We are back in Rapid City after several months in Saint Louis.
I have so enjoyed the time in the Lou. We left Rapid in late March, furnished our cute little Art Deco apartment, and set to work getting to know the area. I loved that I could walk right out of my door and go to a bakery, a library, an Episcopal church, or even to Target. If I wanted to write, I threw stuff in a bag and strolled to a coffee shop or to the library, or even went to the back of our apartment and closed the door. Sound doesn’t carry as well there as it does in our huge Rapid City house; I cannot escape the noise of the television in Rapid City but I can in the little Art Deco apartment. Odd.
The grandchildren have been such an incredible joy. I took one each week for lunch and a special afternoon. We shopped, played games, explored book stores. I loved watching them eat sushi! My son and his family took me to the Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden. That was a magnificent evening.
A problem with this particular stretch of time spent in STL was the insane heat wave/drought that punished the region. Taciturn does not handle heat or humidity well; he surrendered in June and went back to Rapid City for the duration of the summer. I came back in July for the Antiques Roadshow and stayed three weeks, then flew back to the Lou for a month. During the time alone I wrote, studied, exercised, made a wonderful new pal, grew deeper into the church community. I even polished up a piece related to my novel and read it at an open mic night!
The return to Rapid City I dreaded, even as I wanted to see my husband. Two and a half weeks I’ve been back, but already I’m aching to return to STL. There I feel at home; indeed, that is where my late mother grew up and I feel closer to her, seeing the places she frequented when she was young. And it is just easier to write. We will return in November for the holidays.
Alas, time passes and people leave us. A dear friend from my Rapid City church died of inflammatory breast cancer in mid March. She lived not even a year and a half after her diagnosis; there was no delay in treatment, and the doctors did all they could. It was just a horrible, aggressive cancer. I miss her so much. A voice mail she left me not even three weeks before her death remains on my phone. And a former lover from my grad school days who once meant a great deal to me died while riding his bicycle in late July. He was not a person who was a candidate for a life partner. A self-professed hedonist, he called himself “a fun junkie;” part of the reason we separated was my increasing attraction to the liturgical life, which he did not care to understand and even ridiculed. But most of our time together was good, and he was kind to my son. I mourn his passing.
Going to Centering Prayer tonight at my Rapid City church. My dear friend who died once was the facilitator; must get used to another person. We all are expendable. But that is fine; it is the River of Life.