Monday, June 2, 2014

Where'd You Go, Sally B?

Mea culpa to you readers for my being off the grid for so long. I have missed writing so much, like an addict. This is, after all, what I do. Some of you know that Don and I have been on the road. After a three day trip to Maryland, we threw the boxes and suitcases out of the car, traded warm weather togs for sweatshirts and socks, and hit the road again for Massachusetts.

This annual trek to my birth state is fraught with conflicting emotions for me so it's a complete irony that Don falls more in love with the Berkshires each time he goes. I see few redeeming qualities there except for the fact that my aunt and sister still call it home. True, the Smithsonian magazine named Great Barrington the best small town in America, but what they don't tell you is how precious it's become.

I walk the streets, stroll the aisles of the grocery store, and eat at the local restaurants but will never see anyone I knew from my youth. Why? They can't afford to live there. Prices are so inflated that only the New Yorkers and, more often now, those from nearby Connecticut can afford the ticket. Annually, I take the hill road to Lake Avenue to check out the house where I was raised. Each year I tell myself that it will look more like the home I knew but I remain deeply disappointed.

The lawn my dad luxuriated in taming every weekend is now a sea of weeds and scrub. The circular driveway that daunted our friends and family is overgrown with grass. The glass entryway that sported a robust wisteria vine has been torn off and the big ash tree that delivered its autumn treat, piles of multi-colored leaves to jump in and then burn, has recently been cut down. Trash is strewn around the house and the neighbors tell me that college students rent it for keg parties.My parents paid $14,000.00 for their dream home up on the hill. The last time it sold, it went for just under $300,000.00.

More than just the disappointment of the physical place, though, is the psychological effect of returning home. I broke out in hives, itching day and night. I'm out of my comfort zone there. I have always been a person who moves on without looking back. I've never understood people who waste their time going over and over old hurts and misunderstandings. Life's too short. I very much prefer living in the present even though I'm fascinated by people and novels that delve into the psyches of those who let the past fester.

This morning I'm back home in Maryland. We got up early, went to the gym for a reorientation, took a lengthy stroll along the boardwalk cooled by a spring breeze off the bay, and my swing is calling to me for an afternoon of reading. My heart and mind feel settled now. I know that the windows still need a swipe with vinegar and water to remove winter's salt, and the flower pots should be filled with new soil and petunias, but I have the whole summer to get to it.

I'm back! Tomorrow I'll tell you what I've been reading.


Anonymous said...

Sally, you have such a gift for sharing yourself! Of course you have no way of knowing that I am talking back to you regularly.
I cherish your posts, but hope you don't let them become a burden to you. Have a happy summer.

Dorothy S.

Sallyb said...

Oh Dorothy, How lovely to know that you are still reading and talking back to me. You were actually one of the people I was thinking of when I experimented with audio recording of the blog. I will continue to work on this and have gotten some helpful feedback.