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91 (Disappearances) December 31, 2018

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

On December 31, I hope it is safe to say that I will not be spending any more nights away from home this year, but without question, this is the year I have spent more nights away than ever. I wish I could say that it’s because I am a world traveler or because I have a high-powered, well-paying job that requires such things, but neither of these is true.

The bulk of my time away has to do with the nightmare of aging parents. (It is followed by accompanying Tim to Portland when I can. I work during the days, eat well at night, and it keeps us from spending too much time apart.)

In 2018, I spent 91 nights away from my own bed. A quarter of the year.

January: I went to my parents’ home (my hometown) in Maryland to see for myself what the hell was happening there. Three nights in Maryland proper, staying with high-school-BFF Sue at her mother’s house. Sue lives conveniently halfway between Route 153 and the town where we grew up. I broke up the trip by staying the night at her house on both ends. At the very end of the month, I went with Tim to Portland, a trip that straddled the month change. So, two nights New Jersey, three nights Maryland, three nights Maine (month total: 8).

February: Finished out that Portland trip. Headed back to Maryland with my sister to begin the long slog of horrificness. Stayed at a beautiful writer’s retreat through airbnb. Sue let us break up the drive again. Two nights Maine, two nights New Jersey, five nights Maryland (month total: 9).

March: Trip to Maryland with Tim to get parents settled in a new situation. Broke up drive on way down by staying at his mother’s in Pennsylvania. At the end of the month, made a wonderfully selfish trip to Kim’s (also in Pennsylvania) to attend a kd Lang concert at the Beacon. Three nights Pennsylvania, four nights Maryland (month total: 7).

April: Another trip to Portland with Tim. Dad worsened, so immediate trip to Maryland, during which he died. On the last day of the month, drove to a resort in Vermont where Tim was working to see it and him. Five nights Maine, seven nights Maryland, one night Vermont (month total: 13).

May: A previously planned trip to Maryland for two weddings, which ended up including my father’s memorial. The two-weddings-and-a-funeral trip. Did a work thing in NYC on the front end and Sue let us stay with her. Stayed at my sister-in-law’s boyfriend’s house to visit them and attend Emily and Will’s wedding. Drove up to Pennsylvania for a one-night to visit Tim’s mom and her husband. Drove back to an airbnb to be home for dad’s memorial service, but had to move to a hotel for the night of Angela and Joe’s wedding. Later in the month, went to Portland with Tim. One night New Jersey, eight nights Maryland, one night Pennsylvania, three nights Maine (month total: 13).

June: My sister-in-law flew to Vermont for a Decemberists concert; we met her and spent the night. My sister and I headed back to a Maryland airbnb via Sue’s for a frustrating trip trying to work with my mother. We then headed to West Virginia for a night at her best-friend-from-elementary-school’s place. One night Vermont, one night New Jersey, five nights Maryland, one night West Virginia (month total: 8).

July: Broke up the drive home from West Virginia at Sue’s. Went to Rhode Island to see the shore from my cousin’s house, attend a concert at the early music festival, and find the cemetery where my mother expects to be buried. Went to Portland (where I got to go to a Courtney Barnett concert!). One night New Jersey, three nights Rhode Island, four nights Maine (month total: 8).

August: You won’t believe this, but I took a pleasure trip. Sue, Jim, Tim, and I went to Bloomington, Indiana, to see Hoagy’s musical about his father. We stayed with my friend Esther. This may not sound like a destination vacation, but it was the second time I’d spent time there, and it was great. And it had nothing to do with my parents or about anything other than having fun. Four nights in Indiana (month total: 4).

September: I spent a night in New York City for a work event. I went to a lodge in the Adirondacks with a bunch of guys Tim works with so that I could go fishing and be in the Adirondacks. Three nights in New York (month total: 3).

October: Tim and I went to New York City to attend a play that Sue was producing at the fringe festival. We met newlyweds Joe and Angela there for dinner that night. My sister and I flew to Maryland to check in on the situation. On Halloween, I abandoned my candy post to join Tim at his photo shoot at White Pine Camp on Osgood Pond, because it was the pond I had spent twenty-two summers on before the lodge we went to was sold. Three nights New York, two nights Maryland (month total: 5).

November: I spent one more night at White Pine Camp. I went to Portland twice with Tim: once for four nights, once for three. One night New York, seven nights Maine (month total: 8).

December: Tim and I visited my mother in Maryland (staying at a hotel, of course). We went to his mother’s for Christmas eve and day. Upon arrival home, I did a quick turnaround and drove to friend Susan’s (in Vermont), traveling with her and her friend to Hartford, Connecticut, to see Hamilton and almost running out of gas around midnight on the way back to Susan’s after the show. Two nights Maryland, two nights Pennsylvania, one night Vermont (month total: 5).

I’m exhausted just reading this and don’t expect you to have made it this far. But this explains, in part, where I’ve been all year. Why I’ve been absent from Route 153.

This, and the fact that I was working on a 365 blog for 2018, finished today. Many of you know that, as you were right there with me. And now that it’s over, I’ll be back here.

I hope.