Wednesday, August 11, 2010

491: hello from bread loaf, happy 3 year anniversary

Meryl and I arrived safe and sound in Vermont; last year, I was trapped at the Newark airport, changing gates, finding out how many rotations of planes they couldn't give us (mechanical, mechanical, mechanical). Of course, it sounds as if Meryl might have gotten the bad luck--her husband's car decided its engine would no longer work, so she lost her four a.m. ride to the airport, the trains were slow, and she just might have been the last person boarding the plane, which certainly kept my knuckles quite white.

Instead of going straight to the conference, we spent the day and evening in rural Vermont, on a large swath of land, mostly wooded, complete with wild blackberries and toads, where Meryl's old college friend lives. Her aunt owns the property and lives in a house with her five adopted boys, and Heather lives with her girlfriend Lori in a camper at the back of the lot. Camper is, of course, being a bit liberal: the inside was plywood floored, the bedding was a camping mat and sleeping bag, the lighting was candles, and the toilet was the woods. Needless to say, it was quite an adventure for me, and I think I could have managed mildly better if I weren't pregnant, but everyone was so extraordinarily kind and generous that the surprise roughness of the accommodations didn't fully phase me. We had plenty of excellent vegan fare, a campfire, a rainstorm, and plenty of storytelling.

Here at Bread Loaf, I will be slowly updating this blog on the trouble that Meryl and I get ourselves into, though one qualm is that I have lost my dear camera battery charger somewhere in my summer travels, so I am not certain if I will upload pictures as I go. The toad above was actually found in our backyard before I left, as opposed to the wilds of Vermont, but I will let it substitute charm you in the meanwhile.

I am tired but content. From what I remember of last year, these ten days feel both an eternity and the briefest flash of time. It's a good way to end the summer, even if the baby sometimes decides it's a good time to wallop me with a sad stomach. I've been warning the other women on the floor that if they hear someone getting sick, it isn't a drunk at ten a.m. or a bulimic, but instead a four-and-a-half pregnant person who can't seem to get into the swing of things. (And for the record, my only moment was still at the camper, just after the sun rose, and with the sweating and trembling and urgency, it felt more like the flu than morning sickness, so I'm not sure if was something I consumed in the past twenty-four hours or the heat, but I'm grateful I have managed to gracefully survive campus without any upsets.)

I already miss home, but I think that's the wonkiness of the hormones; once the conference begins to swing, I will be too distracted to think of how much I want to fall asleep next to Ryan or tell him in person about my day and how today we are missing being with one another on our three-year-wedding anniversary (Bread Loaf, by the way, is having its 85th anniversary, so they are winning), will vaguely think it would be better with Penelope by my side or Zephyr to entertain me, will only ache a little for the cats to curl up in my armpit as I read volume after volume of poetry in bed. This year, too, I have one of my dearest friends with me, which is the biggest gift, since this is my last hurrah for some time. Baby will keep me planted, which is fine. I have a book to write.


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