Four days separate me from work and vacation. On Saturday I will fly out of Colorado, change planes in Charlotte, and arrive in Portland, Maine, where my friend will toss my luggage in the trunk and we'll drive to her house full of poodles and barn full of horses, cats, and goats. Heaven! The next morning we will bug out early for a local horse show. I imagine I will see lots of old friends and repeat myself endlessly about my life here and why I'm not moving back to Maine. Then on Monday, we head north to Nova Scotia, cool temps, cool Canadian scenery, lots of personal and public history. Both Brenda and I descend from Nova Scotia lines--mine French, hers English. We joke about her ancestors exiling mine. We plan not to partake in that sort of division.
I've been packed for days to be sure what I need will fit into a carry-on bag and one tote. The biggest problem is deciding what books to take! I can't imagine a flight across the country without a book or two, but I don't want to carry a tome that weighs more than my head. So, sadly, I'll leave my new poetry collections home and take a couple of paperback novels, Marge Piercy's Gone to Soldiers, and Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose, both recommended by friends who know a good read when they see one. I have, of course, packed three small journals, because, while I may not work for the next three weeks, I will write something, a travel journal, a commentary on genealogy from the ground up, notes about the people I'll watch in the airports. And I'll take to my son a scrapbook with his genealogy in it. I've been working on that for a while now, and whether he values it or not, I want him to have it. Maybe when he's as old as I am now, he'll realize how these faceless people have shaped our minds and personalities.