this day magically appears every year. one unnamed morning the sun breaks through the cold and gray and announces that it's time to be outside. neighbors emerge with the scrape of rakes and brushing of brooms, voices with a different lilt to them, jackets tied around the waist. it's a certain day....we don't know it's coming until it's here. today is that day. but tom & i always celebrate this day a little differently. we should be raking and cleaning edgar's poop from the triple sized yard he commands. but that can wait for another day...believe me, it will still be there another day. but this day always pulls us out on the road. we tried to work today, even headed out to work on the house that we are almost ready to put on the market, but we couldn't do it. we came home, picked up edgar and my camera, opened the windows, cranked the tunes and drove into the sun towards gananoque.
my vision is more complete behind my camera. i can sort through all the extra stuff, and concentrate on what i really want to see. so tom and edgar patiently indulge me as i pull off the road every little while to take photos. this bowling alley is almost visually perfect. a mecca of small town life in a simpler time. i feel calmer when i see it.
today we kept driving along the river to rockport, stopping to collect images along the way. this is how we begin every summer. or spring. but to begin spring is ultimately to begin summer in my mind. every year we wander into the country, along a lake or river or get lost on some desolate dirt road. and although the feeling of summer is in the air, the trees are still bare and the vision is endless.
when i was small my mother and i would take me on similar pilgrimages to gananoque. not just in spring, but every month or two. we would spend hours hunting through books and countless treasures at 'beaver hall' antiques. she would chat with the owners and they would show her all their favorite new finds. and after they trusted that i wasn't going to lurch through their multi-leveled and precarious shop in a childish carefree way, i would be free to explore. i would unearth fascinating discoveries in the dark musty section piled to the ceiling with books. but it went so far beyond the book treasures. the bounty was limitless and the endless rooms of intricately stacked loot definitely shaped my personal aesthetic.
today, for the first time in 20 years or more, i was back in the space. except now it's an equally extraordinary little coffee shop known as the 'socialist pig'. inviting and fresh and offered a perfect cafe au lait for the drive home. tom and edgar were waiting in the car, but i wanted to sit at the massive central table strewn with newspapers and sip leisurely through my cafe au lait, soaking in the familiar, yet changed rooms.
and in the lovely dark alley-like space that was once the mountain of books from my childhood, is an adjacent boutique with eclectic clothing and accessories. and despite the aroma of coffee and the lively new energy, i could still smell the piles of musty books from my childhood and hear the distinct creak of the wide worn floors.