Monday, March 2, 2009

Road trip!

My rational brain was at me, big time, last night, as I listened to the weather forecast... DO NOT make the trip. I had planned a trip on my unexpected Monday off, to Waite to visit my friend Robin who had offered to start some seedlings for me as back up to my windowsill seed starting and to finally meet online friends who arrived Sunday, moving from TX to ME (Calais, to be exact).

And my rational brain had me massively depressed... Yeah, I could have visited later, but somehow rational thought just wasn't satisfying me. When I went to bed last night I honestly figured I would likely sleep too late, it would snow too much (as in I was NOT shoveling my way OUT of the driveway) or some such. But I awoke at a reasonable time and she snow had not accumulated to Subaru-stopping proportions, so off I went.

And boy, was I glad.

The roads were not bad, not in my definition anyway. The snowplow had been down our side road and along most of the road into Bangor, though as always I could tell where the town limit lines were without benefit of sign. There were tracks to follow through the snow, where it had not been plowed most recently and once on 95, plenty of tracks to follow through town. After hitting the outskirts of the Bangor area, I ran out of traffic. I saw only 2 plows (both of which I passed), one UPS truck in my rearview (which got off at the Orono exit, which I had just passed) and an ambulance on the other side of the highway, heading into Bangor. But most of the way there were patches of asphalt showing here and there, from previous plow trips and not a single vehicle was spotted broken down or "parked" in a ditch the whole way. Not ONE.

Obviously, then, the roads could not have been "bad"... for on no other storm day has the warning of the weather-guessers caused the reckless drivers to all stay home!

I visited a bit with Robin as I divvied out the seeds and made little packs for the share I was leaving for her expert ministrations, had a cup of coffee and then was off down Rte 1 again towards Calais, on the US-Canadian border, to meet Tammy and her family and visit with Mary, who is hosting the newcomers until their truck load of stuff arrives, later in the week.

It was a great visit, exactly like meeting old friends and not at all like a first-time visit with someone from the Internet. The kiddos were in and out (loving their second day in the snow) as were the dogs. I felt very much at home in the "madhouse" full of kids, dogs and still-slightly-travel-lagged adults. K had asked several times if I was taking Brandi and I knew I did not want to... and am glad I didn't, as 6 dogs in the house would have been WAY too much chaos, especially as one was a newcomer as of yesterday and had not quite sorted it all out with the resident top dog. I did get plenty of doggie-loving and a good smell-down from Brandi when I got home as there were a total of 8 doggie odors on my from this trip. I'm surprised Brandi is still talking to me!

I realized on the way up that not only do I need a road trip now and then -- several hours of solitude behind the wheel is a good way for me to clear my mind, center and meditate -- but I have somewhat got out of the habit/family tradition of deliberately taking off for a visit somewhere any time the forecasters say "stay home." My dad did it in the winter -- though his was just for a drive -- and in the summer often after a good rain, "to see if I can get stuck" he would say. Either he didn't try too hard or was an excellent driver (my guess is the latter) for he never had a Jeep or even an old pickup but did his excursions in our famly car -- a Buick of some sort or another during my growing up years. And I do not ever recall it coming home looking like it had got stuck.

And raising my family, I would do the same... when we had only one car and lived in Appleton, WI I recall taking Katey and newborn baby Amelia, tucked into a snowsuit, in her front carrier, under my wool cape, by bus in a Wisconsin blizzard, up to Shopko to take advantage of the day after Thanksgiving Christmas ornament sale. We came back with three HUGE plastic bags of ornaments and ornament makings, a difficult haul even the couple of blocks from the bus stop to home, as the wind whipped the huge fluffy flakes around us and Katey (Trina then) struggled to drag the lighest of the three through the snow that was well up to her knees any time she missed stepping in my boot prints.

My other memory of that trip was the strange looks I got from the few other brave bus riders as we waited at the stops. You see, Amelia's warm breath was rising up as a visible mist from the neck of my cape, though the source was totally invisible and (as she was asleep) still and silent as well.

So, I guess, as long as I am able I shall continue to go a-visitng on snow days. I enjoyed the quiet (I turned NPR off after I left 95, to better concentrate and enjoy the drive) and the sound of the snow and later sleet hitting the car. I loved the part of Rte 1 that I drove through the Hollywood-style huge, fluffy flakes. I loved a chance to visit with Robin and hear what was new with her family and the farm, to see her greenhouse-bound seedlings bursting out of their pots under the lights in her living room, and to dream of days when I will have a greenhouse as well.

And it was beyond great to see Mary again and Tammy (again... or so it felt, though it was the first time) and her family. I can't wait to see their new home, overlooking the river and Canada, and her first year garden that she will be planting there. Can't wait to carry seedlings up to share, to see how her first year garden differs from mine. Can't wait to see her kiddos in my wide open, snow-covered spaces and then running free across the 4 acres come spring... feeding apples to the neighboring horses, making friends with Brandi and the kitties (or at least some of them... some won't come out for anyone!)

Tomorrow will be back to a typical Tuesday, with added strangeness, as K is scheduled for a sleep study and I will at best be late for my Master Gardener class or at worst miss it entirely. Day will start early with his counseling appt in Dover-Foxcroft, then by my store to pick up paycheck, post office, credit union, maybe Sams if he needs Rxs (major shopping day will have to wait until next week) and back home so he can bathe and eat and get back to Dover-Foxcroft for his sleep study by 7 pm. I pick him up at 6 on Wed, thankfully it is a short day at the store.

Some time soon I need to get back to the Corinth history web site, though I am still waiting for some content and feedback from the Park Service project, so timing will be here and there until that is over. I was glad to be able to make the Historical Society meeting on Sunday, where I met some very interesting local ladies and volunteered to turn a porcelean doll kit into a finished project for a door prize for an upcoming doll show/fund raiser event. I have never done one and always wanted to!

And now, the bed is calling and I shall listen to its siren song.

No comments: