For the first time since the brain surgery, I drove up to the Berkshires for the weekend with my youngest son. Couldn't have picked a more beautiful day yesterday for the ride up. I knew the weather was supposed to be lovely, which is partly the reason I chose yesterday to make the trip.
I used to go up and back every weekend a few years ago. And before the surgery I was still going up and back once or twice a month. But not since October had I made the drive. Not surprisingly it was tiring. It used to feel like nothing, the two and a half to three hour ride. But yesterday halfway there it suddenly seemed a lot longer.
But it was a good exercise, especially in my Prius! I checked the facts on that scare and discovered the odds are pretty extreme that anything might happen with the accelerator, and the remedy is pretty obvious (throw it in neutral and hit the brake with both feet) and the results after tests by consumer reports are pretty reassuring.
But I took it easy, mostly stayed in the right lane on the highways. The majority of the trip is on smaller routes, two lane old rural highways, where the ride is as mellow as the scenery.
And then last night in Great Barrington got to hear my older boy Miles play bass with a new group of musicians, original music by the lead singer/guitarist, who is also an artist and who had a show of fifteen years worth of his art in the same venue where the live music was presented.
It felt like such a typical Berkshire occurrence, original art and music, a lively crowd of all ages, and deep appreciation for the creative endeavors of others. Plenty of locals I knew at the show as well as my daughter and her husband and little girl and my daughter-in-law and grandson who's like a sibling to my youngest. Fun night, with good homemade ice cream from SoCo afterwards on a delightful Spring evening.
And this morning some brunch with a beautiful old friend to catch up and give her a belated Christmas gift (one of Roberto Bolano's slimmer volumes).
The ride back this afternoon another beautiful trip. I'm wiped out tonight, but in a well spent way, and grateful and happy that I've recovered enough to make this trip without incident, and to feel tired, yes, but not exhausted or like it was too much. Just enough in fact.
I am indeed a lucky man, especially after I heard during my visit of a drummer my older son has played with several times, and who I know from those gigs, having been rushed to a hospital in Eastern Mass. when something showed up on a brain scan and it turned out to be an abscess from a bad tooth that found it's way into his brain. He's been in the hospital on heavy intravenous antibiotics and they say he will continue to be for months. God bless him.
As Whitman said, we're all lucky, those of us still above ground, but some more than others at times [that latter sentiment is mine, not Walt's].