May Day

My son came home last night so we could get up early and get on the road with all his belongings (which turned out to be less than anticipated because I’ll be storing some for him).  It started raining sometime in the night, even though the forecast only called for showers.  By 8am, it was raining steadily, with no sign of stopping. 

The pattern of communication between my son and I, when I’m stressed, is that I get louder, and he gets quieter.  That’s fine to diffuse most situations between us.  It did nothing to improve this morning’s issues.  He’s an engineer – an electrical engineer.  I am a person with an excess of lived experience.  He doesn’t like anything that’s inefficient.  I am all about process.  I’m also an expert at packing – even if it appears to be less efficient than an automated process might be.  Even though I’m a fairly articulate person, my son makes me feel like anything I say isn’t understandable, or relevant.

Not only were we trying to tie a box-spring and mattress onto the top of the car, we were standing in the cold rain arguing over the best way to secure them.  We had rope and bungee cords, but I knew how to do it practically, and he knew how to do it theoretically.  The rain drenched us by the time the bed was secured on the car roof, and the car was packed.  We would have been soaked even if we hadn’t argued, and the only upside was that I saw that I was never banshee-esque without reason during my son’s childhood.  I bet even Gandhi had shitty days.

Once we got on the road everything was fine, but it rained the entire drive to Boston, and we couldn’t go over 60 mph or the bed started wobbling around too much. I still think that if I had secured the bed the way I originally had wanted, that might not have happened.

When we got into Boston, I found out that my son and his dorm-mate hadn’t moved the rest of their belongings to their new place so we spent the afternoon moving their dorm stuff as well.  My son told me later that a couple of his friends had offered to help, but he declined. (If that doesn’t make you want to ring his neck, then you should be sainted.)

My son did help me narrowly avoid a deluge when we took the bed off the car roof, so I forgave him the refusal of extra help.  The mattress was thoroughly soaked – even though we did our best to shield it with a tarp. It will probably take an entire week (if not more) for it to dry out, but at least he has egg-crate foam, a mat, and all his bedding to sleep on until then.

I’m glad I got to see where my son and his roommates are living, and to feel out the neighborhood.  It’s not as bad as I feared, and I think they’ll be fine there.  They just have to be savvy – as do we all.  I tend to think that the worst things happen between people who know each other.  Strangers often give us more leeway because we all know how difficult it is just to live.

Another humorous aspect of today is remembering an old saying that if you go out in a May Day rain, you’ll be protected from headaches for the year.  My pounding head begs to differ.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Cape Cod!

I drove to Boston to take my son out for a post-birthday lunch, and gave him some other little presents, that he loved, and one of my sisters was able to be there too, and she brought him some fun gifts too, and we had a really nice day spending time together.  My son wasn’t feeling well, but he seemed to enjoy our company regardless.

After the visit with him I drove to stay with a friend at her cottage in Eastham, MA, at the Cape.  It was a gorgeous warm and muggy day after the torrential rains we’d had the night before and through the early morning.

My friend’s place is right next to the ocean and is a lovely retreat.  Another friend of hers is there for the weekend too, and we had a great night talking and laughing, eating pizza and having a beer while we watched a beautiful sunset from her deck.  There is another cottage in front of hers that partially blocks the ocean view, but you can see enough to enjoy.

Today started out rainy and chilly, so I headed out earlier than I might have if it had been sunny when I woke up. 

I’m going to spend some time with one of my brothers in Hyannis before I head back home.  I stopped at a gas station and asked the totally cute attendant if he knew of a place I could get coffee that also had wi-fi.  He directed me to, The Hot Chocolate Sparrow, where I am posting this from, an off-the-main-drag, quirky and hip coffee and chocolate shop that also serves sandwiches, pastries, and other food and beverages, as well as a few ‘gift shop’ type items, like greeting cards and some locally made goods.

When I first arrived it was quite busy but it’s slowed down significantly since I got here about forty-five minutes ago.  My egg and cheese sandwich was one of the best I’ve ever eaten – and I’ve been hungry before and had such food – so it wasn’t just my hunger that made it taste so good!  Their coffee is sensational, and I just might have to purchase some chocolate on the way out…

The sun came out, and I can see enough blue sky to make a dress (which my Grandmother always said meant it would be a nice day) from the shop’s A-frame windows since I’ve been sitting here, so I might also go down to the shore and search for shells when I leave.

