Well, this hasn’t been the easiest newsletter to write.
Do I talk about the Jim Tammen lilies blooming in the cutting garden or the New Dawn roses framing the front porch as I said good-bye? Or, do I reminisce about Libby and Fleurry in their new home just outside of Stony Run or the six hens that left on New Year’s Day to live on another hill on Hottenstein? Or, do I get down to the nitty-gritty of packing 20-plus years of memories (14 at 440 Hottenstein Road) onto a 20-foot U-Haul truck that I was scared as hell to drive?
OK, I’ll write about the truck.
My neighbor Beverly set me up with a brand-new (2,000 miles) automatic monster with air conditioning and airbags. My neighbor Gayle, who drives her Eagle Point Farm Market box truck from Leola to Trexlertown like it’s a VW Bug, said simply: “Use the mirrors.” And when fear and trepidation set in (i.e. backing out of the steeply sloped driveway with less than an inch to spare), I let a certain 6-foot-6 19 year old hop into the driver’s seat. But actually, as a recent veteran of the Kutztown-to-State-College-and-back-again run, I can look back and say, “It was a breeze” and recommend it to any of you. Sure, there was a gnawing cramp from my right bicep across my shoulders and neck to the left bicep from gripping the steering wheel like it was going to roll out the window, but as the miles flew by I passed a few slowpokes, pulled up to a gas pump (twice), made it up the Seven Mountains by downshifting, and, I used the mirrors … as well as my excellent co-pilot Richard.
The packing went really well. Dina supplied a bunch of bicycle boxes for the odd-shaped, over-sized items and Vanessa carefully wrapped and stashed all of those necessities you use up to the last minute and then have to pack. We even found two foam rubber panels to protect the glass Hoosier doors – and remembered that our daughters (Abby and Marina) used them to dress up as matching dominoes one Halloween many years ago. Richard, Celso (our former Brasilian Rotary exchange student, KU graduate, and soon-to-be executive assistant for a national recycling firm), and farmer Steve and his crew, Blake, Sam and Caleb, added muscle to the move.
Nick the Cat is the original mellow yellow, so he was unfazed by the process. Magoo the Bouvier, a completely different story. In the weeks before the move, as each room became a maze of boxes, he was unsettled. As the boxes began disappearing, he began piling up his toys on the couch so he could keep track of them. And every once in a while he’d give me a jab with his big, black rubbery nose as if saying, “Hey, forget all the work, let’s go play with the Frisbee.” But the most poignant moment was when he took a giant leap into the back of the U-Haul, and tears came to my eyes knowing I couldn’t take him, and all of you, with me. Laurie Lynch
Fleur-de-Lys Central: The only thing that hasn’t changed is my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. My new mailing address is P.O. Box 842, State College, PA 16801. I’m living with my mother at 101 Timber Lane, State College. Home phone: (814) 238-1774. Please keep in touch.
Too Small Most Agreeable Town: While Marina was visiting in early June we were shopping in a local drug store and bought a copy of a bridal magazine. Then, just the other day, there was a knock on the door at 440 Hottenstein asking if congratulations were in order. The answer is “no” and “NO”. The magazine was a gift for Ziggy’s (Marina’s boyfriend) mother.
Written on Slate: I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances. – First First Lady Martha Washington