Friday, July 05, 2013

Things That Happened in the Last Week

  • We drove fifteen hours, through the night, the car full of family and luggage, to my old home in Virginia. (Again, I've got trucker genes. I find a peaceful pleasure in long hours on a long highway. And I particularly like the middle-night dark open highway, my eyes wide with coffee, as the ladies around me sleep — waking again many states away)
  • Upon arrival, we left the car, which was acting grumpy, with some hillbilly mechanics, whose fancy diagnostic computer froze up but who identified the cracked vacuum line by blowing cigarette smoke through the system.
  • I traipsed ("traipsed" is the precise word) through the old woods of my youth, crouching along deer paths and wading through thickets, everything slightly different  grown and shifted  and yet essentially the same.
  • I saw a doe and its fawn. I watched them. They watched me. I shifted. They skedaddled. I saw two more does ("doe"? "does"?) in the D field (curiously named since it's shaped more like a P).
  • I got lots of ticks (again, a harkening back to my youth).
  • We drove to western Maryland to drop the girls off, for the first time ever, at sleep-away camp: real old-school sleep-away camp where they hike and swim and sit around campfires and do all that sort of thing. And where they can't text or email, so we'll only hear from them if they actually write us a ye-olde-fashioned letter (which I suspect they won't). Aww, sh-boo-boos. I hope they're having fun.
  • We drove to eastern Maryland, Annapolis, to visit dear friends.
  • We traipsed around our old alma mater (again different and shifted and yet essentially the same).
  • We went to the National Portrait Gallery and ate a fancy meal in DC.
  • I went on an obsessive hunt for a new new baseball cap, since I'd lost my favorite battered old thing in Virginia. (A well broken-in baseball cap is, in my opinion, essential for road trip.) Sarah found an excellent replacement in a bait and tackle shop. (I immediately started the baseball-cap-breaking-in process.)
  • We spent a night in Richmond, ate dinner at a cute over-ambitious little restaurant, cruised its old neighborhoods; in the morning, we watched the James froth over its long rapids.
  • South again. We ate BBQ outside of Durham.
  • We spent a night in Asheville. We stayed in a fancy hotel with lodge-chic decor inspired by the  Vanderbilt's famous Biltmore Estate nearby. I've never seen so many decorative stag-horns in my life.
  • We drove the remaining twelve hours back home, through modest traffic jams and massive rains.
  • I sat, late in the evening, in my very own back yard, in the wet warmth, happy to have gone, happy to be home again.