Saturday, October 24, 2015

On the Road Again

Strictly speaking we have been on the road a lot lately.  They have been short trips within New England for the most part.  We spent a good chunk of the summer in Maine.  We've taken overnight trips to Peaks Island and the Hudson River Valley.  We went to a wedding in Long Island and a family reunion in Baltimore, but all that seemed to keep us close to home.

This time we are driving across the continent, from sea to shining sea.  We are transporting the dollhouse, made for Amanda by her grandfather to Edith in Los Angeles.  Along the way we will visit family and friends and even find time for a few hours in Zion National Park.

We are excited for the trip.  The last time we drove cross country was in 1989 with four kids and three tents.  This time we will stay in hotels when we are not with friends, and the budget will not be quite as tight.  This time we will carry iPads and iPhones instead of an early version of a portable computer known as the Z88.   It was the latest thing back then, and Peter kept a daily journal.  Unfortunately the batteries died before the material was transferred to a permanent form, so the journal is a legendary memory instead of an historical record.

As we gather our things, pack our suitcases, clean up the yard and put away the tools, I'm feeling nostalgic.  We are leaving the best moment in New England.  The brilliant red trees shine against a relief of gold and green.

Many of the leaves have fallen, and they carpet the lawn in golden heaps.  Raking them before the trees are bare is useless labor.  We are in the moment between seasons when the work looms, but there is no rush to complete.  Snow is at least a month away (we hope), and the short days are still warm when the sun shines.  And we are packing to go west.

It will be warmer as we head south and west.  Amanda says LA is often still hot.  And when we return winter will be very close.  There will still be time to rake leaves, trim bushes, and cut down the perennials.  But the landscape will be brown and dead.  The red and gold will vanish like magical jewels that last only a moment.  Today, under the gray skies, I treasure those magical jewels.

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