I drove home today along the NY thruway east and then 81 south through Syracuse, Tully, Binghamton, and then Great Bend, PA and then on to my farm.
The drive started off in Rochester at the tail end of rush-hour traffic but soon became just normal highway driving. You know, semi-trucks, U-Hauls, the Lexus Man with the cell phone firmly attached to his ear going 5 miles an hour faster than everyone else. Then there’s the career woman in the SUV also with her cell phone but unlike Lexus Man, her cell phone use causes her to drive in the passing lane 5 miles slower than everyone else, oblivious to everyone trying to maneuver around her slow ass. I got behind her thinking she would see me trying to pass but NOOOO! I had to blink my lights at her several times to get her attention. When I finally got her to move over to the right and passed her she still had the cellphone to her ear but she did take it away long enough to give me the finger. Such a lady!
There were also the proverbial Q-Tips. You know, the retirees with white hair who barely can see over the steering wheel but insist on driving on the highway at 50 MPH !! “Oh, look at me! I’m really flying here!!! No, Dorothy, don’t make eye contact! They’re crazy out there!! They might even have guns! Haven’t you heard of road rage?” They have a right to be there! I mean that, but they tie up traffic so badly sometimes it’s almost dangerous! Maybe we should have Senior Citizen Highways where no one can drive over the speed of 50 MPH! And no passing lanes…at all!
I love that drive though. It gives me time to segue between being part of the life with my honey, D’Bear, in the city and my life as a country girl with a big old farmhouse out in rural Pennsylvania. I love the scenery along the thruway in NY at Waterloo and Montezuma, especially near the big wetlands where huge flocks of migrating birds swoop over the highway in tremendous numbers, causing motorists to slow to watch the display.
Then when I get past Binghamton, NY and enter Pennsylvania, the scenery becomes completely rural with rolling hills and farmland and small, quaint towns with names like Thompson, East Ararat, Starrucca, and Pleasant Mount. These are towns whose entire village is the size of one city block in Rochester. There is usually one gas station/garage/junkyard, one Dollar Store, a hardware store of some kind, and a convenience mart where all the teenagers hang out. My favorite convenience store is in Great Bend and it is called, I kid you not, the HoMart!!! I admit I have not stopped there to see whether they do, indeed, sell Ho’s (how does one write that anyway?)
I returned home to find the lawn needs to be mowed, the leaves are falling rapidly and will soon require attention and a house whose interior was 55 degrees!! The mail was near to filling the mailbox and as a special present I found four dead mice in the mousetraps I had set before leaving. No matter what I do they insist on coming in every fall and raiding my pantry of anything not sealed in glass jars or metal canisters. I am very Martha Stewart-ish now with all my old jars lining the shelves filled with pastas, three kinds of rice, dried beans and peas, herbs, spices, dried peppers of all kinds, and cans upon cans of tomatoes, sauces, condiments, soups, and sundry yummies.
After emptying the mousetraps ( yuck!) I hauled in a few armfuls of wood and lit the woodstove and then went out to cut the last of the hydrangeas, black-eyed susans, sweetpeas, and yarrow to put in vases around the house.
Finally I settled in with a take-home dish filled with D’Bear’s special pot roast, which he had simmered in the oven all afternoon on Sunday, pureed butternut squash with nutmeg, and mashed potatoes. Belly full, toes warm, candles lit, and flowers on every surface…yes, the house welcomed me home.
I am alone but only temporarily. The solitude gives me time to be with myself, to be who I am without the reflection of another. What better time than autumn to do that? Autumn feels like the right time to take stock of our lives, our thoughts, our habits, and our property. It gives us a pause before the hardness of winter to take a good look at where we are and where we need to be.
I look forward to this next week. Before you know it I will be back in the car headed north to my honey… with the winter wardrobe in the trunk. By wardrobe I mean my funky old sweatshirt, my Northface fleece, and my wool socks. Oh, and the sexy fleece pajamas with the dancing cats on the bottoms!! OOO-ee!! Prepare yourself to be swept away, D’Bear!