The Urge For Going

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
“I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
and all the trees are shivering in a naked row
I get the urge for going but I never seem to go”
– Joni Mitchell

A couple of patches here and there in shady spots are all that’s left of our weekend snow. The cool and rainy summer we had this year has many people thinking we’re due for an Indian summer but after the gorgeous September weather, I’m not so sure winter won’t be flirting with us for the next month or so.

It’s this time of year, when the mornings dawn frosty and the nights grow long when I get the urge for going that Joni Mitchell sings of. Always at this time of year, at least for the six years, I’ve left my hometown for other places. For four years I left home to head not so very far away to college. Two years ago, I left in the first week of October to spend six months living and working in London. Last year at this time I found temp work in the Twin Cities and shared a townhouse with a college friend.

This is a year of staying and burrowing deeper into the woods. Today I bought a pie pumpkin which I set on the kitchen shelf next to one of two (two?!) Beanie Baby Draculas. Yesterday I finally finished the second sock of a pair Andy will get when his birthday rolls around in a month’s time. And, miracle of miracles, I’m staying on track with October’s writing goals. Sounds like nesting, indeed.

But I still feel that familiar tug at my soul to go. Somewhere.

Today as Andy and I came down the hill into town to run errands, a moment passed when we both wanted to keep going, to press on to Duluth or other places. Work and volunteer obligations kept us from making it any farther than the grocery store, but there are plans for much bigger adventures, albeit in the somewhat distant future.

A couple days ago, we booked plane tickets to Seattle next April. We did a two-week road trip out of Portland last April to see the sights and visit a friend who attends college at Lewis and Clark. We’ve been planning to return ever since we got back. This time we’ll fly and rent a car. Now we’re in the process of figuring out how we’ll divide the week and a half we’ve allotted ourselves amongst Seattle, Portland, the California Redwoods and possibly Vancouver Island. I want to go to a winery this time. And a cheese factory. . .

April’s turned into my travel month. At the end of the month I have plans to spend about a week in New York City, catching up with some Canadian friends I made while I was in London. No tickets have been bought just yet; we’re still in the process of hammering out specific dates.

April is an awfully long ways away and there’s a lot of snow and cold to come and go between now and then. My urge for going must be sated with booking sleeping accommodations, researching museum fares and Broadway show prices, and making (and saving) the money I’ll need for all of this hoopdeedoo. It seems as though I’ll never go, but soon enough winter itself will be gobbled down and until it is, I’ll knit another mitten and write a little more.

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