I had volunteer work this morning which involves getting up very early. But when I got up, it had been cancelled. So there I was at 5:30am, sitting in the dark but ready to be hopping into the truck and driving for an hour. I had actually been thinking once or twice over the last few days about driving up to see some place I had not visited for a while. No surprise there, I think such thoughts of visiting old places many times in a year. I don't often do anything about them.
However, I am almost 68, and if you do something very occasionally over 68 years it eventually adds up. Particularly since the boys have grown, I have had the freedom to be a bit impulsive, taking an extra thirty minutes to drive home by a different route, or even taking a couple of hours to drive out to a good view or an old diner. So there's not really anywhere to go. I considered all the directions of the compass one by one, and each has something worth visiting for nostalgic reasons. So worth visiting, in fact, that I have already done it a few times. I did miss my chance at Cow Island on Winnipesaukee, where my parents had a cottage from 1975-1985. I would like to see the place again and I don't have a boat, so my best shot would be to walk across from Fox Point in winter. I don't trust the ice at present.
Even at that, the place is likely unrecognisable at this point. It was smallish at the time, but it is very desirable real estate now, and has likely been improved and added to several times. I might not even be able to pick it out among its neighbors. The nostalgia part of Cow Island is no longer attainable, though, as it was the whole process of retrieving and opening up the boat, packing the luggage into it, and heading across the water for the last leg of the trip, then opening the cabin. Even that was rare, as my stepfather was often there already and would come to pick us up. So maybe next winter, but maybe, when the day comes I will say "Why bother? What is there to see, really?"
The houses I have lived in and the schools and churches I went to are all in a 90 minute radius, except for college and the Western New England addresses I lived at before I was 6. I have even been to those a couple of times over the years. I am like Gollum, who thought there would be great secrets in the many tunnels under the mountain but soon exhausted them all. To the West is Pilgrim Pines, but I went there in winter with the granddaughters just a few years ago, and we will be going soon enough in summer. Northwest is Bradford, Lake Massasecum and another lake house, but I have been by many times as an adult. North, then Northeast, then around the compass, places everywhere. But I've already been.