I'm currently sitting in the Steubenville/Jefferson County Public Library. Thank goodness they have wifi! David had to come out to meet with the fire chief today and was able to bring me along for my first glimpse of the area I'm going to call "home" sometime in June. It's a rainy, gloomy day so I'm trying not to let that influence my first impressions too much.
From the little I've seen so far it's a very industrial type area with steel mills (some operational, some not) and power plants along the Ohio River. The "cities" are small and full of older homes packed into the small area of level land between the river and the hills. I'm hoping there are more neighborhoods or homes away from the river, because David and I both agree we don't want to live anywhere near it.
I think I'm in for some serious culture shock here. I have never lived in a small city (the smallest I've lived in had a population of 90,000) and these cities/towns seem really tiny and out of date. I have no idea what to expect out of small town living, and frankly, I'm pretty apprehensive. It's hard enough starting over in a new area, but moving to someplace so vastly different than anything I've ever known adds an extra element of anxiety. I'm going to try to find the good and look at this as an adventure, and my first stop is the public library (what safer place can you find to sit and blog, read, or hang out in a city you don't know?!)
So far the library has been an interesting adventure. The bathroom itself is like going through a time warp. Anyone out there remember the cloth towels on a roll?? Yep, they have one. It's fun in a quaint sort of way. The library itself is beautiful- it's housed in an old building with great architectural details (vaulted ceilings, small balcony upstairs and chandeliers in the foyer) and the librarians seem really friendly. It's actually been busier in here than I thought it would be for a Monday at lunchtime.
I'm kinda hoping David's meeting doesn't last too long. I'd like to be able to see more of this area and explore further west away from the river. (I'm not leaving until I find some beauty around here- outside of the library!!)
In a way it's nice to be away from home. This past week has been really rough. It seems like everywhere I turn I'm expecting to see my cat and each time it reminds me that he's gone and the grief wells up again. It hasn't helped that David has had to stay in Columbus during the week, and poor Aimee has been trying hard to deal with her own grief while also worrying about me.
Thankfully, with a lot of prayer (and a lot of tears) I've been blessed to feel God's comfort. I don't understand why he let this happen, but I've learned once again that even when it feels like I've lost everything, Heavenly Father is still with me and He loves me and cares that I'm hurting. It's hard second guessing myself and trying to reconcile the regrets I have. I wonder if I should have noticed something sooner, or if I should have been more agressive in Bear's treatment, and I regret having been so busy in the past few weeks and not taking more time to let Bear cuddle with me. It's definitely a reminder to live life each day and focus more on relationships and less on the daily grind and the stuff that doesn't matter.