Sunday, October 17, 2010

Upta Camp

We are on our way up to Maine to close the camp down for the winter. We threw together a small bag of clothes, made a quick stop at the Coffee shop, and off we went. The sky is surprisingly dark for the hour, seeming much later than 7:15 on this cool Saturday night in October. It’s a beautiful clear night thanks to the brief Nor’Easter that blew in earlier this week. With winds strong enough to crack large branches off of age old trees, you might think that the beautiful fall foliage would be blown away. I am happy to report that is not the case and those stubborn little leaves are still holding on awaiting the official start of leaf peeping season. The outside temperature is 52 degrees here in Massachusetts. In Maine I expect the temperatures to be a bit lower probably in the low 40’s perfect snuggling weather.

The roads are moving along at a reasonable pace and I imagine we are probably going about 70mph. I say imagine because dear Tahoe’s speedometer is broken so it’s kind of a guessing game. We usually try to keep up with the crowd so as not to draw unwanted attention to ourselves from any of the alert Stateys on duty. Though I’m looking down at the screen as I type this, I can tell from the sound of the squeaky windshield wipers that it must have started to mist or rather, we have entered an area where it had been raining and the spray is shooting off the road. Yes, I can see, it’s just a sprinkle. Just enough to encourage reflections of white head lights and red brake lights to come together making up a colorful tapestry dancing between the reflective center lines that wordlessly tell us where we should drive. Other than these car lights, it remains very dark. There are no city streets lamps setting the area aglow, just the contrast between the blue-black sky and the bright lights traveling quietly along.

Mr. Wonderful has snapped open the lids to the coffees and the rich aroma of fresh brewed java comes wafting out, filling the cab of the truck with a sense of warm comfort. The oldie station is playing in the background and I can’t help but smirk when I hear the songs of yesterday referred to as “oldies” today. It’s comforting to hear these familiar tunes, remembering most some of the words. The lyrics and music transport us to a simpler time, a time when my hubby and I were just beginning our journey together and hadn’t even given thought to the possibility of having the type of life we share now, not to mention a second home.

“Brick House” comes on the radio and I can’t help but joke with Mr. Wonderful that I am indeed his brick house, all these years and extra pounds later. He shoots me a sideways glance that makes me know he appreciates how the weight has distributed itself on my being and once again making me feel beautiful. We are making excellent time and should be in Maine shortly. I looked up still thinking we were in Massachusetts only to find that we were already well into New Hampshire crossing the Bay Bridge…Didn’t realize just how well we were doing on time. Passing through our second toll booth, I look at the clock and realize that it’s only taken us a little more than an hour.

All summer we came up as often as possible. Many times we drove separately as my sweetness would be coming straight from his office in Boston and the girls would sometimes come up when they were done with work as well. I don’t mind being alone or driving by myself in my sweet little ride but there is something so reassuring when Hubby is behind the wheel and we are in his truck. Whether we talk and sing the entire ride, I close my eyes and snore loud enough to keep him awake or we simply sit quietly together, just feeling him next to me makes me feel safer and makes the ride so much shorter.

The mile marker alerts us that we have a only about a half hour left before arriving at our quaint little lake house in the woods. We’ll pull in the park -like driveway, unlock the door and flip on the water pump, sump pump and then the water heater. We packed lightly since this is an overnighter so we won’t have much to carry in. It’s funny but even though we’ll be here for less than 24 hours, the relaxation quotient kicks in right away and makes us feel as though we were away for much longer.

