Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Travel Diary

Home. A long car ride home. I ease myself into the rhythm of home life. Get in tune with the news of the day. Catch up on laundry and a pile of mail and a garden , if not bursting, at least providing some bounty.

We arrived home last night. Pulled in around 10:00. The last few days have been a whirlwind with a few more days of hectic pace for me; if not the rest of my family.

Leaving this little corner of the planet and venturing out into the world out there is an odd experience for me. Maine is a pretty rural state. My corner of the state is very rural. The latest fashion in foot wear is still the Croc because they sell them at the nearest general purpose goods store Reny's ( a Maine Adventure!) and because they are a cheap shoe. Out there in the rest of the world, who knows? In my region of the state you use it up and wear it out. If you have a lot of money you don't flaunt it. It is economically depressed. Out there, there is talk of a bad recession but you have to pay close attention to know how it affects what you regularly see.

So several times a year our family venture's out there, happy motoring our way past Walmarts, malls and through congested traffic to visit hubby's family.

During the summer we travel for a few days to The Thousand Islands. Hubby's grandparents bought an acre of island on the Canadian side of the St Lawrence river for 500.00 in 1946. His grandparents built a small cabin on the island in the late 60's. It holds many childhood memories for hubby and is a beautiful spot.

The water is very warm this time of year and the water sports were had by all. Snorkling, swimming, paddling and water skiing. I try to read at least one book during my visit, something light and scandalous. I used to take knitting-for-hire work with me; but after all the hard work I decided to treat myself with some self indulgent knitting. The grand kids get to pay together and the grown ups get to catch up with each other.

There a many blue heron's flying over head. A pair of osprey raise their young on the island across the channel. This year, a pair of mink were frequently witnessed playing near the water. And it would not be an island trip if a swimmer did not get out of the water because a water snake was entering the the swimmer's zone of comfort.It is such a far stretch from the life we lead here in Maine. There is plenty of processed meat, iceberg lettuce, and sweets with colors not found in nature. Makes one grateful for one's foodshed.

We used to travel through New hampshire, Vermont and Upstate New York. But it was a 12 hour ride that often was stretched out when the wee one needed frequent nursing breaks. For the last few years we have been traveling north to Canada, drive to Montreal and head west to Ontario. If the traffic is not bad in Montreal we can make the trip under 10 hours. Crossing over the border is always a story in the making.

There is a car game we play on this trip. We call it "Cow". Both routes that we travelled had plenty of cows. Whoever saw the herd of cows first called "cow" and received a point. The passenger, who knits, always had the advantage of seeing more cows. When the wee one was a newborn we could not wait to share this game with him. This could have been the year we shared this silliness with him. This is not to say that we did not see cattle. But not nearly as much as we have in past years. Most of the cows were actually beef cattle and the herds were much smaller than they were in past years. The dairy and commodity turbulence was evident.

I noticed vast fields of corn and big fields of round bales of hay. Plenty of buckwheat and soybeans. Factory farming hugs the highways while the small family farm struggles on the backroads.

Last year, gas prices were high when we went to the island. We noticed that boat traffic on the river was much slower and sparse. This year gas prices were within the reach of many. We heard many cigarette boats...grumble..grumble...

We make a point if we are traveling during the summer harvest season to bring something home from the foodshed we travelled to. Last year, I brought home a couple of quarts of huckelberries I picked on the island. This year, we brought home Ontario peaches. Who need souvenirs we have peaches in the dehydrator?

It is good to be home. We have hit the ground running. We need to find a home we can all be living in this winter. It was good to be away but boy it sure is nice to sleep in my own bed.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Sounds a nice trip and I'm so glad you all have this wonderful place to go visit! Water snake? Uh ... no.

Talk soon, I hope!