Wednesday, September 17, 2008

These thoughts I have I now can claim as mine

I'm already looking forward to this coming weekend. I have been since last weekend, in fact. It was Darren's suggestion that I return home for a weekend, just by myself. My mom had suggested it in an e-mail, which sparked a conversation between Darren and me about the possibility of our spending a weekend apart. I was kind of put off about this suggestion at first, but I realized the "homesick" feelings I brushed off as childish won't go away until I can sate them, and I'm glad to know I'm not the only adult who feels them. And so it's with great anticipation that I await this weekend, the weekend I plan to drive out for a visit.

Mom, Aunt Mo and I plan on going to the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard in Fly Creek, N.Y., for a little sampling and apple goodness. We go almost every year, and this is prime season in upstate New York for apples. The cider mill is quaint and old-fashioned, with creaky boards in the floors and a cute upstairs that sells seasonal merchandise and where you can see the old mill and learn about how it works. On the main floor, there are tons of samples of everything from salsa to salad dressing to apple cider, wine, soups, candies and all sorts of confections. Did I regret to mention the room full of apples you can bag yourself and mix and match to your desire? On the outside, during the warmer days, there's a little shack selling lunch items such as soups (in bread bowls!), sandwiches, hot dogs and delicious desserts such as pies and ice cream. We usually get lunch there (though since I've become vegetarian the options for me are limited -- even the cheese soup has ham in it, as I was dismayed to discover the hard way), but I think this time we're going to make the drive to Richfield Springs to visit my grandparents. Luckily, it's just on the way, since the cider mill is near Cooperstown. I always love the drive up, especially in fall: The trees with gorgeous-colored leaves line the back roads, and farm silos loom in the distance amid horses and cows grazing on the vibrantly green grasses. As I about it now, I wonder how I could have left it, but then I reflect on the life I have now so close to a major city and yet still surrounded by natural beauty, and I realize how content I am with the choices I've made.

The rest of the weekend I plan on relaxing at home, getting away from it all and spending time with my family. As Darren said, it'll be a good time for him to file receipts and do other odd jobs he's been meaning to do, and it'll give me time to catch up on all the TV shows I've been missing and desperately need to catch up on. I can start the mornings by taking Maggie for walks, reflecting on my childhood in the small town I grew up in, reliving memories as I pass by my old high school and the streets I haunted for nearly the first 18 years of my life. Whenever I reminisce about my childhood (as I've been doing a lot lately), I think automatically of home and the feelings of comfort and safety come rushing back. Fall I hold especially dear, as the sights, smells and overall feelings just seep through my every pore and warm me through and through. Perhaps I should return to writing poetry, as the past couple years since I stopped taking poetry classes my writing frequency has ebbed to a slow trickle, if that. If given the time and opportunity, I could probably write a thousand poems just about fall and the feelings I get from it.

Friday right after work I'll stick around for a few minutes for happy hour to have a few snacks and chat with my coworkers, and then I'll set off on the road to Herkimer. I'm sure the time will fly, and on Sunday afternoon I'll make the trip back to Boston and regular life.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A million miles below their feet

The weekend was as delightful as I'd expected. We finally found a table for our kitchen, and our blender, rice cooker and toaster all have a new home on it. We hit up about five yard sales around Dedham on Saturday, but to no avail. We did come out with a $1 pack of Uno from 1983, though, as well as a $2 dragon kite like the one we saw in Newport, R.I. We actually got up successfully early to get to all the yard sales, which began pretty early for a Saturday morning (average opening time was 8:30 a.m.; Darren and I are notorious for waking up early with intentions on getting an early start on weekends, but we always end up lollygagging around and getting started much later than expected -- case in point: Orlando). After that, we went to the Honda dealership in Weymouth, which is the closest one that deals in motorcycle parts. Darren got a bolt for one of the farings on his bike, though he hasn't put it on yet. I guess it's not that big of a deal.

Saturday night was the onset of the remnants of Hurricane Fay over New England. We set out in the evening for Danvers, Mass., to Laser Quest for some laser tag. I drove, and it began pouring. My windshield had some oily stuff on it, so the wipers weren't doing that great a job of getting all the water off, so it was difficult to see. It was a pretty scary ride there and back, but the game of laser tag we played was pretty fun.

