Grey at a Glance
I like America, neither for the republicans nor for the fast food.
There’s a lifestyle here I can relate to; I could be swayed to apply for citizenship based on the presence of Whole Foods, silent sports and the myriad of freshwater lakes.
Touched down in Chicago Saturday night, everything in order – little red dog alive and well, the seven kilograms of coffee I’d packed and guarded so carefully, still sealed and present – a sober man’s cocaine, you know?
A couple of nights spent in Milwaukee, both at motels and at a friend of a friend’s. What was Milwaukee? Not just Pabst, more than Harley Davidson, no street encounter with Richie Cunningham. Sunday was ‘Body World’ at the public museum; educational, real and somewhat confronting, it confirmed a lot of things I already believed in and taught things I didn’t yet know.
Motion north, crucial roadside stops to stock the fridge and pantry, scour thrift stores for clothes (I’ve also found some great little 35mm cameras at times) and finally head home to Door County, WI. A change in climate – jackets, boots,wood stove, a lake that will only get warmer with the coming months, cold toilet seats, grey days and hiking trails. Think North Face, think Patagonia. It’s only slightly above freezing; still remnants of snow on the ground and misdirected icebergs loose and free on the lake.
It’s May carrying weather that belongs in March; spring’s late on the peninsula this year. Look closely though – there are some colours in the landscape, a thousand shades of brown and grey, the odd yellow of a daffodil or blue of a bluebell.
The first afternoon home we packed the dog in the car and hiked our beloved Eagle Bluff to gain some perspective on where things are up to. I don’t know just how many miles of trails there are hidden within Door County, but as soon as each thaws and dries, I intend to find out.
This is the Midwest; it’s quiet here, out-of-the-way and no internet connection from home. I like it like that. Less wasted time. More conversation. More focus on the important things, blow dust from stored boxes and shelves of unread books, new tyres on the bicycles, turn the garden over, restore order in the kitchen.
A northern home in the Midwest of is having WPR stream directly through the radio into the car or kitchen, it’s smoke from the chimney as late as June, it’s condensation beading from the kitchen faucet as chilled water from the well meets the warmer air. A northern home is a peninsula of dense cyclic seasons filled with growth and rejuvenation. It’s an island paradise, really.