Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Remembering in the First Person

"Everyone needs his memories.  They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door."
~ Saul Bellow

It is about an hours drive from Boston to the last place in which I lived (nestled in the southwest corner of New Hampshire) before departing for California.  I was lonely there but I've since learned that I am lonely every where and I did manage to take many photos and write numerous entries in blogs. On the day of this particular trek, I wanted to know if I still found comfort in that soft green sleepy retreat.

"Memory... is the diary that we carry with us"
~ Oscar Wilde

I stood just above the last place I lived.  It was softly raining.  In November this rain will annoy because it will likely turn to ice but in September is brings a simple chill and gentle mist to the air. I am able to see bits of the house from the road. Someone else is living there now.  They have a Jeep with off road tires and lights mounted on the roof rack and bully bar...I'm just a little envious.  They are prepared for winter and mud season, at least as far as their transportation is concerned.  Is the fire wood laid in? When I lived there, it was a three or four cord winter...and I ran out before the weather turned warm.  Oil and butane ordered?  So many things to plan for when living in the northeast.  Will those folks living there plow their own drive way?  Are they renting or did they buy the property?

"We each need to make peace with our memories.  We have all done thing that make us flinch."
~Surya Das

Up the hill and across the road is an old farm house.  It still stands empty.  It emptied a number of years ago.  The result of infidelity. He cheated, she found out.  The house was their summer place. He most especially loved the location.  She got the house in the divorce and specifically forbade him from coming on the property.  It broke his heart.  I imagine her saying, 'touche'.  Pay back truly is a bitch!  Once hers, she never used it again.  She left it to her daughter, that was in 2007.  I guess the daughter decided against rehabbing the house.  It has no central heating,  and many windows are broken.  I'm sure birds, raccoon, mice, and bats have done their fair share of damage.  I walked through it once.  Up stairs was a page help prisoner in time.  Her dress hug in the tiny closet and his prayer book opened to the last page he read there, all a headstone to a marriage that once worked.  If I had the funds, I would buy it, tear it down and put a ranch-style house on the foundation...a sign on the front door would proclaim "Beware all who enter here...".

"There are memories I chose not to live with, but we hangout at the same bar."
~ Robert Brault (rbrault@blogspot.com)

Back to the main road.  We make a quick stop at the stream that traverses the land there.  It is a nearly a soundless world.  The misty moment punctuated by the trill of chickadees and water passing through on its peaceful path.

I don't want to move back.  So more thinking is needed.  More thinking and more money.  It may drive me out of retirement.  I do know I love the near quiet.  But would like to be within eyesight of a neighbor.  Phone reception would also be nice.

" Memory is a crazy woman who hoards colored rags and throws away food."    ~ Austin O'Mally

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Return to Wildwoods Retreat 2014

"And when the day arrives I'll become the sky and I'll become the sea and sea will come to kiss me for I am going home..."    ~ Trent Razuor

The long trip to my old New England home was uneventful.  It was also, in fact, a bit of challenging fun: Figuring out how to sleep in the car at rest stops; how to get the little dog to eat something other than it's fresher variety of food; how to manage stopping for human food and exercise and still get in 700 miles a day and so on.  It rained almost the entire trip which helped take a bit out of the hot, humid days.   It was I-80 most of the way, then I-90 and finally the Mass Pike into Boston and my old neighborhood.  I left in 2001.  Since that eventful moment in the early fall of that year until today, I've lived in Vermont, New Hampshire, California, Washington and Nevada since that year.  It is a sweet moment in life to return to the people and places that one holds dear and loves deeply.  Has the neighborhood changed?  Huge changes.  But somehow fundamentally the same.  The people I knew are almost the same but perhaps older and wiser.  Babies have been born and elders have died,  and the folks my age move more slowly and struggle with the physical problems of aging, the challenge of  trying to stay fit and somehow keeping ahead of bill collectors  while somehow living on Social Security.

I'm staying with a young couple raising a son and both are working.  They are two women.  One Mom is the birth parent and works in the trades ~ a plumber.  The other spouse is the stay at home parent during the day and leaves for part-time work in the evenings when the other Mother gets home.  Eventually she wants to go to law school.  She will make a great lawyer as she is a fierce advocate for what is right.  My contribution to the family is to cook.  So far so good.  One Mother and the son are omnivores and one Mom is a vegetarian.  Sometimes I cook only veggie and sometimes  do both meat and veggie.  How I love dinner time here.  Happy newsy chatter about life, news, the progress of toilet training and other "stuff".  I've missed that connection more than other.  

But my favorite part of each and every day is spending time with this wonderful 2 1/2 year old.  To him I am "Nana Mini" ... I love hearing that in his sweet baby voice.  The innocence of the very young is intoxicating!

Wish there were a way to slow down time just this once.  To make the time between now and my departure date drag out even a little bit.  My fantasy is to move back but I know that is not likely to happen.  It is too expensive for me here. The desert can be demanding to but too expensive is not one of the "demanding problems".  Just paying a little attention to old friends for a short time will have to do. 

"Going home and spending time with you family and your real friends keeps you grounded." 
~  Jennifer Ellison