Saturday, July 7, 2012
Friday, there were storms. And inside the little apartment off 14 1/2 Alley, there were no lights to see by. I sat with my dogs and my cat and a dozen half-filled boxes, waiting to see so I could finish packing. This weekend, we moved into an apartment above the park, not far from Huntington's new "World Class PetSafe Dog Park." We have dogs and cats and park-goers for neighbors. In trying to count -- because I always lose count -- how many moves this makes, I felt "moved" to go back and re-read something I wrote a few years back. In case you've got a few minutes and you'd like to know, here are the places I have lived: http://swdooley.blogspot.com/2009/05/places-i-have-lived.html And now I've got to add a few more: 43. When we got back to West Virginia, we stayed with my parents. My niece Marilyn was 13, and she cooked elaborate meals that she would not eat, and wrote menus for them so we could choose. We sat in rocking chairs and ate from the garden. We lay on our backs on hot pavement in the dark and watched fireworks. Who says you can't go home again? 44. We moved to Wyoming County. This was the first house we owned. We painted the walls. We sat in the dark. We watched snow cut us off from the rest of the world. I drove on tangled roads and dodged coal trucks. I taught kids I didn't know how to teach. I lost a friend. I left things unfinished. I saw cover art for Livvie Owen Lived Here. I wrote Body of Water and lived through part of what would someday be Free Verse. We nursed Buddy through Parvo. We worked in the yard, but the work was never done. We walked through grimy snow to Sunoco and bought off-brand dog food. We waited for the thaw. 45. Huntington! We moved to the apartment on 14 1/2 Alley. We got married on Independence Day. We found a home for Buddy, who needed a yard and water and not a tiny apartment in the alley. We found Oscar. Then Winifred. Both Dachshund mixes with attitudes bigger than their tiny, silly bodies. Jake and I separated. Then slowly found each other again. I wrote Ashes to Asheville. Then Free Verse. Livvie Owen Lived Here, then Body of Water, were published. We made friends with the neighbors for maybe the first time ever. We sat on porches and watched storms blow in. On Saturday, we moved. And now we are in number -- 46. The sweet, bright, light apartment on the park. Hardwood floors and a crappy futon and new countertops and promise. And the story continues.