.

By trading in all but one of my remaining vacation days, Bill & I were able to drive all 1776 miles up to Albany from Houston (21 hours of driving, 5 hours sleep in Virginia, 9 hours of driving), have 2.5 glorious days in Delmar, and then trek the 1776 miles back. Let me tell you, it was worth all 3552 miles and the car trouble that came with it just to see Ms. Mercy & Mr. Don, to meet Cookie (Bill’s godmother), to hang out with Dave, and to honor Ms. Betty’s life. It was a tiny bit weird to see New York not covered in snow, but Delmar is a lovely town and I really enjoy seeing the almost-in-laws any time we can. It made me wish I was a teacher or some such so we could’ve stayed there longer instead of me fitting in work while in coffee shops and having to spend more time driving than visiting. We came away from Albany with a renewed connection (54 total hours in the car will either make you or break you), a truck full of root beer & birch beer, and a calm we’d been missing for a long while. There’s something about being surrounded by people who love you that’s ever-so-soothing, even if the reason for your visit is heart-breaking.

I never got to meet Ms. Betty since she was ill & in a home for far longer than Bill and I have been together, but I felt very honored to be included among the ‘family’ grouping for the service and mentality of laying her to rest. She lived to a very full 100 years, loved her grandsons & family very much and left a rich history and tradition that I’m glad to be a part of continuing. Ms. Mercy let us take home some of the china Ms. Betty painted back in the 20’s; it’s just gorgeous and a lovely reminder of Bill’s family heritage. Ms. Betty will always be in our hearts.

When the time came for Bill & I to leave New York, neither of us wanted to go. Part of it was the always-present loathing to leave vacation for reality, but we both also keenly felt the holes leaving our families always bring. While we were in Delmar, it was a cozy time filled with family and stories and laughter (and wine), a wonderful escape from the hardships that grownup life with liberal arts degrees can bring. I kept looking at the for sale signs in the Whites’ neighborhood longingly, wondering if I could trade in the harsh Texas summer for the harsh New York winter and survive. Seeing all the places and people from Bill’s childhood made me miss what wasn’t waiting for me in Gilmer any more and what Houston doesn’t feel like it ever could be.

As we said our goodbyes, I promised to look for houses for Ms. Mercy in Austin and she promised to look for jobs for us in Albany. Tears pricked my eyes as we got on the interstate headed back to Houston, I just didn’t want to go. I’m beyond lucky to have met Bill in the very first place, but the amazing amount of care and love I receive from his family (that includes you, Cookie) is an amazing blessing I could never expect or hope for. I’m very proud and honored to get to be a (Manck)White some day.

We didn’t get to see my folks on our way home because we were just too pooped to add 4 hours on our drive and we miss them terribly as well. This whole parents-living-far-away thing is just idiotic, if you ask us. There’s a chance that my folks will be moving to San Antonio in mid-August so Dad can work out of the home office until his next job though, so that’s a cheering thought. I hate not seeing them.

So, now we’re back to everyday life in the big heat that is Houston. The girls at work ostensibly missed me, the cat was certainly glad to have us home and the world spun on while we were gone. It’s back to job hunting, apartment cleaning and wistful sighs missing our families. Typical Manck/White life. The upside to our trip (besides getting the truck repaired, an expensive but necessary task) is that Bill and I are feeling recharged both when it comes to each other and life in general. Well, that might just be Bill being high on Dominion root beer ; ) Now we just need to plan when to see our parents again and finagle Bill a job and we’ll be set. (It’s totally that easy, right?) All is well, my friends, and all will be well.

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