In the end, I never met the ghosts of Savannah. But I did meet up with a few friendly spirits, both from my past and present.
Other than staying with my sister’s parents-in-law, who I had not seen in about three years, I got the chance to see my brother-in-law. He had not been able to go to Mexico for Thanksgiving with the rest of my family but we had last run into each other in D.C., when he and my sister were there at the same time that I was, so he has thus far been my Facebook friend with the most cameos. Runner-up for that is Teddy, who I also saw in her hometown of Savannah, where she is living for awhile between Rhode Island and Austin, her next move. And I reconnected with my sister’s friend, Amy, who was only days away from having a baby girl with her husband, Steve, when all of us hung out at Forsyth Park after an obligatory trip to the Sentient Bean, where a few FB friends had ordered me to go and where I indeed had an excellent cup of coffee and a scone. Read more
I have written before how much I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of those holidays for everyone: no religion, no race, no nationality (ignoring the fact that we’re one of two countries to celebrate it), no stipulations, other than showing gratitude for what you have and the fact that you are even around to give thanks. Furthermore, it’s not an insular day; it’s a time when families open up their homes to welcome friends— or at least, that’s how we have always celebrated it and this year, as a guest in another families’ home, I am finding that more people do that, too.
In honor of this day and the fact that my last three months have been one, huge joyous celebration of friendship, I thought it would be appropriate to post a video (if you go here, the frame is bigger) I made about Lynchburg, Va., which can be a bit of a vortex, indeed, though as my friend Jessie pointed out: that is not necessarily a bad thing; it’s a place that feels safe, like home. And as my friend Kim pointed out: people there care about you; they care about what you do and what happens to you.
So, friends. Happy Thanksgiving and may you all find yourselves in places right now where it feels like home, and where people care about you. I know that’s where I am.
The morning I left New Paltz for New York City, a beautiful blue sky came out and the oranges, yellows and reds of fall were brilliantly illuminated by the sun, highlighting the leaves and cutting the chill in the air from the rain just the night before. I took Rennie on a walk before we set off, because we would be living the urban life for least a week and that would include leash laws that would keep him no more than three feet away from me at all times but as you might remember, Rennie likes to run, so we went just down the street to a Rail Trail path, where Justine said that she let their dog, Betty, off the leash.
I did the same and Rennie took off, of course, but he never strays too far, so I was not worried. But then I was ready to leave, because we were told to leave town by 1 o’ clock, in order to avoid rush hour in the city, and it was about noon by then, so I called him and he did not come out right away, so I called again. Still no Rennie. I waited. And I waited some more. I called. And I called. And I called. No Rennie.
It was my last morning in Portland and I had three very important things to do: make an appointment with the vet; buy my winter wardrobe and see some lighthouses.
First: the vet. Rennie had been licking himself. A lot. So much, so that I had to put on my earbuds and turn the volume up when I was in the same room with him. I figured it was just a masculine-dog thing, something that he was doing as part of his teenage boy regimen, but I happened to mention it to Sarah and she said I might consider taking him to the vet, as her dog had been doing the same thing once and although he otherwise had no symptoms, it ended up being a urinary tract infection. I called her vet and they were booked for the day, but they gave me another vet’s name and number, and I was able to get us in there for 10:30.
And then I had nowhere to go.
It was the end of the first week of September, just about three weeks into my travels, and I was in the 1000 Islands, the last planned stop on my Facebook circuit until I could get to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where some friends from the island were waiting to receive me. But if you don’t know how far apart the two places are from one another, this should give you an idea: my Toronto friends were telling me that from there, it would be a 24-hour drive. Consider also, however, that they told me it would be a two- or three-hour drive from Toronto to the 1000 Islands and it actually took me about five, because, well, Roxie, Rennie and I travel at a slightly different pace than everyone else. So, basically, to get to Halifax from Marty & Linda’s was not going to be a quick jaunt up the road. It was going to be more like The Joads go to the North Pole.