Monday, August 5, 2013

A sentimental journey

Ever take a trip that includes many moments that trigger your most sentimental self? Our recent vacation in upstate New York proved to be way high on the sentimentality scale, if there is such a thing. For me, this trip was wonderful in that I could recreate some of my childhood, enjoy being in the present moment with loved ones, and also think of a future which I know will change - one which admittedly includes some poignancy. 

For me, the sentimental journey was full of laughter, great weather, superb meals, and long walks with hubby. It was a break to really stop and smell the flowers, deeply inhale the scent of pine trees, and revel in the magic of fireflies hovering over the emerald grass at night - hardly daring to breathe, lest I diffuse the enchantment.

On another level, it was a time to be thankful for all the years I've been fortunate to have with some very special people. Dad is about to turn 98 and his physical health is astonishingly good, thanks to nearly incessant puttering in the yard. It doesn't matter that he doesn't really make a dent in the weeds and that the twigs and branches fall faster than he can get to them. I'm just thankful that my folks have a really big yard for Dad to enjoy. 

My mom is about to turn 79, but you'd never know it. She looks so much younger, acts younger and is super sharp. Dad knows how lucky he is to have her. She keeps everything together for them, and I'm so thankful that Dad has her since his dementia sometimes provides interesting challenges.  

After a thoroughly enjoyable hometown week with the folks, we headed to the Adirondacks where I've always believed my soul truly lives. My family has been going there for more than 40 years, and I've made it there nearly every year of my life. 

Schroon Lake is the town where my aunt and uncle first summered in the 1940s, where everyone would flock there to escape the oppressive New York heat to drink in the cool mountain air. After owning a camp in this town, my aunt and uncle found and purchased a run-down old place and thus adopted the project of Montparnasse, built in 1842. 

Everyone thought they'd taken leave of their senses, but I think it was a brilliant move because that little old house in the bend on the road includes some of the most gorgeous forest, stunning pond frontage and best memories imaginable. 

Even though my uncle is no longer with us, he is very much with us when we're visiting at Schroon Lake. My aunt, who now lives in southern California, on this trip declared this is her last summer at Montparnasse. Hearing her say this made me at first upset, thinking that somehow she's given up, but then I realized that she is just tired. And she misses her best friend. And, after all, she's 95. It's not an easy trip to make anymore. 

I'm sad she can't make it now to the big tree. It's a massive skyscraper of a pine tree with two trunks a mile and a bit up the road from the house. It holds court with its lofty branches over the surrounding forest. My aunt and uncle would make sure that anyone who visited them - anyone they really liked, that is - would be invited to hike up to the big tree. Upon touching the tree with both hands, one would be assured of one day returning to this very special place.   

I guess at the end of the day we're all just sentimental fools. The trick is to balance out not living in the past with accepting a future which must be different. It won't include the same loved ones, but we can always hope and pray we'll end up together in the end. 

And that, gentle reader, is the circle of life. 

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you letting us in on your personal journey back home. I live here in the Adirondacks and glad I never left the beauty and cool mountain air. Peace be with you..


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