STRANGER ENCOUNTERS

Two summer ago, we drove into Gettysburg on a return trip from Williamsburg. It was late afternoon, so we asked Richard, our faithful GPS, to take us to the nearest motel. We followed his directions since we were in a town we’d never visited. Finally, Richard announced “You have reached your destination!”

old cemetary in uxbridge

Indeed we had, though not the one we had it mind for that night’s repose. As far as the eye could see, Richard had brought us to what must have been Gettysburg’s largest non-war related cemetery. It seemed to stretch for miles. Who knew our GPS had a sense of humor? We didn’t stop laughing until we finally found the motel.

72-On-The-Road_032

I’m a great traveler. I don’t like airports and hauling luggage, but I love everything else. It’s like a book I’ve just begun to read. Anything can happen and the surprises are what makes it fun.

72-Bicycle-Amherst-May-GA_024

I habitually engage strangers in conversation. So does Garry. He does it because 40 years working as a reporter makes it natural for him to talk to people he’s just met. Me, because strangers are only strangers until you get to know them. After that, they may be odd, but they aren’t strangers.

I will talk to strangers on a grocery line, on the ferry, or in a waiting lounge. Not so much on a train or plane, though. Too much noise to make conversation comfortable.

72-Hannaford-Parking-7-26-15_06

Otherwise, I love meeting people — weird and otherwise. If you ask the right questions, they will tell you about their town, their family, their jobs. How they feel about the government, music, art and if you are lucky, will offer you useful information about great places to eat and visit.

Afternoon walk - Tombstone

I love learning about local sights, customs, legends. I don’t care if no one speaks real English. As long as they don’t point a gun at me or physically assault me, I’m up for any kind of conversation. Especially if it might lead me to a good photograph.

Gettysburg Lane

You never learn anything about a new place if you only talk to the companions you’ve brought with you. If you don’t want to meet new people, to have encounters with those who are different from you, why travel?

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!

We’re off on vacation today. We’ll be gone for a few days to visit friends. Where I’m pretty sure we will talk, laugh, eat, talk, laugh … and maybe fit in just a little bit of sleep here and there.

I may even take some pictures!

We have a lot of overdue vacation time coming up. We intend to fully embrace the “let it all hang out” concept. I can’t think of anything I would rather do. Or anything more likely to improve my state of mind.

72-old-fuchsia_17

If you don’t hear from me, you may assume I am consumed with having a good time.

Wish you were there! Someday, we need to have a giant party. Maybe on a little-known south sea island in the middle of the Pacific.

That would be after one of us hits the Nigerian Prince Lottery and becomes wealthy enough to fly everyone to the isle of joy. There we will swim, sun and relax under palm trees … hanging loose while eating, drinking, and making Merry, whoever she may be.

See you all later!

VACATION TIME – I WILL RETURN

Garry and I missed our summer vacation because he got bit by the spider who wasn’t there. He didn’t even get any special spidey powers, which has been a terrible disappointment.

At this point, it has been a year since we got away for more than a few hours. Time off is overdue.

 Sun room curley house

We are going away for a few days starting tomorrow. We’ll be back, but Garry is away the next week and both of us are gone for most of September. I’ll check in when I feel inspired, but otherwise, it is a vacation.

We will be away the rest of this week, then back, then away again for most of September during which I am not going to post much.

dining room light

I really need a break. I love you all. I need to feel it’s okay for me to have a life that isn’t on the Internet, even if all it amounts to is visiting an occasional friend, being away from home, not locked to a computer all the time. That the world will go on without me.

72-Driveway-0807_214

If something were wrong, I’d tell you. I have every intention of coming back, hopefully better than ever.

This is not a crisis. I don’t have a hidden agenda. I’m not sick, running away, leaving without a word, or anything like it. If I don’t answer your comments or do so briefly, it’s should be okay, because I’ve been hyper-diligent over the years.

I’ve been posting multiple times daily for more than three years. Everyone else takes vacations. Except me. I’ve posted through my vacations and the only time I’ve been offline is when I was too sick to do it.

I’ve earned a breather, some time to recharge. I will post when I can, when I have something special (probably pictures), but I want to go away without feeling I have to stop everything and sit in a motel room to write and process pictures.

Time to have some fun, laugh with friends, spend some time away from here with my husband and a camera.

Driveway in the front

Be happy. Be free. In the immortal words of General Douglas MacArthur, “I will return.”

SHARING MY WORLD – WEEK 31 ALREADY!

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #31

Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

I bet you can guess the answer to that.

marilyn birthday 68

Where do you like to vacation?

