If you ask a thousand people what makes a perfect vacation, you might get something like: walking on a sandy beach on a majestic mountain holding a drink with a little umbrella while singing karaoke standing on a table with my friends after acing a couple of hole-in-ones. But person one-thousand and one might say there’s nothing like a few days in a little house in the woods, with a sock on the needle, a pile of Westerns and some corn-on-the-cob.
That would be me.
I am slightly chagrined to say I rebooted ye olde grey matter up in Northern Michigan by doing, well, almost nothing.
Unless you count this:
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts DOWNPOUR (mediumweight)
Now my Moms is getting less mobile the last couple of years (she’s just turned 79 and this was also a Birthday Trip) and as I was staying with her, it was only fitting that I slow down too. And I have to say: “THANKS! (I needed that.)” Left to my own devices, I would be dashing around some other Big City, keeping the adrenalin filters primed, dodging traffic jams, jaywalkers and lines, just to get from point A to point B, to then run around some more. Everything I do in my everyday environment is a-go-go: quick, crammed-in, on-deadline, viciously rapid living.
Everything up North is right opposite: slow, measured, dreamy. I spent three hours of the drive Up North just being entertained by the Big Sky and its Marching Band of chubby, slightly silver clouds moving from west to east on a bountiful horizon.
Everywhere outside is in the wide Up North. I was thinking it was Nature’s version of HD and me being the TV geek that I am, it shook me to realize that I was living in a low-def world most of the time in Chicago, because it took so many filters to just get by.
But on this vacation, it was the little things inside that had the big impact and they healed my heart.
I learned how to microwave corn-on-the-cob: put husked ear in quart-size plastic bag and microwave for 5 minutes, dress in some butta & salt and WOW! Nap, wave, repeat, run out of corn, go to Farmer’s market, get more and end up with a wonderful tomato sandwich on mayo’d whole grain toast.
There used to be a table by the highway exit on the way into the village that was piled high with corn at this time of year. The farmer had hammered a long pipe in the ground next to the table and you self-served then left your $$ in the pipe. Sadly, that is no longer around and we couldn’t figure out if it was the lack of corn or the state of the world-at-large that made it disappear…
We found out life has always had its rough edges — we watched Dead Man (my Mom is a big Johnny Depp fan & I’m a big Neal Young fan: bingo), Heller in Pink Tights (yes, this is a Louis L’Amour story, with a blonde Sophia Loren), Tombstone (rerun), and something called The Sundowners, that wasn’t really a western but close enough: an outback story about some people working on the sheep ranches in Australia. Robert Mitchum was especially beautiful in this picture, and although it teetered into melodrama in several places (circa 1960), the dramatic high point of the film was a sheep shearing contest. WHO could resist that?!
Not I, and as I get back into the work-a-day week here in the City, I’m still drifting along that Big Sky horizon in my mind, refreshed and renewed.