reticulated earrings

Monday, November 10, 2014

A few weeks ago, I went home

Fall color
A few weeks ago I went home.  It’s fall in upstate NY and I don’t like missing it. This year’s pilgrimage was different than my usual fall trips to NYC. This time I met my sister, who lives in Colorado, at LaGuardia, rented a car and off we went to see the turning leaves, eat sharp cheddar cheese, and do some exploring of our old stomping ground. Our plan was to visit our Aunt Marie & Uncle John, both close to 80 years old and as spry as ever, have a couple of dinners with our brother & his husband, and for the two of us to get to know each other again. 
My sister

The rest of the plan involved meandering around southern New England on so-called “blue highways”:  those cute little roads that preexisted the interstate and now run between towns.  They’re dotted with gas stations, cafes, motels, and lots of stop lights.  How charming they are, but let me tell you, it can take HOURS to get anywhere.  Our first destination (a Motel 6--we only go for luxury!) was only 82 miles NE of New York City but it took us about 5 hours to get there.

The next three days were gloriously colorful—the leaves,the rain, the sprinkled donuts!  We played tourist in New Haven and spent some time visiting Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain, or at least their homes.  A few days earlier our family genealogist (and brother) reported that one of our ancestors, a woman named Dilla Rose, was an abolitionist.  So I felt a special kinship with Harriet (two liberal radical feminists in a pod) as we walked away from the house.  
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House

I love the old gravestone verbiage!
We drove on, stopping in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, ever on the lookout for the next Friendly's and/or Dunkin Donuts. 

 Yes, that’s why I love New England—it’s all there.

Obviously one of the best reasons to be in New England in the fall is, um, FALL.  I try to go back every year and I try to time it just right, but you know, nature has her own plans.  Damn her!  But this time we were completely in sync.
The Connecticut River in it's colorful shawl

Something finally hit home for me. 
Fall lays bare a struggle, but also a world of possibilities. In a brilliant burst of unfettered resistance, the year comes to an end anyway; her failures and successes falling away too, making room for what will come to be.

Out of Balance pendant

This is Vermont!
I found my past in family and familiar places and Aunt Marie’s stories of almost forgotten escapades with cousins I haven’t seen in a million years.  But I also found openings:  ideas for new designs for my work, new adventures with my sister, trips yet to take and memories yet to be made. 
Autumn Colors Necklace

Beautiful stream in Keene, NH
I think next year I will reminisce more, and maybe go see some of those cousins.  
You CAN go home again, as long as you use a covered bridge to get there.