Sunday, July 11, 2010

I made the long haul to upstate NY yesterday. We are teaching at The Full Moon Resort in Big Indian. Truly a Fur Peace from my home and The Ranch. I wasn't planning on making the drive in one day being that it's about 11 hours. Once my foot hit the gas petal...I didn't want to stop. It ended up being a beautiful trip. I cannot remember the route I took being so green. The foothills of West Virginia and Maryland I do get to see a lot but I rarely drive thru PA. We used to take the route I took when we first started coming to our place in Ohio from Woodstock. Everything looked so idyllic...even from 81. I drove through areas filled with forests, lakes and mountains on all sides. Not that driving is relaxing....but what was laid out before me; the winding roads, the thunderstorm off in the distance, the lush was a chance to naturally unwind.

The PA mountains were once inhabited by the Delaware, Iroquois, Minisink, Lenape, Shawnee, and Paupack Indians. As much as I pay attention to the road before me when I am driving, my mind, like when I was a kid, sometimes plays tricks on me. We traveled the roads of New England every summer when we were young. Playing road games was something we always did. When we got bored with that, I remember we would look to the tops of the pines as we entered the White Mountains and imagine that the very tops of the trees from far away looked like Indians. We pretended they were watching us come into their land. I showed Izze the Indians at the tops of the trees when we were coming into Wilkes-Barre. She got really quiet and looked as we entered their home land. Finally she said, "Your just joking, right Mom?" It brought me back to a time when the only thing I had to worry about was if the boy next door to my Grandparents place at the foot of Mt. Whiteface was going to like me this summer or pine for my sister Cynthia again.

The drive to the Catskills that I was dreading actually got my mind right for the boss Cool Hand Luke would say. We arrived after 9pm, dropped our bags in our room and headed to the Olympia Diner. It's one of my favorite upstate diners. It was late but I felt like I needed food since I hadn't really eaten much on the drive. I ordered a tuna melt and Izze ordered a pancake. Her pancake was bigger than my dog and my tuna melt could have fed the staff at The Ranch. It didn't matter.....I kept staring at Izze and remembering my own youth and I felt such calm and gratitude. Not so much gratitude for the vacations I was lucky enough to go on as a kid....because, to be completely honest they weren't always great (another story for another time). The gratitude was for that moment looking over at Izze and feeling so lucky that my life has been filled with laughter and joy and lots of love despite some of the shit. The stuff I hold on to today is the good stuff and I can give that to the Indians. I took her to see Toy Story 3 today, before the classes start tomorrow and she enters my world for a week. It was great! I cried thru the silliest parts but like I told her...they were happy tears!


  1. Nice Nessa. I don't remember that Indian game. That must have been a game reserved for the peeps riding in the 3rd seat of the stationwagon. It sounds like FUN!

  2. I do the same things with Montana. Reliving the good stuff from childhood... vacations, summer fun, stories. And where I think back, it was ALL happening in the way back 3rd seat of the station wagon, where dreams and fairy tails were a reality.

  3. We take 81 from NC to VT when we go there to visit and it IS a GREAT ride alomng the mountains!! (Much better than the I-95 Route!!)

    Toy Story 3...Debbie took Cassidy to see it last week. I asked her how it was. "Really good Daddy. But Mommy cried at the end". Yup..Happy Tears!! (hmmmm....there's a song there)