After living in England for 8 years, working as a nurse for 7 years and 180 days and having a small house over there… I maintain a precarious immigration status called ILR-Indefinite Leave to Remain.

It’s more than a work permit but less than citizenship. In the event that I eventually want to exercise my right to apply for British citizenship I will have to show:

  • Indefinite leave to remain or “equivalent” for this purpose must have been held for 12 months
  • the applicant must intend to continue to live in the UK or work overseas for the UK government or a British corporation or association
  • the same “good character” standards apply as for those married to British citizens
  • the same language and knowledge of life in the UK standards apply as for those married to British citizens

There is a caveat to ILR in that “intend to live in the UK”  is generally interpreted as no more than 2 years without a visit. So I have visited my friends and house/tenants 3 times in the past 6 years for the all important passport stamp in my second/expired passport that holds my ILR.

Once again in January, I traveled to England like I was just sporting off to the other side of town. Seriously, I have made this trip so many times it’s like second nature. On this trip I really thought about how this is the only place, of the many I have visited, that I have returned to again and again.

I have lots of emotional connections to this particular part of England and there are several friends I love to see

Maybe someday I’ll move back there…

A good day

And there haven’t been too many of those. I worked out this morning-with a mediation. One son seems to be employed but the other didn’t get his advancement job because he failed his drug test.

We moved some furniture so the top floor of my two flat is looking like a home.

Mostly my heart and mind is calm.

My brother is not doing so great-he has two more chemo infusions and about 10 radiation treatments to finish “round 1”. There is a visible decrease in the mass on the outside but apparently it is quite swollen on the inside.

His main complaint is that everything tastes the same-“like shit”.

He’s tired and having arthritis pain in his hip-the same hip that has metastatic cancer. He’s looking for an electric massager.

Spring is here in the Midwest US and this weekend is promised to be sunny and warm. Time for some gardening and family bonding!

The homecoming

My brother will be coming home after an unexpected 3 week stay in the hospital. The routine appointment that turned into a trach, g tube and port placement.

Coming home means going to my former apartment upstairs in my big bungalow 2 flat.

I’m tickled pink to have my space back-I moved out 18 months ago on a roundabout of trying to find happiness. To New York and back-not that any of those places was bad…in fact I loved them all but now?

Now I want to be in one place. I need to have one home, my home.

I own this place, I work to pay the mortgage on this place.

I am more than happy to share it with my brother, my son, daughter in law, grandson and younger son.

Tomorrow I will unpack boxes and set up medical equipment-suction, IV pole, humidifier….

I have designated a whole counter for my brother to set up his tracheostomy and feeding tube accessories

This is my life now

NHS, you temptress

I had to get phone numbers for my NHS employers for my pending NYC job. When I was on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital website the job vacancy tab was calling me….

Yes, I clicked on it and found a posting for a Lead Nurse, Infection Prevention and Control, band 8b. I was previously a Band 6 and would have been demoted to Band 5.

I feel like a slut for checking out the job description, person specification and application. It doesn’t pay as much as my NYC job but I could easily live in my little 2 bed semi detached house on the salary range.

This evening I got an email from my potential lover:

Dear tracy,

Recently you started to apply for the following vacancy on NHS Jobs:

Application reference:      AR-119-644-967
Job reference:              304-004512
Job title:                  Lead Nurse Infection Prevention and Control
Organisation:               University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Hold me back

12 hours of hammering

I have a new roof, I’m still not clear how we got here but I would say my very organized daughter and a persistent sales team have something to do with it. Left to me, it wouldn’t have have replaced until it was leaking on my bed.

But here we are. The roofers were supposed to arrive this morning, Saturday, “between 7.30-8am”. Apparently the workers didn’t get that text because at 7.01am they were unloading their vans and the banging started by 7.45. The noise and banging has continued non-stop all day and it is now 7pm…almost done!

Around 9am the head honcho showed up to let us know the old, 80 year old roof needed an extra layer of plywood and a few other things which doubled the price. I find it hard to believe I (we) are paying thousands of dollars for something we won’t even see.

Berwyn-20140510-00190 Berwyn-20140510-00191 Berwyn-20140510-00192

I bought some chocolates for the neighbors on either side to apologize for the noise.

home sweet home

Those words can only be understood by people who, like me, travel away from their “home”.  Staying safely tucked in your comfort zone excludes one from being able to legitimately appreciate the weight of relief that one experiences as you fall into the zone of knowing, which is home.

It’s a transition from the “where am i?” feeling to the “i know where i am.”

I have a few “homes” ….and am about to carve out a new one. How crazy am i?

and the purpose of my visit is?

well, i’m back at my little house-it feels simultaneously really, really good and pretty darn awful.

cleo is happy to see me, i have my comfy bed and everything is strangely familiar however i have two very nice workman tearing out and replacing my kitchen which means i have no sink, fridge or oven…and i am packing.

i think it’s about three of my more than 20 moves ago where i said “i will never move again!!” and what do i find myself doing?? that most unpleasant of tasks aka going through your worldy possessions and deciding either in a matter of seconds or sometimes overnight what you will keep, what gets thrown out and what gets given away….

it’s something i am sadly very good at…sometimes i regret what i’ve given/thrown away and sometimes months later i open a box and wonder why i kept some stupid insignificant item but i just try to go with my gut…

i should call it the diaper pin therapy. when i was pregnant with rose in turkey, my 95% male coworkers gave me a baby shower-one of the gifts were diapers pins which even at that time were a bit outdated. as recently as a few moves ago at least one of those diaper pins was still following me around and i would bet that if i went through every box, in box, in a drawer…it is there somewhere…because now it is a part of who i am…