A crusty young doctor at the local hospital diagnosed me with a chest infection today. That's kind of funny considering this morning I was lying in bed thinking that my lungs felt mouldy. The town has a massive $12 million drive going to fund a new hospital building, but I'm told that there's only one or two doctors left in the whole town. I had a surprise at the pharmacy, the first of many such unpleasant realizations in the wake of my decision to leave the government, I am sure. $62.00 for my antibiotics and inhaler because now I no longer have a drug plan.
Before going to the hospital, I dropped my garbage off at the dump. On the way there, somehow I managed to get lost, even though it's only a few country blocks away. So I ended up on an unknown road with spectacular reddish gold fields and several green trees slashed through with red branches. As I drove by this slope of gold, I found that I was surprised that I was so impressed by the view. I realized that I was waiting for the beauty of the area to become old news, since that's what usually happens to me after I move somewhere. Eventually, most neighbourhoods I know well get a little grey.
I think I get tripped up living in the country because I keep finding new variations on the same theme. I'll discover a new road, or one day a scene that I thought I knew well will have changed color, benefitted from the addition of a few hay bales, lost leaves or a tree, whatever. I expected deep down that nature would eventually disappoint me, become monotonous, but there's more television around here than anywhere I have ever lived. This morning I woke up and made myself a little breakfast of egg and tomato on toast and sat in front of the large patio door that looks on to our orchard. As I often do, I felt very alone and, perhaps inappropriate in someone so young, resigned to my solitude. Then I looked up and saw the neighbour's gray cat hunting among the trees. So I watched her for a while.
Loneliness is an interesting issue in the country, because I have no soul mate here and probably no chance at one, but never in my life has the pharmacist taken a full fifteen minutes to describe my medication to me and to learn details about me. Even though there is no one here who is dedicated to me, people give each other so much more of their attention here that it almost adds up to a partner. I had a delicious conversation with an old colleague yesterday about living in the country.
She and her partner just bought a century old schoolhouse in Prince Edward County and are saving up to move out there permanently. I think there's a mild smugness to city people who move out to the country. Hope I'm not too insufferable.
All my friends should come and visit me. I have taken to baking. Yesterday I made cheese popovers as well as pecan puffs. Come eat!