Come Away With Me...

Want to go away? Come with me to the past.

I am going back, to a place thats far away, how about you, do you have place a place to stay why should I care? Dave Mason

I am sitting in my air conditioned apartment longing for the cooler weather we had yesterday. Yesterday was a nice day watching Dexter, a serial killer who I am totally crushing on. I really enjoyed the day. It was in the 70s.

Today, however is in the 90s and I hate it. Bring on fall. I am over this heat and the extremes we have had this year in weather. Between too much snow and now too much heat, my body is beat. I woke up today in full on pain. My brain is a blob of mush.

I am trying to work. To formulate a business plan, but my mind is going back. Back in time to a place I need to be, once again. Sunapee, New Hampshire. Let me share with you my life when I was young.

Every summer we went to Sunapee, New Hampshire. A beautiful resort area on the border of Vermont, on the Southern tip of NH. We would leave at 5 am and get there around 1 pm. Long ass drive and the whole way up, Are we there yet? I remember stopping in Connecticut and I could smell it. The pine, the clean air and the landscape had changed from Jersey flat, to hills and mountains.

We would hit Mass and then you knew you were almost there, driving up route 91. There was a huge smoke stack on the right of 91, where my Dad would stick his arm out of the car and pull down like he was pulling a line on a train. This gesture was his way of him saying, "we are almost in paradise." Vermont was next up on the map and it was ominous with nothing but trees, large mountains and huge rock on either side of 91. Vermont was a short hop before entering my land of OZ. New Hampshire.

My parents had 10 acres of land, nothing but trees, mica and untouched preserved land on a pond called Ledge Pond. We were right near Lake Sunapee, the 2nd largest lake in NH. Lake Winnepasaki being the 1st. I should say we weren't right on the pond, but at the end of our long property, there it was. We were one of five families, all related to us, who lived in Sunapee. There were never bored children or adults. Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, artists, jam and jelly, happy hour and hay rides. Oh, and ice cream, but more on that later.

As soon as we would arrive, I would beg to put my bathing suit on and go swimming. Ledge Pond was so clean that it was drinkable. It was drinking water. We were too far from the Pond to use the water so we had a well. Ledge was beautiful with loons, snapping turtles and an island in the middle. Stillness. Your mind would just go quiet due to the sound of nothing. Sure, you would hear the loons, the frogs and other wildlife, but it wasnt like my now home.

The smell of the air was so pure and you could smell the trees and I was able to smell everything. I could smell the rocks, the dirt, and the purity that rustic New Hampshire offered. If I only I could smell my families barn, otherwise known as "the studio." Fireplaces, pool tables and live music offered by my very musical family. Trow Rico. That was the name of it. That was the name of their resort. I spent my childhood at that resort and the over 250 acres that it provided.

I would get lost on my parents property. We had old cars from the early 1900s that were just rotting away on our property. Old coke bottles, antique broken dishes in the dirt, maple syrup taps in the trees and salamanders. The sun shining through the trees and hitting the moss and mica. My Mom would call me and I could never hear her through all of the trees and all of the land. My cousins and I would lay on massive rocks. When I tell you these rocks were massive, they were from the rock age. Huge. 5 feet tall and you would have to step onto something to get to the top. Like a person! That's a lot like life now too, in the big city.

One day my cousin and I went for a walk through the mica mine. There was a mica mine on our property. Basking in the sun on what looked like a mirror, (mica) was a rattlesnake. I have such an aversion to snakes, this thing just shaking its tale, letting us know, Back up people. We did just that. I never wanted to go there again but I did, repeatedly because on the top of the mica mine was a steep cliff that overlooked mountains. All you could see were mountains. New Hampshire to the left and middle and to the right was Vermont. Mt. Ascutney and in the distance, Killington.

One time my Mom and I had a fight and I packed up to stay at the mica mine. At 16, I told her I am out of here! She told me I could not take the car so I walked up to the mine(which was a hike and then some) where I unraveled my sleeping bag and got underneath. As I laid there at dusk, my eyes started darting around and I was reminded of that creepy snake that was once five feet away from my new bed. As a rather large noise shuffled through the woods, I packed my crap up and was out of there. Within 2 hours, I was home and indoors with a Mother and Aunt who said nothing, as I crept through the door while they were playing scrabble. My Mother later asked, Did you have enough of the great outdoors? I snickered and went to my room to call my ice cream flavor of the week, boyfriend.

ICE CREAM

I was an ice cream girl. I scooped ice cream and flirted with all the boys. They liked me. It was fun! I once gave a man a banana split without the banana. He came in and said, Hi, I asked for a banana splitum.where is the banana? I handed him a banana. I used to go into the freezer and sit with my best girlfriend (also an ice cream girl) and we would devour an entire cheesecake. Then, at 15 or 16, we would go into the bar (part of the restaurant attached to the ice cream store) and put beer in our mug that was supposed to be for a root beer float. I would guzzle that down without hesitation.

