Thursday, January 8, 2009
Here’s Sarah, in the driver’s seat. Yes, the whole pack is looking forward to being on the road. It will be good to see my mother in Illinois, our first stop, and several hundred miles after that it will be good to get beyond the snow. Only yesterday, gazing at snowy cherry orchards, I remembered the gracious look of pecan plantations in Georgia, and that made me think of northern Florida’s live oaks, each one a kind of oasis of shade or island of refuge in the savannah. I will be watching impatiently for the first sighting of a roadside stand selling boiled peanuts. “Bolled” is how it sounds when they say it, and unappetizing as the notion is to the uninitiated, my first experience made me a convert. A non-crunchy snack but surprisingly addictive.
I’m looking forward to reading the books I’m taking for the trip: The Manor, by Isaac Bashevis Singer (I’m about halfway through it); The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, by Alexander McCall Smith (one chapter in, but I may backtrack to read aloud to David in the car); A Corner in the Marais, by Alex Karmel (on loan from a friend); Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson (finally I’ll get around to this, chuckling inappropriately when I remember a friend saying, “Out stealing horses. Back soon”); and Bleak House, by Dickens (not one to begin on the road but to save for cheerful, sunny, Southern days). This is only the beginning of a stack that will grow—some future events are immune to doubt--as the trip progresses.
Also, it’s been three years since we’ve been to Florida and longer than that since we’ve seen some of our friends who will be there this year.
Strange as it may sound, however (since we have not yet left home), I am also already looking forward to coming back again. I anticipate the first curly shoots of chard in the garden, hunting for morels, the re-opening of my bookstore and reunions with friends. I’m eager for Sarah’s reunion with her new friend, Kate. Our party for Ed and Connie’s new book will be the first big Dog Ears Books event of the 2009 season, and I’m excited about it three months in advance, as it will not only be the perfect way to launch the bookstore year but also the perfect beginning to the spring wildflower season. And as far as the blog is concerned, it will be fun to explore and photograph a different environment for a while, but already I look forward to coming home to Michigan scenery and sharing it online.
The rest of the pack? David says he misses our house already and will be happy to get back to it again, as well as to touch base with friends and visit familiar haunts. Sarah has never been to Florida before, but I know she will be happy to see her old neighborhood friends here again in the spring. They certainly have fun together!
Here and now, snow is falling and wind blowing. The winter coats of horses hold snow..