March 6th, 2010

What's Going On

The last few weeks have been so difficult that my judgment is severely impaired. When I learned that I would need to head back to Maryland earlier than expected, because my mother is not doing well, I spent many hours considering various last-minute flight options. Surprisingly, some of them were reasonably priced. Nevertheless, I kept getting the impulse to rent a car and drive home, as I did two weeks ago from Louisville. But Tucson is considerably farther from the Washington D.C. area than Louisville. Even if I'd driven eighteen hours a day, the trip would have taken longer -- and cost more, factoring in gas and the rental fee -- than the first free flights that were affordable. I knew this all along, yet couldn't pull the trigger to book a flight. I guess that driving really is a kind of therapy for me.

In the end, I did the responsible thing and made arrangements to fly back home on Monday. Doing so will likely rule out some interesting opportunities that have presented themselves to me of late, but I really don't have any choice. My sister has been back there since I returned to Tucson, enduring all the ups and downs while also doing her best to keep my father sane. Now it's my turn to relieve her. I just wish that I found it easier to sleep in my parents' house. Something about the environment sends my asthma into overdrive. Couple that with the debilitating frenzy that I've also experienced there -- I never really adjusted to the loss of my childhood home in Pennsylvania -- and chances are good that my time Back East will set me back both physically and psychologically.

That said, if my mother's condition stabilizes, I will have the pleasure of immersing myself in college basketball with my father and maybe watching some of the many shows he has recorded over the years. It will be nice to get the chance to do that, even if the circumstances that made the trip happen are very upsetting. I also hope to get a way for a few hours here and there to visit some of my favorite places in D.C., like the Smithsonian, Dupont Circle etc. Whether that will be possible is unclear, but I will at least make the effort, if only for my sanity.