Ever stayed in an isolated cabin in a dark woods far from civilization? A nice place for a vacation when you want to get away from it all. Great for sitting by a cozy fire in winter or reading books in a hammock in summer, for making love, or playing bagpipes. Not so great when you want to communicate with family back in a city. Then it’s the dark ages.
That’s where I live. In the dark. In the woods. No cabin, just a small house we retired to in Maine five years ago.
We do have technology. Computers, a cell, and a satellite phone. It’s just that none of them work when it snows or rains. Doesn’t take a blizzard or Nor’ easter. A simple drizzle will knock it all out. And guess what?! It’s been raining cats and dogs daily for over a month, including today. No calls go through. I can forget phoning or facetiming with son, daughter, or grandchild over July fourth as I tried and failed to do today. No signals. Just like last Christmas’ blizzard or yesterday’s rain.
It’s lousy when you can’t be with or talk with family because they live three thousand two-hundred forty-five miles away! Sucks! (I never use that word nor its “f” counterpart so you can tell I’m really angry!).
Haven’t seen my sons and their families for 4 years. You heard that right: FOUR YEARS! What’s the point of being a grandmother if you never see your kids?! I could be dead before we meet again! Maybe one day we’ll meet in some heavenly place high in the sky amongst floating clouds–but that’s not what I believe. Nor would it be good enough! I want to see them NOW! On this human plane!
I want to see Olivia ride her mustang or mind her miniature ponies. I want to watch Zachary race –and explain to me, as he so meticulously does when we facetime–his remote-control car he made all by himself. I want to see what new things their mom and dad are doing with their wonderland of a farm they’ve created. I want to take a walk down to Dungeness Spit off the Olympic Coast with my other son and his wife. Or we might all hike together Hurricane Ridge, part of Olympic National Park. And then come back to one of their homes for Jason’s special smoked barbeque pork, Nathan’s fresh-caught salmon, and end with one of Jason’s perfect fruit pies made from his home-grown produce.
We’d all settle round hearing stories from the boys’ childhood as well as new tales by their kids. We’d laugh together, Bill adding his witty humor. We’d pat a cat, or two or three, plus a Lab dog and a Newfie pup. Nearby, there’d be a duck (or two) that comes back every year, having imprinted several years ago with Zachary, flying up to his second-story bedroom window to wake him daily. I’d watch Olivia, a high school junior, svelte, commanding and caring, ride her horses with proper authority and beauty as only a true horsewoman can. Alison would quietly chat with Marcelle–the two wives are good friends–while I, the grandma, would hardly know which of all this wonderful gang to follow. It would be even more perfect if my daughter Charissa, Danny and Emma who live in Pennsylvania were there, too. The girl cousins who haven’t seen each other since they were in elementary school, would enjoy each other immensely now as high schoolers.
Wow! The whole family gathered together. What an exquisite rarity.
But that’s not my fourth of July this year. Nor any other likely day in the near future. All I can offer in this posting is hope that you, dear reader, are with your family and I can vicariously be happy for you.
Artwork: Dungeness Spit, watercolor, approx. 28″ x 22″, SOLD.
Dungeness Spit is a magical place, part of Dungeness Wildlife Refuge, in the Pacific Northwest, which son Jason has extensively volunteered to care for and serve as a director for Friends of Dungeness Wildlife Refuge. Clusters of large driftwood pieces, piled and strewn attractively throughout the expansive beach, invite an artist to paint there as I did.