Clara Miller

The Road Back to Blissville

Once upon a time there was a girl named Sandy. Sandy was 13 years old and lived in the little town of Blissville. Sandy had a great life in Blissville.  She had lots of friends, she went to lots of parties, and she visited her Grandmother and her cousins often.  Sandy had a health condition called Terriblesalsby that caused her left elbow to jerk out at a 90 degree angle every half hour on the half hour.  This bothered Sandy but none of her friends or her family noticed it at all.  They loved Sandy just the way she was and accepted her for who she was.  They actually liked that her elbow jerked out every half hour because they could set their clocks by it, since it was so regular.

But Sandy had a case of wanderlust.  She wanted to see what life would be like somewhere else. She was sure that there would be a place where her Terriblesalsby would go away or at least, maybe her elbow might only jerk out at a 23 degree angle or only happen once an hour on the 10 minute after mark.  A big city seemed like a place where this might happen.  A big, exciting, city where the weather was warm and dry, not cold and wet, a city that never slept, where there were always lots of fun things to do – this is what Sandy thought she needed.  She was through with the boring town of Blissville. Her mother could tell that Sandy wanted to try something else and truth be told, so did her mother, so she called Aunt Vicky, Sandy’s aunt who lived in the big city of Doleton.   Sandy and her Mom thought it would be great to live near Aunt Vicky since they hadn’t spent much time with her, other than a one or two day visit here and there, for almost twenty years.  Soon, Sandy and her Mom made plans to leave Blissville and move to Doleton.  Sandy went to her room and packed up all of her memories of Blissville.  But Sandy’s friends were very very sad to see Sandy leave.  They gave her lots of good bye parties.  They made Sandy promise to call them and to write to them.  Sandy was sad but mostly, she was excited to start a new life.

Sandy and her Mom moved to Doleton and bought a really nice house.  The weather was great and just like Sandy had wanted, there were lots of very fun and exciting things to do in Doleton all of the time.  They got to spend a lot of time with Aunt Vicky.  And the greatest thing was that Sandy’s Terriblesalsby did get better.  Her elbow only jerked out to a 32.4 degree angle.  Months went by and the strangest thing happened.   Little by little, Sandy and her Mom started not feeling very good about their decision to move to Doleton.  But they never talked to each other about it.  They had given up so much of their lives to leave Blissville, hoping for things to be better in Doleton.  They couldn’t admit to each other that maybe, just maybe, things weren’t all that they had hoped they would be in Doleton.

Sandy never made any friends in Doleton.  Everyone was nice to her, she never sat alone at lunch at school, but she never got an invitation to any parties, ever.  No one ever asked her to come over and hang out.  No one ever asked her to go to the mall.  Even though her Terriblesalsby was better in Doleton, she still had it and she wondered if maybe the new kids didn’t accept her because of it.  She remembered with regret how in Blissville, she had so many friends.  In Blissville, she went to parties and to the mall all of the time.  But not in Doleton.  Being alone was really sad for Sandy.

The same great weather that helped her Terriblesalsby, also happened to be really boring, Sandy realized.  The landscape always looked the same: lots of cactus and mountains that were beautiful, but nothing ever changed so she never knew what season it was or even what month it was.  Things were so beautiful all of the time that she forgot to appreciate them.  Back in Blissville, the climate changed all of the time, which wasn’t so good for her Terriblesalsby but there were leaves growing and changing colors then falling; there were bees buzzing, flowers blooming, snow falling. She really missed her Grandmother and her cousins and her friends, back in Blissville.

One day, Sandy’s Mom said to Sandy, “Say, Honey, just hypothetically, and I’m just talking randomly here, let’s say, just maybe, just if, I were thinking of moving us back to Blissville, how would you feel about that?”  Well, Sandy instantly said, “Yes, Mom, let’s go!”  And that was that.  The next day, Sandy’s Mom called the real estate agent, and they sold their house in three weeks, at a good price, since the real estate market in Doleville had skyrocketed during the seventeen months that they lived there.  They moved back to Blissville, where unfortunately, the real estate market did not work so well in their favor.   Once they were back in their new and dreadfully overpriced home, more bad news was that Sandy’s Terriblesalsby actually did get worse; her elbow went back to sticking out at a 90 degree angle.  But, Sandy didn’t care.  The things that had mattered to her so much no longer seemed to matter.   Her friends didn’t care that her elbow stuck out and now, Sandy didn’t either.  She was happy to be back with people who knew her and loved her.  Sandy didn’t have to go to a big city to find her bliss.  It was right there before her eyes, a part of her life, all along.  And that, dear reader, is the moral of this story.


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