I Somehow Forgot This, But Remembering Feels Great

I realized today how much I’ve missed traveling abroad. I have things that I want do this fall and winter, however, so have had to set that time aside at the cost of my travels. As a result, it’s now November and I haven’t had a trip overseas since I got back from Italy in June.

These, I recognize, are not real problems.

Speaking of that last trip, I guess I never posted the going-home post from that journey. But the post from the last evening in Bologna felt like a final post, so I guess that’s OK.

To be honest, I didn’t take many photos the next day. Just some crackers and juice on the train to Milano Centrale, some aircraft at Milan Malpensa, and some average ravioli and calzone on the plane.

The approach to JFK was nauseating, though, so I guess that’s worth mentioning. Well, maybe not.

Following the return, the balmy days of summer behaved as they always do. When you are in their midst, they are languid, feeling like they will last forever, the 15 hour days stretching twilight well past 10 pm in Southeastern Michigan.

And you are certain you will have innumerable opportunities for another 5-mile run through Central Park. Or just one more triathlon. Or another sail on the Great South Bay.

And when work took me again to Marquette I walked along the shores of the greatest of the Great Lakes, where, early in a June evening, the chilly water lapped in its unyielding battle with the grey, stony shore.

Time has no limits when the temperatures scald our skin and the sun scorches our retinas, but the clock still moves, stealthily casting its spite at our naïveté. The days begin to shorten and the produce at the farmers market cycles to fruit. And still we are blissfully ignorant.

Yet at some point along the way, the wind carries with it the chill of the approaching autumn. This year, in the waning days of August, Mom and I took a trip to Chicago to say a final goodbye to my godmother, my Aunt Karen, a kind, soft spoken, and gentle soul who gained her rest and passed beyond this worldly plane.

And before you know it, the seasonal transition is in full swing.

This fall, Butterblogger went through his own metamorphosis of sorts, seemingly defying the laws of time and space to find extra hours to pass at the gym lifting weights. I was worried at first, but now I mostly marvel at the strange set of circumstances that have led me to this challenging pursuit, and that I am actually enjoying it.

As the days grew colder yet, and October turned to November, Dan took me out to the Great South Bay, long after I thought sailing season was over. There, we manned the committee boat for a “frostbiting” regatta, watching, refereeing, and keeping score as skilled sailors skimmed over the waves, around the marks, and across the start and finish lines. And sometimes they capsized.

And today I’m finally back to traveling. This is the shortest of long trips. It won’t be a big one by any means, but I got a fantastic deal and decided to spend a weekend in the Netherlands. I booked the trip months ago but didn’t give it much thought until I decided, yesterday, to reserve my hotel room. And then the excitement began to build, because I had to decide where to spend the day. I’ve been to Amsterdam before, and I want someplace new.

The clock moves forward, but maybe it isn’t actually spiteful. New is good. Transitions are fantastic. In fact, the opposite would be stagnation.

I’m going to Haarlem for the day, and it’s going to be wonderful.

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