Like Bilbo Baggins, my wanderlust usually peaks in September. I smell the crisp air, see the long horizons, and desire to walk until the far hills are no mystery.

This spring, however, my feet have been itchier than usual. I have my theories about why this is the case. For one thing, it was a horrible, brutal, claustrophobic winter. The outside world became one shovel wide, from my front door to my car to my office and back again. My life is also highly regimented and organized. I believe I’ve complained (one or two…thousand times) about how strict and unrelenting my weekend schedule is. It’s gotten somewhat better with the elimination of swimming lessons, but it seems like a bajillion years since we had a break in the routine. And it can be really hard to deal with children outside their expected routines. My dearest and beloved son Thane is 2.5. In a completely developmentally appropriate and normal way, that means it’s almost impossible to do ANYTHING with him. So, we do things we know how to do in very predictable ways that don’t mess up nap time. This is what it means to be a parent.

We eventually got about twice this in snowpack
We eventually got about twice this in snowpack

No wonder my feet itch. I love my family dearly, and have no desire to throw away any portion of what I have. But there’s a lurking awareness in my gas-foot that if I just keep pressing, well, New Hampshire lies that ways. Then Vermont. I’ve never been to Montreal you know. (You’re not carrying your passport woman.) Fine, I haven’t seen Niagara Falls since I was three. I could probably make it there by mid-afternoon… aren’t the Red Sox playing the Indians tonight? That’s totally driveable!.

But of course my brake-foot rescues me and I make that turn off the freeway and into the parking lot.

Still. There are adventures afoot.

Last year's lilac festival
Last year's lilac festival

I’ve declared this weekend a “Sabbath” weekend. (Hey honey, tell Sensei you won’t be there on Saturday!) I’m thinking Old Sturbridge Village, but haven’t finally decided. On Sunday is the Lilac Festival at the Arnold Arboretum, which is a favorite of mine. Both not too far, but definitely out of the mold!

Then, my brother graduates from graduate school in three weeks. Now, New Jersey isn’t likely to be as splendid as his Vermont graduation was, but I’m going by myself. Road trip. With my crazy family who are the ones who planned the “Great Holes of the West” tour (which did not include the Grand Canyon), declared Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump a favorite family destination, drove the Al-Can (my Dad drove it home… in December), and, for my graduation, did a tour of all the New England states in one day. (No problem.) Bring it on!

Then, after that, there’s camping. I cannot WAIT to go camping this year. My husband cannot wait to go camping. Grey cannot wait to go camping. Thane says, “I not TALKING to you!” (at the top of his voice, repeatedly), but you can’t get 100%, now can you? I have three camping trips planned, and hopes to sneak a fourth in.

Long vistas await
Long vistas await

And after that, there’s Camp Gramp! We’re going out for longer than usual. I’m planning on going to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to catch, at a minimum, Henry IV part II and Pirates of Penzance on the frickin’ Elizabethan! And maybe, if my husband is super indulgent, we can go to Mt. Shasta and Crater Lake, and take 97 home, which I’ve never done.
Lithia Park is a lovely place, which I miss quite a lot
Lithia Park is a lovely place, which I miss quite a lot


Is it Friday yet?

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

3 thoughts on “Wanderlust”

  1. You have taken 97 home. You may not remember it, but you have. The cinnamon rolls! Remember the sin-amon rolls!

    As for the other accusation, I don’t know what you are talking about. Last night we drove to Kent (120 miles RT) for a shower — perfectly reasonable, I would think! Our hot water is on vacation.


    1. Nope, definitely don’t remember taking 97, unless that was the trip where the boy convinced us that Jaguars snuck into his room to play his drumset? Probably not.


  2. Aww, OSV. We haven’t been in so long – the lambs will be grown before we make it there again, I fear 😦


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