And so I write.
Yesterday was my last day at work at the bookstore. Bittersweet. I loved this little job. I've worked in bookstores off and on for 20 years. But this children's bookstore was the best. I loved the picture books and loved recommending books to preteen boys. I loved that the owner let me bring the wee one with me since he was an infant. I loved that I could knit or read on a slow day. But I need more time with my family.
I left work yesterday afternoon at 4pm and drove straight up route 15. This road ends at Moosehead lake. My stop would be a church fundraiser. But it is long drive from Bangor to Sangerville on Rt 15. Not a wholly unpleasant drive but the road is long, at times, poorly maintained and there are long stretches between town centers. We are far apart in this part of the state. Yesterday was rainy too. The gray clouds really seem to make the color of those red maples pop out; those fading ladies preparing for the crone of winter. Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss is the opera on Public Radio as I drive north. The road winds through Glenburn, Kenduskeag, Corinth; towns that still share their agricultural history in the vast fields and old grange halls that will, maybe, one day, be revived when our world decides to be more local.
Along the way, I pass fields with big, round, wet bales of hay destined to be mulch. This will be a hard winter for many small animal holders. There isn't much hay and what hay there is of marginal quality. The rain delayed the first cut and the second cut couldn't come fast enough. It is one of those things on our to-do list that can't be delayed much longer. The hay loft is empty.
I pass cows loitering at their pasture fence along the road.
I pass flea markets closed for the season.
I pass general stores with gas prices 10 cents more expensive than I paid at the gas station in town. Every penny counts and after the year we've had, I am grateful for small breaks even if it is just a few dollars.
I also pass a lot of homes with For-Sale-by Owner signs in the yard. Which had me reflecting on our own home and any potential sale there may be for it...some day...maybe..hopefully..if ever. For-Sale-By-Owner is one way to come down on your asking price if you don't have to include the realtor commission. But we are not there yet. Patience. Patience.
The road is really rough if spots. I always wonder if all the noises the car makes are creaks and moans from the abuse the road gives our car. I pray, " oh please great god of machines, just keep her going one more winter."
The mind can wander on long stretches of road. Hubby and I had our heads together when he came home on Friday night. We are weary. We struggled with wacky neighbors this year. He found a great new job. We worked hard all summer trying to get the house ready to put on the market. We have abandoned many of the things that we used to enjoy for this move; considering it a sacrifice we had to make to get to Valhalla ( Farmington).We do not like being apart all week. And we don't want the emotion of the separation to cloud the choices we make. So we have decided not to take the off-grid home. These autumn months are the months we need to be getting ready for winter. In the end it became a question of economics. We have one house, we should not have two. We will revisit our living arrangement in the spring but for now we must stack wood.
My car drives in the slow lane going up Charleston Hill past the prison. The wipers are thwoking back and forth and I noticed that the wiper blade will need to be replaced. I will take care of that this week. This would normally be something Hubby would do but , now that he is gone all week I will take care of it.
Coming into Dover the road gets really rough but then I see that there is road construction ahead. A portion of the road is being repaired. I slow. I slow...
I come into this little town. There are not many empty store fronts, but there are a lot of for sale signs on lawns. The local theater is growing a bit. The mill across the road closed last year but the town has bought the building and has plans to generate energy from the mill's dam. But plans take money..so... time will tell.
10 more miles and I am at my little church. I am excited to see that there are cars lining Church street and when I enter the sanctuary I am reminded why I love this building. During Sunday mornings the sun lights up its beautiful stained glass windows. But at night, we gather outside our regular fellowship, and join as a community. I join my family for a meal, grateful for this time together.