Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Perfect Weather

September is a variable flavor in Pennsylvania. I can remember an orientation week at Penn State (which would be the third week in September en aquellos dias) when it snowed, and other Septembers when it was hot and humid and disgusting.

Yesterday was perfect, as our days in PA have been since we got here. We went for a walk along the Juniata River, where the old canal used to be, and where they have made the canal edge into a walking trail.

Moving along the path, surrounded by the kind of woods I remember from my youth, of locust, and horse chestnut, sycamore, tulip trees, oak, and sassafras, infringed upon by raspberry canes and ubiquitous poison ivy, highlighted by beautiful orange-blossomed jewelweed and goldenrod, I sank into the environment and was captivated by the river. I could live back here, I thought. I could tell Bernie we have to come back, and I'd have my river back again.

I'd can veggies for the winter, I'd fish and freeze and eat bass, all the fish I could catch, and I'd fish every day, and love the bright red of sugar maples peeking out from the forest ...

The rational part of my mind gave me a ripping good kick on the ass and said, "You moron, how many days out of the year felt like this when you DID live here???"

After some thought, I answered, "Lots. Uh, ten?"

Rational replied, "HOW many days are there in a year?"

I didn't answer, but did continue to salivate over the remembered taste of pan-fried black bass, oh, with Spanish rice on the side, and tomatoes from the garden.

In the afternoon I had to travel to the next county up the state, where my mom's nursing home was, and in front of a snooty county clerk, swear that I was who I was and that I, as executrix, would carry out the terms of my mother's will; I'm sole inheritor as well as executrix, so I was promising that I would be just to myself in all my dealings with myself. Thanks, legal system, that little dance cost me $200, and I didn't even get to take a swing at the snooty clerk.

By the end of the day, I wasn't in any mood to move back to PA, but only wished my paper chase was done and I could be transported back to the other coast and sit in my quiet studio to write.

We're on our way as the sun comes up tomorrow, thank God. We're in no hurry to get across the interstate highway, but we're headed back to where we belong.

And you can bet your booties that snooty clerk is going to be featured in a story in the not-too-distant future. Maybe something with zombies, maybe something more in depth about her inability to respond adequately in relationships ... I'm not sure, but something.

Hey! Maybe a cartoon!

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