Jason and I find ourselves today in Wilmington, DE, just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from Baltimore. With now two markets’ of work behind us, I can say with some confidence we are adjusting. It helps that this time around I have managed to secure for us a corporate studio apartment in a large historic building. Equipped with washer,dryer, and vacuum I can now return to such domestic chores that clear my head and make me feel at home. Those of you who know me well, know what a victory this is for me. We also now have an oven. I’ll admit, Jason can work wonders with a stove top and microwave, but oh the luxury of an oven. Ovens mean fresh backed cookies you know?
But, equally as important as my need to clean and be a homebody on occasion is my need for nature. Give me room to breathe, room to be alone. It is a treat after the bustle of New York City and ‘THE’ Long Island, as it will hence-forth be referred to as, to have a large stretching park just blocks away set alongside the peaceful flow of the Brandywine River. Walking here each day returns the still and quiet I have so desperately lacked while in the city.
Don’t get me wrong, the fun and experience that is always to be had in Manhattan is exhilarating. Still, inch by inch it begins to take over: the pace, the stress, the need to be always on-top-of the world, a high stakes player in a game for keeps. It wasn’t until the second to last day in NY that we made the drive to Montauk and Camp Hero State park. It was here picnicking on the bluffs overlooking a rough surf and a towering light house that the salty breeze and calm of seclusion began to release me. Lying on a warm blanket I closed my eyes to listen and take in the sound of foaming waves crashing below. Turning my head to the horizon I waked to bright blue sky meeting deep blue water. The lines so perfect and clear I fully expected to catch the painter in the final stokes of his masterpiece. I’ll trade the glory of the greatest city for this moment every time. I thanked God, and imagined that Heaven must be a picnic blanket on a tall bluff above a crashing sea. I should of course submit this sentiment to Chicken Soup for the Hopelessly Sappy. But it’s how I feel and I must be true to this.
We spent the rest of the day exploring Camp Hero, full of old World War II era bunkers once used to defend against Nazi submarines and then in the Cold War to detect Russian Nuclear Weapons. The most impressive was the giant Radar Tower. It was incredible that even after abandonment, the air was still electric. Descending steep bluffs we walked along the stoney beach gathering drift wood that we then hauled back up to land (easier said than done). A few scrapes, bruises, and ticks, but we were not worse for the wear and it was worth the adventure.
I share this day because it has been my favorite day. I share it because it shines as a beacon reminding me that all the other days of work, stress, loneliness, and an anonymity that sometimes finds me too anonymous, make it all worth it. I heard Johnny Cash describe to Willy Nelson a perfect day he had with June at the lake. So perfect he wrote a song about it. I cannot write a Johnny Cash song. I could right a LauraAnne song but I do not have my guitar with me. This is a punishable offense according to my Great Aunt Nona. You are right Aunt Nona. I regret everyday this decision to leave it behind. So it is here that I write.
I do hope that this post reaches you in a moment of your own that makes all other not-so-great moments worth it. Life is beauty, you just have to get through the muck. Well that’s not all true. It’s not a water color painting of peace and tranquility. Life is Muck too, a lot of the time actually. Then sometimes it’s beauty. It’s both, and this is just something you have to know.
So here it is again nearly Monday and back to another work week in a new and always strange city. I am grateful to be on this journey but it is no more glamourous or important than any other person’s journey. In fact it is neither glamorous nor important (not sure that was ever a point of contention). Nothing ever really is once you get there. Grass is just grass, green or not. And yes it is true Ponyboy, nothing gold can stay.
This is far too serious a blog post. Hmm…fart, poop, boobs! There. That’s better.
From a very well-laundered and vacuumed studio apartment, somewhere on the Delaware state line, I am sending you my love.
Addendums & Special Thanks:
To my Oh-So-Very-Sweet Husband a heartfelt thank you for putting up with my dramatic outburst at the loss of my original draft. And to many more patient moments for my dramatic outbursts to come.
Adding to my expanding Summer Travel Playlist: Boys of Summer – The Ataris (predictable), School’s Out for Summer – Alice Cooper (even more predictable, but c’mon), It’s My Life – Bon Jovi, The Joker – The Steve Miller Band, Ramblin Man – The Allman Brothers, On The Road Again – Willie Nelson, Summertime – Sublime (have-a-Corona-by the-beach predictable), California – Phantom Planet (MTV predictable),