The Great Couch Surfing Adventure 2016, by the numbers:
$431.07 for gas (average fill-up $23.39)
16 states: Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida
93 great folks I spent time with (not including my former classmates at our 40th high school reunion)
22 host homes (and only one couch so far)
1 beach side resort stay
21 dogs, 23 cats, 6 chickens, 1 rooster, and 1 horse
5 special church services (Thanksgiving and Christmas!)
3 savory crab cake meals (plus crab soup!)
9 Philly-style soft pretzels (I hate you WaWa. No I don’t. I love you. Truly. Thank you for the pretzels. Amen.)
10 pounds gained
2016 is running on fumes – as I write this there are only 7 hours, 14 minutes until the ball drops in Times Square in New York City. While this year dribbles out like the spittle down my chin after dental surgery, I count blessings and inspect scars and bruises.
Thirty years of a hard scrabble marriage came to a screeching halt back in April when I announced my intention to file for divorce and my husband simply said “okay”. No drama. No tears. No cussing or yelling or gnashing of teeth. No finger pointing, neck wringing, hyperventilating or bottle rockets bursting in air. Just “okay”. The dead acceptance of my declaration left me stunned, rendered me mute. Oh I had a speech ready, but the wind was sucked from my sails as I swallowed my words, nodded my head, and thought to myself, “It’s true. You’re not wanted.” Mr. X asked me the next day if I was relieved. I was insulted. I had poured everything, all of me into our marriage – most notably in the past seven years since our great and glorious reunion of 2009 – but Mr. X had given up a long time ago. I am nothing if not persistent and I resented his glib question. The following day I asked him if he was relieved: “Yes. Yes I am” was his thoughtful, ready reply. And so a proverbial dead horse was spared a beating and I moved on.
Blessings – I’ve had a lot: a bone density scan in May revealed my osteoporosis was reversed; working at Signal Mountain Lodge in the Grand Teton National Park (again, after six long years away!); new friends; new adventures; and finally precious time with family and friends. I’ve had a once-in-my-lifetime opportunity to visit loved ones near and far and across the decades. My friends are my family. While I may be homeless and roaming the country in Old Sue for a spell, I am never without a place to rest my head, fill my tummy, and feel the loving embrace of true and abiding friendship.
The Great Couch Surfing Adventure of 2016 will roll into 2017 with excursions here and there and beyond but for now I’m in one place for a spell. I’m signing up for tap dance lessons next week. I will dance into my future, God willing.