Working My Way Back Home
by Lynne Delaney
The clock on the dashboard flashes 10:30 pm. The red brake lights in front of me reflect off the windshield. The peaceful darkness of the night is drowned out by bright head lights roaring up behind me. I am on Route 3, heading South, and I am being tailgated as I pass Exit 9, then Exit 10.
After nine hours on my feet, tending to chronic, mostly bed-ridden pediatric patients in Boston, I crave some quiet, contemplative time on the road. I like it when the moon is out, watching over my travels. I exhale with relief as I cross over the Sagamore bridge, feeling safety and comfort in passing this threshold.
Crossing the Sagamore Bridge
With the bridge now far behind me, all I can think of is how much Cape Cod has changed. Perhaps five years ago – certainly ten years ago – the highways and back roads were nearly empty from Labor Day to Memorial Day. Now it feels like the city is creeping over the canal.
The landscape, culture and people of this place where I grew up are so different. I know transformations like this have happened more than once, and that my own fond memories took place on a Cape Cod that was dramatically altered from the one that the generations before me recall.
That is the nature of things, of course. And for all the population growth, the suburbanization, the tailgating that has come with this recent round of change, a lot of good, special, caring people have come with it. As I drive, such thoughts go back and forth in my mind, but really there is no question. This is my home. It is where I belong, and I have spent a lot of time working my way back here.
My husband Josh and I had our city time. At first, like many of our friends and acquaintances, moving over the bridge was an adventure and a welcome change from the Cape, which felt isolated and limited to our young minds. Then, curiously, we found that it wasn’t so easy to get back to Cape Cod.
Housing prices soared while salaries remained static. We heard tales of old classmates who had moved away, for good, because they couldn’t afford to come back home. We couldn’t afford to buy a house either. But we bought one anyway.
Our house is a small Cape, on a half acre, in Brewster. It cost more than we ever imagined. The debt should have bought us three houses! But our house has good energy, a tree-filled neighborhood and memories of playing nearby with friends, when we were kids.
In a heroic effort to save costs, we fixed the house up ourselves; we re-shingled it, painted it inside and out, built new stairs, finished the basement, put in flooring in the half-finished attic and planted a garden to grow as much of our own food as possible.
Shingling our own home
For many, there is a long-standing Cape Cod tradition of juggling several jobs just to make ends meet. Being a teacher-landscaper-waitress wasn’t always the easiest career route, but at least Cape Codder’s could count on it. Never did I imagine that I’d have to juggle jobs that included a commute to Boston, but this is what it has taken for me to be able to move home.
My Boston hospital job is the same one that I have been doing for eight years; the one that I had planned to leave behind when we moved to the Cape. The idea was to move every aspect of our lives to Cape Cod. But the local hospital jobs pay far less than their urban equivalents.
It only takes one trip to the supermarket to know that living on Cape costs far more than in the city. So, after five years, I have yet to complete my move. I still spend a couple of days a week stuck in traffic, and in limbo.
I am working toward to ending this commute by building up a spiritual consulting business. I make use of the calming energy of my home to hold private healing sessions, readings, classes and workshops. I also perform weddings during the summer.
My business, www.metaphysical-path.com, is like the ebb and flow of the tides; some months are busy, others are slow. During the slower times I make block print art, greeting cards, soaps and lotions. I recently started a jewelry business, The Conscious Stone Boutique, which features wrapped stones I collect from the beach. I also sell crystals.
Each of these areas of work spring from my personal and creative interests. I am a firm believer in “doing what you love” and that by following my dream I am building a map of my future.
My dreams, unfortunately, get obscured behind the mounting bills. Sometimes, when I am deep in the grind of life, I feel like I am a maintenance worker - just trying to keep everything together. There are times when the grind feels like that is all there is. Despite the struggle to live here, on Cape Cod, Josh and I are also grateful for what we have, every single day. The landscape of the Cape reminds me that the tide will eventually turn. As I continue my commute home I wonder how long before the tide shifts for my dreams as well.
Return to the Summer '09 Working Women page
Lynne Delaney is a regular contributor to this magazine.
She is a Spiritual Advisor who works out of her home in Brewster. Lynne also works part time, in Boston, as a pediatric respiratory therapist.
Home Sweet Home
The Conscious Stone Boutique
Offering loose crystals Stone jewelry necklaces & earrings wrapped in sterling silver or copper.
Beautiful Cape Cod beach stones reflect the ocean’s energy of strength, intuition & harmony Each stone is infused with Reiki healing energy.
For details email Lynne Delaney
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