My trip is coming to an end tomorrow and I’ll return to regular blogging soon.
In the meantime, here are a few more pics from my trip home.
Some more remembering to stop and smell the roses….
Momma representin’ Marfa in Central New York
My friend Dan is the vineyard manager at Long Point Winery
Dan showing us his vineyard
Lindsay (Dan’s wife) is learning to spin wool
This dog has four legs; she hates wearing clothing
As I get older, trips home vary in emotion. When I travel back to Central New York in the winter, I join the legions of individuals who feel depressed and forlorn. My hometown feels as though it has been forgotten- which it has, in a way. However, during the summer, the area feels alive and thriving and downright gorgeous- which it is. I’ve lived in or traveled through nearly two thirds of this country and there is no place quite like the American Northeast in the summer and fall. Nothing compares to the rolling green hills, the soft grass and the luscious wildflowers.
This trip I have reconnected with old friends and seen extended family. This might not sound like anything particularly special, but considering I come from a small family and am not always best at keeping in touch with people, this has been a very therapeutic and enjoyable experience. I’ve also gotten to lay in the grass while staring at the sky, paint my grandmother’s toe nails, take naps next to my favorite little Jack (more…)
Last week I wrote about the inspiring entrepreneurial spirit of Austin, Texas. Small business is a subject near and dear to me. I grew up in a family-owned and operated clothing store named Leonard’s in Central New York.
Closing the business after 35 years was like a stake through the heart of my family. When I moved to Austin, I was overwhelmed by the locals’ support of mom and pop businesses. Would Leonard’s have had the same fate if it resided in Austin instead of the economically depressed Central New York?
I don’t think about Leonard’s often because the memory of its passing is too painful to dwell on. However, a former employee and friend, Gabrielle, died recently, and it stirred a wave of nostalgia.
I linger on the silkiness of my Grandma’s voice.
The faux aristocrat.
As though every time the phone rings, she’s expecting it to be the President.
I wait a beat.
Trying to make sure that what I’m about to say doesn’t explode out into a puddle (more…)
While sitting on the can the other day, I thought of Warren Zevon.
I thought of his East LA anthem “Carmelita”, a song where the lead character calmly admits to being “all strung out on heroin on the outskirts of town.” From there I moved onto Zevon’s more personal “Desperadoes Under the Eaves”. In this song also about Los Angeles, Zevon speaks of drinking up all the salty margaritas in the city and having difficulty finding a girl who understands him. My last Zevon thought came in the form of “The French Inhaler”, a song about a lazy actress and her even lazier boyfriend.”You said you were an actress, yes, I believed you,” Zevon sings. “I thought you’d be a star, so I drank up all the money. Yes, I drank up all the money with these phonies in this Hollywood bar. These friends of mine in this Hollywood bar.”
By the end of my Zevon mental assault, I thought, “Shit, there are so many sad, pathetic, heartbreaking and lonely songs about Los Angeles.” It’s not just Zevon who (more…)
This stretch of road never changes, only I do. Every twist and turn and is the same and will be for hundreds of years. Only I will go away.
All the times I made this drive, I never could have guessed what the future held for me. Now I’m here and all I can think about is the past. The future is now and and it’s better than it was back then. Cold, monotonous journeys back and forth through towns that I would run away from, seeing a young boy that I will never see again, and a lifestyle that was not for me.
We had no idea what would happen over the past ten years.
We had no idea that Josh would get into a car accident 12 months ago and die and come back. The months of being in a coma, rehabilitation. I was mentally preparing myself on the drive to his house yesterday, preparing for the changes I would see. The new Josh. Telling myself not to cry. When I saw him, there was no reason to mourn. Though life is more challenging for him now he only has optimism. He’s so far ahead than (more…)
Visiting home is always…always…
I’m not sure what the word is.
Every time I visit home I feel different. Like the arm of a clock on a different time. When I was 22, I was 3AM, when I was 25, I was 4PM and now the clock rests on noon.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve mellowed out. Initially their dutiful daughter who always did what she was told suddenly did not like it. She snapped back. She was trying to figure out who she was and the last thing she needed was someone infringing on her time alone in her head.
Now, now she knows who she is. Now she doesn’t have a guttural reaction when one of them does nothing more than simply be the overly-concerned mother or grandmother that they are.
But coming home brings a new emotion. It’s no longer youthful angst, but rather seeing something I don’t want to see.
Something I’ll pretend is not happening.
As I hung in the doorway of my grandmother’s bedroom watching her get ready to go out, I noticed how small she looked. The weight (more…)
Yesterday my mother emailed me the above picture with the caption, “Remember this picture? I call it “Future Texan”.
I’d like to call it, “Future Toddlers and Tiaras Reject”, but “Future Texan” will suffice.
I’m a Northerner. A Yankee. I come from land where for six months of the year social interaction and entertainment is hunted for it’s rare and delicious meat. My ass had never seen the sun nor had my virgin taste buds made love to anything spicier than vanilla bean. Vanilla bean is not spicy, you say? You’re right. The word “vanilla” just seemed appropriate in this paragraph. Growing up in central New York makes you vanilla. I was vanilla. Diverse culture and cuisine are not prevalent in central New York. That’s not true. Diverse culture and cuisine outside of all the white people from Old Country is not prevalent. I had never even seen a Mexican restaurant until I moved to California. Sushi? Indian? Ethiopian? These things did not exist where I was from. I once heard there (more…)