Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Lots of changes this month. Orson has diabetes. He's been losing weight and has been drinking a ton of water, yet he's still dehydrated. We finally got him to the vet and she diagnosed Orson with diabetes. He's on insulin now, though only D has injected it. According to D, Orson "took his first shot like a champ," and injecting the insulin is a cinch. When I get back to Chicago, I'll have him show me how to do it.

I'm out of town because I'm in the Fort (aka Fort Wayne). My mom had congestive heart failure the Monday before Memorial Day and had a pacemaker put in. She's still in the hospital, but we expect her to be released today. I've been here helping my dad get through the week. I'm pretty sure I'll be moving back here by July. It's not 100% certain, but I'm looking at apartments here and eventually a house.

As much as I love Chicago, I just can't see myself staying there now that it's pretty clear my parents won't get back to a level of independence they used to enjoy. Mom's still pretty weak and her recovery is going to be long, and she's going to need someone to help her with grocery shopping and laundry. Right now she can't lift more than two pounds (doctor's orders).

Besides, I've been pining for a life in the country, and that is something I could never afford in Illinois. I can afford it in Indiana, I think, at least eventually. I have to admit I have no idea whether I'd like living in the country. The only time I've ever been in the country was at my grandparents' on their farm, where we would climb trees and hang out in the treehouse my grandfather built for us and race motorbikes and gokarts around his "track," but that hardly counts as living there. I could very well be romanticizing the idea of living in the country. But I want a house. I want a garden. I want a library and a fireplace. I could have all that in a house in the suburbs, but then I would have to have neighbors. I was raised in a suburb, a creepy suburb, and I don't think I could go back to that. Neighbors scare me. I don't want them unless I'm in an apartment where most people keep to themselves. I mean, I like people. Honest. I just don't want them as neighbors. And I'm willing to put up with almost anything not to have neighbors.

So I'll start in an apartment and work from there. I'm slightly worried about the job thing. Fort Wayne is rather economically depressed, and the only jobs available are restaurant jobs and medical jobs. But this could be an opportunity for me to finally start the copywriting business I've been talking about doing. Lots of work in that area, it seems, if I can break in, and it's something I can do from home and still have time to work on my fiction. Copywriting is something I sense I could be really good at and enjoy at least enough to keep doing it until I publish will undoubtedly be my hit novel. ; ) At any rate, I'm 97% sure I couldn't go back to being employed by someone else—especially with the kinds of jobs that are available in the Fort. Being self-employed in grad school and beyond, I got used to making my own decisions and I don't think I could go back to being bossed around. If I need to meet with clients in Indy or Chicago, I can still do that. I've got a pretty big list of businesses to start cold calling and cold writing.

In some ways, I'm really looking forward to the (possible-probable) move. Fort Wayne does have an excellent library (especially the main branch downtown) that is really freaking fun to visit. It also has some great bookshops (though some have closed down, sadly) and a couple of good coffeeshops.

It only has one artsy movie theatre, so I'm going to miss the freedom I had in Chicago to see whatever artsy independent film I wanted. And the thai food. I'm going to miss the great thai food. And Bikram yoga. Oh my God will I miss Bikram yoga and the cutie who taught there.

But this appears to be my new lot in life.

So that's the plan. Wish me luck.


Old Kitty said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mum!! I wish her well and hope that your family are ok.

Gosh you have such a cathartic time ahead! I wish you all the luck with such life changing decisions. I hope you find all that your wish for given the changed circumstances!

Hugs too to sweet Orson. Poor thing!!

Take care and fingers crossed for your future! x

Sylvia said...

Interesting times! Wishing you all the luck in the world...

Whirlochre said...

Sorry to hear about your mum.

As per the other stuff, as long as you're sure it will all hang together it seems the only thing you'll miss is the yoga cutie — and even he is not beyond kidnapping, I suspect.

stacy said...

Thanks, Kitty! She's okay now. She's still a bit weak, but she's doing fine.

Thanks, Sylvia! How are you doing?

Whirl, thank you. I haven't been round the blogs lately and hope to get back to visiting y'all again soon. I may kidnap the cutie. Or at least let him know I think he's cute. : )

fairyhedgehog said...

Heavy stuff to deal with. I'm sorry to hear about Orson and even more so about your Mum.

The move sounds scary/exciting. I'm lucky with my neighbours: we have really lovely people to each side, in three of the houses opposite us, and in two houses backing onto our garden. I've never had such friendly neighbours before! I can understand why you want to avoid them though; when we had horrible neighbours in the past it was dismal.

Good luck with sorting it out.

stacy said...

Thanks, FHH. She really is doing much better, though she's tired from the ordeal. Dad's been hovering over her like a worried ... well, like a worried husband. Yesterday when she took a nap he asked me to check her breathing.

But I think the pacemaker is going to help her. And honestly, if I can get everything to work out, I'm looking forward to the move. I've been wanting a change for a long time.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

There are some people who crave change every couple to few years (I'm one of those!). Shake it all up, whether it's the job or the current living conditions. I've been right where you're at: aging parents, challenged pets, freelancing, and wanting a move to the country.

Many more companies are open these days to remote workers. I worked for EDS then HP when it gobbled EDS up, and my last year I only went into the physical office twice. I even interviewed and turned down a remote writing job for a marketing firm based out of California. These companies all provided laptops and conference lines. It's a little tougher finding the jobs today, but when I was strictly freelance, I often partnered with outsourcing companies that provide resources to large companies. I got gigs with GTE, Motorola and others this way. The outsourcer charges exorbitant fees to the companies, and I always made decent money on my side ($35 - $60 / hour, depending on the gig) and could turn down any gig I didn't want. Maybe there's a company or two like that where you'll be going?

Romanticizing country life? That made me laugh! I've had two stints in the country. The first time I could only afford a mobile home on 14 acres in a very rundown rural area. Rednecks, drunks, people shooting at one another -- yet I could only see one neighbor from the house. It was LOTS of work in a depressing area and I gave up after a bit.

Now I live on 27 acres in a more middle-class rural area. I can see only one neighbor from the house and I keep pretty much to myself. Even if you don't have livestock, it can be a lot of work. Tons of mowing, tons and tons of weeding to keep a garden growing, tons of repair work, and the joints in my outdoor water lines (all 1/4 mile of them) keep failing and I'm digging up pipes and repairing them more often than I'd like. I put lovely, perfectly cropped pix of the place up on my blog, but it's by no means as pristine as the photos make it appear. And good luck on satellite and mobile connections. No cable, and my download speeds and connectivity limits mean streaming video can't be had for more than a minute or so without buffering.

Still? IF I ever move, it'll be into a cabin deep in the woods. No more city life -- ever. I LOVE the isolation and the freedom. If you're up for hard work and failure and the trade-off is right for you (it is for me!), then get that place in the country and start living your dreams before you can't any longer...

Good luck, sweetie!

stacy said...

Wow, such an informative comment, Phoenix. Thanks!

There's plenty of cheap land around here, and some of it is quite pretty. Maybe if I don't find a house, I'll build. We'll see. For now I'll probably move to an apartment while I build my client list. Working to get my website together so I can provide the link when I write or cold call a potential client. Probably I'll rely on Chicago and Indy and maybe a couple of cities in Ohio, though I will be contacting businesses in the Fort. That's my plan.

Meanwhile, the fiction writing and editing continues.