This is how the day looked once I got outside:

I could be happy living here on Cape Cod; I just have to figure out how to afford it.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Cruisin’ Back To School

My son and I rode to Boston this morning.  He drove and I did my best not to be anxious.  I had to trust, yet again, that he was paying close attention.  Even if the potential consequence was a smashed car and no injuries, I can’t afford losing my vehicle, or having to get major repairs.  I got a ticket for speeding on our last trip back from Boston, and I made sure to stay with traffic this time, or to only go a few miles above the speed limit.  I, unfortunately, love driving fast.  It is so hard for me to plod along wasting my time driving when life is waiting for me to get where I need to be.  I am not one of those who looks at the journey as part of the experience unless I’m traveling where I’ve never been.  If I could teleport, that probably wouldn’t be fast enough for me most of the time.  I want to live in the future and be able to come back to the past at my leisure while everyone else is catching up with me.

The hundred-dollar ticket would have been worth it if my insurance didn’t also go up as a result.  Today, ironically, I didn’t pass one police cruiser on the way home, but the people behind me sure were annoyed with my reasonable travel speed when the double-lane road changed to two-way traffic.  I could have driven in the breakdown lane to let people pass, which I sometimes do, but I was going over the speed limit, so they needed to wait to pass me on a straightaway, and glared at me as they went by.  I always hope that people like that will be stopped up ahead because I appreciate a good comeuppance, but I also hate it when that happens to me, so I just thought: ‘whatever’, as they zoomed out of sight.

Driving in Boston is always a hassle when school’s starting up because people triple park sometimes, or the usual two lanes which are already choked with traffic becomes one lane for miles, and blaring horns are just a pressure release valve because no one can go anywhere no matter how long or insistently they beep.  I’ve become better at not adding to gridlock.  I’ve learned to stop before a cross-walk, or at a yellow light, if I can see that traffic up beyond the intersection isn’t moving.  I try to drive considerately, and I have had excellent luck driving into and out of Boston over the last few years.  It helps that I’m getting to know the city somewhat as well.

I do think I could enjoy living in the city but, like most other people, I’d rather live outside of the constant din of traffic and people.  I’d rather have my home in a more bucolic setting and my career in the frenetic city center.

My son’s dorm is closer to the campus center this year, and I hope that will be a nice change for him.  He’s anxious about the work-load and being disciplined enough to maintain decent grades, and I reminded him that his scholarships depend upon him staying at a B average.  He’s motivated enough that a poor mid-term showing would kick him into high gear, but it’s more stressful that way.  I was one of those students whose every paper turned in may as well have been soaked with sweat for how hard I had to work at it, and while other classmates of mine breezed through and gathered A’s, I rarely got higher than a B for my efforts.

My son will get through it, regardless of the stress or ease, and it will be sooner than he could imagine now.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Where I Belong

I was excited and happy to be in Boston yesterday.  I love the bustle, and variety – maybe not so much being stuck behind a garbage truck for miles – but I don’t like that at home either.  The smells of the city are more concentrated, not having anywhere to go from being hemmed in through sky-scrapers and a labyrinthine road system that’s always in the flux of disrepair and repair somewhere along the routes, and usually in several areas at once.  The same is true in the hill towns, but it’s not as oppressive as it seems in a more concentrated environment.

I enjoy the challenge of successfully navigating through the crush of people and traffic.  I practiced letting go of control while my son drove through the city on our way in.  We very nearly hit a pedestrian, and it would have been that guy’s fault crossing against the green light, his eyes only on his destination – meeting someone on the other side of the street.  If I hadn’t been there to call out for my son to stop, that guy would have been hit because my son said he never saw him.  I’m glad we averted that tragedy, and that my son didn’t have to bear that responsibility, but I hope the event made him a more aware driver.  This is real life, son.  People are idiots – including myself…

On the drive home, I started to relax, as I usually do, once I headed into wilder country.  Seeing the hills of home in the distance at about the half-way mark between here and Boston is like a drug kicking in and I feel like I belong to that land.  I know my friends and some family members are there, but it’s the actual vista that claims my heart.  I will probably die here, or ask that my ashes be sprinkled from a plane over the hills. (Can you imagine being those hit with my ashes? “What the he-” choke, cough.)  Maybe I can have someone just spread my ashes on the forest grounds.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.