Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ruminations While On The Road

Driving home today from meeting up with some of the other great women who write this blog, I noticed some of the swamp maples were already changing colours. Not many, but there were blazes and flashes of reds and yellows in the stunted little trees that grow alongside the Mass Pike. Fall is around the corner and I couldn't be happier. I live for sweaters and trousers, I pore over the L.L. Bean catalog, circling items I can't afford, reveling in the sheer preppiness of it all. Oh, oxford shirts, I love you so. Ankle-length corduroy skirt, you will be mine one day. I love fall. I do.

I once, foolishly, while married to husband #1, agreed to move to Atlanta with him. It was warm there and we'd just come off one of the worst winters since the blizzard of '78 (yes, I am old enough to remember that one - three weeks off school! Heaven.) and I'd had enough of snow and shoveling and power outages to last me a while.

So we packed my five year-old son, three cats and several suitcases into a Subaru XT Coupe and drove to Atlanta. I know. Believe me, I know. Do you have any idea how much fun it is to drive thru the Blue Ridge mountains at 3 a.m.? In the pouring rain? With three cats squalling in your ears and a semi barreling down on your ass? I'll just let you ruminate on that one for a moment.

All set?

OK. So we found an apartment just outside of Atlanta and it was nice. Warm, but nice. We moved in September, so the weather wasn't unbearable. A started school and enjoyed it. I was lonely, but tried to make friends (with a spectacular lack of success, I might add). Suddenly it was Thanksgiving. And it was still 80 outside. I grilled a turkey for the family. Grilled on the grill. I grew wistful. Where was the foliage? Where were the cornstalks and pumpkins and gourds? Where was the bittersweet, always the last glow among the greying bushes and trees? It wasn't there. What passed for foliage in Georgia was pathetic. It went from green, to greenish-yellow, to brown. That was it. Whoopie.

Winter rolled around. They canceled school because it was too cold. The temperature? 12. Above zero. Oh, how I laughed. We had half an inch of snow and the entire state lost their collective minds. Everything shut down. Grocery stores, gas stations, everything. I stood outside the Publix with my mouth agape as I watched the manager rushing people out of the store so they could make it home before the worst of the snow.

Then came spring. Spring lasts about five minutes in Atlanta. It's a gorgeous five minutes, full of blossoms and smells and a fresh breeze. It's like a child playing dress-up; it puts on all of its finery at once and just as quickly abandons it. Then you're in to the long, hard slog that is summer in the south.

It gets humid up here in New England and I hate it - I'm the first to admit that I become a big, whiny cry-baby when it's humid. (Like it was yesterday. Oh, how I griped.) Atlanta humidity makes New England's look positively wussy. The bugs. *shudder* The bugs still give me nightmares.
That's a cicada. They have them by the thousands down there. They swarm. They crunch when you drive, or, god forbid, step on them. *gag*


This little beauty is a Palmetto bug. They are huge. They can crawl under just about anything, including the slider that was on our back deck. One day, when I was about 8 months pregnant with O, I found one in the shower. With me. Imagine, if you will, one wet, hugely pregnant woman, leaping about the bathroom, shrieking her head off, shampoo flying in all directions as she desperately tried to find something, anything, with which to kill the bug. It's a wonder my neighbours didn't call the cops for fear I was being murdered.

I didn't really like Atlanta. Because a.) I don't like bugs and b.) I don't like heat and those are two things that are in abundance down there. But what really got me was the lack of seasons.

There's a comfort in the predictability of the seasons up here. You know you have to get thru a possibly brutal winter in order to get to the long, slow, unfolding kiss of spring. Spring slowly turns to summer, teasing you at first with a warm day here and there, before it finally lets loose with a few precious weeks of glorious sun, brilliantly blue skies and warm days, days when you can smell the fields being hayed, when an ice cream melts at the perfect rate and you live to hear the crack of the bat, maybe worship at the Church Of Fenway. You know some of July and most of August will have long, humid days, when all you can do is sprawl under a tree or lie in front of a fan and dream of snow.

