Mmmmm…. it has been a week. A week of nothing. OK, not really nothing (is that even possible?) No, it's been seven days of staring out the window, catching up on reading material, listening to music, staring into space, sipping beverages, cooking, staring out the window.
It's called 'vacation.'
Me and TheWife™ tossed a few things in the Jeep and headed north (Yes, I know that it's weird to go further north if you already live in the north) for some fine views of the White Mountains and a giant helping of relaxation. I'd say that our goals have been accomplished. I know that, for many people, our kind of vacation would be incredibly boring. I see ad spots on the TV where families go to places like Disney World or perhaps take a cruise… all of that feels too frenetic to me. What I prefer is a comfy chair and a stack of books. By the time most vacations show up, that's also what I need.
Despite the lack of "activities", it does feel like a lot was accomplished. My stack of unread periodicals was massive. Now, it's just an issue or two less than huge. "Huge" is less than "massive", isn't it? I read a cool article about Blind Willie Johnson and then proceeded to spend part of an afternoon downloading a bunch of country blues music from archive.org. Also read an appreciation of author David Foster Wallace. Infinite Jest makes a lot more sense now, though I'm not going to tackle it again anytime soon. I purchased my first John Updike book, and then read his terrific piece on e-Books and how they can't completely replace the physical object.
Watched a very cool documentary about the history of the state of Vermont into the 1950s. The look of the video made me remember when I moved to the state of Maine, which kicked off a memory of this local country music show I used to watch. Well, one quick google and wouldn't you know it, there's a DVD available of Stacey's Country Jamboree.
Bought Brian Eno's Ambient 1: Music for Airports from Amazon (Good gawd, two digital purchases in the span of a week. What has gotten into me?) Waded my way through a big pile of review material. I'd like to say I got a lot of writing done, but that's not the case. Gears are grinding there, though I hear less and less ugly noises coming from the gearbox every day.
This isn't to say that we were completely immobile during the week. No, on most days we took a little ramble in the Jeep in the middle of the day. The mountain views are gorgeous and the weather has been more than hinting at spring. Every time I drive through part of the back country, I'm sort of amazed at the clues of days gone by. Part of this is very obvious: visit a small town that used to be driven by say, the paper industry, and you'll see that the erosion of business started long before this current recession. But what really caught my eye (and maybe the '50s Vermont documentary had something to do with this) was the number of abandoned roadside motels/cabins in various states of decay. They are everywhere. They also make me sad for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. One cabin in particular had been stripped down to its wood underlayment, and was listing heavily to the left, but somebody had trudged through the snow to hang a Christmas wreath on it. Wish I'd taken a picture.
Ramble, ramble, ramble.
One more day.