your most loyal friend is thrown above onto baggage rack in the train.
your backpack. soon he will have a big sister. but that story is for later.
jelly beans are passed around. but you turn them down since you only like jelly bellys.
then your most loyal friend gets thrown into the back of a truck.
perhaps it’s also the most abused friend as you put it through so much.
a quick stop at a farmer’s market.
and then you arrive.
the new york countryside.
a country home.
a place to sit.
a place to stand.
a place to eat.
a place to breathe.
a place to stare.
a place to walk.
a turkey is fried.
an apple cake is made.
muffins are bought.
leftover apple cake is served.
dishes are done.
streets are crossed.
“it’s like herding cattle,” you comment to your friend about how she’s in charge of five frenchies.
“more like herding cats,” she corrects me.
historical hotels are visited.
a typical american diner is eaten in.
an egg cream is ordered.
your personal favorite – the shopping cart is pushed.
the door is unlocked.
the candles are lit.
dinner is grilled and served and eaten.
wineglasses are emptied.
dishes are cleaned (again).
puzzles are put together.
then, the last day. time to go back to the city. there is a checklist of things to do beforehand:
sweep the floor.
everybody volunteers for a but nobody wants to go pick tomatoes.
you don’t want to either.
thanks to record high amounts of rain the mosquitos are out in numbers higher than ever.
it is impossible to go outside without at least five different mosquitos on you at the same time.
you swat away one, but three more are on your neck. you swat your neck, and five more are on your wrist. you swat your wrist, and four more are on your ankle. there is no mercy.
but somebody has to do it. you sacrifice yourself. and you pick tomatoes in record speed because each unnecessary second spent outside meant more red irritated skin.
on your way in, your quickly admire the purples.
and the whites.
back inside, you’re safe. but not without battle scars. and rewarded with breakfast. jams, honey, pancakes, pear buttermilk cake, and bacon.
a perfect way to finish off your stay in upstate new york.