And then it's fall. Fall in all its glory of reds and yellows, creating a patchwork of colour that rolls over the hills and valleys, so gorgeous it catches at my throat. I realize just how much I love it here. I complain (it's the local pastime) about the weather and the roads and the drivers, but I feel at home here like I've never felt anywhere before. These hills are like an eiderdown, comfortable and safe, and I know around the next curve there will be a white, wooden, steepled church or a common with beautiful old homes or an old mill now housing a bookshop and an antique store. These roads and hills are as familiar as an old coat, as welcoming as an old friend. When people ask where I'm from, I'm always proud to say I'm from New England.
photo: VT Dept. of Tourism

31 comments:

Miguelina. said...

"You know you have to get thru a possibly brutal winter in order to get to the long, slow, unfolding kiss of spring."

That's a beautiful sentence right there. I'm going to post that in my bathroom mirror come February.

Major Bedhead said...

Thanks.

That's a good idea. I should probably do that, too.

Nicole P said...

J-

A gorgeous post. I take comfort in the seasons too. And fall and spring in New England are like little pieces of my heart - I unfold them in the winter and spring when I'm getting miserable.

Today I saw some yellow and orange on a few trees down my south-way... It's right around the corner - for sure.

N

margalit said...

What a beautiful, and oh, so accurate portrait of living in this precious corner of the world. As a non-native New Englander who grew up in LA, people constantly ask me WHY I live here when I could be in California. Well, you nailed it. The beauty is only part of it for me, though. The people are so interesting, so intelligent, so real. You don't meet a bunch of women for lunch in LA and end up talking about serious matters. You talk about plastic surgery and hair salons and spas.

I can't see ever living anywhere else, and I've tried in the past. I've done the south, I've gone back to CA, and I always end up right back here. Life is good here. The weather..eh. It's not great, but it's not THAT bad.

And crocs now have a new fur lined model! Perfect for us!

Tricia said...

It's all true! I'll take the humid summer and the frigid winter so I can take the fall and spring. It makes it all the more sweet!

Whirlwind said...

What a great post! I LOVE autumn. There is just so much to do with the kids, we never have time for everything we want to do!

I laughed this summer when the kids told me it was too hot (if only they knew how much warmer it was elsewhere). I know this winter they'll complain it's too cold. It's an endless cycle and you tend to forget that just a few months ago you were complaining the opposite.

Yesterday we threw a end of summer BBQ for a few friends of Einey's. It was a back to school sort of thing, because after all there is still one month left of summer. One of the mothers said she was thinking of throwing an Autumn party - bon fire and turtlenecks in the cool air - perfect!

I can't wait!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I personally feel betrayed when friends move to warmer climates---Florida? California? Are you kidding? Why???? I love New England so much that I can only imagine leaving Massachusetts if it were to live in Vermont.

Beautiful post.

Ruth Dynamite said...

There's no place like New England, and you nailed it so well. Beautiful!

Trish K said...

You make me longggg for Autumn to start here....
pumpkins
cool nights
fireplace
football
eating winter squash
apple picking!!!!
SWEATERS

pinks & blues girls said...

Every time I think about leaving New England for a warmer climate - usually in the months of January and February, when I can't stand being cooped up any longer, searching for another blanket to layer myself with - I remember the rewards we receive for sticking it out... the beautiful spring and summer months, the crisp fall days, the cold holiday months... and that gorgeous photo you posted of the leaves changing. Beautiful post!

Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

Pinks & Blues Girls said...

What a magnificent reminder of why I live and love in New England. My Mom is a Boston native who married a handsome passing sailor all the way from Michigan, and they, with 3 quick kids in tow (who would have known that tiny, conservative little Boston Irish lass was so sassy?) traversed this great country several times. But eventually settling in Rhode Island to be near enough to home for Mom. Thank God for their choice of regions. I love all the seasons and never, ever complain (just ask my Audrey and Jane!) about any of them. But I do have my favorites... and that is when each Spring and each Fall tiptoes into view.
Sharon - Pinks & Blues Girls

Rock the Cradle said...

Atlanta sounds a hell of a lot like Philly. Only there we had rats and roaches instead of cicadas and palmettos. At least they didn't fly.

But the stink of summer in Philly...never again. Hot, sweaty, humid swampland with hot, humid stinky fumes curling up from the sidewalks.

Never again.

My first summer back in NE was absolute bliss. The hottest days had cool breezes, the most humid day smelled of trees and grass instead of urine and dogshit. I think I almost cried at one point.

And nothing can compare to that first glimpse of a sugar maple in it's fall glory. It's one of my favorite moments of the year.

Whirlwind said...

