Yesterday I left the sunny South for snowy Hoboken (actually that picture was taken a month ago of my daughter in her back yard in Kingston, NY) and am layering myself for a trip to the post office to pick up the mail they've held for me for a week. Whereas I didn't even need a jacket most days in Fairhope, I'll have to wear long underwear, a tee shirt, sweater, jacket, gloves and a cap just to walk to the bus stop and take a bus nine blocks and walk three more to the post office, then three back to the next bus stop to walk another three blocks to my apartment. Must stop off somewhere and pick up a few groceries too.
Friends from Alabama will read this and ask "Why? Why does anybody live like that?"
I can understand the question, but I can answer it too. Not sufficiently so that they could really understand, but I've answered it many times on the blog. This is the place I'd rather be. I'm relearning how to deal with cold weather, and if that's all the adversity I have to cope with, I can handle it. It's a different kind of a life and I feel revitalized coming back to it. The relaxed, warm life of Lower Alabama is seductive, but to me the rewards were less. The highs were nowhere near as high, and the lows were way lower. Everybody who knows me there knows some of the stress I endured--and of course some of it was of my own making--so that sorta goes with being me. There will be some of it here, but for now Hoboken is still a vacation for me, slapdab against one of the greatest cities in the world, and in a pleasant, busy community that has a lot going on. Hoboken has the best of both worlds. It's a small town with a vibrant history (and you know how I love history) and easy access to anything I want to do in the city.
Across that water, it ain't Mobile. It's Manhattan.
Now, just give me a couple of days to get over my jet lag and culture shock. And don't bother me while I put on my long johns and get dressed for the cold.