Year: 2012

Maine2012_Blog-2936

Sea-mist and Woodsmoke

It's getting chipper out, and a bit darker. The earlier nights make coming home cozier, more comforting. Walking through rows of Christmas trees stacked outside the grocer I don't pretend I'm in a forest, but I do take a deep breath of fir. I pass the new general store decked with felt ornaments and handmade goods, and smile I'm home (or almost there). I almost always walk the longer way to pass the shops lit and alive. When I'm in Maine, I have the same familiar contentment, and I don't even…

Sweden2012-0567

The trains in Sweden

We went to Scandinavia about half a year ago now, and here I find this dormant, half-written post. I'll take one for the team and finish it up, even though it's embarrassingly late, because this is worth seeing, over and again: We slid from Denmark to Sweden to Norway on trains--cutting through glacial hunks of icy mountain and past surging waterfalls. Here are some sights from the train (which I don't mean to be so Alie-centric, but someone else had the camera . . . even when I protested.) I…

Sandy2012_3947

Zone B

(All photos taken by my amazing husband, who should totally shoot for AP.) Beginnings of this post have been washing in and out for weeks, and I am still lost. I wrote a week ago, but it was melodramatic and I didn't post. Here are fewer thoughts; there is so much more than could be said, but I'll just share our slice of Brooklyn, and our story. Two weeks and two days ago, we buckled in for a few days off work, and were thinking about what movie to rent. And then we stood by our window and…

Maine2012_Blog-2451

Maine

No corny title will do: Maine is just too gorgeous. Maine. Salt water runs in my veins (do you crave salt, too?), and at the beginning of my favorite month, we visited the place that never ceases to refresh and swell me with crashing refreshment. Maine. Tucked away on that dark, starry island each night in our room over the bay listening to boats and banter from the lobster bake-- with him and then waking to blueberry pancakes and amber syrup, walking until our ears stung and our breath and…

Norway2012-0078

Glacially late. 3 months in fact.

and I have the most exquisite place to show you. Exquisite, vast, cold, and dramatic, Norway froze and mesmerized us at once. What a trick that the road in started straight. Oh baby. We stayed in Bergen, a colorful coastal port full of sweaters and pastry shops, and one morning ate our breakfast early, and took the train to the bus. The bus was, to put it bluntly, scary----right up there with nearly falling off the cliffs of Hawaii on our honeymoon. Mountain height and a dash of swaying bus,…

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Oh long sleeves

Months of feeling like the subway air will soak forever into my lungs have vanquished at last into the occasional sweet shiver. Oh, long sleeves, darker air, and sweaters---welcome. Come in and have a scone. Season's change reminds us we've been here more than a year, and I halt daily when I think of last year, because a year ago was not the year I was picking apples in our garden and making avalanching amounts of apple crumble. Last year I was here. Who was that girl with no short-sleeved…

Buoyant

Summer life has been like the sea in a bay---billowing, full, chopping, loud. The Italian restaurant proprietor leans out a window above street level to water his window boxes. I sit on window stools eating cheese and watching dogs. The streets are emptied weekly of cars for filming. I wake up to see a beam of steel swinging past my window, and an engine making my whole building shiver. A teenage boy is on a run with his mother. I vaguely see a real smile on the subway. But this month much of…

Stockholm2012-9201

Stockholm

I'm not sure where it originated, but I have long imagined Stockholm to be a collection of squares, of monochromatic blocks of designer stores, sleek and clean. Instead, it was the full bodies of water that opened the city up, that cleaned our lungs and grabbed the sun to glitter in our eyes. We breezed across the full channels of the city on the water. They were wide and teaming, and what I will remember about Stockholm was how they held us up, and moved us forward, and underlined rows of…

Dalarna-9887

Sweden

I am in sixth grade, wearing a white eyelet dress with braids pinned in loops. The get-up is finished with a wreath in my hair. With candles. I carry a tray of cardamom-laced rolls in the shape of an “S” to country report day. Fourteen years later, I am in Dala-Järna, Sweden, a town so small that when we put its address into the GPS, the arrow dives straight into a forest. A little girl with blue eyes shiny as marbles scampers around her great-grandmother’s cottage where I notice a photo of…

BlackbirdCathedral-0589

Blackbird Cathedral

We clicked “buy flight” less than a day before take-off this past Saturday, and that was it. We were going to a state we'd never been, the heartland. And when we arrived it was just that. We walked outside into 100 degrees of heat and 180 degrees of flat and it was silent. No people. No moving cars. Just an occasional bird scratching the air with noise. The sky was so empty and high I couldn’t find it. It was a place you sense you’ve been before. You know planner me----I research trips months…