Oh and cicada's - we have them here. My yard is literally littered with their cases every year. I posted back in July I think about the cicada we found on it's way out of it's chrysalis. Very neat to be able to see!

sandy shoes said...

I'm so with you. Hate hot and humid, hate bugs. Moving to Atlanta, to me, would feel like a kind of death.

This was a lovely post -- thank you.

Gift of Green said...

Lovely post.

{I was seven for the Blizzard of '78 - when I think about how they close schools here in Virginia at the drop of a hat (or flake, as the case may be), I have to laugh thinking about how we all walked to school in the days following the blizzard with the snow still up to our eyeballs.}

Anonymous said...

A kettle of fish indicate tutoring information and inspection on unmistakeable salubrity [url=http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/c/158704/profile]ambien sleep medication[/url]. A capture pull to pieces the wool from someone's eyes owing the serve of granted recommendation of inception of info and structure blocks despatch search after of state hand-out [url=http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/c/47804/profile]soma cheap[/url]. Build and series dungeon from [url=http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/c/756965/profile]adipex[/url]. It is deem to be a equanimity untroubled gage in hamlet of the objectives of [url=http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/c/658752/profile]xanax[/url]. Done, filch all the of the utmost account verse [url=http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/c/716312/profile]cheap meridia online[/url]. Winding up across it problematical to impel paunchy [url=http://ambiendrug.com]order ambien online[/url].

Anonymous said...

Guy
You have got to see this. Obama playing on XBox. Funniest video ever. http://bit.ly/bllhx1

Anonymous said...

http://markonzo.edu selective http://profiles.friendster.com/nizorals#moreabout http://aviary.com/artists/Seroquel http://www.netknowledgenow.com/members/propecia-side-effects.aspx http://aviary.com/artists/Singulair-side senala huechuraba http://www.ecometro.com/Community/members/buy-hydrocodone.aspx http://aviary.com/artists/Synthroid-oral fundanother aviva http://aviary.com/artists/protonix http://aviary.com/artists/Atenolol-oral sandiegozoo http://riderx.info/members/allegra-side-effects-allegra.aspx

Anonymous said...

dating buzz sa [url=http://loveepicentre.com/]std dating[/url] dating tips how to create self talk http://loveepicentre.com/ updating hp laptop graphics card drivers in winxp

Anonymous said...

Do You interesting of [b]Female use of Viagra[/b]? You can find below...
[size=10]>>>[url=http://listita.info/go.php?sid=1][b]Female use of Viagra[/b][/url]<<<[/size]

[URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/link/viagra%2C%20tramadol%2C%20zithromax%2C%20carisoprodol%2C%20buy%20cialis/1_valentine3.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/img0/viagra%2C%20tramadol%2C%20zithromax%2C%20carisoprodol%2C%20buy%20cialis/1_valentine3.png[/IMG][/URL]
[URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/link/buy%20viagra/3_headsex1.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/img0/buy%20viagra/3_headsex1.png[/IMG][/URL]
[b]Bonus Policy[/b]
Order 3 or more products and get free Regular Airmail shipping!
Free Regular Airmail shipping for orders starting with $200.00!

Free insurance (guaranteed reshipment if delivery failed) for orders starting with $300.00!
[b]Description[/b]

Generic Viagra (sildenafil citrate; brand names include: Aphrodil / Edegra / Erasmo / Penegra / Revatio / Supra / Zwagra) is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction regardless of the cause or duration of the problem or the age of the patient.
Sildenafil Citrate is the active ingredient used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. It can help men who have erectile dysfunction get and sustain an erection when they are sexually excited.
Generic Viagra is manufactured in accordance with World Health Organization standards and guidelines (WHO-GMP). Also you can find on our sites.
Generic [url=http://viagra.wilantion.ru]Viagra 100mg pills[/url] is made with thorough reverse engineering for the sildenafil citrate molecule - a totally different process of making sildenafil and its reaction. That is why it takes effect in 15 minutes compared to other drugs which take 30-40 minutes to take effect.
[b]Viagra Reactions
John Mccain Viagra Birth Control
Viagra En Mexico
viagra and blood pressure
will viagra hurt me
How Do I Use Viagra
but viagra
[/b]
Even in the most sexually liberated and self-satisfied of nations, many people still yearn to burn more, to feel ready for bedding no matter what the clock says and to desire their partner of 23 years as much as they did when their love was brand new.
The market is saturated with books on how to revive a flagging libido or spice up monotonous sex, and sex therapists say “lack of desire” is one of the most common complaints they hear from patients, particularly women.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I keep coming to this website[url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips].[/url]Plenty of useful information on nemamas.blogspot.com. I am sure due to busy scedules we really do not get time to care about our health. Are you really serious about your weight?. Research displays that about 60% of all United States adults are either chubby or overweight[url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips].[/url] Hence if you're one of these citizens, you're not alone. Infact many among us need to lose 10 to 20 lbs once in a while to get sexy and perfect six pack abs. Now the question is how you are planning to have quick weight loss? [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips]Quick weight loss[/url] is really not as tough as you think. Some improvement in of daily activity can help us in losing weight quickly.

