Oh no you didn’t.
Oh yes we did.
Despite that Bridgette’s family has not held the deed to this home for years we decided to visit, dig up some lilies and head back out.
At 9:00 at night we drive straight to the Home Depot and buy a LARGE shovel. I wanted a little one to be less conspicuous – she wanted a big one to get the job done quicker and this was a source of heated debate in the garden section for several minutes. Punctuating the fact that she determined the conversation was concluded, she swung the LARGE shovel over her one shoulder, pretty purse on the other, and we began to receive interesting looks from the workers and the other late night patrons. I can’t understand why. Two women in Home Depot on a mission to buy a LARGE shovel, and only a large shovel, at 9:00 PM hardly seems normal. After the 3rd gaping stare, Brit looks at me and loudly says, “What are we going to do if the Cemetery is closed?”
Why they sold us this shovel, I will never know.
We hop back in the car, and head to our childhood home. It felt like we should have parked in the driveway and headed right back up the back stairs. Instead of sneaking in some boons farm wine – this time we have graduated to a new level of dubious activities. Stealing lilies.
We circle the block like Bonnie and Clyde as we “case the joint”. We park the car, get out dig up 2 lily plants, (of the hundreds of lilies that were there) put them in a Stewarts plastic bag, tidy up the spot, jump back in the car and head out. Took about 3 minutes. Just a day in my life.
Here is how I worked this out: Brit misses her grandmother and she remembers the day her grandmother planted those flowers. They spread like wildfire. The house is largely unkempt because it is a rental property now and it is for sale. I hardly think the owner or the renters will miss two of those bulbs. They will proliferate again next year. Brit just wants a living piece of her grandmother close to her. These lilies fill that gap. I get that.
When the home finally lands again in the hands of a loving owner, Brit and I will return and pay it back our misdeed by giving them a purple lilac bush so it will flourish in their yard. It will be nice to have next owner know how their home was loved by its previous occupants. Maybe that will make up for the fact that their attic loft may or may not be partially insulated with empty beer cans.
I have a predilection with Sacandaga Lake in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. If you have ever been here you share this addiction. This lake is only about 30 minutes from where I grew up and this close proximity made the lake seem as though it was right in my back yard. What is cool about this lake is that it is a man made reservoir. In 1929, five farm villages were evacuated and subsequently flooded to create this lake. This fact tantalizes the imagination of anyone who visits. Legends of graveyards that were never adequately removed were a subject of great ghost stories by camp fires. For years I believed that on a sunny day, if you knew where to look you could see the old steeple of a church at the bottom of the lake.
Each year my aunt and uncle would rent a cabin for a week or two and my girlfriend and I would be invited to come up and share the camp with her. These were old fashioned camps that could have been built in the 1950’s that had each their own character. We’d sleep on cots on the porches after a great camp day. One year we found an abandoned old camp with a sign that said, “This is a DILLY of a camp”. What a hoot. We pretended that this meant it was haunted and had some difficulty sleeping at night with a ghost so close.
When you think of how short a week is it is hard to believe how one week can be so influential on a person’s life. Whenever I visit Sacandaga Lake time becomes altered, in the very best possible way. It stretches out. The first thing that hits you when you come here is the smell of the air. It is clean and has a permeation of suntan lotion, lush greenery, pine sap and camp fires. That right there slows you down, and you stop to notice the beautiful trees that grow so high and sway back and forth in the slightest breeze.
When we spent the week our schedule went like this: we’d get up obnoxiously early to go fishing and then spend the remainder of the day swimming and basking in the sun. You would end the day with hot dogs by the fire and then watching an amazing sunset while fishing again.
Occasionally you would find yourself in a local town getting needed supplies and feeling as if you were taking a step back in time, you would tour all of the mom and pop shops in that town.
It is no surprise then that early on it became the mission of my husband and I to have a camp of our own one day. My husband and his dad built ours just a few years ago – right down the road from my other Aunt. It is a work in progress. Despite this, we have had such good times with our friends and family here. Each day I hope that my son looks upon this place with the same nostalgia that I have for camp and for Sacandaga Lake. My camp is a dilly of a camp – and I love it because it brings me close to this lake.
The Great Sacandaga Lake is simply part of my soul. Being here restores my faith in a way that no Cathedral could produce.
