Dubuque, Iowa. I cannot believe I’ve been here this long. The house I’m staying in is set up on a bluff overlooking the city. If I bothered to wake up early enough, I could sit on the front steps and watch the sun rise in the East over the Mississippi River. From this vantage point I can see Illinois and Wisconsin. At night, the same view is littered with blinking and stationary lights – alerting boats and aircraft alike to the position of the bridges.
I arrived in Dubuque on June 15th, stayed four days and then headed East towards New England. I arrived back in Dubuque on the 28th of June. On the 17th of July my boyfriend, his brother and I drove to western NY, camping for a week at Brushwood, celebrating our one-year anniversary on July 20th, and returning to Dubuque on July 25th. Besides a few trips to Illinois and Wisconsin, I’ve been here pretty consistently. 43 days in the Mid-West.
I didn’t expect to be here this long, but I ran into some financial issues which made leaving impossible for a little while. I am getting everything together, however, and I expect to be on the road West by Monday morning (August 15th).
In the meantime, it’s been enlightening, seeing the life Jackson has here with his family. The organic grocery and deli takes up most of their combined attention, and the dedication they have to it is inspiring. Jackson’s nephews are engaging and adorable – at seven, two-and-a-half, and one, they are a joy to observe growing and learning. Their energy is sometimes contagious and occasionally overwhelming, and it’s nice to be in a space where children are both so loved and so involved, not set aside in front of a television while their parents are doing “grown-up stuff”.
But still, I look forward to home. This is not the place for me, I want to be expending my energy differently at the moment, and find myself at times helpless and breathless – suffocated by a lack of options at my fingertips, being out of my element, like a fish out of water.