It certainly has been busy around here. For the past few days, we’ve been packing and cleaning, packing and cleaning. Sometimes, it feels like we’re getting nowhere, but every now and then I notice there is, in fact, less stuff laying around on the floor and on the counters.
Upstairs is practically empty. Laura’s room has only one bin and a few odds and ends in the bathroom. The other two bedrooms have been empty for a while and the main bedroom has nothing in it but a mattress on the floor. That’s what we’re currently sleeping on. After Seth comes and picks that up the day of our move and we put the blankets in some bags, that room, too, will be empty. Strange living in a house that you already feel you used to live in.
The eating situation is touch and go. Since I’ve calculated every meal from here on out, we have very little left in the kitchen as well. Last night, I made an order for Chinese from the Jiu-Jitsu parking lot and picked it up about 20 minutes later. I made sure the amount of food I purchased would last the duration. But in the meantime, we’re also trying to eat as much as we can from what we have in the refrigerator. This morning I made egg and pea sandwiches and found myself drinking the maple syrup I bought during the Hebron Maple Festival. You know things are getting bad when you find yourself standing in the kitchen drinking syrup. At least it’s pure and full of zinc. Some other vitamin as well.
This orange cat of ours has turned into a real champ. He’s come out of his shell and is now running around like a madman. Laura set up two boxes on the floor and he thinks he lives in them. He gets all hopped up on whatever turns him on and runs all over the place. When I try to pet him, he takes off and dives under one of the boxes. Usually, only his tail shows, which gives his hideout away. If one of us goes near the box, he cleverly sticks his paw out to tackle one of our shoes.
He’s also discovered paper shopping bags, which I think may become more popular than the boxes. Once he finds his way in the paper bag, he starts to chase his tail. As he’s flipping around in the bag, over and over, the entrance closes up and all you see is a paper bag bouncing across the floor. I swear, I’ll get this on video because it’s a must see.
A few days ago, it was absolutely miserable outside. I thought Winter had decided to come back. It was in the mid forties and cloudy all day. I’m telling you, I think I may have gotten depressed. Today though, things are bright and sunny. I’ve been putting bins and other items on the trailer and as I do, I glance around to notice all the things I’ll miss. While doing this a few hours ago, I thought about what I’d write on my blog. How would I describe the feeling of the season coming into full swing with all the trees and flowers starting to bloom – and at the same time have to leave it all in just a few short days? At this time last year, the neighbors were driving by and waving as I swung in my hammock. It’s days like this I never want to leave Connecticut. As Seth says, this may be one of the twelve best days of the year.
On the way to the Chinese place last night, I called my sister, Laurie. I usually speak to her after class because it’s the time we both have free. I know it’s a “drive and call,” but she doesn’t seem to mind and we get to sort things in our lives out.
Last night’s conversation had to do with our drive to Florida and about living arrangements in general. After a few minutes of that, we moved to all the fascinating things I’ve discovered in the area over the past five years. I could write an entire post about each of them, but I’ll save that for another time. What I would like to do now is suggest a few areas to visit for those I’m leaving behind. Even if you’ve been here for years, there may be a chance you haven’t had the time or inclination to do what I’ve done.
This is my favorite park in Connecticut. It has a very nice waterfall and awesome hiking trails through a beautiful Hemlock forest. Just driving through the area of the park gives me the chills.
Believe it or not, I had the best night of my life in this town. I already wrote about it on one of my other blogs years ago, so I’m not going to repeat it here. All I have to say is that if you ever get a chance to visit this town, do so in the Summer around 7pm. Have dinner at the Griswold Inn, walk across the street for an ice cream and make your way to the end of the road to visit the small dock on the river. I can’t begin to describe how lucky I am to have experienced this town in all its glory. It is quintessential Connecticut.
The same goes for Chester, although Chester is slightly less romantic. There’s no water in Chester, but there are some great restaurants, such as the River Tavern, the Brushmill by the Waterfall, Restaurant L&E and from what I hear, a new vegetarian restaurant called Six Main. I’ve eaten at all of these except Six Main and I can honestly recommend each of them. I’ve come to know Chester as a hub of excellent food.
