Monday, December 21, 2009

Morning Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

My Jetta and I drove from Florida to Maine two wks ago. I would call it a life-experience.
I entered the Appalachian Mntns the 2nd morning. I appropriately turned on Edvard Grieg's "Morning" as I wound up my first mount. The music seemed to meander and dip and climb with my road. Then, with amazing precision, the music climaxed just as I rounded into my first valley. I was nearly overwhelmed by the rush of visuals and music. Just below my road was a rusty coal train. Just beyond the coal train was a broad river. And the second burst of music erupted at the same moment that I spotted a shallow waterfall as wide as the broad river beyond the coal train below me was broad. Although it was winter, the view was spectacular. A light snow lay between the bare trees. More twists and turns revealed old red barns, valleys of grazing horses, bubbling brooks spilling out of still ponds, and few humans.
I drove from the Blue Ridge Parkway, across the dog ear of West Virginia, through the crane neck of Maryland. I passed Scranton, PA but did not stop at Dundermifflin, then paralleled Long Island Sound til I reached the Masalin's house.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Clustered crystals of that wintery white stuff

It’s 6AM. When I woke to the site out the window, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” came on immediately, like a needle had been lifted and set on the Bing Crosby record in my head. It looked as though Ledyard, Connecticut was being sprinkled with sugar: yards, trees, roofs, cars, and roads- all were covered in a tremendous layer of the finest sugar that I had ever seen. I think it was the snow plow that awoke me. But I am glad for it. It was such a wonderland outside and I decided to go walking in it. I recovered my denim, donned a warm shirt and jacket, and borrowed some men’s boots then trekked out the back door. The snow crunched beneath my soles as I made my way to the stacked stone wall that lines the Masalin’s property. Beyond the old fence is a marvelous slope which peaks near their land then rolls downward until it fades into trees a few acres away. In the summer, the lushness of the meadow is lovely and in fall the brilliance of its colors is stammering. On this December morning, the trickling snow forbade me see too far, but I did witness it in its most dazzling state yet. The sky was as white as the ground, distinguishable only by an icy branched divider. Some branches appeared limp with the weight of the clustered crystals while others bore the burden well. I hope I can be the latter tree when my trials come.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Savannah just became one of my favorite cities.

The history of the colony is layered upon layer and the beauty of the historic district is unrivaled!

The town has 23 grassy squares. Most feature a monument or fountain and are surrounded by antebellum buildings.

All of which are veiled by Spanish moss. (Did you know that it is called Spanish moss because the local Indians said it looked like the conquistadors’ beards. The British thought that quite funny and the name stuck. Once Henry Ford decided to use it for seat stuffing in his cars, but he had to recall it because people were being attacked by chiggers.) There is so much Spanish moss in Savannah that some trees looked like matted-haired beasts!

Chris and I rode a trolley through town then walked along River Street, which was built with the ballasting stones from the bellies of the boats. Now, a Christmas light-decked River Queen docks there.

Chris' uncles run a Victorian Bed & Breakfast there, Park Avenue Manor. We lounged in their parlor(s) for a while and they treated us to dinner at Six Pence Pub, where Julia Roberts catches her cheating husband, Dennis Quaid
in "Something to Talk About." Other stories set there include "Cape Fear," "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and songs like "Moon River" by Johnny Mercer.