It turns out all those people who said they left OS were secretly here all the time. Things are never what they seem. Who among us is pure in intent? I came back out of curiosity, and found things going full force.
But I'm not bi-coastal. I have to make a choice. The other place has no glitches. But the numbers are small. That is the rub. I see my "Drive Across America", over here, just topped 1,000. That's an impressive number, and the numbers over there, even for "popular" posts, are small. Should I come back?
Numbers aren't everything. I left my church of 18 years, because the new priest was not a spiritual leader I could follow. After a few bad incidents, I left. I followed a friend, who had actually been kicked out. Now, it turns out she's returning. I, meanwhile, have found a very happy new home. But, again, the numbers are small. My last church usually had 70 or so of a Sunday. This one is lucky if they get 20. Yet the priest is a man of true spirituality. I am moved by his sermons. The people are nice, though a bit frosty. It reminds me of those vicarage churches in the cozy English mysteries I love to read, like those by Hazel Holt.
My last church was famous for its diversity. This new one, not so much. But I am comfortable here. Will I regret my decision?
In America we're free to pursue happiness. But is anyone happy? I just gave a surprise birthday gift to a young friend. She cried and said her boyfriend says he doesn't love her and that he is not going to celebrate her birthday. This sweet woman, who works very hard to support herself and her young daughter, has already gone through a rough divorce and is only 25. She usually has a smile on her face and "acts" happy.
Who actually is happy? Of those closest to me, two are struggling with cancer and chemo, one old and one way too young. One just lost his job, though I must say, he seems to actually be happy. He can play with his young son, instead of working 24/7. But the money is going to run out. Another is limping because an auto accident ripped into his knee. He loves to walk, and is still walking, but with quite a struggle. And the cold doesn't help.
I don't like the cold, but I accept it. He wants to move to the sunbelt. But he can't. Because I won't go with him. So he has to fear running our of heat, like we did during Sandy.
And speaking of fear, it's become quite a joke. There is more to fear than fear itself: guns killing everyone in the mall, the school, the street. Fracking destroying the water and getting closer and closer to the places we love. Weather, not out there anymore, but right here in New Jersey. Old age and cancer, just around the bend.
So is anyone happy? Am I? Yes, but not all the time. I'm happy right now, because I like to write. I'm happy that the sun is coming in the window. It's a beautiful bright golden light, even if it's too cold out there (13 degrees). I'm happy when I eat food like Chinese dumplings. I was happy getting engaged with the Hillary Clinton hearings on the hill. She was great, and I love politics. It's been a bit of a let down, now that nothing is going on politically.
But often I'm bored, and sometimes I'm depressed. When I am, I have to spend a lot of time figuring out why. I don't like it when my arthritis makes me less than light of step. I don't like it when certain family members are not kind and loving like in my favorite TV show of yore, "The Waltons". But sometimes there is no reason. It's just a gloom in the air, that I start to feel.
So things are not what they seem, and evidently, even the happiest among us aren't all that happy, but there's nothing to do, but carry on. I'm not going back to my old church, but I may come back here. Let's see how it goes.