Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Since Last I wrote....

July 4th lunch with Dad, LM and Kristi.....we took Dad for a long ride to his old familiar places and then to lunch tat his favorite Christo's in Brockton where he was royally greeted by his fan club. Dad took Mum there for lunch every day for many years until the day she died. He ate a hearty lunch of Greek-style baked lamb and followed it up with a strawberry shortcake dessert in honor of Mum. That was her favorite 4th of July treat. Last week, amidst the madness which is the depression that has its claws in me, I left work, came home and slept away the rest of a day, and woke to a call from LM saying he had the way to cheer me up....we were embarking on another road trip, for which we would be paid, and he would get to show me Adirondack State Park in upstate New York. Since making the same trip last Fall alone, LM has been hoping to to take me along sometimeto share the magnificent beauty of this place. This would also enable us to visit overnight with my dear, dear friend, Nan, who recently moved to beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY. We set out at 5 am on Saturday, holding hands all the way, bound for Massena, NY which sits on the Canadian border along the St. Lawrence Seaway. We decided to drive north through New Hampshire (the Green Mountains and all their splendor welcomed us) across to Vermont and up to Lake Champlain, then take the ferry from Grand Isle across to Plattsburgh. The day was murky and rainy when we left the Cape but NH gave us sunshine which never left us until we returned to the Cape on Sun evening! It seemed we spent all day exclaiming about the beauty and unusual sights to behold....going toward Massena, we were astounded by vistas and lushness along the NY side of Lake Champlain but quickly we were plunged into very rural areas which were pockets of abject poverty, abandoned houses sinking in to the ground, entirely empty shopping centers, many struggling working farms, and then a massive wind farm which was still being added to ( a good thing to see). The car dealer who was waiting for us in Massena warned us we would be driving through a Mohawk Indian reservation and to be cautious....more terrible poverty but two massive palatial casinos! They have their own police force and a militant presence was palable.
We had no idea what sort of car we were picking up and LM was excited beyond belief to find he would be driving a Chevy SSR customized collectible pick-up truck. It had a Corvette engine and was such fun. At this point we were now driving separate cars, me following along in a Honda as we headed south to drive through the Adirondacks. I wish I could have taken photos but we were on precipitous winding roads and it just didn't happen. We climbed and descended our way along toward Saratoga and Nan's house. The forests, the moutains, the charming old towns, many with architecture unique to the area, lakes and rivers, all bringing us to our church the place where are souls find renewal, nature at its FINEST. We had walkie-talkies so we were continually talking back and forth and exclaiming at all we saw. My favorite thing was the strong balsam scent rising from the forest as the sun hit the trees. I had the sun roof and all the windows open so I could immerse myself. At one point the road was bordered by a lake,more than a mile long, on our right which was high on a mountain with very twisty roads and there were white birch trees everywhere, lighting the woods. We loved Saranac Lake and its old resort town, and the town of Keene in the Keene Valley, which appears to be a favorite spot of trout fisherman as it is home to the Ausable River. LM says that is mecca for trout afficionados.....he would know. Keene has many beautiful B & B's, built in that unique Adirondack lodge style and set back on dirt roads in the woods.
We received a royal welcome at Nan's about 8 that evening. It had been a long day of driving and her sweet new home was a haven for us! After staying up quite late to catch-up, and sharing some delicious food with a glass of wine, we were asleep quickly!
The next morning found us ready to tour Saratoga Springs but not before we enjoyed some time on the deck and a lovely breakfast featuring a cherry popover baked fresh by Nan. Yum. Recipe from Real Simple Mgazine. Just key in Dried Cherry Popover. Tried to do a link but failed at the moment.

The Hot rod and the hotrodder!
LM and Nan on her deck.

