Was a hoot.
After spending a few days with my parents in New York (and watching both my fearless five year old and my mmmmph-old father go down an incredibly high water slide and come out smiling (and go again) and going back to Michigan and seeing my stepfather and gathering up reminders and momentos of my mothers life, we drove (and drove and drove) through some very gorgeous parts of Canada to get back
and now I have more laundry than God and a house that's really too small to hold the big stately old furniture that I brought back with me.
We went through Audrey's beloved Maine - green and blue, with overcast clouds and a full-on fast drizzle not dimming the enthusiasm of the canoeists and kayakers. No wonder that state inspires such loyalty - despite having faces full of rain and wind, the people I saw still looked as through they'd rather be there than anywhere else.
This trip was wistful for more than a few reasons - I took my family to the house where my mother lived and died (I kept expecting to turn around and see her, and the ghost of her laughter lingered in the air) and this is assuredly the last trip we will be able to convince Rosey that farms with hay-rolls sunning themselves in the fields are marshmallow factories.
Another Rosey-note: R was convinced she had a seagull friend that was following us. From Lake Canandaigua to Lake Huron, from Port Huron to Toronto, we always seemed to have at least one seagull swooping and wheeling in the far-flung sky. We giggled about it privately, but hey - who could tell?
Cass discovered the joys of flinging sticks into the woods and chasing frisbees with dogs, stories on i-pods and the fine art of insulting your sibling until tears flood the car. (sigh.) He also discovered the fine taste of fresh raspberries, KFC mashed potatoes*, and a tall frosty glass of (glurk) diet vanilla root beer. (No, not together.)
B drove the whole way, consoled and diverted and ran interference for me when I needed a time-out, and was my shoulder to cry on. And he didn't complain - not once - about spending his vacation in a car with two (sometimes) whinging offspring, or piloting a car and trailer through high-speed city traffic.
It amazes me how you can leave your home, come back in two weeks, and how everything looks different. Not shabbier, or alien, but spaces seem elongated somehow and shadows seem wrong. Did the trip home always seem so long? Was that empty lot always there?
But the remembered wonderfulness of your bed, with your pillows and your blankets? Doesn't change.
*In Canada, Kentucky Fried Chicken doesn't serve mashed potatoes. It's all fries.