I got back a few days ago from my yearly trip to middle of nowhere So Illinois. Once again, I was struck by how absolutely peaceful this area is. The people are really nice and there is no traffic to speak of; the towns are very small. Everything moves at it's own pace and nothing seems rushed. Now, it could be because it was July not May this time, but it's always been like that when I was there.
This time I wound up flying and driving. I flew in to Shreveport to join up with my Mom and then drove from there (in her new Escape, which I definitely enjoyed driving) to IL. We overnighted in a really nice little hotel in Arkansas and arrived the following afternoon. Pleasant drive. Different scenery - mostly flat, nothing like the mountains I drove through last year, but still peaceful. We made the return trip in a day and I flew back out of Shreveport. Horrible flights from DFW to S'port and vice versa, but then I don't do bumpy well at all.
Once there we attended to a couple of things needed for the house. Turns out a water pipe burst when the water was turned back on. Apparently there had been a leak outside. Someone from the water department noticed it and cut the water off at the meter and put a lock on the meter! When the person who usually turns our water on and cranks up the air got the for usre, he, of course, couldn't turn on the water. So, he went to the city, which explained the problem. Apparently, after my dad passed away, they sorta lost track of us and didn't realize we came in once a year (we figured that explained why we hadn't gotten a water bill -- oops). The joy of a small town - they turned the water on, saying that we could pay the deposit when we got there, and replaced the meter with a newer one (apparently it was a little dated). We did wind up talking with the guy from the city who did this, in the street, while trying to find city hall, which was closed because of the holiday as the lady who ran the office took some vacation days. We were able to drop it off in a drop box. We were also tickled that he referred to the house as "Pete's house." You gotta love small towns. Course, it's also why I hesitate to live in a town that small as it would be like living in fishbowl -- everyone would know your business.
The plumber fixed the pipes and kindly mopped up everything. There was no sign of water when we got there and for that we were really grateful. Actually, we were super grateful to have water when we got there. All else went fine. We also took the final step of officially listing it for sale. Bittersweet, but houses need to be lived in and it's time.
While there I found myself somewhat longing for "my space." It's been a while since I've felt the urge to buy or have "my home" as I'm perfectly happy where I am and renting. Maybe it was the peacefulness of the setting or the fact that there are no apartments there. You either live in a house or a manufactured home or a trailer but not an apartment. However, once I got back to my apartment I realized again that home is where the cat and my stuff is. It can be a place or maybe a building but for me, 98 percent of the time, it's where I feed the cat and hang my hat.
I figure we have one more trip back when the house sells and that's when I'll say my final good-bye to the place. In the meantime, I'm happily back home and getting back to the non-vacation routine.