How to condense all the momentous experiences of the last few days…almost impossible. Here’s an attempt.
After packing up all my belongings on Friday 9/2, Avdi and Jess and I camped out at their hotel overnight, then Sat.3 drove the truck for many hours across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and into St. Louis, Missouri. The Arch was as impressive as expected, though the Mississippi at that point is fairly narrow. We drove to Avdi’s and I spent the night there. I had a great reunion with the part of the family living there, and finally got to see the famous garden, no longer under water from flooding.
The next day Sun. 4, we and some friends and family unloaded the truck into my new apartment. With all that help, it wasn’t long until I was moved in. I finally got to meet the landlord in person, a nice Punjabi man whom Jess and I had been messaging back and forth with to accomplish all the lease business. We all made a good team of long-distance collaborators.
I spent the night in my new apartment. I began the process of sorting and setting up, then got to read a book in bed! The simple luxuries.
Mon. 9/5, Labor Day, Avdi took me to see the long-anticipated Missouri Botanical Garden [MoBot], where the Japanese Festival was going on. Along the way he played the docent in the tradition of my father at NYBG, retelling the interesting history of the founder of the Garden in Victorian times. The landscapes were exquisite and fascinating. It was easy to spend hours exploring. I saw a spectrum of diversity, representing many ethnic origins, countries, colors, and orientations. STL has had its painful history of racism and intolerance, but today it has healthy, thriving communities embracing progressiveness and inclusiveness.
I saw that more close up and personal later that evening, around a fire at the home of Avdi’s friends, where I got to meet some of his interesting, eclectic circle. Many of their kids are non-binary or trans, and they experience and embrace acceptance and inclusion. The kids get to grow up in a supportive atmosphere, not so much intolerance. It was so refreshing to meet and talk to intelligent people.
Today, Tue. 6, I think all the exhaustion caught up to me, with another round of vertigo and other unmentionable symptoms, but it all worked out, because today was internet hookup day, so I got to stay home and decompress while waiting for the technician to connect me. Finally, I’m back online. Once I recover, I have lots of business to accomplish. One day at a time.
Here are some highlights along the journey. Leaving Ohio, our little truck dwarfed by real trucks, first sight of my new city, and scenes from the Japanese Festival (and other themed gardens) at MoBot. Note the Chihuly glass sculptures, just like at NYBG.
Extra bonus–the internet capacity and speed is so much greater here! I was able to upload all the photos fast for a change, instead of one at a time for days!