Besides the restaurants, Chester has many events throughout the year. We’ve gone to the Halloween parade, Sunday markets and art gallery openings. There is a Winter carnival and a few other seasonal events. Visit their events website for what’s going on. It’s truly one of a kind.
On the other end of the state, we have Pomfret. This is a more realistic town, and by realistic, I mean livable – although it’s probably just as pricey as the others I’ve mentioned. Pomfret’s draw is that it’s so out of the way and quiet, it reminds me of what it was like when I was a kid. We’ve eaten at the Harvest Restaurant, which I like a lot. It’s much more private than other places we’ve visited. Especially good for chilly Autumn nights.
If you do decide to visit Pomfret, go for the ride. There’s not a lot to do there other than a few restaurants and state parks, but what it does have to offer is tranquility. And that’s rare these days. Go and cruise around and dream about how you may one day end up living there. And whatever you do, don’t forget to visit Sharpe Hill Vineyard. You won’t be sorry.
Down at the shore, there are a few more parks. One of them is called Hammonasset and is worth every ounce of time it takes to get there. I recommend visiting after Summer – probably September or October sometime. You’ll have the place to yourself and you’ll most likely sit on the sand wondering how you ever got so lucky to end up in such a place. When I visited, I happened to have just finished reading The Great Gatsby. You can’t hit home more than that. I felt as though the author had written the book from where I was resting. Look for pictures or videos and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
As I write this, I’m realizing I can go on forever. To avoid this, I’ll simply list a few more things you should see, such as Gillette State Park, the ferry crossing at the end of Ferry Road on the Connecticut River, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, , the Air Line Trail, Madison – oh the list goes on. What I’ve done in the past few years, I’m sure will torment me for some time to come. It hurts just writing about it.
In other, and more unfortunate news, I had to say goodbye to my classmates from Jiu-Jitsu last night. I’m not sure how I got through this without choking up, but I did. And I can’t believe I did it without my voice cracking once. I think the driving force behind me was the fact that I could write about it, like I am now. This venue is a much more honest place and I can express myself better without worrying how I look.
I want to preface this by telling you that I’m not one to say goodbye. I’ve left countless people in a less mature and cold way. I’ve found it regretfully easier. College, old jobs, friends from where I’ve lived – they all have something against me, I’m sure. Perhaps I get too attached and simply think it’s less stressful to disappear in the night. I’m not sure, but I didn’t want to do that to those I’ve met through Jiu-Jitsu.
There are a few choice people who I wish to never have out of my life. I’m not going to mention names here, but if I’ve smiled and spent time with you over the past four years, you’re most likely one of them. I want to write to them and hear updates on their personal lives and their training. I want to stay connected so badly, I can’t put it into words. And I was touched last night when a few of my friends told me they wanted the same thing. I actually received letters from two especially important people. Letters I’ve read a total of about twenty two times. Letters that I was surprised to receive because all I am is a dopey guy who likes to wrestle. Well, I supposed when you wrestle with people, you end up making friends out of them.
In a previous post on my other blog, I alluded to how friends from Jiu-Jitsu class can become so close. I can’t seem to grasp the same thoughts now, but I do want to mention that if you ever get the chance to open your life to something like this, take it. You’ll meet some interesting individuals who are after the same thing you are. Like I did, you’ll watch them grow and change into something so different from the first time you met them. You’ll count on their help when it comes to training and you’ll see how their lives differ through the years. The only thing I regret is turning down the multiple invitations to parties and get togethers, because if I had it to do all over again, I’m sure I would take them up on their offers. I’m not sure I’m going to get too many more chances like the ones I’ve had here.
I don’t know what to do. How many times can I say goodbye before I actually leave? Perhaps I’ll just get it done and then reach out once I end up where I end up. Please follow this blog and leave comments. Email me and stay in touch. Call me. We’ll talk and we’ll catch up. Like I said last night, we’re in the internet age and we can sound like we’re in the next room, as opposed to nine states away.