It has been many years, Children, since Mommie Dammit has hit rock-bottom. Over a decade, in fact. After 12 years of struggling to build a home and advance my career in Kansas City, enduring 2 bouts of Pneumocystis, and spending my third extended period of unemployment searching vainly for a new job… BOOM! “Oh, Bottom, there you are! I’d almost forgotten you; it’s been a long time since last we met.”
As usual, I landed not on my feet but on my ass. Through the grace of the Gods, and the love of my family, I’ve now the opportunity to get back on my feet again. The move from Kansas City to this teeny-tiny backwater was rushed and very ugly – I shudder to think of the shape I left my old house in. Yet it was accomplished far easier and with better results than I’d originally thought. Thanks to my baby sister and my nephew (and a few dozen Rubbermaid tubs!) I packed my essentials and watched my nephew’s spacial-relationship-genius at work. Between his pickup (even with the shell still on), pickup -box trailer, and my poor, benighted Miss Boogie, we managed to haul more of my crap up here than I ever thought possible. What I couldn’t bring I can easily replace – and, to be honest, most of it was long overdue.
But where is “here”, I hear you ask? Back in Nebraska, in a tiny and quaint rural village. Waco. Founded in 1877 as a railroad stop, and named for the Texan city. Typical of nearly-dead backwaters the world over, there is little here in the way of businesses – a couple of hair salons, a gas station at the I-80 exit, a tiny bank, and the mainstay of every village lost in the boonies, a bar. So far I’ve found the natives friendly, if a bit cautious with the “stranger” in town. After living in the racially diverse neighborhoods of Kansas City, finding myself back in an all-white enclave is something of a shock and one that feels somehow lacking… Gods!, but I miss my crazy Black and Latina women! They, and a couple of just-as-nuts White women were all that helped me hold on to what little sanity I had left. …shut up! I heard that!
Still… living with my baby sister and my youngest niece, only 12 miles from my other sister, and 45 miles from my brother, sister-in-law and 2 of my nephews has it’s selling-points. I’ve been far too long so far away from my family, and I didn’t realize just how much I missed them until we got back to Waco and it slapped me in the face. There are stumbling blocks as well. It’s been nearly 2 decades since I lived with someone with less than 4 legs, and that privacy (I now realize) was something I heavily took for granted. It’s difficult to adjust to not being able to run to the bathroom naked with no one to scare but the cats!
The long process of reapplying for my assistance programs is well underway, but I have only just begun with the applications. No results or answers to be expected before the New Year, at the earliest. I meet with my new case worker on Monday, and will start that process moving. Hopefully those programs move faster than the State of Nebraska’s – I need to find my own place to live in roughly a month’s time. Some plans change at a whim, others for unknown reasons. Either way, it’s a struggle I’m very familiar with – just with different players in the mix. Besides – any longer than that and my sister and I may have to serve my niece up on toast!
Time means change. Change means growth or chaos. Growth is good, and sometimes chaos is too. It all depends on how you handle it, and what positive outcome you can make out of it. Not to change means not to be truly living. So, no… you can’t go home again.