Saturday, March 22, 2003

Back to Mundania

It's been a long time since I just blogged down the day. But as we settle into the idea of war, I think it's especially important to keep track of the important things in life, like family, and the crystaline moments of peace we each carry with us throughout our days. In the interest of thinking locally while we act globally, then, here's a FridaynightintoSaturday, the first of the new term:

Mom's in Washington DC for her yearly weeklong social worker's conference; while our recent trip to Boston was a full adventure reported earlier, Dad hasn't been up to see the baby for a while, so he drove up solo last night for a visit and an overnight stay at the school's guesthouse. We took him to Yankee Candle's flagship store down in Deerfield to marvel at the 22-room spectacle, and he took us to dinner at Chandlers, their excellent and adjacent gourmet winery (lit entirely by candles, of course). We sampled white wines sweet and dry, ate potato and carmelized tartlets, steak and scallops. Dad ordered sea bass because the waitress told him that the chef said it it wasn't Chilean sea bass, which turns out to be merely a fancy name for Patagonian Dogfish, which isn't a bass at all, and of course it was the dogfish, but one of Dad's finest qualities is the ability to let things go and relax, and we all enjoyed ourselves.

The cat woke us up with a robin in his jaws, so I guess it's officially spring. An hour later, Dad, a late riser like myself, came back over; after transferring the baby seat into his Lexus, we directed him through the woods and over the river to Turner's Falls, an old mill town a couple of miles down the road with plenty of brick architecture and rowhousing but no remaining industry. The diner in Turners is essentially authentic, by which I mean they serve breakfast all day, change their menu seldom if ever, grill pretty much everything, and make real milkshakes with local ice cream; Dad had poached eggs on dry toast, Darcie had pancakes; I had three overeasy with sausage and white toast; the baby had dry Cheerios, although most of them ended up on the floor.

As a non-narrative aside, it was great to see him, and a wonderful treat to have him all to ourselves, and I know he reads this, so Dad, thanks for the visit, and come back every month for as long as you are able, okay? 'Cause we miss you lots, and watching you play with Willow makes me feel like my heart is exploding, and I'm so very glad we've found ourselves friends after all those years of terror. Oh, and if I haven't said so before, I know you know, but geez, I was a mess for a long time, and I'm really, really sorry, Dad.

Okay, back to the plot.

Dad left before one o'clock, Darcie and baby drove off to Brattleboro for a visit with Willow's other grandparents, and I headed over the New Hampshire border to meet up with a crew of NMH Sophomores doing a ropes course at Camp Takodah to prepare for their impending trip to South Africa. The directions were easy to follow, the frost ehaves on the back roads made for a wonderful roller-coaster of a ride in, and the newly thawed mud on the camp access road was treacherous, but I managed just fine in the slippery weight of the Grand Marquis.

Although the place seemed deserted upon arrival, I managed to find the students without taxing my limited tracking skills -- sneaker prints being uncommon enough in the woods of New Hamshire. Little to say about the event itself, as I was there only to take a couple of hours of video tape for the documentary they're making of their trip experience; through the lens, I watched 'em crawl through string spiderwebs and catch each other trustfalling, and mananged to soak my good shoes standing up to my ankles in the meltingsnow woods, but the kids were mostly familiar, it was great to be outdoors on a warm barelyspring day, and I even got a bit of color on my prominent Semitic nose -- hoorah for the first sunburn of the season, yet another sign of Spring.

Home in time to jumpstart the battery of the maroon conversion van that's been sitiing under the nowmelting snow all winter, uninspectable and rusted through, to show it to Chris, the verymellow cook at the school snack bar. Chris loved it, as I knew he would, and what was once my own private home on wheels was sold on a handshake for $300 bucks. We had some good times in that van, two years of camping and concert trips with students afterhours; I'll miss it and the freedom it represents, but it's time to grow up a bit more, and it's nice to see it's going to a good use, and to a good home -- he's hoping to put some time and cash into it and start a catering business with it. We'll take the week to find the title and clean out the accumulated camping gear and then he'll drive it off with borrowed plates to start reconstructing the body on it, and then maybe I'll cry a little for the loss of one more scrap of my emotional bachelorhood, and then I'll sneak into the bedroom in the dark and wait until my eyes adjust to the darkness, and the baby's fuzzy head and soft breath fill my senses, and my heart explodes again, and it will be more than alright.

posted by boyhowdy | 7:59 PM |

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