Friday, September 01, 2006

Country Drive

Yesterday Tom and I drove out to the country... picked up our coffee in a shop on the way and just drove and drove among fields, feeling like our windows were screens through which we saw Life the way we would like to live it. It felt a little like torture, though, for me, because I so want to move out there where 1800's farm houses still stand long after the people who dreamed them have gone. And where huge red or white barns lean a little but still shelter animals and hay and where Life looks quieter and like something far removed from the city and 2006.

We stopped at the tiny 1920's book cabin in the middle of nowhere where you put your quarters in the metal box by the door after you've walked upon the creaking boards and fingered dusty books and chosen a couple treasures for your own.

Then we drove through three old towns out there, ones with tall brick buildings side by side for 130 years and Victorian houses at their edges and then more farm houses the further away you drive. Outside one of those brick buildings sat two old men and we said hello to them before we stepped into their junk shop, a place so overwhelming we could barely think. But I did pull out an old 1927 cookbook from beneath others and loved the pictures and gave the old men the dollar after we chatted with them back outside awhile.

We ate lunch in the next old brick building'ed town, in a small family diner where every knew everyone but us. And then back on the main country road and more farm houses and fields and sunflowers and yard sales and vegetable stands beside the road... and more longing that our car was headed for a country house rather than a 1930's suburb one.

But instead, we got ice cream cones at a little stand where you walk up and place your order at the screened window and walked away with our frozen yogurt, into our car and back through more fields and flowers and clear skies and temperatures so perfect... and not a freeway or a thruway or a busy street anywhere... back to our home and its canvas onto which I am painting something very different than a farm house--but only for now.

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