We finally made it over to the Methow for Thanksgiving with P’s dad. The weather was crazy – first intermittently rainy (despite there being a good amount of snow already on the ground) and extremely foggy to the point of looking into complete blankness on the other side of the windshield, other than a vague patch of road ahead; then freezing and icy as temperatures dropped sharply overnight.
It was a good trip, in some ways a classic late fall/early winter getaway, I suppose: a cozy rustic inn complete with a hot tub and sauna that we took full advantage of, lounging in front of the fireplace, board games (I taught P’s dad to play Scrabble), a couple of long walks through snowy woods and meadows, shopping for locally-made holiday presents. And there was also the family-style Thanksgiving dinner at the inn, where P’s dad got to sample traditional American Thanksgiving dishes while I chatted with our tablemates, who included both locals and fellow tourists from Seattle. At the end of the long weekend, none of us wanted to leave. We lingered as long as we could on our last walk through a field in Mazama, then reluctantly got in the car. As we drove back, the aroma of Blue Star and Lariat coffee that I’d bought at the Mazama Store and Methow Masala for gift-giving filled the car and reminded us of the place we were leaving behind.
We also looked at a couple of building lots, to the extent that the snow and alternating rain and fog that day permitted us to do so. We couldn’t actually walk onto or even up to the lots because there was too much wet snow on the ground, but at least we drove up as close as we could get, then got out of the car to take a look. While it was helpful, the realtor that I’d gotten in touch with – she was out of town that weekend but left us very detailed maps and descriptions – was right when she said it would make a lot more sense to look at land when there is no snow cover, so we will resume our search in the spring. We will likely expand to looking at homes. We keep going back and forth on this, so we should probably look at both land and homes while we figure out which route to go.
Tomorrow, I leave for a place very different than the snowy Methow Valley: Hawaii. I will be spending a few days with my older sister, who lives there, and my parents, who are going to be visiting her. While I am very much looking forward to seeing my family and getting away from the Seattle rain, for some reason the thought of a six-hour plane ride over the ocean makes me sad. Not scared (although admittedly I do get slightly anxious before flying), just somehow sad. I have another trip, to New York, coming up in January, and even though it is another six-hour flight, the thought of it does not cause me to have the same odd feeling. Maybe it’s because I used to live there and it is a place that is familiar to me, where I will be seeing many people I know. Still, I think that there is more to it. Perhaps it’s that I feel more connected to a place that can be reached by land, regardless of the fact that I would be flying there anyway. And perhaps it is the loneliness of flying for hours over miles and miles of ocean, with so much nothingness around us and below us.
Over the ocean or over land, down tropical beaches or through snow-covered forests, the journey continues…