Mr. Wonderful will go out to turn on the gas for the heater and we’ll start it up to take the chill off. After quickly freshening up, we’ll head out to our favorite little bar named for some silly man named Will. There we will feed the pool tables fist full of quarters while my Handsome devil schools me in the art of billiards, remembering to let me win one every now and then making sure I don’t lose all interest in the game. And being the sport he is, he will let me pull him up onto the dance floor where we will dance to the homegrown band that’s playing, like we are much younger than our 40ish bodies will remind us we are tomorrow. We’ll partake in a few cold ones so as not to be rude, since our lovely waitress Courtney takes great pride in bringing us the best she has to offer. Wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings, now would we? Then at last, when the band has played their last song and the bartender has yelled out “Last Call”, we will go home. We will pull out the twin sleeper that is in the main room with the woodstove. Yes, it is small and yes, we do have 3 other beds, 2 of them being queen-sized. But there is something sweet about reliving some of our early memories when we didn’t necessarily have the space, the means, the stuff we have now. What we started with was just the two of us with not much more than the desire to go through this world together. Sleeping together on a small bed in a small room with a blazing fire in the stove helps remind us how special the simple things really are. And how very blessed we are to be where we’re at, to have what we have, to know now what we know and above all, to have each other to share it with.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Have You Met My Friends?

I have these friends Jim and Margery who I get to visit with almost every day. They are witty and charming and smart. They aren't married, just good friends and co workers, but they could definitely pass for an old married couple. They interrupt and talk over each other, they bust each others' balls and cut no slack whatsoever. And do they make me laugh, not just a chuckle or chortle but a full "laugh out loud" laugh. They can't seem to help it. I can't begin to tell you how much I love my time with these two. I don't always get to tell them exactly how I feel as they do most of the talking but they really do make me think.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that Jim and Margery are my two favorite talk show hosts on WTKK 96.9? Perhaps to you it sounds a bit odd that I feel so "close" to these two radio personalities that I have never actually met in person. Maybe it is odd but Jim in particular strikes my fancy. His self-depreciating ways are endearing and his over-exaggerated "arrogance" makes me really dig him. He likes to have things run a certain way and has no problem taking control of any situation, which I am sure is one reason he chose to run for an elected position in years gone by. I find him amusing and approachable, (and handsome.....what can I say?)

Margery, on the other hand, is a lot like me. She's a technophobe refusing to learn how to use her mobile phone to its fullest potential. She seems to run a little behind a lot of the time, most likely because she is making sure her brood is well cared for. I love hearing her speak. She has a quirky way of annuciating that almost sounds like she has something in her teeth that she's trying to remove in between sentences and like me, she mangles her words. I love that! Her laugh is infectious and her wit is spot on. I especially like the way she spills on herself. Makes me feel right at home and as if I have known her forever.

Together Jim and Margery are a great team and I day dream of when I might be called to step in for either one of them, in the event that one has to take the day off. I worry too that I might actually take Margery's job from her but of course, she still has her job at the Herald. I have heard she is quite good.

Of course, should that not happen, I can wait patiently for our mutual friend Hank Morse to call me to join him on his segment, Dad Chat. Think about it: Dad Chat with Mom Musing...just saying.
Each day I wake up. I make the bed, while Mr. Wonderful is lathering up and singing Marvin Gaye's "Heard It Through The Grape Vine" at the top of his maybe there's no singing...but for sure he is lathering up...he always smells so nice when he comes out amidst the steam that undoubtedly will accompany him since Mr. Wonderful doesn't realize that we have a very functional exhaust fan. As he steps out of the steamroom and into the bed room, we exchange our good morning smooches (and I usually sneak a peak......) and then off I go downstairs to pour the coffee that my darling has turned on only moments before gently waking me. Then like clockwork I make lunches for youngest one and Mr. Wonderful, feed and water my hairy friend Mickey and then take him out for his morning constitutional.

Around 6:30 am, my dear hubby and youngest one bound down the stairs making a bee line straight for their cups of carefully prepared caffeine love, grab their lunches and make their way out into the world for the day. Leaving me to make my way......through laundry, sweeping out the garage, grocery shopping, taking a's exhausting but someone has to do it.

Hours pass, chores come and go and then back into my world comes the man of my dreams and our youngest offspring and oh, the adventures they share...of course, it's funny the adventures they share are very similar to the adventures they shared yesterday, and the day before. Yet, though these stories sometimes get redundant, I look forward the hearing them.

