Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - End of Summer

It’s time to head west before the leaves and snow start falling around here. It’s been an interesting few months of solitude interspersed with periods of chaos. There have been times of great joy and pride as well as times of great sadness. I’ve been to a class reunion and a graduation. I’ve moved both daughters to their respective grad schools, attended RWA ’10 in Orlando, hosted friends and relatives, buried a family member, finished a manuscript, and sold my first book. And that’s just the big stuff.

Since March I’ve been in thirteen states, most of them more than once. I’ve driven up Mt. Washington, toured two Civil War battlegrounds, Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Statue of Liberty, and a major Florida amusement park. I even managed to squeeze in a Broadway show. The one thing I haven’t done is let moss grow under my feet!

Fall is approaching. I see it in the playful deer in my yard, the crisp morning air, and the softening mid-day light. Then of course there are the leaves beginning to blanket the driveway and floating like an interactive art exhibit on the surface of the pool.

Later this week I’ll rejoin hubby in SoCal, where the temperature still hovers over the century mark, and the seasons consist of Hot and Hotter.

I’m going to miss a lot of things about the East Coast. One of those will be my Pocono Pit. I’ll miss being greeted by name even before I swipe my membership card. I’ll miss Friday mornings when I have the place all to myself. I’m going to miss the ever changing view from the window- the steady stream of vehicles on the busy street as well as pulling through burger joint across the way. I’ll miss seeing the guy in the school bus yellow Mustang convertible who buzzes through the drive-thru every morning. I’m going to miss watching the fat families sitting in their mini-vans stuffing their faces with paper wrapped hunks of fat and cholesterol.

I’m going to miss the Pocono Pony, the local bus service, with their trolley style busses filled with curious, gawking passengers. I’ll miss the tourists with their kayaks and SUV’s piled high with outdoor gear. Life won’t be the same without the guys working out in their jeans and work boots or the bevy of regulars I’ve come to recognize as kindred spirits. I’ll miss the juvenile joke of the day posted at the check-in counter. I’ll even miss the smell of chicken and potatoes frying at the Cluck U next door.

I hope to return in a few months to the Pocono Pit. It’s been good to me. I haven’t lost any pounds, but I have rearranged a few things. Thanks to the resistance routine I adopted there I can buy my jeans a size smaller than I did last spring.

I’ve worked through dozens of plot problems while climbing virtual hills on the rack and people watching out the small bank of windows. The way the white clapboard houses on the hill behind the burger joint pop against the steel-gray of a brewing summer storm will be with me for a long time.

What I’m going to miss most is the daily drive to the pit. My trek takes me through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, twice. It’s a lovely, winding road that follows the route the river has carved out of the tree covered granite mountains. It’s so lovely it’s easy to forget you’re on an Interstate Highway. If I’m in the mood to see more, there’s always my Plan B route that follows the river for several miles through the dense hardwood forest. It’s a nice way to start each day and reason in itself to go to the pit.

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