Posts Tagged 'road trips'

Brick reflections

Brick reflections

Life continuously seems stuck between the old and the new. New glass in an old rehabbed building reflects the old weathered red brick of an even older building. We live, we learn, we constantly rebuild our lives. Even sinkholes let us rebuild. I could take a ring road around the city, but I’d only be stuck in traffic, missing the morning light as it warms the bricks and makes the windows dazzle. (This picture was taken last year on March 17th, on an earlier St. Patrick’s Day).

Forests of calm and beauty

Sometimes, it’s helpful to remember where you came from, or your earliest memories where you thought like an independent person. For me, that’s time to go back to the forest and remember camping trips with my family, where I was expected to be able to think through logical challenges (clearing a fire pit, navigating around poison ivy) and enjoy moments of calm, listening to the wind in the trees without lots of talking to clutter up the moment. Stretch that forward to summers at camp, and then a job working at a camp. Forests and mountains can help me re-plug into happiness. But I’ve tried living in the middle of a forest, or in a farmhouse with amazing vistas, and too long without a city gets me blue. So here is a happy medium — a safe, forested area in the middle of a city (no not New York).

This one was quirky, complete with St Patrick’s Day [a day late] runners (who were carrying all the ingredients for a grilled picnic, and talking excitedly about the beer at the end of their route), with their green leggings, shamrock headgear, etc. I nearly decided to run after them, although I wasn’t dressed for it.

If I’m with someone else I’ll be happy to go back. Solitude is all well and good, but it’s better to share part of it with someone else who can also enjoy the quiet and the fun of playing “guess what brown bird that is…”

Rowboat and boat on banks of Lake Champlain

There are lovely places to hike near Lake Champlain. These boats were pulled up on a rocky ledge on the banks of the lake. I’m going through my pictures of sunsets overBeached boats the water, woodsy trails, wildflowers, and interiors from the Inn I stayed at. All very lovely. Some of them are appropriate for Project Spectrum and I’ve put them up on my flickr account on the sidebar. 🙂 Some may show up on these pages when they seem appropriate.

I guess it’s the sign of a good trip if you’re already hoping to go back again and figuring out ways to avoid lots and lots of driving.


Red is an attention-getter — a glowing stoplight in the dark, a showstealer among a crowd of black dresses, the promise of ripe fruit, the glow of embers in a campfire that emphasize the night. And, sometimes, it’s a big old flag of “do not touch”.

touchmenotIn this case, our friend Virginia Creeper. Some people can touch it. Not me. But I will admit that it’s very very pretty. Of course, so is poison ivy.

Lets go down to the sunset bridge

sunsetbridgeLet’s go down to the sunset bridge

And watch the working barge go by

And watch the mosquitoes bite people,

And stare up at the maroon sky….

— with all apologies to Don Henley

Green Like Ireland

White fence, green fields, blue sky on a changeable spring day

White fence, green fields, blue sky on a changeable spring day

This farm shocked me with its pleasant March green field, after a day of talking with family who were driving into the snows of Wisconsin or were dodging hail the size of golf balls. In March, when the scales between winter and spring can tip either way, I’ll drink in any vista with green that I can get, even if it’s on a cold, raw day with threat of torrential downpours. [This was shot on Sunday, north near Bel Air, MD. And all that came into my brain was snippets of Walt Whitman poetry. Pure joy.]

Tourist Elk Info

When traveling, be prepared for weird signage that may indicate other people or mammals are the target audience. Years ago, while traveling, I was in Frankenmuth, land of gnomes. Apparently the elk have their own tourism stop, where they find out how to avoid being hit by cars and how to network with other elk and how to shop for lederhosen. I’m sure there’s a mundane reason for the sign. But for now, I’m just bemused, looking back over photos from a trip to Lake Michigan.

Frankenmuth Info sign

Frankenmuth Info sign

An Unexpected, Away Weekend

Long story short, I was at a knitting retreat over the weekend, taking a friend’s spot at the last minute (she was unable to attend due to an emergency). It was kind of overwhelming (although there were no malevolent monks involved, ala Chattam, of which I am deeply grateful). Lots and lots of driving (I carpooled with my friend, Anj). Drove all the way up to Massachusetts and back again. Spent some time knitting, took a class on knitting two pairs socks at the same time on one circular needle (note: this is easier and harder than I thought it would be, and the teacher was a saint), and ate some pretty wacky food. Found an amazing cookie factory in Troy, NY (I think this is the link to the company). Got to pet llamas on my way home. And, generally, had as good a time as I can have away from the Gardener and the cats. Wish I could have seen my family and friends who were an hour or so away, but it didn’t end up being that kind of trip.

Yes: I brought home cookies for the Gardener to sample. Yes: I was greeted by more clean spaces, a more insulated house, and a pretty card. It was good to be away and learning new stuff and meeting new people. But it’s better to be home again, even if home involves HVAC people in the basement and insulation people above my office, and no hope of a bathroom for hours.