the dead cat, or thoughts on leaving

A patron walked into our Library Tuesday and announced, "there's a dead cat in your front yard. Just thought you should know."

PrairieDawn and I walked out front, me wearing gloves and carrying a garbage bag, PrairieDawn with the shovel. We finally found the poor animal, laying seemingly asleep, under our front hedges. I thought I could be tough and just scoop the thing into a garbage bag and be done with it, but I started to cry, thinking of my own sweet cat probably asleep on my couch...These are the moments when I wish we had a maintenance man, or anyone else more capable than me, on staff.

We went back inside and thought about who we could call. I was for calling the local vet, when PD suggested we call one of our patrons who's a vet in the next city over,  but who lives in Sticks. He wasn't able to come by, but sent someone else to retrieve the poor animal later that afternoon.

I've been thinking about that exchange all week, our patron's kindness in offering to do the deed we couldn't; that it didn't seem odd to ask someone in town for that favor. I've been thinking about how working in a small town has been a blessing in so many ways, and how my time here has been filled with many challenges and yet so much joy.

My time (4.5 years!) at Sticks Library is drawing to a close. At our January Board meeting I announced both my engagement, and my intention to move to Chicagoland; at the February Board meeting I suggested they post my job by April which will give them ample time to find a replacement. We're still working on the particulars of my exit, and with so much in limbo I don't even know the details.

It's going to be hard to leave this job, to see an end to this time of my life. I came here not knowing how to run a library, and have managed to learn so much and have grown to appreciate this community, and how it's rallied behind our little library. I have made dear friends, who I will have to say goodbye to soon. I will have to say goodbye to my single life too. I am so excited to finally marry the man of my dreams, and begin the next chapter of my life, but there's a strange sadness in that too--the letting go of a life where I can do as I please with little accountability.

These are the thoughts swirling in my head this morning as the snow swirls outside...


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