Yesterday, we hit up one last yard sale: a six-family sale on a part of a hilly street in Roslindale. There we found the table we'd been looking for. Darren asked if it was for sale, and the guy said he wasn't sure, but why not? We walked away with it for only $8. While Darren spent the most of the rest of the day being a lump, playing Nintendo DS and napping, I went for a rousing ride on my bike. I took an hourlong ride around Dedham and the surrounding area, starting out on Washington Street to Enneking Parkway, which abuts/runs through Stony Brook Reservation. I then rode along beautiful, pastoral High and Bridge streets to Ames Street and VFW Parkway back to High Street for the way home. It's hard to believe the beautiful countryside mixed in with suburban commercial areas here. All that, and only 15 minutes from a major metropolis! At the end of the day, Darren and I took the motorcycle just a jog away to Houghton Pond in Blue Hills Reservation, a large state park, where we took a hike around the pond and enjoyed the sunset. There's a large hill there with a trail that we want to take someday. At the top, you can see the whole metropolitan area of Boston, as well as the shores and bays around it. It reminds me so much of hiking up mountains in the Adirondacks as a kid. I think time and time again how much Mom would love living in this area; though she might feel overwhelmed by the big city, we're far enough away that its busy-ness and stress aren't much of an issue, and there are so many state parks, beautiful trails, wildlife, beaches and beautiful ocean around, all of which she absolutely loves. We keep telling my parents they're more than welcome to come visit us for a weekend or whatever, but they always decline, citing our lack of space and their lack of time. We're more than willing to let them use our bed and get a futon for ourselves, but personally, I think it just makes them uneasy to think that their daughter sleeps in the same bed as a guy she isn't married to. Still, I think it would be fun to have them over, to cook them breakfast and to show them around.

So it's back to work. I've already had some busying stuff to do, so I should probably get back to it. Back to the daily grind ...

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Friday, September 05, 2008

I've never been so alone, and I've never been so alive

Another work week has run its course. Most of the staff (at least the beer-drinking part) is out of the office today, so it's been pretty slow, and I'm not even sure there'll be Happy Hour this week. No matter: I was going to skip it anyway to go home at the regular time to hit the gym with Darren, and I don't need all those unhealthy, fattening, carb-loaded snacks anyway. Besides, getting healthy and hanging out with Darren seems like a much more fun prospect. Not that I don't enjoy schmoozing with my coworkers after hours: I'd rather get a good workout in and relax to bring in this weekend. Besides, I don't feel so bad about my Fridays when I go to the gym and work off the stress of the week.

And this weekend should prove to be one of relaxation. We're not going anywhere in particular (though we both agree we'd love to see my parents again like last weekend -- Mom said they will be at camp until Sunday evening) except the Boston Haymarket. We also hope to scour the suburbs for yard sales (or "yahd sales" as they say here) where we might find a cheap shelflike structure for our kitchen to put our appliances and save counter space. Our joint grocery account is growing slim, and we're in dire need of produce, so the Haymarket is the perfect place to go. Last time, we came away with pounds and pounds of fruits and vegetables for only $7! It all lasted about a week and a half. I'll bet that's because most of it is local produce and doesn't have to travel long distances to its final destination.

Darren and I are so alike: We took a day off from the gym yesterday to visit Savers to look for the shelf (unfortunately without success). As we drove there in my car, he mentioned how he didn't use to feel bad about taking a day off at the gym now and then, especially if he had done a full workout the day before. Now, he said, he feels bad if he misses even one day. I felt exactly the same way, only I couldn't find a way to express it until he said it. It's like we're on exactly the same wavelength all the time.

A trip to the FedEx down the street and I'm golden for the weekend. I intend on munching on some pita chips, working out at the gym, cooking/eating a delightful (albeit late) dinner, and hanging out with Darren, whatever that entails. Fall's approaching -- my favorite time of year! -- and so far I'm loving every minute of it.

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