It has been so long since I’ve posted on either of my two blogs that I am having to relearn the process. Actually, it has been so long since I have written much of anything that I am having to retrain muscles to type and my brain to think in full sentences. I will attempt to write without three dots and dashes, the apparent Morse Code of my thinking that strings together random glimpses into who I am.
I am just returned from the first road trip since I went to Spain last year. It felt almost like an escape from the asylum where I have been busy, yes, but so contained. Winter seemed endless, and even today, after a full day yesterday of filling planters with color, there are threads and cat hairs of winter clinging to the atmosphere, defying brushes and tape rollers of spring. Okay, that may have been a stretch, but it feels as though winter is unwilling to let go. It is cold out there this morning.
I went to visit an old friend in North Carolina. It takes about six hours by car to get there from here, regardless if I chose the easternmost route down the length of the Delmarva Peninsula, or head over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and go down through Waldorf and La Plata, Maryland, carefully skirting as far around Washington DC as I can. It is one thing to want to go to DC, but quite another to put yourself into the traffic surrounding the city when there is an alternative. In this instance, I took the trip down the ‘Shore and came back via La Plata – and more specifically via Hanover Courthouse, about which I will speak later.
Murfreesboro, North Carolina was incorporated in 1784 and is the home of the Watermelon Festival and Chowan University. I know it as the home of my friend, and the ancestral home of another friend who is no longer with us. On those two counts, if no other, I have a soft spot for this town just south of the Virginia line. I drove those hours through barren and barely awakening spring fields to a warmer day and iced tea
sipped on the porch. I sat for two days in a kind of pleased stupor absorbing the presence of my friend, the squeaking of grass growing and the scent of flowers.
I sketched, I basked, I wrote, I played the guitar and sang. I had a moment of absolute clarity, and another of intense anxiety, and settled all of it with a contentment that has been somewhat absent of late. In short, it could be said that I vacationed. Vacationing is a skill set that needs much more practice. I should like to resolve to practice more, at least to the extent that I get myself out at least once a month to do the unusual thing. It is important.
After just two days I returned, but I made the most of my trip by stopping in Hanover Courthouse, Virginia at the Hanover Tavern. It has been two years, maybe, since I last made that trip, but the crab soup there is memorable. I brought a bowl home with me. I’m ready to go get some more. I can always say that I am really going for the history surrounding the location; the Patrick Henry angle, but it will be for the soup. The fact that I can get the soup in the very place where Patrick Henry waited tables is a bonus.
So, let’s hope this means that I am back. That I will be able to kick my way out of the stall from time to time and run the roads again. This is such a beautiful country. I am hungry to see more.