The Leggacy Winery
My husband and I love wine and we love to sample new wines. We have visited the Finger Lake region in New York a couple of times to go on their various wine tours. It is so much fun and quite a beautiful trip.
Recently we discovered that a winery exists right in our backyard – The Saratoga Winery on Rt. 29 in Saratoga. One weekend we had a babysitter and ventured there with our friends. I loved this place! Better yet, I loved their wines. The Saratoga winery introduced us to a new type of wine called melomels that became my new favorite. They do a really amazing job with these. They are just so delicious. If you like wine, you should check it out. www.thesaratogawinery.com
In any event during my visit I became intoxicated with the idea of making my own wine. That is how these guys started.
As it happened, my final project in my Crisis Communications class was to put together a crisis plan for a business. The idea is that we are all woefully unprepared for a crisis when it strikes and we should have a plan in place to handle it.
So the Leggacy (play on words using my last name as an inspiration) Winery was born. A fictitious winery inspired by The Saratoga Winery became my imaginary business. The idea is that if you think about as many possible crisis situations that could plague your business, then you are best prepared for a prevention plan to side step that crisis.
This business became very real to me. I started thinking that I could open a winery one day. I put together a really great crisis plan for this winery dealing with everything from customer intoxication to wine taint. I couldn’t stop. It was great fun.
If possible, I try to be practical in my efforts. In this way I like to take a course requirement and turn it into something that I could use one day. Now, I have never made a batch of wine, but I will when the semester is over. I may never open a winery, but maybe I will. I had a great romance with this idea as I developed this crisis plan. It was a really fun assignment.
Coming home after a vacation is analogous to hangover. While you were having fun, you gave little thought of tomorrow. Then the morning comes and while you are reaching for the aspirin and the Visine, you regret the spirits of the night before.
The time change is only fun when you gain time. Not when you lose it. Thus, on the day we left we were on Arizona time all day and got in too late at night to feel rested the next day. For two days, my house looked like the aftermath of a hurricane sight. Maria (my imaginary maid) has inconveniently taken a sabbatical. My house is less welcoming to me when it is a disaster. For days, I had a total disinterest in tidying it up.
It took me all weekend to get that motivation.
So let’s assess the damage of the Arizona hangover:
- An unkempt house. An unkempt mom / wife. All weekend, I looked worse than my living room, which by the way was decorated in luggage that has been opened and rummaged through in a fitful attempt to fish out needed items. I had to laugh when I thought of my last post. It was all nostalgic about my desire to return home.
- Neglected pets. I think one or both of the hermit crabs did not fare well being on their own for a week. I am contemplating on whether to conduct a private investigation and subsequent funeral when my son is at school. The last hermit crab funeral was awful. I was not ready to face the questions about heaven and God again today. Maybe he’ll just forget about his little shelled pets.
- A weary child. For two days, son came home with bloodshot eyes, a head he couldn’t hold upright and a wad of homework that made my stomach flip. It was all due today. All of my neglected housework and his schoolwork had to be immediately attended to. The weekend was a blast.
- Mail, mail, mail. Bills, bills, bills.
So I am finally starting to feel a bit better. At least his homework is done and my living room is… well livable again.
Next task for me is to just get caught up on the bills today, go to class and then make a list of all the things I need to do for my school to get myself back on track. Sounds lovely.
I really adjusted gracefully to the return home. Can’t you tell?
Despite the Arizona hangover, it was still so worth it.
This trip was an amazing once in a lifetime experience. I am so grateful to my in-laws to have given it to me and sacrifice their time and their gas to let me experience it.
It is time to leave. I must confess that I am a bit excited to get home.
We all complain of the “daily grind” but I am looking forward to it. I love the life that we have built for ourselves in New York, with our modest home that is decorated with pictures and trinkets of our experiences together and now joined by our wonderful son. I like the routine of our life and look forward to getting back to it.
Arizona is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and I am happy to have been here. I feel enriched by the experience.
So I am sad to leave it behind, knowing full well that I will not be back again for a very long time. I am comforted by the fact that tomorrow night at this time; I will be resting in my soft bed with my clean sheets hugging my big, burly man next to me.
Just like Dorothy, I know that no matter where I go there is no place like home.