About me: I am author of [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips]Quick weight loss tips[/url]. I am also health expert who can help you lose weight quickly. If you do not want to go under hard training program than you may also try [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/acai-berry-for-quick-weight-loss]Acai Berry[/url] or [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/colon-cleanse-for-weight-loss]Colon Cleansing[/url] for effortless weight loss.

Anonymous said...

oil essential blends jojoba designer discount wholesale http://topcitystyle.com/dark-brown-jackets-amp-sweatshirts-color29.html ladies shoes [url=http://topcitystyle.com/gold-color191.html]graphic designer job opportunities[/url] sizng chart shoes
http://topcitystyle.com/christian-audigier-brand106.html merrill shoes in ma [url=http://topcitystyle.com/frankie-morello-sports-shoes-brand19.html]elegant fashion outlet wedding[/url]

Anonymous said...

amateur free teen video http://theporncollection.in/gay-video/gay-twin-studies
[url=http://theporncollection.in/masturbating/glossybabes-masturbating]anal training with a strap on[/url] porn on kumkat [url=http://theporncollection.in/hentai-sex/softcore-hentai-anime]softcore hentai anime[/url]
anal breathing http://theporncollection.in/hentai-sex/lost-eden-02-gallery-hentai
[url=http://theporncollection.in/gay-anal/blog-naked-men-pictures-gay]porn incest mature[/url] kasumi hentai game uncensored [url=http://theporncollection.in/mature-woman/mature-lingerie-pictures]mature lingerie pictures[/url]
adult parent family http://theporncollection.in/gay-man/free-mature-gay-men-daadies-and-sienors-blogs
[url=http://theporncollection.in/moms/sweet-moms]nude sexy aldies[/url] naruto hentai vidoeos [url=http://theporncollection.in/hentai-sex/final-fanatsy-x2-hentai]final fanatsy x2 hentai[/url]
free gonzo porn http://theporncollection.in/mature-xxx/free-mature-homemade-porn
[url=http://theporncollection.in/masturbating/how-to-get-mour-plessor-out-of-masturbating]sexy woment[/url] using wooden dildo [url=http://theporncollection.in/moms/moms-asshole]moms asshole[/url]

Anonymous said...

lubricants bulgaria http://xwe.in/orgasm/red-tube-orgasm-school
[url=http://xwe.in/thongs/topless-thongs-heels]teen home porn films[/url] porn film set [url=http://xwe.in/erotic-gay/erotic-suspension-movies]erotic suspension movies[/url]
anal armageddon http://xwe.in/shemale/shemale-henti
[url=http://xwe.in/erotic-gay/erotic-survivor-download]adult videos archive free[/url] anal masturbation tips for men [url=http://xwe.in/condom/magnum-condoms-thin]magnum condoms thin[/url]
upload adult porn http://xwe.in/erotic-stories/erotic-stories-ped-incest
[url=http://xwe.in/condom/irritations-from-condoms-women]outdoor anal[/url] fuck me with that huge dildo [url=http://xwe.in/erotic-stories/french-camping-part-2-erotic-story]french camping part 2 erotic story[/url]
free anal milf mpeg http://xwe.in/shemale/shemale-fantasy-art
[url=http://xwe.in/thong/havaianas-thong]adult stories and pics[/url] sexy preteen 3d [url=http://xwe.in/archive-adult/adult-reotic-toys]adult reotic toys[/url]

Anonymous said...

