In 1967 my father bought a Pontiac Catalina and a dingy old travel trailer and took his girlfriend, my brother and me on a road trip. Over the next 8 weeks we drove 13,498 miles, visited 51 parks, and saw wonders like geysers, redwoods, grizzlies, and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. The trip made an indelible impression, cementing my appreciation for the natural world and the American landscape. This summer Pamela and I hope to repeat the experience for our family.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dave: Handing over our home

I'm still at home, though I'm catching a plane to San Diego later today.

The intense, crazy push to get our house ready for the house sitters is done. I had a busy day tying up loose ends at work. No disasters occurred during my last hours. (The final disaster happened on my next to last day, so I was able to get it out of the way without too much stress.) Now I just have to put a few things in a suitcase and I'm outta here.

Yesterday I met the house sitters, who seemed quite nice. Our short time together made me feel like our life was mildly paced. Roger, Eva, and their two little girls had been up since five. They had driven up from Long Island, having taken a ferry across Long Island Sound. They arrived at Northampton, did a final walk-through on their house, signed all the closing papers, signed their construction permit, explored their new digs for a short time, and then arrived at our house.

Needless to say, the little girls were a little wound up. While I tried to perform a household mind meld with Roger, Eva wrangled kids. Lark and Linden had dragged out our few remaining kid toys and the little girls instantly glaumed onto them. Plus, they started re-interpreting other things around the house as sources of entertainment. I insisted they don't view Percy that way, which prompted some tears. Lark has a three-foot tall plastic penguin, which largely acts as a decoration. But not for these girls. One immediately dragged the penguin to the living room, even though she wasn't much taller than the plastic bird.

The whole time the kids were on the verge of melting down, so Roger and I handled everything as quickly as we could. Then they left to begin their new lives. It reminded me so much of the move our family made to Northampton nine years ago.

It's a strange feeling to hand your entire material existence over to people you've known for an hour, but I felt good about them. I'm not sure how Percy and Zephyr will feel about Zuke, their big black dog. But, as I told the animals last night, "Change is good."

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