Saturday, September 17, 2005

We're spinning plans of a move to the North country. Every year we talk about it, but in the past the ideas have been whimsies or wish we coulds. This September, somehow or other, we may have turned a corner. Our discussions have become much more serious and we've moved into making hard-core plans of how two people should approach such a change. Research, research, I say. Ken takes note of the people we should talk with who've transplanted themselves from suburbs to country. We're also making plans of an exploratory journey to Vermont in the coming weeks, before hunting season anyway.

We both want to experience something other than what life has to offer in the suburbs of Boston. Why should we spend the next ten years in the most expensive spot in the country? Land is cheap in the North; the winters are long--fortunately, neither of us minds winter, and as everyone knows, Sophie adores it. My work is not bound to any location. Most of my professional (writing and editing) contacts are by e-mail. I've worked for companies for years, and they have never once met me in person. It wouldn't matter if I lived in the heart of New York City or the wilds of the Adirondacks.

Anyway, we have a long way to go before any move is imminent. But we both now have intentions, and as we drove through the Champlain Valley of New York yesterday, we're becoming clearer about what each of us wants in a country place. I need good soil for a large vegetable garden, Ken needs some woods because, well, he loves the woods. I need access to excellent cross-country skiing (something we have oodles of in Canton (Blue Hills wilderness), lakes and streams for paddling, internet access, access to a good hospital and a good grocery store and not too far from a good university hospital (Burlington, Vermont?). And all my life I have longed for a horse or pony. I'm not sure that would be in the cards; keeping a horse in feed and veterinary care is expensive, but it would be fun.

So we're off on a new adventure together. All the same, I'm positive I'll get home to Canton, and I'll walk through the house and our bedroom and our kitchen and I'll cry, "I don't want to move! Not ever!" But that's an understandable reaction, one I've had many times before, and it has never held me back from making a change that I wanted and felt I needed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

We've been vacationing by Minerva Lake since Saturday, and thus far we've stayed close to camp, enjoying the unbeatable weather. We've had plenty of time to read. In the evenings we've been listening to the new thriller/mystery Entombed by Linda Fairstein. We're three quarters of the way through now, and although the first third of the book moved beautifully, we've been slogged down since in a plot that doesn't seem to move forward or have much action. Pages of pages of historical information presented in dialogue--some of it interesting, but it really bogged the story down.

On my own I'm reading a mind-bending book, Wandering Home by Bill McKibben. It's an essay/memoir of his journey from his home in Ripton, Vermont, near Middlebury to his Adirondacks home in Johnsburg, New York (North Creek, where I'm posting this entry right now is in the town of Johnsburg). I'm so delighted to have discovered this book because I'm very familiar with both the Ripton area and Johnsburg. His thoughts about wilderness, sustainable agriculture, and dozens of other topics related to land preservation are exciting to me, mostly because I care so much for the land. I've been reading Wandering Home outside of our camp, while I'm sitting in Dragonfly Cove, where I soak in the peace of that place, which is, for now, uninhabited by people.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The end of summer whirlwind is upon me and I'm involved in more than tying up summer's loose ends. Labor Day weekend marks the time Ken and I start to prepare for our annual journey to Minerva, New York, in the heart of the Adirondacks. The last few days have seen me de-cluttering my office and the bedroom as well as cleaning out my file cabinets and the closets in both rooms, all as part of the mission to have an orderly, organized home to return to after our vacation.

I visited my cousin Heidi in Connecticut this past week and have been so inspired by her unbelievably uncluttered home that I've been sorting, filing, and throwing stuff away ever since. In her home, I was amazed at how peaceful it is to spend time in a place that isn't crowded with an overload of STUFF. Maybe, I think to myself, I'll be better able to concentrate and focus in on work when I return if my office is cleared of all the distractions lying around.

So here I am, and I've said nothing about books or reading. I'm excited to report that T.C. Boyle has a new collection of stories to appear this month. (I just love "What's New," the blog on his website!) Tooth and Claw, published by Viking, is Boyle's seventh collection of stories, and I can't wait to get hold of a copy.