We finish our meals and move onto our KP duties where I generally try to pick washing dishes...There is something relaxing and therapeutic about the water and soap and gazing out the kitchen window looking at nothing in particular. (Drying on the other hand is the worst job, in my humble opinion, especially if the drying towel is either a flour bag or that microfiber crap....:et me just tell you that I despise that material, it is incapable of drying anything and feels icky on my skin..yuck! But I digress. Back to a chore it is the only one that can actually be done without human interaction. I say, So be it! Let them dry on their own. Phew! I am so glad to get that off my chest).

Anyway, our chores are done, our jammies are on and on goes the television. I would love to share how we sit quietly together, put on a beloved program or put in a movie we've seen time and time again, but alas what generally happens is that I take over the over-sized man chair and ottoman equipped with my laptop and the hubby sprawls out on the couch armed with THE remote control. Depending on the night, we wind up jumping between the "Very Dysfunctional Testosterone Driven Family Who Builds Motorcycles", the "Gluttonous Man Who Makes A Living and Has A Show Built Around Him Engorging Himself On Ridiculously Over-Sized Artery Clogging Globs of Fat, Fried in Fat and Served With a Side of Fat" or the good old standby "Home Contractor Hero Saving The Day For Some Unfortunate Homeowner ", (a real feel good show) or some other Meaningless Brain Junk Food . Eventually, snoring starts, first as a hum then growing to a crescendo from the couch. I look up from my "Scrabble" game or my "Texas Hold 'Em" and gently nudging Sleeping Beauty, I send my dear one up to bed or as he puts it...."to warm the sheets". Back to my laptop I go..Scrabble-ing, Texas-Hold'em-ing, or just writing, until at last my eyelids become too heavy for me to hold up. After setting the coffee up for tomorrow, and turning off the lights I haul my fanny upstairs, ready to go to lala land. I take off my socks (I hate hot feet) and crawl between the sheets, which by the way are warm. I slide over past the invisible half way mark on the mattress and find my guy. I find the shoulder I have put my head on for the past 20 years. I throw my leg over the torso that has supported me for the course of our marriage. Gently, my darling's leg rocks back and forth, lulling the both of us to sleep. Our bedtime routine is as reliable as the tick-tock-tick-tock of the nightstand clock. It might even be called mundane and yet though the word itself could have an almost negative connotation, to me it means something very different.

I never actually thought about this until earlier this week. I routinely listen to talk radio and on the afternoon show with my "friend" Jay Severin, of WTKK, his guest, Dr. Keith Ablow was talking about the Chilean miners who were finally being freed from their small studio apartment-sized subterranean shelter and how they might do adjusting psychologically, emotionally after such an ordeal. Provisions, such as an aspirin regimen to prevent blood clots and sunglasses to protect their eyes from the first sunlight in more than 2 months, were taken to enable the men to safely come up the more than 2000 ft journey from their underground home in what has been called an "ultra-claustrophic rescue capsule". The good doctor was wondering what, if any, plans were in place to help these men re-adjust to everyday life. Clearly, life could never be the same as it once was. How were these 33 men going to handle life after the ordeal they had been through. One concern was about how the media would elevate these men to new heights after they had been down so low, no pun intended. As quickly as they had been lifted, they would be thrust back into a life once familiar but no longer routine. Dr. Ablow wondered aloud about the norm these men once knew and reflected that the some of most beautiful moments of our lives are often the most mundane.

Upon hearing these thoughts, I realized instantly how true those very words were. I hate to admit that I have on occasion taken MY shoulder for granted, not realizing how I've become so accustomed to the way we just "fit". I didn't realize how comforting I had come to find that gentle rocking. Mr. Wonderful has been traveling lately. Gone for 3 or 4 days (and nights) at a time, I find almost any reason not to head up to the bed. The sheets are not warm, I have no shoulder on which to lay my head. I find myself staying up as long as possible and when at last I can no longer stay awake, I peel the covers back just enough to slide in on HIS side of the bed, putting my head on HIS pillow, clutching the tee shirt that he sprayed with HIS cologne before he left. Comforted a bit, but missing our routine, seeking the everyday reassurance of our life together that I have grown to love so much.

It is true. Some of the most beautiful and loving moments of our lives are the most mundane ones and I am so glad to have them.