Last Saturday was my birthday, and feeling a tad city weary and overwhelmed with typical 20-something angst, decided that some fresh air might do me some good.
I took a bus from Port Authority and headed upstate to meet my friend Thea. She had arranged for us to stay with her Aunt and Uncle who live in a town that I have now forgotten the name of, but it’s within forty minutes of Monticello. I distinctly remember signs that said “Catskills” but I could have been imagining that. You can probably tell I have never been very far upstate.
I am so glad I was able to get away.
Although I consider myself a city girl, I can freely admit that rural areas are not without their charms. I swung in a hammock and looked up at millions of stars. I ate a tiny cucumber straight from the vine. I saw lots of of run over woodland creatures splattered all over the road – that reminded me of California the most. Sometimes the city can feel so stifling. When things get rough I find myself longing for a simpler existence, where my main priorities are less complex and all tangible – with clear solutions.
They say the grass is greener, and so for a few days I basked in my own interpretation of my new “simpler” surroundings, relishing the illusion that I didn’t have anything to worry about – at least until I was done exploring the corn maze.
On September 30th (Sunday), Thea and I went to the Harvest Festival at Bethel Woods.
It’s the same location that Woodstock was held. Neither of my parents went to this, but I did see the movie. Naturally, I was curious.
I tried to locate hippies but it really was a family affair – local merchants displaying their wares and activists handing out fliers for various causes. The closest I came to finding any hippies was at the snake booth…
The handler was a burly, tattooed man with a faded tee and a scraggly beard, and I tried to imagine him orgiastically rolling around in mud to the sounds of Jimi Hendrix.
Imagine finding the time to make a giant angel scarecrow?
This creation was a sight to behold, and I spent several minutes examining it from top to bottom.
…I complain to myself that I never have enough free time to work on my own creative projects, but some hardworking mother with children, outdoor chores, a full time job, and apparently an abundance of hay had the time to whip this out in time for the festival. If she can do that, I can certainly complete at least a few of the projects on my list before the year is through…
My friend Thea is the MacGyver of craftiness.
She can cook anything, build anything, knows how to rescue animals, is somehow taking a full class load and working and still finds the time to help me sneak away from this (sometimes) psychic sink hole of a city.
Before this trip, she came over to my new apartment and taught me how to use my new kitchen appliances.
She takes beautiful photographs, so I had to sneak a photo of her taking one. I pretended I was exploring the corn maze but was actually being sneaky…
She took some photos of me, but since her camera is an old school Canon I will have to wait until she gives me copies so I can scan them.
Because of Thea’s positive influence, I have returned recently returned to healthier eating habits. I actually pay attention to what is going into my body, as opposed to just shoveling in whatever is easily accessible or from a familiar restaurant menu.
As strange as this sounds, this is a new thing for me – cooking. I am also (once again) no longer eating meat, and I hope to stick with this decision although I am not making any promises.
I am not crazy about llamas (they smell and spit a lot) but these guys were pretty cute:
I haven’t written in a while, for many reasons. Mostly because I am still adjusting to my move, a change in relationship status and a change in attitude.
One thing is for sure – I am loving my new sense of freedom, the privacy of my own place and the simple pleasure of silence.