When I wasnt being picked up in a boat by my ice cream flavor or the week boyfriend, I was skinny dipping, where all the boats were docked right next to the ice cream parlor. I remember my Mom picking me up and I looked like a drowned rat. My Mother said, why are you so wet? I replied, That is not the worst of it. Why am I so oily? For 2 days, I bathed, showered, scrubbed myself with Clorox trying to get the oil from the boats off of me. My Mother and Father thought it was hilarious. I never skinny dipped there again.

FLAVORS OF THE WEEK

I was the new girl in town. There were only 25 students in my grade at Sunapee high school. Half were boys. I was the girl from Philly. The girl who wore makeup and snazzy clothes and who shook up the town a little bit. The cocky, I am a bad ass girl who would bat my eye lashes and guys would come to get some ice cream. I never gave them any. There was Chris who was blonde and blue eyed, like me. He was cocky too and met his match. I wasnt into blondes and he loved my piss and vinegar, no nonsense style. He loved that I never fell under his spell and I would come right out and tell him he was a player and I dont know why girls dont see right through you, you are like a window. He and I would get into trouble because we were similar and enjoyed having fun. My father loved him because he reminded my Dad of himself. We broke down while driving to Boston. We were going to get fake IDs. I had to call my Dad to come help us. My Dad did and never asked why were going to Bostonhe laughed as the car was pouring smoke out of its hood.

Then there was Mark. Mark was a nice guy. He was too nice and wanted to know my every thought and movement. He wasnt controlling, but boring. He was too into me, after another gal pal had just broken his heart. He would talk to me about it while I would roll my eyes. He was on his way to Boston College and I was going to complete my last year of high school back home and wanted no parts of a long distance affair. Supposedly, I broke his heart which I never understood since we only dated for 3 weeks. He is now a lawyer in DC and he still brings it up.

There was also Todd, Nathan, Greg, Peter and some other guy and I cant remember his name. In total there were 7 guys in the summer of 1987. All different flavors, some better than others and some I am still in contact with.

PEACE

When I need some peace, all I have to do is close my eyes and see the still waters of Ledge Pond and hear the frogs at night. The frogs that lulled me to sleep and every now and again, the loons that sounded off at any given time. It brings such a calm over me. I want it always. I want to be there now. I remember so clearly how happy I was. How at peace I was with myself and how I was well. I was a bad ass. It wasnt just a thought of a teenager.

What stops me from going there now? 8 hours. An 8 hour trip, by myself to enjoy the stillness alone. What fun is that? I am too ill, too unwell to drive what I could do 2 years ago. I want to float on the surface of Ledge Pond or Lake Sunapee. I want to feel the coolness of the water on my skin, in my mouth. I want to breathe in the air and smell the pine. I want my youth back. Not just my health, but my youth, which this illness robbed me of. I want to bask in fleece, jeans and shoes from Lands End.

2 years after my last summer up there in 1987, I was a sick panic stricken mess. Sleeping all the time, or not at all. I was frightened of the sound of the air conditioner in my room and I was throwing up all the anti depressants that I was put on. I had epstein barr and an adrenal gland that was spewing adrenaline. I was asked repeatedly if my father had molested me, if I had a horrible childhood and if I dropped acid. I would love to go back and hold that scared 18 year old girl and tell her its ok. It wasnt ok but now I would have ripped those doctors heads off with my tongue. My Mother tried to do it for me, only to be told that she was controlling.

I miss that girl. That naive girl who had the world at her fingertips and the zest and energy to make it happen. I am no longer that young girl, or at least not that young. I still have the zest albeit jaded perhaps, but a pistol I still am. Energy, well....
I hope to return again. Return to the stillness, the fresh air, the pristine vitality of Sunapee. The world full of endless possibilities and the confidence; that lack of self doubt. The peace that came from having a steady stream of delicious drinking water, and the joy and happiness of good health.

Bring "me" back.

Comments

Spitfire, I thoroughly enjoyed your visit into the past with its mixture of nostalgia and humor. Your writing took me right back with you. Wish I could be there. Weren't those great days? I liked the way you used chapters to sort through different places and experiences. Loved it. Thanks. BEG

P.S. Every girl needs one bad-boy boyfriend. Sounds like you had to beat them off with your ice cream scoop.
 
Nicely written, Spitfire. You took me back with you. Sounds like you are doing your own neurofeedback therapy, without the electrodes attached to your head...or the expense!
 
Thank you. I read it again and I am not happy with it. Who the hell am I to say I was a badass as a teenager? It sounds trite and immature. I need to sharpen up on my writing skills.
 
Ah, there's the problem!
Never go back after you've published something and re-read it.
You'll end up re-editing it, second guessing, and tearing it apart.
Trust me on this, what came out of your head and heart at the time your wrote it touched me.
To me, removing the word "badass" in your piece because you think it sounds trite would be like using turpentine on a Monet because it was a little messy.
Keep writing, Spitfire. You're good at it.
 

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