On the road for five days. My mom turned 81 this weekend, so my sister, her son, my daughter and I left the husbands with the dogs and traveled to Lancaster PA, where my mom lives in a huge but kind-hearted continuing care community. This is the B&B where we stayed, Hollinger House.
Just a year ago we emptied her home. So many memories, and so much junk. She had self-medicated with TV shopping for years, resulting in an indescribable excess. Clothing piled waist high. Books, cooking equipment, tools. Box after box of unused cosmetics promising new youth. We hauled, boxed, donated, tossed. Back-breaking. Heart-rending.
Now we are free to visit without having to battle Depression Made Visible. Also, since mom moved into care, she gets good food, accurate meds, and, not least, regular company. For the first time in years she seemed glad to spend time with us, and even laughed. Perhaps the years that are left will be better than the ones that went before.
My camera batteries died, so I did not get to photograph the signs (CHICK 'N' WAFFLES, CORN AND DOGGIE GRILL TONIGHT!), the town buildings, or the farm vistas.
Driving to Philadelphia on Saturday, my girl and I went through farm country: no one on the road but a few buggies, so we slowed down to 25 and opened the windows. Sweet smells, crickets, bird song. At one point, deep in wooded dell, we slowed to 10 MPH, came around a corner, and there in front of us were three Amish girls, cozied up in a miniature cart, pulled by their miniature white pony. "It's us," sighed Sophie, "The big one's Annalee" (her best friend)" the blond one is me, and the little one is Ursie" (Annalee's sister). If she could have, my girl would have left me there and then to live where girls wear long skirts, learn to cook, and are courted with buggy rides. I wanted to let her go. It was like those stories where a picture comes real, and, for a moment, you can step through.
They waved to her as we passed.