August 24, 2009

My Wandering Ways

"When I want to run away, I drive off in my car,
but whichever road I take leads me back to the place you are." --
Peter Gabriel

My dad was a driver, I think I've mentioned. He spent most of his life in his car and died in his car. When he lived in California he would wake up in the morning and decide to drive to S.F.,-- two hours down the road-- just to fly a kite in Golden Gate and slide a few oysters down his gullet. As I got older he'd get an itch, call me up on a Saturday morning and say, "I'm leaving for Mexico, you comin'?" He'd pick me up within the hour.

I get that itch, too, and am especially feeling it with September a tiptoe away. R and I could smell fall on the water tonight, and we had to zip the boat back to the dock because Buckaroo and I had a serious case of the goose bumps. I'm not ready for this. I want to run.

The thing about winter is that it comes on something like I imagine insanity might. I know it's out there, hovering closer, but the weather is fickle, and it's hard to recognize that winter is really happening until we're in the thick of an ice storm and can't imagine that summer or clarity ever existed. At least that's how last year felt.

Last summer I worried about the winter because I didn't know what to expect, but I had this idea that once I'd lived through a New England winter I'd feel less anxiety about the frostiness. Unfortunately, after last winter, I have mucho anxiety to share-- which is why I want to take it on the road.

The problem with my dad's road trips was that he was missing the tiny bulb in his brain that's supposed to light up and tell the tripper when it's time to go home. Sometimes he was gone for weeks. Luckily, I inherited a Trip Over indicator from my mother, which keeps me honest.

Don't get me wrong: my fantasy travel life is quite active. Most recently I was hitching a ride, in my head, to Australia to meet a kookaburra. I know, though, that I must be home near 3 p.m. on school days to make sure Sweet P starts her homework at a reasonable hour. Plus, Buckaroo and I don't do well together with more than four hours in the car a day, and though there have been days I've considered it, I just can't bring myself to stick him in front of the tv with a looping DVD of Bob the Builder and a mountain of fruit chewies.

Still, I have to scratch a little. There's a bookstore I'm longing to eyeball in Rochester, VT, but that's three hours from here one way, according to Mapquest, so today I settled for Peterborough, NH instead. Packed up the kids and boogied on down the road. Sweet P had never heard of Fleetwood Mac-- and egregious parenting oversight on my part-- so I introduced her to my favorite childhood songs in the car while Buckaroo napped.

We perused Toadstool Books, sampled our first fluffernutter sandwich and discussed John Mackey while Buckaroo canoodled with a chihuahua, braved the decidedly unfriendly staff at Twelve Pine for some foodie accessories (burnt fig jam, wasabi sauce, a bottle of red-- not to be enjoyed simultaneously) and dashed into the little corner market for R's faves: clotted cream and digestive biscuits.

We were home by 3 p.m., so Sweet P could be on time for her first (voluntary) sleep over, and R returned early from work, so we had time to watch the sun go down on the beach while Buckaroo chased frogs through the shallows. Did I mention that Green Mama cleaned my house while we were out? So lovely.

So it wasn't one of my dad's off-the-wagon three-week splurges in Mexico, but I can't say that's really my style, and my husband was happy to see me at the end of my trip which is always a bonus and not something that was necessarily true for Dad's wives.

All day I kept saying to myself I am one blessed woman.
This winter may I hold those blessings close like a hand sewn quilt-- soft, warm, and bodyworn.

"Well I love you so dearly
I love you so clearly
Wake you up in the mornin' so early
Just to tell you I got the wanderin' blues
I got the wanderin' blues
And i'm gonna quit these ramblin' ways one of these days soon " -- The Be Good Tanyas

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

You made me cry again. Oh Trish, your words are lovely. Thank you.