Hello, ladies --
Great to hear from you, Smile! It sounds like the Great Eastern Road Trip is off to a fabulous start. And I just learned something. I didn't know Arkansas had rice paddies. I'll have to check those out on my next trip south. And how cool is Alex, anyway? He doesn't find any diamonds, so he buys a few fakes. This is definitely a "when life gives you lemons" kind of guy. His glass is half-full, and that kind of attitude will take him far.
We're just back from New Hampshire. Adam did a lot of the driving. We take almost all back roads to get to our cottage up north, and it's three hours of thin, narrow roads. (Rather like our "Ribbons" journey. I have an aversion to interstates if they can be avoided.) He did fine. He has his learner's permit and will be getting his license in August. He's a chip off the old maternal block, too. He's getting his license, if all goes well, on August 8. "You know what I'm doing on August ninth, mom?" he says to me. "No, what?" "ROAD TRIP!!!" (In his dreams...)
The black fly supper went off without us. We ate burritos at Margarita's in Keene. Basically, Dotise, the black fly supper is just an excuse for the folks of Stoddard, NH to get out of the house and socialize after a long, cold winter in the woods and a six-week mud season that tries everyone's patience. The metropolis of Stoddard has about 600 year-round souls. That number swells to about 2000 when you count the folks who own summer lake cottages. A black fly supper is a major social event, like the pancake breakfasts at the firehouse and the Open House that's held once a year at the historical society. People get to look inside the "Hearse House" and see where they used to park the horse wagons that rolled the dead from their living room wakes to the church on the green to the town cemetery.
Dotsie, I'm glad I've perhaps inspired you to do a bit more exploring on your next vacation. (Your son will be a pro by then. He can be your tour guide.) There's so much magic to be found everywhere. You just need to get yourself around that next bend, over that next hill, down that next street. There are wonders everywhere. With each trip, push yourself just a bit farther than last time. Before you know it, you'll be discovering and learning more than you ever dreamed.
Do I have a travel column? Well, effectively, yes. My blog, http://RibbonsofHighway.blogspot.com
is a travel column. I write new stories for it two or three times a week. It's an amazing amount of work, and I don't earn any income from it, but it's a joy to write these stories and share them. I do it in the hope that blog readers will say, "Hey, I like the way this chick writes. I like the way she tells a tale. I should check out her book."
But, I do want to get serious about finding a paying venue to which I can contribute an ongoing travel column. I write lots of travel stories for magazines and online publications, but I have such a vast inventory of travel tales, tips and photos that I could easily produce a column a week or a month. (Heck, I could produce one an hour). I just need to find a publication, whether print or online, that would like a regular travel column. I'm going to get busy looking into that. Thanks for putting that bug back in my ear.
When I land one, I'll let you know. Until then, bookmark my blog.
I'm so glad your son is enjoying his vagabonding. The fact that he sounds excited when he talks to you means he's really getting into the places he's visiting. Getting down under the surface a bit and finding a place's hidden "diamonds."
Smile, we need to hear the Dan/Bill Clinton story.