I’ve arrived in my home state of New Hampshire for a two-week stay.
One of my first stops was the Portsmouth Pier, where my brother Geordie docks his fishing boat, the Ocean Pride III.
There’s something about driving the roads, and especially seeing the ocean, that has a huge tranquilizing/nostalgic effect on my psyche.
Actually, driving in New Hampshire is not so much driving (compared to L.A.) as taking a restful nap while your vehicle winds around gentle bends, takes you past stunning views and delivers you gently to your destination. I have checked in with my brother Ross who’s going to drive down from Nashua with his son, our nephew Allen, Saturday. Meredith, my little sister, is going to come up from Northampton, Massachusetts sometime during the next week. My brother Joe e-mailed yesterday to say he was in Slovenia (!) with his band The Queers and will be back later in March. Then there’s my nephew Rick, his wife Tracy, and their kids. I’ll visit my mother at “the home” in Dover later this morning. I have not been home in a year and a half and that all feels very comforting and warm and fills my heart.
And already the faces of the people in the stores and in the streets and driveways and yards and gas stations and the one guy I saw, behind the wheel of a pickup, down at the pier, remind me of the decency and plain-spokenness with which I was raised; of the spare, no-frills Yankee spirit; of the ridiculous love I have for my family; and of the poem “The Death of a Hired Man”–because no-one can accuse a New Englander of being overly optimistic–from our own Robert Frost.