Later today, I was determined to grab some of the late afternoon sun, and did so. I went out to my backyard around 5PM, sat on a fairly dirty patio chair, put my legs up, and closed my eyes. I thought this: the wonderful feeling of the gentle sun shining on my face, warming me, that is the second-to-last thing I would like to experience at the time of my death. I already know the last thing I experience will be me yelling “HHHHHNNNNGGGHHH!!” so that’s that.

I don’t have anything to do for a few minutes other than relax and listen to the sounds in my suburban neighborhood. I hear a slight rushing sound of cars heading home from work, a few slowly wandering down my street with a whooshy/gravel-y quiet. The birds are twittering and tweeting, occasionally getting all excited about something, then become more random. A garage door goes up, a car hums in, door shuts. I hear speedboats roaring and bouncing on the waves, probably over a wake from another boat: rrrRRRrrrRRRrrrRRR.

I sometimes think it is quite sucky, living so close to the lake, but not on it. The only view I have of it from my house is accessed through the upstairs playroom balcony, where I can see a sliver of blue and part of Seattle. Other than some added humidity and much higher housing costs, I am not sure what I am getting out of my current location. I hear the boats and the seaplanes, all the time, but I don’t see them. I can walk down a steep gravel walkway about a block from my house and there is the lake, but it doesn’t feel like my lake. Close, but not quite. I toss a few stones in anyway.

I have lived in tiny rural towns, and in one of the biggest, greatest cities in the world. I have lived on a semi-arid plain and in an arid wasteland. I have lived amongst millions of people and in places where you could lie down on the road in front of your house and safely take a nap. I have lived in the quiet, family-friendly suburbs, trying to make a bridge between city perks and country safety. I am a Midwestern girl who couldn’t waitwaitwait to go gogo and get to the cities of the world, to finally be me, be free, do all the things I wanted to do at last. The City Girl, lacking money and focus and needing a change again, moved to smaller big city, then to that city’s suburbs, then to another’s, three children in tow, born Westerners.

I have moved so many times and thought about moving so many times.

After I go “HHHNNNNNNGGGHH!!!” and if I were to have a tombstone, it probably should read, “Close, But Not Quite.”