Good Thoughts

Today’s title is from an album by The Sim Redmond Band, out of Ithaca, New York. Check them out.

I spent the past four days in North Carolina with my parents and Jackie. It was good to get away from home…I’d been sick with grief for nearly two weeks and didn’t know myself anymore. Desperately needing a distraction, I flung myself onto the interstate and sped to the hills. It worked. Grief is still here, but it’s a manageable daily burden, like poison ivy, rather than a heart-pulping constant grind. Some random thoughts and impressions from the weekend:

1. In the weekend’s final salve for the soul, on Sunday night we all watched two separate storm fronts come over the mountains. Lightning flashes lit up everything for miles, and we argued over whether the moon behind the clouds looked like a cat’s face or a funnel cake.

2. My dad (ex-NASA researcher) = crazy hella smart. Next time you see him, get him to explain how you measure the temperature and density of a gas to configure combustion engines. Plus, he can sing!

3. Visiting NC is always a reminder that I’m spoiled stinky rotten. People gave me so many birthday gifts that I turned into Gollum: “What has it got in its pocketses, precious?”

4. Make it a priority in your life to visit the Marshall Depot. Put it above the Grand Canyon on your list of Things To Do. Whoever wants to make music gets up on stage and plays, and whoever wants to dance gets up and dances (mostly clogging), and everyone else enjoys themselves. It’s bluegrass heaven. Like the emcee said, “This is America.” My family has a personal investment in the Depot because, when it was an operational train station, my Grandfather would catch the train there to visit my Grandmother, who was away at school. When the Depot was threatened with demolition a few years ago, Grandma couldn’t bear to have such a symbol of their courtship torn down, so she and my Uncle Forrest formed a Board to buy it and convert it to its present incarnation.

5. Happy Sunday afternoon: laying on my back on the grass next to the trout pond with Jack, talkin’ bout nothin’ and listening to the wind blow.

Overall, a few happy days away is the sugar coating that makes coming home easier to swallow. I don’t have anything profound to say today about the state of America, but honestly, I think that’s kind of reassuring. Back to business as usual! At least until tomorrow…