If I were a poet I would compose an ode to the road but since I’m not I will make a list instead. Why? Because it is thanks to those white and yellow lines on the highways that I got to drive safely for 1112 km yesterday. I landed in the small and charming town of Hampton New Brunswick, where I was welcomed by my wonderful cousins. During the last 18 km, which seemed to be the longest, I thought about what it took for me to be able to do this:
- Those white and yellow lines, for sure.
- The actual people who did the work.
- The thousands of drivers I followed, passed and met, who stayed on their side of that line.
- Google maps
- Divided highways
- Construction crews improving and also building better roads, while working in the hot sun and dust.
- Pull off rest stops for food, water and gas and a place to stretch my legs.
- My Toyota, which has reliably traveled 116,000 km with me.
Perks of the trip:
- Ground mist, on the fields, early in the morning between Ottawa and Montreal.
- Magnificent green fields, rolling hills, and stunningly beautiful skies in NB.
- The ease and speed of correcting a missed exit.
- The company of my son in law in the morning who was the morning driver and a great conversationalist.
- The podcast we listened to by Lisa Damour on her book Untangled. About the seven transitions of teenage girls into adulthood. This description does not do justice to the depth, breath, science and heart of this matter.
- The company of my daughter/passenger for the afternoon. Road trips are great places for talking.
- Improved directions, over google, from my cousin Shannon just in the nick of time.
- Arriving at last light – not complete darkness.
- The warm welcome of love, food and a glass of chilled white wine from Sonya.
- A warm cozy bed in a beautiful room, complete with hot water bottle for my feet when she noticed my hands were cold from fatigue.
- Memories of my mother.
A year ago on July 26th my 100 year old Mother died. And her love of the maritime provinces and all her nieces and nephews who live here is well known. As I entered New Brunswick I noticed the landscape through her eyes and could imagine her commentary as we drove along.
Last year during her last two weeks several of these cousins longed to be with her but could not due to Covid. So it is particularly poignant for me to arrive here on her 1st anniversary.There will be many Mom stories during this time.
This is the thing. When we die, we leave people behind who love and remember us. And we remember them best through the stories we tell. I see shades of my Mother in all of her relations and I treasure them all.
While I am here I will have a lobster roll, a cone of grape-nut ice cream, wild blueberries, strawberry shortcake and with each bite I/we will remember her love of family and summertime.
What are some fun and ordinary everyday things that you do, in the summer, which remind you of your loved ones who are no longer with you? I would love to hear about them.
Stay safe and enjoy this end of July/beginning of August weekend.
Note 1:) Here is the poem I like to dedicate to my Mother. Her photo was taken a few days before she died.
The Gift of a Smiling Face
With just your being there,
The atmosphere somehow brightens.
With just your being there,
Everyone feels at ease.
I yearn to be just like you.
This is my favorite poem by calligrapher Mitsu Aida.
Note 3:) The walking group photo is of a crazy family paying no attention to the yellow line whatsoever. This was taken in Ottawa, three years ago, during race weekend when my 98 year old Mother flew in from Vancouver Island and we (cousins and all)walked the 5 KM together.
Note 4:) Thank you for coming by here. I love these virtual visits with all of you who take time to read my blog. You make my life better. Warmest wishes, Trudy