One year ago today I walked into my apartment along the shores of Long Island Sound with a box marked "Important Items for LB and Me" in one hand and the cat carrier in the other. It was the end of an unexpected journey that began two months earlier.
After placing LB's litter box, his food, and water bowl down on the floor of the bathroom, I unpacked from the box under my arm a ratty and worn blanket and placed it on the floor in a pile so that one wall and the bathtub formed a snug comfortable corner. I then opened the carrier and let LB out; giving him a few minutes of love before shutting the door to let my parents and the friends who had come to help me move into the apartment with the first load of many, many loads of my possessions.
This week has brought some finality to my move to Connecticut. While I still love Boston and do believe that one day, and probably not in the too distant future, I will return to live there, the ache of leaving has finally been replaced with the warm glow of fond memories.
To my great amazement, I have formed lasting bonds with my new place of residence and the people who surround me here and in ways I never formed bonds with Boston. I have many good and dear friends in Boston but Boston being Boston and that portion of New England being well, that portion of New England with the exception of those few friends, I never made connection with my neighbors and colleagues the way I have here.
Northern New England can be a hard place to live if you are not "from there". I think I had lived there for ten years before someone finally told me, "you've been here long enough now that we figure you aren't going anywhere soon so we may as well start talking to you". Apparently, according to the New York Times this past week, that point of acceptance is somewhere between twelve and eighteen months. I believe it too.
Because here, I've gotten to know and become quite friendly with my neighbors, with the exception of the woman who just moved in behind us who insists on sharing her most intimate details of life with the entire neighborhood when she stands on her backporch at all hours of the day shouting into her cellphone and screaming and throwing things at the people who party on her back porch "to get out of her house" at 2am resulting in multiple visits from the police....but I digress.
I have developed what I consider close and lasting friendships with quite a few people and yes, I now know my way around the subway system of NYC and the city for that matter well enough to now direct lost and upward looking tourists to their destination.
This week, as the first blush of fall made itself known at night with temperatures that dipped into the low 50's and afternoon temperatures in the low to middle 70's, I found myself reaching for a blanket to ward off the chill either early in the morning or when napping.
It is the same blanket that one year ago I pulled out of the box and carefully arranged for LB to curl up in one year ago. There is something about that blanket, a blanket that I have had for forty years, that LB loves. When ever it makes its appearance he comes and starts kneading and rolling on the blanket before finding a section to curl up and take a long nap.
At first, I tried to stop him from doing that because of its rather delicate state, but now I find comfort in his wanting to make my nap blanket his. It is as if he is making me completely and totally his and, in a way, showing me that when he wandered onto my porch on that rainy day almost ten years ago to this day, he was finally coming home.
It seems that I have come home too...
Weekend Cat Blogging is being hosted this week by Puddy and Kate at "A Byootaful Life". Go see what all the other kitties have been up all week, including Puddy, who like LB, has "another cat that what gets into trouble" living with her. Must be LB's twin...