Nothing like a good sprint to start off the day.
This morning, I woke up to the soft nudging of my friend Trevanna, who quite calmly informed me that, not only had we slept through our intended wake up time – we’d also slept through our intended departure time. T’was 6:36am, and we still had to pack the car! Whoo hoo!
I was glad to discover that I’ve still got my running legs from travels abroad – camping backpack and daypack filled to the brim, plus guitar? Ain’t no thang baby! I’m such a heavy duty machine, doctors advise me to not operate myself when taking Benadryl!
It was a magnificent bolt to the Bolt Bus, and I am now being carried through the fog towards my good friends Brian and Samantha in NYC, whom I haven’t seen in months.
As promised I want to go through some of the wonderful highlights from yesterday. First – I love trains! There’s plenty of room to play guitar and there’s something about that mode of travel that seems to inspire a particular type of music for me – very bouncy, playful, and often thematically about being in motion; looking back while being carried forward and things like that. There’s a particularly smell to the Amtrak (I believe it’s the cleaner they use) that hit me as soon as I walked on board, and brought me right back to many college trips between Maine and Boston, through snow, rain, and sunny days.
Second – I love meeting old couples on trains! I had the pleasure of speaking with Jay and Jeanette, and rediscovering just how little of a Northeast/Maine accent I have. They overheard me say to the conductor that I was trying to get to “Reading” Massachusetts, and kindly turned around to say, “Well if yuh heading to Redding, yuh might as well stop ahf in Wahburn.” In case you’re wondering, “Wahburn” is actually spelled “Woburn”. We had a delightful chat about their New Years excursion into Portland Maine (they figured it would be more interesting than just going to the town dance in Wilmington – so cute!), and about Jay’s dream to find a place along the Penobscot “rivah” where he could own a boat and sit and watch the water go past. He was very clear that he wasn’t interested in being by an ocean or by a lake, and when I asked him why a river, he just shrugged and said, “I dunno – just feels right. Problem is…” (subtly pointing his thumb at his wife sitting next to him) “I can’t convince her.” He chuckled, knowing that she had heard him, and continued, “You know, they named a street after my wife.” “Yeah?” I said, quite interested. “Yeah,” he replied. “One way.” At this point he chuckled even more deeply, and reached over to touch his wife’s arm. “I’m only kidding,” he said. I couldn’t help but feel there was a lot to learn from the well worn smile on both their faces.
When I got in to Wahburn, I was greeted by my lovely friend Trevanna, who I’ve known and kept in touch with since we met more than 10 years ago at Music Theater Camp in Winthrop Maine. Besides having a very nice discussion in the car about life, futures seeming slightly clearer (?), and all the wonderful experiences and perspectives gained since we had last crossed paths out at Peaks Island, I for the first time got to meet Trevanna’s sisters, and spend time with her extended family. Her sisters names are Tallessyn, Tamerleigh and Trelawney. That’s right: Trelawney. Basically the COOLEST family ever (‘ceptin’ the O’Deans of course ;).
It was so moving to get to spend time with them, particularly because yesterday was their day to celebrate the Korean New Year. Tallessyn’s husband Dan is Korean, and everyone in the family came by dressed up in traditional Korean hanboks to pay respects to elders, to give thanks, and to share in an incredible meal, not without ample amounts of stir fried veggies, deliciously prepared with sweet potato starch vermicelli, followed shortly thereafter by chocolate pudding pie and cheese with fig and crackers.
There are so many warm moments from the day, and I can’t do them all justice without taking up an inordinate amount of space here. I think what really got to me most of all, besides just being in the presence of such a loving family, was the chance to spend some time with Leyalyn and Telynia, Tallessyn and Dan’s two incredible daughters. Speaking of something to learn from smiles – they both blew me away with their intelligence, kinship, loving laughter, and remarkably mature good-natured-ness. Not to mention we got to play some great games, like “we’re going to name every stuffed animal we own, and then you are going to have to repeat those names,” which, I am proud to say, I am TOTALLY awesome at. There was George the raggedy-Andy-like doll (who later they changed to Sam), Sally, Bright Bunny, Bun Bun (yes, there were two bunnies), Shiver the bear (later renamed Snow White), Lily, Cupcake, a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal named “Sprinkles”, and a unicorn who underwent the most numerous name changes, from “Sparkle” to “Sparkles” to “Shiny” to “Rainbow”.
All I can say is, I don’t care that I’m not Irish – if and when kids enter the picture for me (as I hope they do), I definitely would consider looking into names like Leyalyn or Telynia. Besides being absolutely beautiful names (almost Lothlorien-like, no?), they seemed wonderfully well-suited to these two enchanting young ladies.
At one point I gave my camera to Leyalyn to get her perspective on things before the party began. This, methinks, will be a separate post, either later today or tomorrow. For now, I leave you with the ineffable wisdom of Pooh.
With love stuck like a paw in the honey jar,