Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day Nine: Wrapping Up Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is beautiful. Never be in doubt about that. Tuesday morning I woke up again to the bazillion-bird chorus, realized twenty minutes later that I was not going to sleep past 6am, and decided to take Howie for a walk around the neighborhood.

The sun rose and turned the hanging mists into shimmering white gold draped on the dark green of Jack's Mountain. The temperature was still sweetly in the low 70's, most of the neighbors still not stirring. Howie and I ambled around, me marveling at how little of the place I remembered -- I'd lived in that very spot some 30-and-some years ago. While the street names only came back to me slowly, the glowing morning mist with the blues and greens of the hills seemed to have always been in a treasure chest in my heart.

I had slept without nightmares, without any anxiety.

Later in the day, I went to see my old friend Bill, who has been a friend since we were in first grade together. We chatted while his darling Jack Russell terrier snuggled and cuddled with me, probably remembering me, probably thanking me for NOT bringing Howie with me. (Three years ago, Jack was terrified of the looming How.) Once again Bill shamed me by showing me the 24 canvas oil series he finished this past spring, and I have promised myself I AM going to paint more when I get back home.

In the evening, after listening to the weather forecast, we decided to strike the tent and sleep inside so that we wouldn't be trying to pack a wet tent in the rain. I dragged all the luggage out of the car and rearranged it. We were ready for the morning departure.

There was one last thing to do: sit with my sister-in-law and drink up the rest of the wine.

P.S. The flower is a common one in Pennsylvania: crown vetch.

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