"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Sunday, September 19, 2010


This weekend coming, we are going away to the cottage that we rent each year.  I really look forward to it.  It is the one time that we (my family) are really together and connected.  There is usually very little drama, and just lots of good times.  I think everyone relaxes, has fun, and really just unwinds from the normal grind.  It is a good tradition, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
This time, Adam isn't going to make it, because of his new job.  I'm glad he's working, but I will really miss him.  I have been getting to know him again, little by little and these trips are a big part of it.  But I know, there will be other trips, other times.  I just wish he wasn't going to miss this one. 


No moose.  Trust me,  I looked.

Going up north is revitalizing to me.  I can feel the weight of the world sliding off my shoulders, when I start seeing the pre-Cambian rocks, and the pines lining the roadside.  The air smells different, a bit cooler, a bit sharper.  I search the edges of every bog and beaver pond we pass for a glimpse of moose.  I watch hawks wheel through the sky.  Every time, I feel like I am coming home.

 In my heart of hearts, I belong up there.  I work well in the city, our small little town.  Because I have to.  When I married Geoff, I understood that the life I had always envisioned, on the edge of the woods, just a little bit wild, would never happen.  That's not who he is.  That's not how he will live.  They say that marriage is just an ongoing series of compromise and sacrafice.  That was one of mine- one of the biggest.

I dont' regret it.  At least, not alot.

These trips help. 
Would that I could.
While we drive up- Geoff's latest soundtrack compilation playing on the stereo of the "packed too tight" mini van, kids sleeping (hopefully) in the back, dog resting as comfortably as he can- I think.  I usually love road trips.  Geoff and I would have the best conversations in the car.  Sometimes, we still do.  But on these trips, in the final stretches, I tend to be quiet.  Sure, some of it is the fact that we have been on the road for 4 hours and I'm tired (I usually drive).  But alot of it- MOST of it- is me thinking.  Thinking hard.  Thinking about where I would be, what I would be doing, and who I would be doing it with, if I had chosen differently.

I went to school for fish and wildlife technology.  While there were parts of school that I didn't like (read roommates, being poor, and crappy classes), there was alot of it I loved.  I am so proud that I did that.  I loved learning and hiking the woods and proving how strong I was.  I was surrounded by likeminded people, very different from the people I had grown up and went to school with in the Falls.  The girls, few and far between, were often alot like me.  They didn't care about hair styles- pony tails were best, they kept your hair out of your face and the fish guts.  They didn't care about clothes- we lived in flannel and wool and work boots.  They drank and swore like men, were tough and strong.  And if they weren't like that, they usually didn't last.  And the boys....oh my, the boys.

I have a very particular type of boy that I like.  I like tough boys.  Not ones that talk tough, or like to fight all the time.  No, they are idiots.  I like tough boys, real ones.  Ones with calluses on their hands, and dirt under their fingernails.  Blue collar boys.  I heart Bruce Springsteen.  I love the smell of sweat, and grease and the outside on a boy.  I like hair a little bit long, a little bit curly, facial hair and tattoos.  I like boys with meat on them, in t-shirts and jeans.  I like boys that can catch and gut a fish, that know how guns and cars work, that can  fix almost anything.  I like boys that drink beer and shoot whiskey and smoke.  Oh my.

So, I know if you know me, and you read this, the inevitable question you will ask is- "If this is the boy you like, how the hell did you end up with Geoff?"

Geoff has asked me this question a couple of times himself.  :)

Me and him.
While Geoff might not be a lot of the things I mentioned, he has one advantage.  He is real.  He is live and here and present in my life.  He is good to me.  I don't worry that he will spend the mortgage money on drugs, or liquor or strippers.  I can talk to him, and he listens.  He loves me, I don't doubt it for a second.  He gave me two beautiful babies, and a home.  He is smart, and kind, and honest.  When I told him about my idea to take scary photographs and try to get people to buy them, he never doubted for a second, even though he hates horror.  He still talks to me about comic books, even though I don't get most of it.  He lets me steal the blankets.  And no matter how many times I complain about myself, start and stop diets and excercise regimines- he tells me I'm beautiful.  No imaginary bad boy can ever live up to that.


So, when we leave this weekend, I can do my imagining, and my thinking and my daydreaming.  But reality- my reality, down here, is what I will always want to come back to.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "north".

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