This past week was a long week for me. I had one of those weeks for the record book. Luckily, I had the chance to get away this past weekend to our little place up north.
My wife was unable to go, and I couldn’t seem to round up the troops to go with me, so I got off work early and I was out of North Woburn. The drive takes a little more than 2 hours. All I had to do was point my truck north and listen to the radio as I tried to unwind from the week.
It’s a funny thing, when you’re all alone and doing a monotonous task such as driving, how you begin to think of all sorts of things. And your mind can switch subjects at will.
Friday, I got the news that the baby my daughter is having in September is a girl, and that was exciting news. Everyone said it was a boy, but I knew it was a girl! I have one Granddaughter now. She is 7 and is a lot of fun and we love her to pieces.
And as I drove I began to think about things, I started thinking about all the things yet to come, I thought about my parents, and my father-in-law, and how happy they would be. It seemed as though the ride flew by, and I wondered when I got there if I actually paid any attention to my driving on the way!
Later that night, I awoke for some strange reason, and other thoughts started trickling into my head, things like: What had to be done in the morning to get the place ready for the summer? Do we have mice? I better check. Did I get the burner cleaned last year? I’m pretty sure I did. Did I bring a ruler to measure for a new front door? All sorts of thoughts designed just so they could keep me wide awake.
Then after breakfast, I began my chores, as I loaded the truck with trash to go to the dump, the thoughts got dark. They went to things like: What if I have a heart attack while doing this? No one will find me. Now I am not that far off the road and I do have neighbors, but unless they came down for a reason, no one would know for a while. My best friend / brother has a place a mile away, and he was up this weekend, so eventually he would come down, but it would be a while. I had a tree to take down also. And the thought of “what if I got hurt or pinned under the tree?” crept in, again the same thoughts of lying there for hours occurred to me. I wondered if my father had those thoughts when he was building this place. He spent many weekends alone hammering away, and I’m sure he must have had the same kind of thoughts at one point or another.
Once those chores were done, thoughts again changed. They changed to things like: people I want to have come up this year, major jobs that will have to wait, etc. etc. This seemed to go on all weekend for me. I thought about the time many years ago I was fishing and met Wayne Cashman from the Bruins, he was fishing on this little pond that I was also fishing at, he was a guest of someone in town, and was trying his luck. I thought about the times when we used to hunt (or attempt to hunt) and how we would stay up until 2 a.m. drinking, only to get up at 5 a.m. to head out. My father had a saying he would use on us. It went like this: “He, who drinks the beer, will not slay the deer!” Ahhh, the power of youth! I wouldn’t even attempt that now! And we have not hunted for years; we would rather watch the wildlife than hunt it.
The thoughts just kept coming. Thoughts of what kind of legacy I would like to leave behind me occupied a lot of time. Friends I’ve made and friends that are gone, and an old high school friend I’ve just reconnected with and what a great car he has! How my best friend/brother and I have retirement plans up here. We call it the “Ponderosa.” Will we ever have a chance to buy that big piece of land that runs between our places? Will I ever be able to even retire?
My mind switched gears faster than an Indy car on a road course. My moods changed as fast as the thoughts. Funny thoughts, serious thoughts, they switched back and forth. Old jobs I’ve had, my present job, they ran the gamut. Even on the ride home, my mind raced until I pulled up here in North Woburn.
As I got out of my truck, I got a call on my cell. My granddaughter was at the ER—a broken arm from a roller skating birthday party! So my time alone with my thoughts was clearly over, it was back to reality!
I have to say though, I enjoyed my weekend alone, and whether they were dark thoughts, or the cheerful thoughts, I was glad to have had the time alone to spend with them. I admit I didn’t get a lot of rest though. But I think everyone needs some alone time now and then, it kind of puts things in perspective. And for me it also helped pass the time, and the tasks went by pretty quickly. Would I rather have company on my trips? Yes definitely, but being alone for a weekend was definitely good for my soul.