Bouncing around New England

Haven’t  been on a writing spree here, have I? And this in spite of the perambulations around New England. Poking around Cambridge with Andy and Devon, then up to Dartmouth for my 25th reunion. Back down to Massachusetts for a post-reunion jam with my old college band, the not-forgotten-and-yet-unmourned “The Hinge”. We didn’t sound that bad (at least, not much worse than we did 23 years ago which, admittedly, wasn’t particularly good).

Then off to Cape Cod, solo, just because I’ve never gotten the chance to explore there, back to the mainland to check out the fabled “Wayside Inn”, and now here, to an old favorite: Walden Pond. Over the past 10 days, I’ve spent the night in five different towns. But it’s good – it’s been great fun.
It’s been a literary sort of journey, in a way. First Cape Cod – the Truro woods, the windswept dunes and beech forests of Race Point, where Mary Oliver snatched beauty out of the air and distilled it into written words on a page. She is still my favorite poet.

Then the Wayside Inn – where Longfellow stayed, and set his “Tales from a Wayside Inn”, mirroring Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Including that more-dramatic-than-accurate account of Paul Revere’s midnight ride. The drawers of the old writing desk in my room were filled with letters, postcards, greetings written on doilies and baggage claims (plus several garters!) from prior guests, commemorating their stays.

Bonus realism: as I was going over my notebook after dinner in the old pub room where Longfellow supposedly wrote, a dozen men (and women) in revolutionary garb ambled in, tuckered out from a hard evening of fife-and-drum practice, plonked themselves down at the bar and ordered up grog.

But – I’ve got to admit, I’ve never really gone for Longfellow, and retreated this morning to the abode of another favorite author, at the edge of Walden Pond. This morning, it’s a crazy splashing swimming beach – fussy moms, squealing kids, preening young women and men trying to look like they’re not looking at each other. It’s quieter up in the woods, but the flies and mosquitoes are out for blood, so I’m going to cut this short and post when I get to a wifi signal.
[promise I’ll upload pictures and all, too, as soon as I’ve dug up a USB cable]


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