I have always known that Richard would love to move back to Floyd to be with his family. His parents are quite elderly, and while they are living independently and show no signs of needing to be looked after the way my parents were (they are about 8 years younger than my parents were when they died, I think), they want Richard close by.
He left Floyd very young, almost being run out of town, as he tells it, because he was a poet, and that seemed unacceptable to local townspeople. If he had been a novelist, they would have understood that. But a poet--that was, to them, effeminate, not to be tolerated. He needed to leave anyhow, and had no interest in the place anyway at the time. He traveled to Chicago, San Francisco, and never came back to live. When he married me, it seemed good to him that I would take him far away from his home, where he would be immersed in cultures totally alien to the one he grew up in.
Later though, as often happens, he changed his mind. He took up his parents' hobby, golf, a game his father used to play every day of the year, snow or shine. His father and a group of friends helped to found the town's golf course, which is a small gem, I am told, and he still hangs out there with his old friends. When he visits the place, once a year, to play a father-son tournament with his dad, he comes home glowing. He is happier than he is going to be for the rest of the year.
I know he would love to go back there, and his parents wanted us to live in their house, which they would vacate. But while Floyd is a beautiful place, in the shelter of the Buffalo, a modest peak, part of the Blue Ridge chain, and on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it is not really a good place for me. I feel out of place there even on visits.
I planned to buy a house here, but it saddens me to think of Richard's and his parents' disappointment. While I couldn't live in Floyd, maybe I could live somewhere else in the region. The problem is, Southwestern Virginia is not a place with a thriving Jewish population, never mind the kind of progressive synagogue I belong to, and there is no Iyengar yoga teacher or studio, at least not one with a presence on the Web. Places to teach are also few and far between, though they do exist (they'd pay quite a bit less than I get here too, maybe half of what I get, which is already not a lot, all told). And I hate to leave my community. What to do?