Peace of Mind


I thought that the peace of mind that came with the kids leaving home for good would grant me the serenity I had been seeking.  I had raised three girls after their father died and there is nothing quite like having four ovulating women under one roof all cycling through life at the same time.  Early retirement from a twenty-five year career of being a customer service representative and then a director of several customer service centers was a God send. I left the city and moved out to live in a wonderful hillside home in the country with no other home for about a quarter of a mile in either direction.  The house was nearly one hundred years old, in a town that existed in the history books for over a century and a half.  I found it by chance, as I was passing through on my way to a conference about six years ago.

It was the perfect place for retirement, especially for someone like me whose hobby was studying history and collecting frontier antiques.  I had acquired a number of very exclusive items over the years; each held a special place in my heart.  But I had never found anything as unique as my first find in my new hometown.  Being new to the town, I decided that it might be a good idea to go to an estate sale at an old homestead.  Buried under several layers of moth eaten blankets was an old hand sewn doll.  I couldn’t tell for sure, but it looked as though it was old as my home.  The dress was frayed and stained and most of the hair was gone but other than that, she looked good.  The moment I bought her, I felt as if she should be called Maddie.

I headed home, cleaned her up and gave her a prominent place in my collection of special items.  But she didn’t seem to belong on a shelf, or so the little girl in me believed.  So, I kept her on my bed, even when I slept at night.

My need to be away from the all the drama that working in customer service and living in a big city could bring, had been the catalyst for my planning to be ready for retirement.  I had amassed a fairly nice nest egg by making some savvy investments over the years.  So the calm solitude of country living should have brought me to my knees with gladness.  Instead, there was a slowly pervasive loneliness that worked its way into me.  No ringing phones or whining harried voices.  No constant poking from people with questions or complaints.  No bosses looking for 100% customer satisfaction, disgruntled customers or grouchy under compensated staff.

There was no traffic, no neighbors having arguments, no loud boom box laden cars driving by with the volume on their bass rattling the windows; no wild teenagers whooping it up or loud screaming children.  The peace of this hilltop and the wide open space was deep and encompassing.  It was strange, this lack of sound.  It unnerved me, some times.  The quiet that I had once longed for and now had, was eating away at me bit by bit.

I would wake in the middle of the night to phantom calls for mommy. In the past, I would loathe talking on the phone once I got home.  All those years of being on the phone as part of my occupation had ruined me.  Now, I was hoping for a call from anyone, for any reason.  But the phone hardly rang.  The first time that I tried to have a real conversation with a telemarketer should have been a sign that I needed to get out more.  One night, it was so quiet, that I counted the seconds as they ticked off on my wrist watch. It got so bad that in the dead of night, I would go look up at the stars with wonder and cry. When the wolves howled in the distance I would join them; singing my loneliness to the universe.  Some days, I would sit in my room and watch the sun make its way from the rise to the set.  I tried to make friends but most of the people in town were busy with their own lives and their snubs soured me from trying any more. My daughters tried their best to get me to go out more often, to come visit them or join some of the social groups in the seemingly friendlier town a few miles away. But for some reason, that I can’t explain, I sank deeper and deeper into my solitude.





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This is me: home-writer, book-reader, dog-lover and occasional poet. I make this website to share my and my friends texts with You, dear Reader. Please: read carefully, don't be scary, upgrade your mood and be king and leave your comment. :)