Above is the entrance to the famous Saratoga Springs race track which we drove by on our tour. Nan took us to so many interesting places and I cannot wait to go back to spend more time. She made sure we got to visit three of the famous springs which feature healing waters for which the area is famous. We visited the famous Roosevelt Spa which is the most beautiful old building housing the famous mineral baths. My next trip will feature a visit there for a spa bath and massage! We walked around a bit in downtown Saratoga and actually did a little shopping for gifts for LM's children. There are many, many fascinating and interesting boutiques and galleries everywhere. The city has parks, many filled with sculpture , and is a haven for the arts. We did get to drive through the famous artists' retreat, Yaddo, a high point for me and a place of immense beauty. There are elaborate gardens there but we didn't get that far. Next time, I hope. Many famous writers and artists have retreated to Yaddo for fellowship and inspiration throughout the years. The next to last stop was to visit Nan's Dad and see her childhood home and it was as lovely as she is....we sat for awhile on a lovely covered porch by their pool and watched woodpeckers feeding as we gazed out over the lovely fields to the woods. A very peaceful place. All too quickly it was time to say good-bye and I choked back tears for many miles as I realized just how much Nan's friendship means to me. How fortuitous that I now work with a woman who has family in that area and we will plan a trip back to Saratoga in the Fall so I can spend more time. Just before we left the area we shared a lovely seafood lunch and recapped our trip... another road trip interlude of feeling so in love, and happy to be together. I have never loved anyone the way I love LM and the way he loves and looks out for me is a precious gift.

Depression and anxiety still clutched me as we were immersed in all this beauty, love and happiness. It is so odd to feel so happy in so many ways put still be filled with anxiety and underlying sadness. My mind runs rampant with questions and a constant dowsing for WHY do I feel this way. Sure I have had very prolonged stress - recovery from domestic abuse trauma, an elderly parent, but I really think the bottom line is fear of not being able to work and the ensuing financial crisis. Monday my therapist asserted that I must see my doctor and discuss medication. I have made an appointment for next week. Who knows....short of a major windfall of money, I see no answer for the threat of homelessness and poverty which faces me. It is beyond crippling when I allow myself to face the fact that when I can no longer work, or if I should lose my job, I will be in dire straits. Today I felt no sadness at all. Some anxiety. Meanwhile, I am trying to get through each day. Keeping busy, smiling at work and I spent a lovely evening with my daughter, SIL and granddaughter last night. The baby is really so animated now and hearing her say "Nana" was so sweet. She is now waving "bye-bye" and blowing kisses and she had a great time playing peek-a-boo with LM.

So that is the latest from Cape Cod where we are now inundated with tourists and one could never tell that the economy is lagging. Statistics say that the merchants had a fantastic 4th weekend! Here's hoping it continues and that we are on the upswing.

We have a big celebration coming at work on Friday as the long awaited book about the company has been published. It has been a privilege to take part in the making of that book and the principals are honoring all of us with a party.


Ernestine said...

What a wonderful trip. All you have described almost made me envious of my 20 years of not going many miles from her home.
I see nothing but blessings and love in your life. I know in my heart you are going to be fine.
This is from one just peering in my the outside.
Only thing I could not have driven the route you did. Would need a driver.
Take care and Blessings to you this day.

Beverly said...

I know your exact fears, I have the same ones. The ones regarding money and employment. I miss days every month and one day I am afraid they will say So Long, see you later.
But, we must not worry our life away, so let's not worry too much..

Anonymous said...

I understand what you're going through. All we can do is put one foot in front of the other and do the best we can. Try and wake up in the morning and think of the very things you're thankful for-start your day that way. If the depression seems to be lasting too long, always seek help. Sometimes it's chemical-we can't control that. I worry about money and my future as well. Many of us do-you're not alone. hometown is Saratoga Springs! As you know, my house is for sale and I'm moving to the outer Cape. I currently live just 2 blocks in from Yaddo-and the track. It is a beautiful city that has grown like crazy over the years. I just read that it's the only city in upstate NY that is still growing! Glad you enjoyed it. Hang in there-positive thoughts as much as you can! It always helps me to get up and walk in the morning-ang sometimes again at night. Clears the mind. Ann NY/CC

Julie said...

I love reading your blog! I live here on the Cape, but the descriptions of your life, your travel, and your love just inspire me.
I too am going through the same emotions that you are. It isn't an "age thing" because I am only 39and have all the same fears. My therapist has me going to the doctors next week to possibly find a pill that is right for me.
I think truly we are all in the same boat. Keep the faith and keep smiling.

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Thank you all for the encouraging feedback this week. It helps a lot. I am status quo but doing what I can to face toward positive and am relieved I have finally made the appt with the dr for Mon.

Ann....that is amazing that you are in Saratoga. Beautiful place sans the ocean though! I hope you will be landing on CC soon. glad you wrote. I suspect that many women feel this way and much of it is tied to the uncertainty of our economic times, too. So happy we share a CC connection.

Ernestine & Beverly....thank you for being dear friends here! Your voices are most welcome...M