My life is on a schedule now. Weekends are free time, and weekdays are babysitting duty. This was not my plan for retirement, just as retirement was not yet my plan. Don’t get me wrong. I love my grandson, but I crave the company of adults. This is perhaps what my husband meant when he said, “I don’t want to raise kids again, and withdrew to his adult world.” Neither do I.
But when Caleb threw up his hands as I was typing this, and said “What to do?” and “Oh, no.” taking part in the silly show that he was watching; I just wanted to grab him and hug and kiss him for being so cute. I said, “I just love you so much.” Yet, I miss the company of adults. So I weave my way on this convoluted path to the world of adults mixed with the world of children. I want that mixed world, and long ago said I could never live in a retirement enclave.
Sunday was my last day on the road, and I was headed back to Pittsburgh. But I had hours before I had to get back. The sign said, “Last Exit on the Island”. I didn’t even know I was on an island, so I exited. I drove to a New York State Park for a closer view of this island. The empty guard-house said $7.00 admission unless no one was on duty. I drove in for free. I was alone with the birds and the man in the snow-bladed pick-up truck pushing snow from the parking lot. I put on my snow boots and walked to water’s edge. It was enigmatic that I was enjoying the solitude and cold. I drove to Buffalo and stopped again at another park entering over a drawbridge. I walked the gangway hemmed in by water on both sides. I walked until the ice covered the sidewalks and chain railings. I turned back fearing I would slide into the water without anyone noticing I was gone.
I drove along the Outer Harbor area that left me in solitude again along water’s edge. This is a wonderful area to walk, jog or bike; although no one else was enjoying the day in this weather. I retreated back to Buffalo and drove over the streetcar tracks on Main Street. This was the cultural district of Buffalo that reminded me of Pittsburgh’s cultural district with an ice rink reminiscent on a smaller scale of the rink of PPG Place. Before heading out again, I searched the skyline for the ornate spire that I had seen driving into the city. I found it on the City Hall across from a park where protesters were gathering to ask the rest of us to join them in saving Mother Earth.
Just this little teaser of Buffalo left me wanting to return to see more of the city and bike along the water.
I left to get back to Pittsburgh in time for Cary to go to her regular Sunday night meeting. I stopped for a break and a drink on I-90. I had no cash left except for $10 Canadian and my change. Enough for a drink. Then I realized my purse felt light, and my change purse was gone, inadvertently left as the tip for the maid at the last hotel, just as my makeup bag was the tip for the maid at the Ontario hotel. Those forgotten items are the reasons for traveling as light as possible rather than leaving belongings strewn across the country.