The Comfort of Mundane Routine

August 20, 2014 § 1 Comment

I settled into my post-vacation routine with ease today. It included:

  • Walking several miles through the neighborhood, checking out what has changed in the last week. Other than the loss of someone’s red plane, i’d have to say I see, smell, hear, and sense nothing different from the day I left. But if you do see a red plane that meets the dimensions described below, please return it to the adirondack chairs on the front porch.
Lost plane = sadness and despair; it could also lead to loitering and general malfeasance

Lost plane = sadness and despair; it could also lead to loitering and general malfeasance

  • Capturing and releasing the biggest centipede I’ve seen in ages. The operation required a large glass vase, shoes for protection in case the little guy fell on the floor and scampered over my feet, and a dinner plate to cover the only (but nonetheless large) escape route. A successful transition to the outdoors was followed by relief for the captured and the capturer.
  • Eating normal food — I had to scrounge, but was able to rustle up some carrots, cereal, a cheese sandwich, some Triscuits, water, and a diet ginger ale. Yum.
  • Not racing through stop-and-go rush-hour traffic to meet my running group and learning our coach expected us to run seven miles in the heat and humidity and faster on the way back (negative splits in running lingo). I did run a tad faster on the way back, but did not shave his anticipated 20 seconds off my pace. I’m still coming out of my dreamy vacation haze and demand patience.
  • Looking at the heap of laundry I really need to tackle and deciding it can wait until tomorrow.

When Destiny (or High Wind) Diverts You to Ohio

August 19, 2014 § 2 Comments

  • Try not to hurl as the aircraft attempts to land in Detroit but instead tosses in midair like the measly bag of pretzels churning in your gut.
  • Land in Ohio and cue boredom.
  • Use your time wisely by taking unnecessary photos of other diverted planes waiting to refuel alongside yours:


  • Get to know your fellow travelers and flight attendant (ESL teacher, cat lover, former NYC cop, father flying to LA to visit his son dying of cancer, Vietnam vet who nearly died in a helicopter crash).
  • Read — preferably an essay or book by Sean Wilsey, my favorite author of the month.
  • Leave Ohio.
  • Eat free snacks smuggled to you from first class by the flight attendant you befriended earlier when stranded on the Ohio tarmac.
  • Savor the sunset others cannot see from earth:
Sunset from 30,000 feet

Sunset from 30,000 feet

  • Disregard the message from Delta that says your connecting flight has been changed to leave at 7:30 tomorrow morning rather than 8:45 this evening and instead sprint 33 gates to your original connecting flight and, miracle of miracles, make it on board with time to spare (winner, winner, chicken, beer).
  • Reminisce about your happy vacation on the final leg of your journey and remember why you love coming home, e.g., a normal, healthy diet; routine; sleeping in your own bed.

From Farm to Table to (Hot) Air

August 18, 2014 § 1 Comment

Vermont farms and fresh food were the themes of the day.

It began with a lazy, happy afternoon touring the Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock and ended with dinner at Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee, Vermont — one of the best dining destinations in the state, if not all of New England — and a surprise hot-air balloon inflation and take-off along the Ottauquechee River.

Working farm — hope you like cows:

Farm house — hope you like old things:

Simon Pearce — hope you like hot-air balloons:


August 17, 2014 § 2 Comments

Photographs of mountains rarely capture their splendor. I won’t bore you with the dozens I took today, but here are a few I liked from this foggy, cool Sunday afternoon — all taken in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Franconia Notch State Park.

Fog descending

Fog descending

Autumn approaching

Autumn approaching

Tram ascending

Tram ascending

Cables evaporating

Cables evaporating

The Other Woodstock

August 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Vermont. Not New York.

And a quick stop at Dartmouth and the chance to walk through an Ivy League library.

College Tour

August 15, 2014 § 2 Comments

Traveling through Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire today meant lots of time in the car, but stops at Amherst College, Smith College, and Dartmouth (after dark, so no pictures of that campus yet).

Edward Gorey and the Big Blue Sea

August 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

The dark, yet funny and eclectic author and illustrator Edward Gorey lived in the serene town of Yarmouth Port. We stopped by his whimsical home, Elephant House, today, which is now a museum, to say a quick hello.

The Doubtful Guest

The Doubtful Guest

Then on to Chatham for lunch, window shopping, Marion’s Pies, and a final farewell to the ocean.

The sea, the sea, and a long goodbye.


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