I have become my grandparents! In my 30s and 40s, I heard things come out of my mouth while parenting that assured me I had become my parents. Now, in my mid-60s, I have become my grandparents.
Mind you, there is nothing wrong with either my parents or grandparents. Why do I say I have become them? Well, my Hanly grandparents left Maine every winter and spent six weeks in Winter Haven, Fla., following the Red Sox. By the time this article hits the press, Greg and I will be ensconced in Emerald Isle, N.C. for the month of February.
Becoming a snow bird officially qualifies me as old, I guess. My childhood dream was always to retire on Biscay and live here year-round. Now, after almost 15 years of living on the Pond, it’s time to take a winter break.
Thinking about my grandparents’ trip each winter conjured up so many memories. I remember the weekly trips to check their house and water my grandmother’s African violets. I remember the Sunday evening phone calls, because, back then, that is when phone calls were cheapest! I recall, too, when they got home, they shared their “toll change” with my siblings and me. Toll change? Long before E-ZPass, and I am sure they stopped at a bank to fill the toll change box to ensure a good payment to the three grandkids! They always brought home pecan rolls from Georgia, too. Oh, the memories …
So, off we head to the North Carolina beach. It certainly won’t be “beach weather,” but it will be warmer than the February single-digit temperatures that we are leaving behind. The dogs, who love Pemaquid Beach, will enjoy daily runs on the miles-long beach, and Greg will enjoy quality time with his parents nearby, which is the primary purpose of our first step toward snowbirdship! I will bring a few good books and finish “Horse,” by Geraldine Brooks, which I can’t recommend highly enough. Such a great story. So well written.
Getting ready to leave home for a month isn’t easy. We will pack the cars and hit the road with the three dogs in tow. Catfish is staying behind and our friend, Nancy, will hold down the fort with him. Nancy will learn all the idiosyncrasies of our house. Why are there no closets? (To maximize living space when we could only add 30% to our volume and square footage.) Why are some light switches taped to the “on” position? (We want to keep outdoor motion detection lights and ceiling fans on!) Why do we not use the wood stove when it is brutally cold outside? (Because we need to ensure hot water flows through the heating system.) The list could go on.
One of the details of going away was to ensure “On the Pond” be published most weeks. Before checking with Editor Maia Zewert, I invited several friends to be guest columnists. Fortunately, she concurred that it would be great to have different voices for “On the Pond.” Ponders Amy Appell, Bill Clark, and Jaja Martin have agreed to write for three of the weeks, and I am excited to read about their takes of life on Biscay.
I still am looking for a volunteer to write for the March 2 edition. Send me an email at email@example.com if you are interested in sharing your story or memories about life on Biscay. Barring a volunteer, Catfish may write about his adventures while his parents were away!