Tuesday, November 27, 2007

En route from Marion, Massachusetts, to Bridgewater, Maine

434 statute miles
50°, dropping to 30° in the course of our journey

We took the bus today up north, up, up, heading up into the big county Karl is named for. On the trail his trail name was “Big County,” not just because of his physical stature, but also for Arookstook County, the biggest county east of the Mississippi. He has a farm up here, 120 acres and a three-bedroom house. When I first met him, I was utterly confused by a 26-year-old with his own land avec horse. How many 26-year-olds do you meet like that? Since then, the place has become a little bit of an albatross around our collective neck, but it’s still an amazing place to come back to. A reminder of what we could have if we decided to settle down.

That’s the worst part of being here, feeling torn between two places. On the one hand, I can feel how much our families want us here, how much they’ve missed us, and how much we’ve missed them. And on the other hand, I see my picture of forlorn Secret on the hard every time I boot up the computer. The picture mysteriously appeared as my computer background when we were first back in the States, and I’ve left it ever since as a reminder of what we’re going home to.

We showed up finally at Snow Road at about ten, left off by the side of the road by the bus like some kind of drifters, picked up by Karl’s dad at Bridgewater center, the post office. Snow Road doesn’t have that much snow on it yet, just a couple of inches. The beaver pond’s full of water, and the land stretched out to the horizon in all directions, featureless and empty and beautiful. The sky is huge up here above the potato fields, framed by pines. If I could only survive the cold.

We immediately booted up the computer and began showing off our pictures to Karl’s father. I feel like such a dork sometimes, like a hippie couple from the seventies: watch our slide show! I don’t know how else to get across the magnitude of what we’ve experienced, though, and even then I’m not sure it does it justice. We’ve come so far and changed so much since we’ve been here last, and here the place is, still the same.

Thanksgiving was great, too. My brother came down from Somerville for the night before Thanksgiving and the morning of, and I enjoyed being able to spend at least some time with some of my family in addition to Karl’s. After Thanksgiving, Karl’s mom began to put up Christmas decorations and play Christmas music... It’s a reminder of just how much time has passed. I’ve also been working on the article I posted here way back when. I’m finding it difficult to come to any closure, though I am proud of myself for plugging away at it at all.

I still feel so betwixt and between. I know that visiting our families is a necessity, but it’s expensive, and it’s taking time away from all these other pressing concerns. I know that’s ludicrous. Maintaining relationships with the people we love is more important than anything else we can do. I just feel a little lost in all of these other people’s houses in all this travel. I just have to keep pushing through to the light at the end of the tunnel, our little house that we pray is patiently waiting for us.

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