Saturday, June 27, 2020

The trip and visit

We got back from visiting Mimi, Tim and Eleanor in North Branch, New York this afternoon.

It's a house they bought last fall, long before the virus hit, and they've been there since NYC shut down, safe and isolated. North Branch is basically no where. They found the house because friends of their from Brooklyn/Manhattan owned the house next-door. By next door, I mean 200 yards down a two lane highway with mountains on both sides.

When we were getting close, our first visit, Bern said, 'this is West Virginia'.

And it was--narrow valleys between towering mountains, tiny roads, rural as hell.

Their back yard is literally a mountain. There is only a few feet between the back of their house and a steep, heavily wooded mountain. They own a good deal of the mountain, but it is almost impossible to climb and full of ticks.

Eleanor has had a bunch of ticks since they've been there and is on antibiotics for her latest bite.

But it is a lovey 1890's farm house with little strange details and sliding barn doors as the doors to some of the rooms. And it is safe and isolated in this time of pandemic.

Mimi and Tim are working mostly from home. Tim works for Linked-In and probably would never have to go to his office in the Empire State Building. Mimi works for an Architectural Magazine and has to go the NYC for a day or so every week. It's a 2 to 4 hour drive, but only occasionally.

They are both so bright and wondrous I couldn't explain more than that.

Eleanor, who will be 4 in August, is so smart and funny an entertaining and happy.

It's that last word that gives me joy to fill my heart. She is so happy!

Tim and Mimi are raising a happy girl, God bless them.

I was watching the news on MSNBC on Friday early evening and Eleanor came to ask me why. I told her I wanted to know what was happening, it was important to me. She said the news was boring. We had a 20 minute conversation about news being important and boring as she asked question after question about Arie Melbourne and Joy Reed. Amazing for a not yet 4 year old.

It took us longer to go than to come back. Why is GPS not consistent? Going we got off 4 lanes about 30 miles from their house and followed Rt 52 through White Sulfur Springs (2 other reasons it fell like West Virginia: Rt. 52 is a main drag in WV and White Sulfur Springs in the Resort FDR made famous.)

Coming back, we got on 17 E., a four lane road  five miles from their house, that went all the way to I-84, which brought us to Cheshire in just over 2 hours. It rained every mile of the trip.

The only time is drizzled, we stopped at a rest stop to pee. Other times it rained so hard I would have pulled over if I could have seen the shoulder!

A great time, in spite of that.

We love them so....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.