Cleats and boots

Riding Silver, it’s not hard to get where I want to go. With AWD and studded tires, that boy dares me to use weather as an excuse. Slow and steady, on we go. The challenge is getting from my apartment to Silver, getting inside him, then out again and inside my destination. I’ve got to keep my feet—not my bottom or my elbow, not my shoulder or hip or outstretched hand—on the ground, which in lots of places is solid ice.

The solution is cleats, and I’m wearing them every time I leave home. First I select a hard-working, all-business boot for the day. My choice is determined by the depth of snow or water on top of ice, then the temperature, and finally (and only slightly) by what I’m wearing.  Then I lash on my handy-dandy STABILicers, which look like sandals made by an enterprising third-world crafter who harvests old tires from a landfill. Slow and steady, I’m good to go.

Slow and steady is good practice in all things, and when it comes to Homer’s entertainment and educational opportunities, I sometimes feel like I’m slipping out of control. My schedule is packed.  And even though there is hardly a thing on it that I don’t want to do, I feel a tinge of anxiety, familiar from years of work with too many deadlines and not enough hours of waking time to meet them. I remind myself that I—now, and to some extent then—choose to cram too much into a day (and night). Slow it down. Get a grip.

And then there is the unfamiliar terrain of building new friendships. So far, that is the only down-side to this move. I really miss my friends from the Lower 48. Sure, we are all still in touch, but I miss being with them in person. With my sister Joy and my wonderful neighbors that happened nearly every day in Atlanta.

In that part of my life, I’m REALLY starting over, though not entirely from scratch. I already knew quite a few people from numerous visits. And, as the months have gone by, I’ve met people in classes at the college, through work, yoga classes, volunteering for KBBI. More faces are familiar, and now many of them have a name. I see someone at a restaurant, then the next day at the post office or grocery store, and then the next weekend at the contra dance. I have begun to discern, because Homer is such a small town, cliques and clans, where the bonds are avocation and vocation, rather than family ties. Rather than exclusion, there is welcome, so there is solid ground somewhere in there for me. Slow and steady, I’ll find the right spot.

Copyright 2013-2014 Genie Hambrick

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