Another cold day on the river

Brrr. It is cold out here. Low ceiling of clouds, bitter chill to the air. Should clear up in a few hours, and it is looking like this is going to be the pattern for the next four or five days. Low clouds and fog, cold air, and afternoon clearing. Luckily where we live it tends to have more clear days than in town.

I am here with the kids today while Brook works. JuJu and Ryan and I are hanging out while Zoe is still sleeping. Boy, I can hardly wait til that girl is a teenager and really starts sleeping in. Well, truthfully, we had the neighbor kids over until pretty late last night, so she probably does need the extra sleep today.

I spent a lot of time yesterday looking on-line at the area around St. George, Utah. We are thinking that we probably will have to move in the next four to five years or so, relocate somewhere significantly warmer than here, and that portion of the country really fits what I am looking for. Consistently warmer weather, way less moisture, and – bonus! – more rock climbing routes in and around the area than any other city in the U.S. So, I would feel better on a consistent basis (there has long been little doubt that my pain is dramatically affected by the cold, wet weather), which means I would actually want to climb more, which would get me in better shape, which in turn would make me feel even better, which would make me climb more…

But that is still a long way off. I love where I live so much, the idea of leaving makes me feel sick to my stomach, but having to endure nine months of agony, year after year after year – I just cannot do that much longer. We almost moved to Bend, but I am glad we didn’t in a sense because while it is much drier there, it is still colder there too, so I don’t know if it would have made as much of a difference to my pain levels. Plus, my mother ended up having a Pulmonary embolism earlier this year, and that made me resolve not to leave anytime real soon. I want to spend as much time with my Mom as I can, but no matter what, I will have to move in a few years. That is all I can take, if that.

Another issue that has kept me from relocating sooner, much sooner, is my eldest daughter, Zoe. She and I have always been close, I drive about 1500 miles per month to have her on weekends, I generally have her most of the summer and other breaks as well, but the thought of not being able to see her at least that often is not something I have been able to consider. But if we move in four or five years, she will be a teenager and it won’t be quite as bad, besides the fact that by then, her Mom might have relocated to Portland or Seattle, and she might be living with us by then. Who knows? But nevertheless, leave I must and leave I will. I cannot and will not continue to live in such a painful, debilitating manner. This is becoming a matter of life or death, and that is neither joke nor exaggeration. A person cannot live like this permanently.

When I think of what it will be like, living in the desert, feeling consistent warmth and sunshine and dryness, I feel incredibly happy. The idea of not having to endure huge chunks of every year, of being able to thrive and be happy when it is winter, sounds thrilling beyond compare.I need it. I want to just sit in the sun, get a tan, and feel little or no pain. Sounds simple enough.

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