A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to August

August 24, 2020

We in the Driftless seem to be mired in the final heat blast of the summer. Of course, I also said that two heat blasts ago.

On my walk this muggy evening, I reflected on why I didn’t keep up my blog over the summer. I can’t claim that I was busy, though there were times when I felt I’d lost control of my schedule. For the most part I was merely existing in my apartment. And I was missing the key social events that reinforce my identity and give me the motivation to write.

Still, a lot has happened since last I wrote (most of it good). More than a month ago now, I traded my customer-service job for a position with a conservation group. I’ve been volunteering with the group for five years, but this paid job was unexpected and beyond anything I could have hoped for. I get to write while increasing awareness of and support for Wisconsin’s native landscapes.

As a side effect, I now have my very own wi-fi connection at home. No more sitting in the library parking lot and hoping the router signal is strong enough that I can upload a post.  It’s downright luxurious. On top of that, I get to work from home — the magic phrase in this era.

It was less than magic at first. I struggled to motivate myself and build a routine from scratch.  As much as I complain about working customer service, there’s nothing like clocking in and out at preordained times. I miss being able to physically leave my work at work (not on that laptop over there on the coffee table). After several false starts, I finally seem to have hammered out a schedule that works for everyone involved.

Meanwhile, my mom and I accepted an offer on our family home. This means that all of the places I’ve ever lived, except the one I’m in now, have strangers in them. Without a “base” to return to, I now officially live in the place where I’ve been laying my head. Mom isn’t far behind: she’s moving into an apartment just three miles from mine. It’s a short drive back to my childhood town if we want to revisit the past.

If this heat ever ends, we’ll be left with that delicious fall feeling — sharp pencils, new backpacks, and whatnot. But instead of having to move in to a strange dorm room, I’ll be firmly planted. I know the value of home more than most, and it’s the only thing that can keep me grounded when everything else is up for debate.

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