Old Pathways Anew

It has been a goal, albeit a secret one. A decade ago it seemed perhaps a step too far, maybe unreachable. When I was married, a fantasy. You know, something like “wouldn’t that be awesome!” Not for any other reason then for me. Not for love, or otherwise. Just for me.

You know, rock-hard abs, tight butt, shapely calves. Fabulous and fit at 50. And not because of all the money spent at some gym either, but instead due to the way I live, the way I am.

Out on the stoop just now, soaking in the morning air, and I realised I am almost there. And, because of that, I also realised that I now have a way back to The Mount as well.

I can google a way through the pathways up to the University, take Rose, and cycle back.

To see the line of giant Cottonwoods, the huge old Oaks, the acorn littered pathway I discovered way back in 2011 when they first found Tim’s giant tumour on his pancreas. Back at the beginning of the end.

I couldn’t even of THOUGHT of that last year. Last year I was struggling with how to get all the way up there, just like I have since I moved back. I was struggling with being in a place I wanted to be but stuck in a job I absolutely, a hundred percent, hated. Stuck.

Not now. Not ever again.

With the grey in my hair, and all my menopause madness, and yes, it’s still there. Still riding the same curls and twists as ever. Still trying to keep upright, stay focused on the now, and keep my dang mouth shut, for fear of uttering some of the inane things my rotten hormones dredge up from the dark.

Yet, yet, with the financial gloom of living below the poverty line, I still thrive. Or, I try.

A co-worker and I were discussing the merits of a job that eliminates ones need to go to a gym. How pretty smart we are for getting paid to get fit. Mind you, Mom, this co-worker is half my age.

You know, I was struggling a couple of weeks back with this sense that some of the people I work with, the men, one in particular actually, underestimated my strength. Silly men.

Now I’m up at 2:30 am, on my bike by 20 after 4, and thirty minutes later, to a chorus of cardinals, I arrive as the dawn breaks over the meadow behind our building. As this other co-worker I mention arrives for work, in his car, there I am waiting for him.

I could see the admiration. I think he gets it now.

Don’t underestimate the power of a woman. Perhaps a good lesson for a young man to learn. Better now than when it’s too late.

So today, after I’ve walked Irish after I’ve done some chores, I’m going to find my way back to The Mount. I’m going to shed a tear or three I imagine. My eyes glisten just thinking about it.

That refuge from the storm that lay across from the hospital was such a welcome escape. When we could scrounge up enough money, I could stay a night there, and not on a cot at the foot of Tim’s bed.

To get away, to walk along the winding paths that enveloped the hill. And across the bridge, and past the row of Cottonwoods, as I learned that Cottonwoods like to line themselves up like a fence line.

It seems strange now, but we went home from there with hope you know Mom. I remember we spent that last night together at The Mount before we went back to the Cottage. Back to his Lake. With his guts ripped apart, and a death sentence hanging over his head. Still, we had some hope.

It seems at once a long time ago, and just yesterday.

A wrinkle in the fabric that’s eating at me this morning is that Crossroad Man lied to me. I don’t know if he knows I know he lied or maybe omitted the truth is more accurate. Whatever. Same difference. And so I don’t know what to do with this knowledge. Don’t know if it’s relevant, which I guess is what bothers me even more, that he shouldn’t have lied, or omitted WHO he was doing the work for.

He’s been at this job all this week, and I think part of last. I now realise he was a bit sketchy on the details.

He doesn’t like saying the name of that old girlfriend he still keeps in contact with. The one that is so sick and lonely and depressed that he says he has had in his life for over twenty years, and can’t abandon her now. Not for me, or anyone, he says.

And all the power to him. However, it still makes me feel second, and I don’t like that. She and he still get (though rarely) invited places together, as they have mutual friends. I don’t like that either.

Do I not deserve better? THAT’s what I keep asking myself.

I’m not sure what the answer is.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to call him on it. I do admire his loyalty, but still. At the very least, he was finally honest about the whole thing. Finally admitted that he hadn’t quit seeing her, but that was a few months back now. He did say too he’d be honest with me. Sure, their relationship has changed since he met me. Even so, it still bugs me. And he lied. Omitted. WHATEVER.

It’s not like a Tim lie and only told to whitewash, or to merely just get what he wants. It is steadfast and true of him to remain friends with her. But he’s been working on her deck the last couple weeks, amongst other smaller jobs she’s had him do (that he did tell me about), and he said nothing about it to me. I wouldn’t even know this if I hadn’t accidently run into one of his other old friends yesterday.

I’m actually just thinking of not saying anything right away and let him wallow in the knowledge. Cause I know that old friend will mention she ran into me. I could see him get all uncomfortable when I mentioned our chance meeting earlier, so he can put two and two together.

Maybe I will just keep silent for a bit longer.

Well, anyways, so dreams do come true. Or some of them at least, if only from sheer force of will. Ok, with the help of a Crossroads Man who happens to come upon just the very things that I happen to need, but don’t know I need. He attracts things, just like Tim always did. Which I think is kinda neat. I am thankful he gave me Rose. Fixed her up for me, and gave her new life.

Sure, she’s a little rusted, and not as youthful and vibrant as she once was. Yet, much like me, he breathed new life into her, and by that has given me something I really, secretly, desired. I can’t discount that.

I’m valuable, though, much like that vintage CCM Supercycle, Mr Crossroads Man had better shape up, cause I don’t need a man.

But, regardless, I can choose to cycle away whenever I want, I’ve got my curves back. And soon, there will be nothing he can do about it.

You know, I just now went back and looked again at yesterday’s post for the Weekly Photo Challenge, and I realised that it was never prose, it was always poetry; so I changed it.

It kinda sums up this whole week really. Oh, sure there were hurdles and sore dang feet. I lived. And every day I got to ride home, and it filled me with such tremendous joy. I’m learning how to play again Mom, and it’s wonderful. I’m amusing myself, riding along, exploring, watching light stream through trees, me and Rose, swinging left, swinging right, meandering along. I’m smiling, and happy, and by the time I get home I have this incredible energy. Like I have wings at my back, making everything just that much easier.

I’ve heard the call to adventure, and I believe I just found the cure to my menopause madness.

OH, and I’m seriously considering celibacy. I believe there are sometimes just places you can only go alone as they are hard to describe.

You know, thinking about trust, and loyalty, and anger management issues.

About too much booze, not enough talk.

Too little of a few things, whereas abundance in others.

Pft, hormones, smoremones, I actually just really feel like playing by myself. Kinda like I guess before Lex was born. I often remember spending time alone. You remember that old stone foundation next to the old barn? This little in between garden I have, you know, is very much like that place.

It even has it’s own little touches of magic. I can see, but people can’t see in. They don’t know I’m here. It’s wonderful for hiding. Kinda encourages a yin and yang I guess.

Must go, must start the day. Must walk Irish, and make my way towards that Mount. Curving down those paths, seeing it all from a different direction I guess as well. Since this time home isn’t all that far away, just over there, and I’m not trapped, not that person anymore I was with Tim.

Love,PaulaB

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