If only someone would invent the transporter. Because I would love to be in Paris.

I love being places, but I hate having to drive there or worse, fly. There’s hardly any place I would not want to vacation … well okay, probably not the Bronx or downtown Detroit, but most places have something worth seeing.

Trail by the cabin on a misty morning

Really, we stay close to home (mostly) because airplanes are no fun and long drives are exhausting.

If I could get there without stress, I’d be in Paris, India, San Francisco, Arizona, any one of many national parks. New Orleans. New York. London.

72-Friday-AtteanView_12

The Himalayas. Rocky Mountains, Great Smoky or Appalachia. Nashville. Vermont. Maine. Cape Cod. Coney Island or anywhere there’s a great roller coaster.

Or at home, on our love seat, with each other and the dogs.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

slow children at play

List at least five favorite first names.

“I’m sorry, have we met before?”

“And you are …?”

“Come again?”

“Do I know you?”

“Um, could you spell that? Oh. S-U-S-A-N.”

STORY OF A SNAPSHOT

Jackman Maine 2010

 

THE PICTURE SAYS IT ALL

It was nearly the end of May. Jackman, Maine, and the moose were everywhere. We were sharing one of the big cabins. Three bedrooms, lots of bathrooms. Huge kitchen and dining area, suitable for a crowd.

Fireplace, porch. We went moose hunting with our cameras every night for a week. It was our first trip to Jackman, and as it turned out — as a group — it would also be the only one.

Lots of laughter shared, quiet nights in that nearly wild place. Kaity was taking the picture. Left to right, it is Garry, me, Ron, Cherrie, and Sandy. I can truly say “a good time was had by all.” How often can you really say that?

WHY WE ARE NOT ON OUR WAY TO THE MOUNTAINS

That ribbon of highway ...

That ribbon of highway …

Today was the day we were to be heading to Maine, but we aren’t. No packing, no driving. No week spent far away in the mountains.

path by the cabin in jackman

Blame it on the spider bite and blame it on the impact of reality on our world. Garry’s leg is better. The muscle into which venom was injected is slowly healing, but it’s still stiff and sore. A little walking goes a long way right now … and Garry is a good walker.

72-Route-2_015

Facing an eight-hour drive up to the mountains and a week in a place where, if you can’t walk, there is absolutely nothing to do … we passed. Sixteen hours of driving so we can sit around the little vacation condo in Jackman, Maine, didn’t make sense.

72-Friday-AtteanView_03

There will be no northward trek this year. No pictures of the glorious mountain sunsets and sunrises. We will be at home. Maybe going out to dinner a couple of times.

72-AtteanView-GA_018

Even when we are as healthy and hearty as we can be these days, that is a long haul. This year, with Garry still hurting from the bite of the spider which doesn’t live around here (not), it was a no-brainer, deciding to stay home.

road to skowhegan Rt 201

I have decided we are, nonetheless, on vacation. Whatever that means.

MORNING UPDATE: HOTEL HELL

A rerun from October, 2013. A great vacation, if you didn’t count the hotel …

futon bed cape cod

What a perfect prompt  for this bright and shining day. Waking up this morning on an old futon with the entire room buzzing and rumbling from the vibrations of heavy machinery.

75-View-MAR-19

We slept in the tiny living room of our seedy resort because the bed (in the bedroom) was sagging in the middle and hard as concrete. We are in Hyannis, Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Bathroom

Outside, I can hear the machinery thrumming. I don’t know what it’s doing and maybe it’s better if I don’t know. It would just worry me.

The elegant, understated kitchen vent.

The elegant, understated kitchen vent.

In the middle of the night, there was the sound of little feet scrambling around near the bed by the kitchen.

“What the hell?” I said to myself, leaping out of bed but making a circuitous loop before checking out that noise. I wanted to know what that sound was but also I didn’t really want to know — or step on something soft, warm, full of teeth and tiny claws. The non-paying residents of Unit 17 had come out to play (dum de dum dum).

See? They repair stuff. The screen is carefully repaired with cello-tape.

See? They repair stuff. The screen is carefully repaired with cello-tape.

Garry had removed his hearing aids, so he was spared this. I think he might have fled screaming. A brave man and true, but not in the face of rats. He has met rats, figuratively and literally and didn’t like them.

News Flash:  Screams were heard drifting from the Cape Winds Hotel last night. Missing are Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong, of Uxbridge, Massachusetts … Film at 11.

Please, someone … tell me we don’t have rats living in here …. anything but rats (or spiders).

Please join us for coffee on on charming patio.

Please join us for coffee on our charming patio.