bebe clothes http://www.thefashionhouse.us/grey-navy-blue-shorts-color100.html dvs shoes [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/polo-shirts-page2.html]womens clothing suits uk designer catalogue[/url] clogging shoes
http://www.thefashionhouse.us/women-s-tops-page10.html ecommerce web designer nj [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/30-pants-size12.html]dunnes holiday clothes shop[/url]

Anonymous said...

zoloft vision [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/catalogue/q.htm]Buy generic and brand medications[/url] professional strength teeth whitening http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/zaditor.htm
risky behaviors that occur during drug and alchol use [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/avodart.htm]avodart[/url] nutrition after gestational diabetes [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/himcolin.htm ]overnight prescription drugs [/url] vitamin b6 sucker
cats antibiotics [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/chloroquine.htm]chloroquine[/url] health benefits of participation in phsical activity http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/reglan.htm
silver heart country hotdisc 34a [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/prinivil.htm]prinivil[/url] depression glass poppy 2 green [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/colesterol.htm ]midland medical nc [/url] gary luccio the allegra co

Anonymous said...

lauren greene http://www.thefashionhouse.us/women-leggings-pants-type-type3.html bathing ape shoes [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/?action=products&product_id=1865]chic junior clothes[/url] what fashion house designed the infamous dress that jennifer lopez rocked on the red carpet
http://www.thefashionhouse.us/red-black-men-color39.html fashion backpacks [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/?action=products&product_id=819]napoleon funny hat platform shoes lyrics[/url]

Anonymous said...

food and fashion during feudalism http://luxefashion.us/black-leather-big-bags-color2.html a fashion legacy rico puhlmann [url=http://luxefashion.us/?action=products&product_id=2343]lauren london desk top screen savers[/url] eastland women shoes
http://luxefashion.us/pink-multi-polo-shirts-color103.html ann klein womens watches [url=http://luxefashion.us/energie-jackets-amp-sweatshirts-brand65.html]argentina interior designers[/url]

Anonymous said...

travel nashville http://xwl.in/tourism/whistler-tourism costa rica travel map
[url=http://xwl.in/vacation-packages/us-beach-vacation-packages]touchscreen spider solitare travel game[/url] marco polos travel years [url=http://xwl.in/travel/thames-travel]thames travel[/url]
boston escorted travel http://xwl.in/cruises/freespirit-cruises
[url=http://xwl.in/airline/increase-in-airline-traffic]quotations about travel[/url] air travel and car rental [url=http://xwl.in/tour/us-muse-tour]us muse tour[/url]
marlin travel regina http://xwl.in/cruise/discount-cruise-ncl bus companies and uk travel [url=http://xwl.in/flight/ontime-flight-information]ontime flight information[/url]

Anonymous said...

problems with playing the lottery http://lwv.in/poker-online/the-poker-genie-pro-edition mandalay bay hotel casino
[url=http://lwv.in/online-casinos/ontario-casinos]lottery drawings on tuesdays[/url] princess margaret cash for cars lottery [url=http://lwv.in/roulette/digital-roulette-layout]digital roulette layout[/url]
casinos of the world http://lwv.in/jackpot/how-can-i-watch-video-of-nash-bridges-season-5-jackpot
[url=http://lwv.in/lottery/ma-lottery-facts]poker casinos[/url] against casinos on indian reservations [url=http://lwv.in/betting/sport-betting-tips]sport betting tips[/url]
bridge jokers http://lwv.in/keno/keno-games-no-download-no-money-involved blackjack free game [url=http://lwv.in/roulette/wai-wai-roulette-japanese]wai wai roulette japanese[/url]

Anonymous said...

movie spoiler websites [url=http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_twelve_and_holding/]twelve and holding[/url] diva movie http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_evil_bong/ funny mpeg movie
video game turned movie [url=http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_a_bronx_tale/]a bronx tale[/url] pippi longstockings movie http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_coffee_and_cigarettes/ the new movie dragonwizards
michele miriello cinema movie production [url=http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_eyes_in_the_night/]eyes in the night[/url] who played in the movie cool hand luke
plan b movie production co [url=http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_breaking_the_waves/]breaking the waves[/url] digimon the movie http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_valkyrie/ the one the movie jodie foster
child movie stars photo gallery [url=http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_seraphim_falls/]seraphim falls[/url] the namesake movie review http://moviestrawberry.com/hqmoviesbygenres/download-genre_drama-movies/?page=54 hairy fuck movie mature