Out of a multitude of ideas that could occupy my consideration, I have been gravitating toward this: change is inevitable. This adjective produces synonyms of predictable, expected, certain, and usual. I lament the statements of classmates declaring their disdain for our childhood home and their desire that fleeing could not come fast enough. Unavoidable, certain, inescapable, and predestined are other words associated with the expression. It might be argued then that change is gloomy if looked at as inevitable.
What my memory lets me recall is that I lived at 905 King Street for the longest period that I have called any place home. I was moved out of Arbuckle while in the 7th grade. Home moved a whopping 12 miles; give or take a few yards. Dad didn’t have to commute to work any longer but the trade-off was that my sister and I would ride the bus to school. That was a change. I gave up walking out the front door of the Arbuckle home just mere minutes before the 1st-period bell.
At the present time, I live south of Arbuckle in the best neighborhood I have ever resided! The Ranch is excluded. The nearest neighbors were half a mile plus away. That house was razed. My parent’s closest neighbors are now over a mile down the road in either direction. I have lived in numerous places over my lifetime, so many that I have lost track past fingers and toes. Now I have four great neighbors a stone’s throw away out the back patio.
My driving habits have changed. It has been interesting these last few months getting an unsolicited message from Google recounting the miles I have driven for the month. I know it is from Maps, but I haven’t bothered to go searching the app and opting out of notifications. The new normal is no greater than three-digit miles per month. I have become non-critical personnel over the pandemic. I may have driven more miles over these last three weeks than all together from the beginning of school closure.
The oldest two at home decided on a change in scenery. This has aided in alleviating some fear concerning my inadequacy to inspire the Girls to work and cultivate a strong work ethic. They have jobs! The Arens family is now seeing a return on all the money we have dumped into fast food. The Grad is at Taco Bell and the Butterfly is at McDonald’s. Logistics was not a high priority. They commute in opposite directions and are learning more of what life has to offer.
I am up and down Wildwood Road frequently. It is an interesting commentary on my life (all for that matter) when a flurry of traffic at Pierce and Johnson JH obtains my attention and elicits elation. Our sleepy little municipality swells with activity. I was thrilled in the cycle of the prospect of getting the Girls out of the house! Only to lament the present situation.
I probably don’t have the right to claim any monopoly on experiencing change. The Girls started school last week at the kitchen table and they are not being homeschooled. On the other end of their Chromebooks are a group of individuals that I am holding whole new respect for. It was high to start. I am a product of multiple people who took an interest in me. I called them teachers. Another two wore the hats and I called them grandparents. Some say I didn’t turn out half bad. This pandemic has created a new breed of teachers. One that we would do well to emulate. I am humbled in their association and have experienced tender mercy of increased gratitude. Change is good and I welcome it. ■