Saturday, September 26, 2009

Farewell to Vermont

Randall Street landscape - Jeff's house in the background

Sewer replacement and repaving of Randall Street has provided "entertainment" the past couple months. I won't get to see the final result until I return - someday.

Jeff accosting his defenseless neighbor Wanda

Jeff, Wanda and "Ginger"

Alarm set for 7:45. Over breakfast, I worked on some notes from the last couple days. Jeff joined me around 9:15. I was planning a 10:00 a.m. departure.

Off at 11:15, after stopping over to say good-bye to Wanda.

A perfect day for a drive! (“Stunning”, as real estate agents might say.) Not a cloud in the sky until I crossed from Whitehall to New York, and then just puffy cumulus. The ride down Vermont 22A was gorgeous. After a very late start to the growing season, the farm stands are finally beckoning with their abundance. It’s very tempting to stop, but I didn’t want to dally. As I drove, I began to find a few surprises Jeff had hidden in the cab: beef jerky, “Special Dark” pretzels, DVDs I had intended for him to watch, and even Drew’s debut video, “Harry Monument”, which has become a family joke…I mean classic.

The New York side seemed a big step down, aesthetically. It felt “trashier”. The Fort Anne Booster Club was out in traffic trying to collect coins. Getting out on the interstate, I suddenly felt what a confined world I’ve been in this past six months.

Cresting the Adirondacks, I could see far to the west, hazy brownish-tinged high cloud above the layer of cumulus clouds. A sign of changing weather.

By Syracuse, I was into the rain. Per Jeff’s instructions, I left the Thruway at the Pembroke exit and went south past Darien Lake to New York route 20A. Near Kathy’s home (west of Warsaw) I was appalled at the number of huge windmills now lining the ridges. What a blight this is fast becoming! Individual landowners may benefit from leasing their property to the utilities, but for most others around, they don’t see “money”, they just see (and hear) the scarring and industrialization of their rural landscape.

Arrived in East Aurora at 7:15, after exactly 8 hours’ drive.

Later I wrote this update to Jeff:
You would have gotten soaked on the bike! (Though there were a few bikers out there.) But the ride down through Vermont was gorgeous! The clouds started as soon as I crossed to New York.

Kathy, Becky, Priscilla, Charlie, Nancy (who lives behind Priscilla) and Priscilla’s friend Joanie from Connecticut (now back in E.A.) were all here for dinner. Kathy made layered salad, twice-baked potatoes and barbecued steaks – you should have been here!

The truck may have some transmission trouble. I’ll try to get a better sense of it over the next leg of the trip.

Enjoying the peace and quiet for a change?

Thanks for all you have done for me. Especially Harry Monument, Special Darks and Beef Jerky!

I might leave tomorrow, but more likely Monday.

As “usual”, Priscilla had the middle bedroom prepared for me. Everything very tidy. Outside, a light rain fell. And again I found from the upstairs I was able to connect to a open wi-fi signal, so that provided some comfort.

Kathy insisted upon sleeping on the sofa, which she is too accustomed to doing.

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