Reno. A place where we'd spent much time in the early 90's. No, not for that reason. Heh. Just for shopping back when we lived an hour away out in the desert. But this day we spent only minutes there, only long enough to rent a car before beginning our journey to our old hometown, the place where I graduated high school and met Tom. The very town where Naomi was born.
I'll call it Martinsville.
And after an uneventful ride, marked only by the myriad memories which flew to our brains upon seeing familiar landscapes and towns, we arrived in Martinsville with its lovely bed-and-breakfast inn inside a home built back in 1902.
That's it, above (side view only), and I wish I could convey to you the peace which awaited us there. I mean, this was the scene outside our suite's windows:
Can you imagine awakening to that every morning? Incredible.
And this was outside our door:
(Enlarge to see the raised garden beds.) Oh, the ideas this place planted inside my head! Throughout our entire trip, always, part of me wanted to return home, but this place, more than any other, made me want to race back to New York and create such loveliness within my own backyard.
Here was my room:
And here was Tom's:
The main rooms downstairs were always open and the sun room had a tiny computer, a tv, too (the bedrooms had no tv's, an idea I found wonderful). But here is Tom in the sun room enjoying one of his favorite activities:
So it was here in our tiny hometown where we spent two-and-a-half days visiting with Tom's family. We sat with them in restaurants and in their living rooms and just basked in being with family, in seeing children and adults grown older and mellower over time. I remember gazing around at their faces and pondering, "This feels good. Right. And lovely." And it was.
Tom and I drove around our old town, marking the many changes, the businesses which, decades ago, we only dreamed of having nearby. We ate breakfast one morning with a friend of mine from high school, someone we also attended church with back in the 80's (we reconnected on Facebook. I told you I love that place.). How incredible to visit with her after only a quick glimpse of her 16 years ago in the same restaurant where we now dined. We visited an old friend of Tom's, too, out at the fire station where he is chief. Sat outside the ol' laundromat on a bench while our laundry swirled inside, watched people drive past, and agreed our hometown is a lovely one to be from.
The good-byes to family were sad, but had to come. And with one last cup of coffee in my hands, we were on our way again.
Oh, and thanks very much to each of you who welcomed me back home and to Blogland. I appreciated your kind words so much! It's amazing to be back.