A Trip Home

I flew home to NY from Florida to visit family this past long weekend. My mom needed help with the small farm she’s grown the last few years (a garden…), and she bought the flight because she claimed she missed me (we miss each other). The flights were way too expensive and the best option I could find was to go the path of the unknown. I bought “surprise flights” through Expedia. I knew the day of arrival and departure but nothing else until I dropped the cash. Turns out- it was a great flight option. Though, it did send me out to Minneapolis and across a time zone for no apparent reason, on the way up. After the first stretch of flight, I decided to splurge on $30 headphones at the airport. I didn’t have anything to watch the movies being offered on the mini tvs…. unfortunately, none of my other 3 flights even had tvs. Oh well, I’ll use the adapter and connect them to my iPhone 7 anyway. However, I didn’t actually bring that adapter; so, I used the headphones for the first time at the gym yesterday, with the adapter. Once I got home, my cousin picked me up at midnight on a Friday. The airport is an hours drive from our homes and because my flight came in late, we were deliriously having a great chat until i got dropped off at 2am. My mom had a terrifying break-in not long ago and put all new doors and locks on the house, so… I didn’t know the codes. Luckily, my cousin did and I managed to creepily sneak in the house without waking my mom. Only one of my cats came to greet me, apparently the other has gone deaf since my last visit. I spent the next morning whining and complaining like a small child as my mother and I shoveled dirt and manure in the hot sun. And, just as I was getting pumped to go out partying with my cousin, she let me know that her baby daddy says he has the flu and wants her to come pick up her son from his weekend visitation. No party for us. We had a few drinks at her house and got into their brand new swimming pool- staring at the stars. I grew up under the Milky Way, and city lights will always feel wrong at night. Days passed with meals and family and friends. I even went horseback riding for the first time in years. Other friends bailed, family was busy, and I retaught myself some piano. I demanded a family intervention! I needed attention! I gathered my squad and we created beautiful homemade pizza creations and hung out, without much to say, but we enjoyed each others company. We talked business (property, wills, extended relatives) and played a few games. The next morning the alarm went off at 3:15AM… and I regretted my “surprise flight” choice for a bit. My flight left at 6AM, but don’t forget: the airport is an hour away. I said goodbye to my oldest cat, Cassy (who was taken to the emergency vet that night for surgery to remove fluid on her lungs, which was very sad and unexpected); then my middle child, the needy Payge (has had medical issues her whole life and is now almost completely deaf), and Carlos the dwarf hamster (an old ass hamster of 2 years who loves lettuce and gaining/loosing massive amounts of weight for a hamster his size). On the flights back I realized how many “businessmen” filled the seats, and it unnerved me to see such gender bias in such a tangible manner. I kept my bitch face up- “Don’t acknowledge, but can’t ignore.” The apologetic anthem of a woman surrounded by men. I was left alone for the most part. An uber took me home, where I was joyously greeted by the newest kitten, Bridgette (she’s not a kitten, shes now a full sized cat from the streets and she will fuck you up). I also greeted my rescue fish: Koia, Sharpie, and Kuro. I slept until I heard the news about Cassy ending up at the vet. I had just been there… there isn’t anything for me to do. She’s old and cats don’t show signs of illness until it’s often too late. The current update is that she’s ok, and she has a follow up appointment tomorrow. She was my first cat, my first pet really. I got a litter box for my 10th birthday and picked out a kitten from the SPCA not long after. I taught her to shake hands and ride a skateboard. She would sit at the top of the steps and prevent house guests from reaching the restroom with hiss and claws. She mothered any baby that came into our home- kitten or human. She’s old now, and not quite as into things like catnip or babies anymore. But, she will still come running when you walk in that door. That’s really what humans look for in a “pet” I think, just someone to come running or go running to. I guess that’s what children are too. I got to see my cousins son and see the highlight of red in his hair, from her; his baby nose, from her; his freckles, from her; and his sweet desire for attention and affection, definitely from her. A chip off the block, both having records for talking too much and distracting classes as young as 1st grade. His birthday is soon, and I got him a science and discovery subscription box for a few months. I hope he enjoys those and can associate me with them, even though I’m not there. The first one came the day before I left. Maybe my grandmother, the lifelong nurse and caregiver, will do the projects with him. She can outdo me in most scenarios; so, I have faith my 90-pounds-when-soaking-wet grandmother can get the science flowing. I love my family, and I would love to make pizza and science experiments with them all day every day. But, that’s just not how life goes. Moving out and moving on is something it takes to be an adult and make a life of your own- my own. Anyway,
I went to NY. I had to convince my family to hangout with me, and I got to spend time with my pets.

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