Posted tagged ‘road trip’

“Memory is the space in which a thing happens for a second time.”

February 9, 2018

The sky is cloudy but bright. It is only 31˚, but the next three days will be warm. The prediction is for 48˚ each day. That’s almost tanning weather, no sunscreen necessary. Maybe a road trip is in order to take advantage of the warmth. I’ll open my car window and take in the sweet smell of the clean air.

Since the winter solstice, we have gained an hour of sunlight. It makes me hopeful that winter’s end is not so far away. February, though, is sometimes the snowiest month. I’ll just keep my knit hat and mittens handy.

In summer, the trees surrounding my deck are lit with candles hanging off the branches. In the backyard, solar lights shaped like flowers glow and a few strands of white lights are twisted around tree trunks. I always think my yard a fairyland, especially in July when the fireflies return and twinkle among the trees. Now, in the bleak winter, the one strand of lights around the deck fence has stopped shining. I need to replace it. I always love looking out the back window and seeing those lights.

I always think it is the darkness of winter which palls the spirit so I do my best to compensate. I keep white candles lit in the front windows, and their light shines across the dark lawn. This year I left my Christmas lights lit in the front. One is a giant star with a trail of lights. The others are multicolored. My neighbor across the street has called to thank me for leaving the lights shining. She said she loves looking out the window at my house.

Winter is my time of memories, of introspection. I don’t add much to my story, but I recall to mind the best parts. I smile a lot at the images in my mind’s eye. My journeys, my explorations, are the brightest memories.

During my travels, I learned a few things. I hate washing clothes by hand. I decided that for any trip of great length I’d pack ragtag underwear which I can just throw away. It isn’t a big deal for me to find any. I can just check my bureau drawer. The rest of my clothes can get so grungy they can walk away by themselves. I won’t care. I’m not washing them. I learned never to ask what I’m eating.  Many of the traditional foods are pets here, like the guinea pig in Ecuador. I think I can eat just about anything as long as I don’t know what it is and it isn’t slimy. Bras are a great place for hiding money. I had my pocket picked when I was at a train station in Ghana. I’d like that thief to try it now. Toilet paper, always carry toilet paper. Sometimes you get stuck and have to rush, and those hole in the ground toilets don’t have toilet paper. Just imagine. The middle of the bus and a seat near the window are usually the best. The aisle fills with standing people who hold on for dear life as the bus goes around corners but sometimes they fall, into the aisle seats. The front and the back of the bus are where people sit with their chickens or goats. Eat where there is a line, especially street food. Don’t shy away. It’s sometimes the best and is usually the cheapest. If everything pales compared to home, just stay home.

“Grin like a dog and wander aimlessly.”

June 16, 2012

Sometimes I just want to do nothing. I wake up, figure out what day it is, think about what I have to do and then breathe a sign of relief when I realize I don’t have to do a thing. I use days like today to ride around and see the Cape as if I were a tourist. Other times I shop in some little out-of-the-way place where I can find neat, unusual things as if my house has room for any more.

It is a back and forth sort of day. The sun peeks out of the clouds then hides again. It is only 63° and will be like this for the next few days. Wednesday is supposed to be summer hot. I predict a deck day.

The neighborhood was noisy this morning with the sounds of little kids so I was awakened at 8:00 which wouldn’t be too bad except I went to bed at 2. It was just one of those nights when I wasn’t tired. I watched the cooking channel.

Once in a while I get this urge to travel and I just want to go. The destination is unimportant. It is the going which I crave. It is needing to tend to my affliction, my wanderlust. My passport is always up-to-date just in case. My car is gassed. It would take all of five minutes to pack my bag: toothbrush, underwear, a couple of shirts and a clean pair of slacks would do me fine. I know I have a trip in August, but that feels like a long time away.

If I were exiled to an island and could bring whatever I needed to sustain me, I’d have books and music, expecting, of course, that the food would be provided as well as an unlimited supply of batteries (it is, after all, my daydream). A beach chair by the ocean would a wonderful place to while away my exile. Maybe I’d live in a thatched treehouse, a Tarzan sort of place where he and Jane had set up housekeeping. I’d swim by the reef, and I’d do a little a little fishing from my chair. My rod would be stuck in the sand so I’d have little to do but pull in dinner. Interesting debris would wash up on the shore, and I’d decorate my thatched house with the oddities brought by the tides.

I know that wouldn’t happen, especially the batteries, so I’ll settle for my deck, an oasis, an island, in the back of my house. Right now the sun is shining, the birds are at the feeders, and my deck looks like the perfect place to spend a little time with my book and my music.

I think my life is wonderful and I even like the feeling of wanderlust. It keeps me from ever being bored.