It’s 4:30am and the house is still. Outside, there’s no sign of the light that will creep across the sky in just over an hour. The coffee is made and I’m in my office enjoying the small pleasure of my first cup of French roast.
Riley got us up to take him outside a little while ago and once that happens I can’t go back to sleep, not without help. Michael is back to sleep in an instant and so is the dog, but I start thinking about seeing my trainer at 8am and then the housekeepers coming and then Riley’s trainer will be here to put him through his nose-work practice in preparation for his first Odor Recognition Test and … well, once my brain switches on it won’t turn off until early evening.
So yeah, I’m up.
But I like the pre-dawn hours of the day best, when it seems like the whole world is sleeping except me. Maybe I’ll light a fire and enjoy my coffee in front of the fire. Spring is officially here and there aren’t many days left to enjoy a morning fire.
One thing I won’t do is turn on the news. Maybe it’s the craziness going on in the world around us, but lately, I’ve had a very strong urge to flee. Oh, hell, there’s no maybe about it. It is the craziness.
Fleeing the country
“All of a sudden I have this strange urge to leave the country,” I told Michael.
“We’re leaving for Portugal May 2, so you won’t have to wait long,” he reminded me.
We’re cruising the Douro River with friends the first half of May. It’s a trip that’s said to be one of the most gorgeous cruises available, through charming old villages, with the added bonus of some port tasting. We’re going with friends that also enjoy a good laugh and I’m hoping we won’t talk any kind of current events. Just escape. Get away. Live in another world for a couple of weeks.
Before that, though, I’m heading to Las Vegas for a midlife women’s blogging conference. It’s true that I passed midlife a while ago and that the conference is only two days of the six I’m spending there. But I’ll be spending time with a very cool woman I connected with through blogging circles. She’s very different than I and yet the same, too. Who knows the magic of that kind of connection, the kind that crosses religion and background and family life. We’ve both been looking forward to sitting and talking for a very long while. So I’m excited about that. I’ll also meet a few dozen other women whom I’ve known as only words on a screen for years.
Las Vegas is a familiar place. In some odd twist, I used to have to go to Vegas regularly during three different jobs–starting back in the early 1980s. I don’t like the Strip any more, but this conference is way off the strip at a resort. Hot tub, massage, good female conversation? I’m in.
About a week after we return from Portugal I head east again for a week in Virginia Beach. It’ll be the residential portion of the first online course I’m taking in Integrated Imagery, otherwise known as past life regression. All I can think about is spending time in the library at the Edgar Cayce A.R.E., a place that fascinated me when I visited last year. I actually extended my trip so I could have a day to explore the stacks. And then a summer of study. This time, escape into my head and my spirit.
Michael has to go to his office in Manhattan in June so I’m tagging along to spend some time playing in the city. July brings adventures in Montana with a favorite girlfriend. We’ve decided to visit our hometown of Rochester, NY in August. By the end of September I’m back in Virginia Beach for the residential portion of course two in the three-course certificate program and just a day after I get back, we are off to Santa Fe for five weeks. More escape.
Hiding out in Santa Fe
In Santa Fe we engaged a new house that we were high on. It was a one-story and we wouldn’t have to carry Riley up the steep stairs to the bedroom in the house we had last year. Which we liked fine except for that. Plus it took us about 10 days to stop gasping for air at the top of the staircase. But the owner of this new house wanted only longer term rentals. So we’re back at the old house. Which has its own advantages–a huge laundry room/pantry and I do mean huge. An office alcove that was my hangout. And the exactly same Xfinity set up we have at home with DVR included, so we can record all our favorite shows. And again, some friends will be our house guests for a bit.
Sounds like enough escape right? But it doesn’t feel like it. It’s morning in San Jose, morning in America, and I just want to run away, to go somewhere I don’t have to hear politicians trading crude insults. the announcement that terrorists have beheaded more people, the fear of bombings and murders in places as charming as Paris. It strikes me that every era has its ugliness and for our parents it was segregation and the ugliness of hoses and dogs being set on people. Maybe we had a bit of a lull after Vietnam, I think, and then I see that we hadn’t had a lull at all. There were the Gulf wars and people died and the world changed.
This must be just the way of the world. But I’m tired of it, bone tired, and can’t help wishing there was someplace I could go where none of it would touch me, where I could live in peace and quiet, tending flowers, reading books and making good food.
But then I know I’d get wanderlust, I always do.
And in the end, there is no escape. It is what it is.