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.