Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Crooning the Homesick Blues

                                    Crooning the Homesick Blues
            I woke up homesick. I want real weather, I said to myself. I’ll take any distraction to keep myself from dealing with the deeper problem. Weather, indeed. Tip of my iceberg.

            Winter’s never been my favorite season. But spring came early to Montana this year. (The computer is a great tool.) I don’t trust an early spring. Nevertheless, I daydream warm Chinook winds, tulips and iris shooting sprouts through the sun-drenched ground, lilacs nursing baby buds through the changeable days.

            Ah, changeable. That is the key word. Montana days are so very changeable. I might grind my teeth when a warm morning segues to forty mile winds with black skies and hail by noon. But such a morning is exciting. Energizing. Dreadful.

            Every winter day on the Pacific coast in central Mexico is predictable. Sunshine and eighty-two degrees. Oh, sure, some mornings the sky is overcast but the foggy clouds burn off mid-morning leaving sunshine and eighty-two degrees.

            And the Mazatlan sky is blue. Beautiful, boring one-shade blue. Step outside and look around at the magnificent Montana sky. There are uncountable shades of blues and grays and purples and often unimaginable colors and clouds in the panoramic bowl of sky. I miss my sky.

            So forgive me for thinking I caused (homesick effect syndrome) the wonderful rainstorm yesterday. I geared up for my morning walk, stepped out the door to thunder, cumulus clouds to the south, black sky to the north and rumbles and grumbles overhead. I don’t mind getting wet. But I am daunted by lightning. Postponed my walk, brewed coffee and enjoyed the cleansing, refreshing pounding, river in the street, gutter washing rain. 

            Homesick means I missed the Montana Seed Show, my favorite annual social event. I miss my friends and neighbors. The art exhibits. The pie and bread bake-offs. The wool exhibits. Umoh, my friend from Helena with her baskets, the banquet, the art exhibits and quilts. People milling about, greeting, catching up on family news, renewing old acquaintances, standing in line to choose another piece of home-baked apple or chocolate or lemon meringue pie in the cafeteria. I miss the snow and ice and wind and cold and dripping boots and wet wool coats. I’m homesick.

            I was supposed to be there. I had planned to be there. Back in December I bought plane tickets. March and April, Montana and Seattle. Family. Friends. Grandchildren. Havre Atrium. Border Bar. Driver’s license renewal. Pinochle with friends. Favorite stops in Harlem, Chinook, Havre and Great Falls. Montana Seed Show. Amtrak from Havre to Seattle. I scheduled it all.  The tickets are on my desk, staring me in the face. Ah, the real issue.

            What I never planned was the unexpected. I never planned hip-replacement surgery. That’s not totally true; I thought maybe late fall would be a good time. When pain reached critical mass and x-rays told the truth, opportunity reset my calendar. At the time, I asked my doctor if I would be able to travel in March. Probably, I was told.

            Surgery was successful and therapy began. Again, I asked about travel in March. Well, you may, but . . . Both my surgeon and my physical therapy doctor agreed that it would be best for me to wait.

            Snowbirds are heading north one by one, along with other migratory critters. Ted leaves next week. Don and Dorothy leave the following week. Frank will be around another couple weeks before he leaves. All my gringo neighbors soon abandon me.

            So my now-cancelled tickets haunt me homesick. I’ll come for summer. I’ll stay longer. Today I’m singing the “wanna hop a jet plane to the north of the border, wool socks and snowstorms, freeze my tootsies blues”.

            Weather today in Mazatlan: Sunshine and eighty-two degrees.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door
March 19, 2015

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