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My experience at Pagan Spirit Gathering 2014, Pt 9 of 9

...continued from Part 8

Sunday, June 22nd:

I woke up sad. Sad because it was the last day and people were already leaving. I got some of my stuff packed away the day before, but it still took me four hours before I could leave. I wanted to make sure I packed everything properly, not just to get it all in my car, but also so it would be less work to put away when I get home. Remember, we run a tight ship around here at home, so stuff can’t lay around forever! I worked very hard to make sure I didn’t leave little scraps and bits lying on the grass, as it just feels wrong to trash the earth that welcomed me for so long. That would be a shitty thing to do, I figure. I made a couple trips to the dumpsters, tossing out what couldn’t be salvaged, since there was no garbage pickup that day. I did some work, ate a granola bar, did some work, ate a pop tart, did some work, ate a granola bar, and so on.


Without extra hands, I knew I had a big job ahead of me, so I took my time. I wasn’t about to have anyone rush me, especially because I was kind of sad to be leaving. However, someone’s car alarm kept going off, and I found that to be strangely acclimating for my life outside of PSG. I’m sure most people were annoyed by it so early in the morning, but for me, I was hoping to hear an ambulance and an ice cream truck. See? I told you I’m a weirdo!


I was able to say some good-byes to people, but unfortunately, not to the people I wanted to the most. I drove around looking for Nels and Judy, but they were busy saying good-byes to others. They were very good to me, and I genuinely appreciated their kindness and hospitality. Thank you.


I really enjoyed the car ride home. I actually ended up following someone in an RV with Georgia plates for at least an hour before they made a turn into a public campsite. The rest of the drive was just me and Eddie, with the windows down and my hair blowing in the breeze. I got off I-55 at the California exit so I could avoid construction. The ride northbound to where I live in the Logan Square neighborhood flooded me with city life. I drove past Cook County Jail, and the impoverished areas, then I cut over to Western and went through the gentrified areas that still have some grit left in them. It was a nice journey, but I readily admit, I love living in the city – with its potholes, sirens, pollution and whatnot. I’m a weirdo. I get it.


When I got home, my husband greeted me and helped me unload. He also surprised me: He got rid of the old, crappy bookcases we’ve had for several years and replaced them with brand new ones. He spoils me! I felt really bad about bringing all of my crap inside such a lovely home, so I worked hard to get things back to normal. But that didn’t happen until Monday. I was so exhausted, and sore, and beat up. I was just happy to crawl my nasty ass into our big, silky bed sheets, in air conditioning, and nap for what seemed like forever – with my husband and our kitten snuggling with me.


I woke up with a hunger I hadn’t had in ages, and neither of us had really eaten. Even though I felt I was in no shape to dine out, we went for a sit-down meal. Wait staff is a luxury we rarely afford ourselves, because we hate spending money on food, but I think Ron felt I needed it – and I did indeed. It wasn’t the best meal I’ve ever eaten, but it was good just to have someone present me with a menu and keep my iced tea refilled. And when we got back home, I got in a scalding-hot a 45-minute shower and went back to bed.


It was a wonderful week to be certain. I made new friends – lots of them – and I pushed some personal boundaries. One of them is hugging. I’m not a hugger, but by the end of the week, I had managed to extend my gratitude and energy to a few people. Maybe next year, I’ll be just a little more open. And for that alone, I thank you, and I look forward to seeing you all again next year.

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Lori Dake is a life-long native several generations back, a mom to an adult son and has been together with her husband over twenty years. She is a real estate broker primarily serving the North Side and has also worked as a paralegal for several years. Sometimes, she’s a hardcore fashionista, and sometimes a concert shirt and jeans are more her style. Hobbies include painting while listening to 80’s metal, writing, participating in various forms of philanthropy and creating fabulous meals on a budget.


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