May 5th, 2004

tired

Why am I so sleepy?

Today I went in to Newburyport with my parents. It was very nice, as always, and even warm, but oh, did I get tired!

On the way there, Mom stopped at this shoe store that seems to specialize in orthopedic shoes and/or shoes specifically designed for old women with bunions. She must've been fited for about 20 pairs before she got to. One thing she discovered is that one of her arches falling, there is a 1 1/2 size different between her feet! Crazy... but also really really boring. I think my dad made the smart move when he chose to stay in the care and have a 1/2 hour nap, while I meanwhile found that the only show I liked in the store was discontinued and not in stock in my size.

Newburport came after that, lovely and terribly English as usual. (The town it reminds me most of is Royal Tunbridge-Wells, which is in E. Sussex, I think.) It was a big whaling and fishing port and has a huge number of brick and stone buildings from the 1600s-1800s, including the old granite Custom House and what is really and truly an English-style high street. Lots of lovely shops too. We started with a walk on the boardwalk, which was nice b/c that's right direct on the water, and then we wandered up towards town and shopping. We had lunch at the little can't-believe-this-is-stil-around soda shop / cafe / magazine store, then popped in a Celtic themed shop, the Everything British shop (which I like, 'course), all nice little places. My dad eventually got tired and went back to the car, while mom and I shopped just a little bit longer.

Mom offered to take me out to Plum Island after that, but I went with her in December and felt tired, and I know Dad was, so I say it was OK if we just went home. Mom did me the favor, however, of driving down Route 1, which goes through all this pretty New England backroads in towns like Newbury, Boxford, North Andover. Really would love to go biking through those places or stop in each little town center, or maybe even drive there and see someday.

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On a totally different subject, this morning per usual, I awoke to my parents talking loudly in the den. And as usual, I learned all sorts of things I wouldn't have known if I hadn't overheard them. (This is how I gained most knowledge of my family growing up.) Today's nugget of info was that my mom gives regularly to Planned Parenthood. Huh! So do I, but I wonder about my mom on that one... Perhaps it fits in with her views that single motherhood is wrong and by giving she is doing her best to support women's right to have some options so they don't wind up single moms! I wish I could ask her, but I really avoid talking any politics with my parents.
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    tired tired
firstgrade

Nostalgia

Some people go visit places they used to go with old lovers or deceased spouses; today I went on a walk to visit places I used to go with my dog Taffy. She died about eleven years ago, but I swear, I think about her often, almost any time I see a dog, even when I'm just petting animals, like my guinea pigs. When people are talking about dogs, I still say "my dog Taffy used to..." like I only played with her last week, not 1993.

I walked over to Recreation Park / Pomp's Pond, a big tract of land the town owns which features a couple of baseball/softball diamonds, outdoor ice rink, tennis courts, and a swampy pond which has a public beach in summertime -- all of it nestled in woods. I grew up going to Pomp's a lot, because it was so close, whether driving over (5 minutes) or biking or walking. I learned to swim in the pond.

robably the best use I got out of the area, however, was as a place to take Taffy. Mom and I went on walks with her all the time over at Pomp's. We'd start off by the tennis courts, where Taffy's unerring nose would locate 5-20 tennis balls buried amidst the oak leaves. Nobody would ever go looking for them on their own, so it was free balls for us; we collected them in a bag. After she had found all the balls she could, we'd lead her down through the wooded paths to the water, where there was a dirt road with some outlets. Today I went to this one spot where we'd always play with her -- throwing the balls out into the pond and letting her swim out and back to retrieve them -- and it was like no time had passed. I really miss the dog though.

Afterward I walked all around the edge of the pond, through the woods, to the swim area, which was totally abandoned for the season. Got some great pictures of what I call the "ghostly playground," an abandoned, dangerous looking metal playground forgotten in the woods near the beach; I used to play on them as a child but obvious nobody in town knows they're there. I played on the *new* playground for a bit, then headed home. On the way, I thought about how it's funny how I feel such a strong connection to these really quiet, woodsy places, having spent so much time in the woods as a kid, but now I live right smack in the city and barely even go to parks. I *love* the city, but the other is so cut out of my life it's rather sick.
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    nostalgic nostalgic