Snow. Beautiful, beautiful snow.
Once again, without specifically intending to, I found myself in NH just before a treatment. It feels like there’s something in my DNA, akin to whatever it is that sends the Monarch butterflies to the fir trees in Mexico, that sends me north to a place of peace and beauty, just when I need it most.
My weekend escape wasn’t intended to lapse beyond Sunday. And the front part of my stay was, once again, brought on by my big guy’s ski racing schedule, and the opportunity to house and feed his college ski team one more time. It’s so nice to have these young men, appreciative of my cooking, quick to clean up, some even willing to tell me about their classes and the books they’re reading, sitting around our dining table. That was what got me up there, happy to provide room and board. The weather and lousy driving kept me up there one more day.
And oh, what I day I got.
Remember that quote I mentioned from Narnia, about the sad time of year when the cold gray part of the year drags on, “Always winter and never Christmas”? Well, for me, my little corner of NH stays holiday festive, every month, every season. Our sparkly little lights never come down, nor do the stockings by the chimney. The Tibetan prayer flags feel jubilant, year in, year out. And when we get one of those February storms, with some moisture in the air, and wake up to every branch, every twig, every wire, every edge of everything, frosted white and lovely as wedding cake….well. That was a holiday of its very own, to cherish.
Oh, and did I mention the blue, blue sky?
My back was feeling tweaky, my feet are weirdly inflicted with tingly-ness in my heels, a form of neuropathy that was predicted but is nevertheless disconcerting. Part of me thought my best plan might be a warm tub and some yoga stretches before I got in the car for the long drive south. But the smarter part of my brain knew that I needed to get out and do my sacred walk, cranky joints and all.
Here are some highlights. Oh. My. Goodness. I love this walk.
16B is my all-time favorite loop. It goes up one side of the falls and comes down the other, five miles plus. It starts out steep, gets me sweaty in no time flat, then meanders for a few miles, up, down, over, around. There are glorious views at every turn. I’ve done this walk so many times, I have a memory for every turn, every vista. That’s where I saw the bobcat. That’s where I saw the double rainbow. That’s where I heard a black bear, who was so busy eating berries, he didn’t even notice me. Kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk, just like in Blueberries for Sal. Here’s what I got to see on my bonus Monday.
The view down over the snow-covered falls.
One of the few remaining old inns, from back in the day when people came for the summer with steamer trunks on the train. Back when there was a Saks Fifth Avenue in our little NH berg. Who’d ever believe that?
And amidst the sparkle of winter, this harbinger of springtime. The first taps of the maple trees, a most elaborate system of tubes and taps and joints, all taking advantage of gravity to feed the large plastic buckets at the bottom of the hill. A far cry from the individual cans on each tree, back in the days of old. Oddly enough, this sight makes me think of the tubes that will be dripping into me, later on…
Needless to say, my decision to skip the tub and take the walk was the right one. I was ache-y when I got out of the car, 3 hours later, but so so glad that I’d taken advantage of a glorious, delicious, spectacular day.
* * * * *
Three chemos down, only one more to go. Again, my oncology nurses sing my praises of good health. They were even amazed that I’m still sporting as much hair as I have, though none were taking bets on how long I’ll keep what I’ve got. Which is a sort of Donald Trump affair, light and poofy and wide of part, but not long enough to do the full across-the-bow swoop. And yet, I keep leaving that wig in the bag, waiting for a time when I can actually imagine being more interested in having something resembling a full head of hair than I am certain I would want to pull the wig off at the first sign of a hot flash. Which are pretty frequent events these days, courtesy of the whole cocktail of chemicals in my system and general slow-down on my whole hormonal life cycle. I had a hopeful moment, while watching the Oscars, when the short-shorn Charlize Theron was describing her transformation from having shaved her head for a part, to having her current do, three months out. She looked fabulous, needless to say. Three months…March, April, May…I might have some hair, come June. That’s my hope, to be neither bald nor sweating under a wig for my big guy’s college graduation. I can dream, can’t I?