We made it back to Boise after many hours of winding south. We stopped in MacCall for lunch, wishing we had more time to explore this sweet mountain town. The drive seemed to go on forever. I arrived ‘home’ with remnants of a herniated disk irritated and screaming. “Go home and get settled” it demanded. “You missed the Teton Valley ‘fall cleanse’, your body is tired, old, the kids are cranky – no wait – you’re cranky, Ginny is a trouper, go to your happy place, take care of yourself” yes, I thought. That sounds good. If my body breaks down then there is no choice – I must do what is best for my health…run away…run away!!
I entered the house and tried to ease into my reasoning for an early departure. “Don’t go overboard” I thought, just enough to get out. I slowly conveyed my discomfort and longing for my physical therapist, even if he does flirt with the tea party, no one else could cure my ails. “We’re not making any decisions tonight,” Susan said. She’s the campaign manager. It’s her job to juggle the temperaments of many. She exceeded here. “You need to finish the project,” she pressed. I already knew that, I just wanted a hall pass, in the worst kind of way.
Oddly enough, I have the easy job here. I’m creating a collaborative piece of art that symbolizes people of all backgrounds working together for the greater good of all. It’s what I do, regularly, for a paycheck. This one is different. There is a more personal attachment. I want my husband to succeed. On the other hand, having to share him and all of his time with the rest of the world is a bit of an adjustment. I best get used to it. He’s a good leader. I think it’s his destiny – and I don’t throw that word around. Perhaps you can understand the struggle…love him, let him go, love him, let him go… I think I’ll face something similar when our kids go to collage. Campaigning is the hardest part I’m told. I would agree – and I don’t even know what the rest of it is like.
I woke up the next morning still thinking of my spine – my approach more figurative than literal. I wanted to finish the project, not just for myself, but for the other artists I had rallied, the hundreds that had participated, and for Tom and the team that was working 24/7 to make a difference. Ginny and I spent the day in the living room/office working to finish the first two panels. They were far enough along and they pulled together with great vibrancy. The next morning we went to visit Zella, the metal artist. We laid out the panels around the metal sculpture she’d been building to see how the pieces would fit together. When we lifted the 200 LB piece of metal from the table, I was not thinking about my back. I was pulled into the old belt buckle that looked like music notes, the measuring spoons that likely made a thousand meals, the metal gear that plowed too many fields, the palette knife from my painter friend, the stove face that warmed many souls, the hub cap that traveled the state… “man, this thing is awesome!!!! “Zella, you’re a rock star!” We were all fully recharged – my backache recessing, Zella’s flue curtailing, Ginny’s… well, Ginny’s always fine…onward we go excited for the outcome.