Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Adventures in Mystic

I had all the intentions in the world of writing all about my perfect fall activities as of late. I was going to post some delightful pictures of the orange leaves adorning campus, the Pumpkin Fest, me in a warm woolen hat and mittens, a soccer game I went to...I even had some funny lines in my head like I've "fall-en" for autumn. Okay, that was terrible and no one should be so subject to such horrible pun-nery, and I should have higher standards for myself as a writer. But the point was that, according to my calculations I had a solid four to six weeks left to write about my love of fall. And then Mother Nature decided to dump six to ten inches of snow all over my plans, my autumn, and virtually the entire state of Connecticut.

wasn't overly concerned when I had heard that we were going to get snow. In my opinion, the Connecticut weather team hasn't exactly had the best track record when it comes to meteorology prediction. But everyone has to start somewhere. And they decided go start by being extremely accurate. To quote one of the RA's, "I went to sleep on October 29 and woke up on December 24." Now I want some presents. And unfortunately this particular snow storm, because it came so early, wreaked havoc. To quote one student in particular, the town looked like, "there had been a battle and we lost.". And then the power went out. Awesome.

To make a very long story short (we had to evacuate the campus), I am not writing this blog from West Hartford, but from Mystic, Connecticut. My friend lives here and so graciously let me stay here and use things like electricity. Mystic is the perfect town to be in for Halloween. I feel like it is straight out of the Halloween classic "Hocus Pocus," though without the wizardry. Beautiful quaint New England homes, tiny bookstores, COFFEE SHOPS (and you know how I feel about that!). And I get to watch Glee at its regularly scheduled time, which is awesome because i don't normally get to because of class. Its the little things. And guess what-it's still fall here!

I've been in Mystic with my coworker/friends with three small children, so needless to say we have had some great adventures, though they are still holding out for Chuck E. Cheese. I got to go trick or treating for the first time in oh, I don't know seven years, maybe eight, which made me feel oddly old and young at the same time. I also got to dress up as a pepperoni pizza slice which was ironic because I do not eat meat. Today, I made chocolate chip pancakes for the kiddies, and I got to go to the Mystic Seaport (picture to come) where the kids made banjos while Mom was concerned about them playing the banjos non stop later on. Mystic Seaport is this little historical place where they have boats and horses and carriages...you know like maybe like it was back in the 1800's when they didn't have power. It felt oddly familiar, especially since I had walked to my car holding a candle the night prior. Additionally, at the Mystic Seaport we had the opportunity to go into an old school Blacksmith shop where members of the Coast Guard were learning how to do whatever Blacksmith-y type things. Lets just say it was hot in that room for a number of reasons, and made me seriously re-evaluate living in a land locked town. All in all we've had a great time, though admittedly this has solidified my commitment to not bringing children into the world, but conversely has strengthened my commitment to being the best aunt ever (Henry Porter, I'm talking to you).

If there's anything that I have learned since being in Mystic it is that this is a reminder to how essential it is to slow down. It's of course been busy, which tends to happen when you work full time and are getting your Master's. But you begin to see what you can go without, what is essential, and to really stop and savor the moment. This morning I went for a jog without my I pod...and I don't know the last time I did that, if ever. I often wondered if it was possible for me to run without it, maybe I'd get bored or focus too much on the pain. But I listened to my feet hitting the pavement, my breath going in and out, and felt my muscles working. And I felt so at peace when I came back. When everything you typically use is gone (ok yes, I'm getting Thoreau on you, and yes, I realize I haven't been completely desolate because I'm writing this from an I pad but for the most part I have three days of clothes and that's about it, so just go with it), it makes you slow down, and you really have to be reminded of these things every once in awhile, you know, a wake up call. But I still want fall back.

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