It is summer time in MN. We do not have a “happy medium” for our seasons. It is either bitterly cold, to the point of not being able to take a decent breath of air in for fear of having your lungs turn to ice; or it is so hot you can feel your skin melt right off! Today, it is the heat. Now, since we get a meager 3 months of summer (at best) I try hard to not complain about it. However, when you live in a teeny-tiny, old farm house and the temperature inside reaches 91F, I earn the right to whine. Being born and raised in MN, I don’t deal well with heat. Add a cranky toddler on top of the mix. Sprinkle with a husband working the night shift. And there is my recipe for disaster. It makes me crabby, and on edge. Every whine and demand make me want to run into my bedroom; my only cool room in this little house. The only room that can fit an old window air-conditioning unit. But in that room is a husband trying to sleep, and later in the day, a toddler trying to nap. So, I try to dive into my thoughts. I try to think of cooler days to come, and try my very best not to wish the summer away. After all, it is mid-July and I am not ready for snow tires, shoveling, and icy roads.
Why do I stay here? Not by choice. I moved out of state once; it only lasted 2 months. I made the mistake of moving for a boy. Though the conversations we had were wonderful, the economy was not. I searched for a job and watched my savings quickly dwindle away. And the living situation was getting tense. I lived with 3 adults and 2 children, in a 4-bedroom town home. It was a nice place to be, aside from the other female in the house. Stef HATED me! I can honestly say that. She was a sad woman. Married to a military man, simply because she got pregnant while they dated. She hated him, and the jury is still out on how she felt about her son. The only time her son did not cry was when I was playing with him. That made her more angry, and the tension in the house was too much to take. I packed up my belongings, and made a 27 hour drive, straight thru a snow storm (the road closed behind me on my drive North). It was a sad, frustrating drive. I felt like I failed. I had loved the warmth of TN, the fact that in January it was 60 and 70 degrees! The road I lived on was paved, and I took up jogging. I never knew I could enjoy running and not have to be chased to get my bum in gear! But moving back to MN, it was back to dirt roads, fear of bears (and to be honest, cows. ISH!), cold, and dark. I signed back up for college, online this time as I had left 2 universities before. I moved in with my dad, and poured myself into classes and work. In my spare time, I searched out old school mates, and connected with a nice man whom I married 7months later.
Married life was treating me well. I loved our house, our dog, and our daughter. And though my job was not my favorite, it did leave me with Tuesday-Friday off to be with my daughter. That meant giving up all weekends, and it was worth it. I am not a drinker, nor a partier. I have no desire to go out, get completely inebriated, and not remember what I did the night before; so giving up my weekends was not a sacrifice. My husband’s health was declining. We spent many nights in the ER, and traveling to a so-called specialist that was 3 hours away. The cure, just take this pill as we don’t know what is wrong. Ugh, that is another story. So long-short story, we went somewhere else, got him fixed up (open heart surgery!) and then his dad and sister-in-law started to have health problems. My FIL had diabetes, and sucked at taking care of himself. My SIL got diagnosed with cancer. They made it 2 years, and died within a few months of each other. This is how our first few years of marriage have gone.
Now, we live in my FIL’s old farm house (as the older brothers thought my husband should be the one to take care of “the family farm”), and I feel like I am turning into a bitter old wench. The town we live in, very close to where I grew up, is a town I have always detested. My husband said, just give it a year – just until you graduate – and then we can find a place of our own. It was a year in February. Some months I try to discuss another location and at other times, it is not worth the talk. It doesn’t get me anywhere but crabby. And this is what I have been thinking of today. It is the county fair in our old town. My friends are there. My cousins are there. And here I sit, reading Curious George and working on potty training with my little one while we try to ignore the heat. I am grateful that the moon is out, and that it is starting to cool off. It may even get below 80F tonight. But I can’t help thinking of how different out lives might be if we had stayed in our beautiful home in town.