Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So Tomorrow October Begins

Let’s see…the first day of autumn was eight days ago and it’s October 1st tomorrow. There’s not much here that’s tipping me off to this change of season. Sure the days are shorter now than they were in mid-summer and the shadows cast during the day are longer but it’s a comfortable 73 degrees right now at 11:30 AM and nothing around here is changing color. I know in my mind that the maple trees of New England should be beginning to turn all shades of red, yellow and orange, crimson and vibrant, a regular palette of beautiful shades that even the most color blind of us has to notice. Next weekend bus loads of Leaf-peepers will be all over the country side in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Western Massachusetts for the Columbus Day weekend. This is usually considered the peak week for this area and the annual tradition of color lovers driving around taking pictures of yet another beautiful scene is unstoppable. And why not, it is breathtakingly beautiful.
Many years ago when Lauren and I first met we decided to just hop in the car and drive through New Hampshire to Vermont to leaf peep and find a place to stay for the night. The colors were wonderful, we were still a new couple, and everything was going perfect until we tried to find a place to stay for the night. There wasn’t a single hotel room available in the whole State of Vermont. We called up the State Chamber of Commerce or something like that and they said the only thing available was rooms’ people were renting out in their house. Not wanting to leave we decided to call on one of these people nearby. They had a bedroom available and would even feed us breakfast in the morning. We arrived to a perfectly nice, clean, and well kept ranch style home. The Mrs. showed us our bedroom which was cleaner than most of the rooms I slept in during my life. The problem was it was just too personal. We were across the three foot wide hallway from their bedroom door and the house was really quiet and well…we kind of wanted to make some noise. Did I mention we were a new couple, before kids? We made it through the night okay and had a wonderful pancake and bacon breakfast the next morning. We bid our host farewell hoping we could somehow find a more private place to lodge this next evening. We spent the day driving, eating, and photo-shooting and as dusk began to near we turned our search for a new bed to sleep in. Many places we did try and many places said goodbye. Sometime around 7 to 8 pm we stopped at an Inn somewhere to try one last place. It was a Victorian style home and the host who had been playing an old upright piano gave us a hearty greeting. I remember him laughing when we asked the question. We sensed he wished he did have the room. He offered us a glass of wine which we accepted and we sat on the couch in his lobby while he played the piano and I could tell Lauren was really enjoying it. We were probably sitting there for 15 minutes listening to the music when another older gentleman stepped inside the front door to ask to be laughed at. The host, whose back was turned away from us, didn’t immediately stop playing the piano although I’m sure he knew this person had entered because we had greeted each other. Instead he kept playing…and at a point where it sounded like he may stop…he didn’t…he moved right into another verse or stanza or whatever you call it. The gentleman at the door was a very patient person…standing…listening…waiting. The wine and atmosphere had Lauren in good spirits and when the host lit into another song instead of turning around to acknowledge the gentleman at the door this struck her as funny and she let out a loud chuckle. The scene was funny and sort of reminded me of the old Bob Newhart show for those of you old enough to remember that.
The host finally stopped and informed the patient gentleman that he too was out of luck and offered him a drink but the gentleman needed to move on and find his resting place. The host said to us…Don’t you know anybody who lives in Vermont? It got me thinking that in fact I did know someone. About two years earlier I had been fishing on a scallop boat based out of New London, CT and the oldest guy on the boat was our chief engineer who we affectionately referred to as “Chiefy”. He was a family guy working on a boat with a bunch of mostly young and single guys like me. He would often talk about his house in Bethel, Vermont and what he was working on and how much he loved it. So I relayed my story to the host who said well call him…what do you have to lose? After getting his number from information I called and was greeted by his wife who I had never met or spoken with before. I explained our predicament and was hoping Chiefy might be able to help a fishing buddy. She told me that he was not there and in fact was out fishing but to drive on over because she had a place we could stay for the night in their house. We had successfully found a place to stay for the night and bid the host of the Inn a fond farewell. We met Chiefy’s wife and family, had a comfortable place to sleep, got to see the house he so fondly spoke of and had a nice breakfast the next morning. I sent Chiefy a thank you letter the next week but never had any more contact with him. Life works like this I’ve realized. For now I’ll look out over the cactus plants off my deck and dream of the colors I’m missing right now back east. I’ll probably dig up some old photos, browse through some Down East and Yankee magazines and imagine I am there.

1 comment:

  1. I think that sums up the Aries motto: No plan, no kids, no worries!

    We'll have to post some pics of the trees soon (there are little bursts of orange leaves on some maples)