|Wetlands covered in downy seeds|
On Thursday morning we leave for Maine!
The task of packing for six weeks away from home is overwhelming me now, but it will get done little by little.
I had every intention to pack light—just the essentials, with a few comfort items thrown in—but after just one day I can already tell that it's going to be tough. I'm working off a list generated over the last four or five weeks, which is helping me to stay focused, but yesterday I had to talk myself out of bringing along my knitting project—a blanket that I started two summer's ago that is still unfinished—and my Spanish workbook and dictionary. I fought a strong urge to pack up my cooking and baking tools because I generally find it a little maddening to feel at home in someone else's kitchen. (Though I'm definitely bringing the dry pantry and all my herbs and spices.) Then there are myriad cookbooks I love—it's so hard to choose only a few—and the candle I want to bring, and the hand soap that I've grown fond of ... and the list goes on, but we just don't have room in the car because the BOB Duallie leaves so little space to spare. All the Lego bricks must go with us, our basic clothes and toiletries, all the dress-up clothes, a selection of art supplies, a few games and puzzles and favorite books, electronics and chargers, and blankets and sheets.
Andy will be joining us a week into the trip so he can bring up the things I forget, or think of in hindsight, and equally important he can take surplus back home with him when he leaves. I'm happy to have a little leeway; there's no stress to get this right on the first pack.
As for the 13 hour drive: it's going to be a long one. To liven things up for the kids I've been squirreling away little surprises and small treats to distribute when the "Are we there yets?" and "How much longers?" rise to crescendo. I downloaded the Lego Movie soundtrack and we'll have the iPad and plenty of snacks within reach. I anticipate stopping at least every two hours, unless they can stand more. We're taking the back route to avoid New York traffic and planning to stay overnight at a hotel in CT about eight hours into the trip. I'd like to complete the first leg by dinnertime so we have time to jump into the pool before bed.
Meanwhile, Spring has come to Richmond and I love it. I mean, I really love it. The smell of the river mud, honeysuckle, and bradford pear waft through the places we frequent most. Nature is fluorescent with new growth, bright and cheerful and animated. The sun is enthusiastic but the air is still cool, and the humidity hasn't yet debuted. I'm thrilled to be on the verge of meeting Maine and then, at the same time, I'm disappointed to say goodbye to the city and the river when this is what we've been waiting for all dark and cold, cold winter.