This is an emotional day for me, for it will be the last time I do any number of things here in this house that's been my home for the past twelve years or so. It's a house I designed and built. To begin with, it sits on the family property on which I was raised. The view from my study allows me to see over the roof of my parent's home, the home they retired and died in, across the St. Johns River, the marsh now aglow in the morning sunrise, and recollect hundreds of childhood memories of growing up in a fish camp in, what was then, deep woods. Of dozens of family holidays, the excitement of getting my first guitar for Christmas, my children and grandchildren being here for their Christmas with Memommy. My wedding under the big oak tree.
The house is mostly empty now. Almost ghostly. The furniture was all moved on Sunday and boxes of stuff have slowly trickled away any semblance of "home." The only thing left is my bedroom, which will go away tomorrow morning when Goodwill comes to collect it, bare utensils in the kitchen, and the folding table and chair from which I am now typing this, certainly my last post from this place. Today, all of it will go too.
It's sometimes difficult to fight back the regrets and misgivings of leaving a place that holds so much of my life, of a marriage unraveled, the "what if's" of luck and circumstance that have lead to this moment. But it was never my intention to die in this place. There is nothing here for me anymore. Strangers now live in Mom's house. The once beautiful view across the river is now cluttered with smokestacks and port terminals. The river itself so badly polluted that it breaks my heart to see it.
I don't like the city. I long to live in the country where the air is clean and the view is the mist rising from the forest. The first stop on that journey will be a friend's house until I get all of the legal stuff settled. Then, a move to North Carolina where I will stay with my daughter and grandkids for a time until I can figure out how to reach my destination, Asheville.
In the meantime, all of the critters that I have been feeding over the years, the birds the squirrels the raccoons the opossums, are gathered at the window waiting for their breakfast. So, I guess I will go feed them one last time and hope that the new owner will continue to do so as she said she would.
I'll probably not have internet access for a week or so but when I am able to sign back on I will try to catch up with you and your happenings and continue the tale of the Perils of Mr. Charleston. Until then, take care.