Traveling from little house in the woods to big city on the coast

Flowering dogwood in New Jersey

It’s a quiet May morning in our little house in the woods. Gray clouds scud across the tops of budding poplar trees. Wind blows her gusty breath on the deck umbrella which we just retrieved from the basement in honor of spring’s supposed arrival. We’re waiting on hummingbirds. They usually show their flitting tiny red and green bodies around May 10th, but this year they may be late. It’s been such a cold spring, but the snow around our house has finally melted and lupins are pushing leafy green stems up through moist soil.

Three carpet layers work in our bedroom as I write. Yes, we know carpeting is not politically and environmentally correct and not welcome in sleek modern houses with wood floors, but we love its warmth between our toes as we stretch awake and tread downstairs to start a woodstove fire. Yes, Barry laid local hard maple flooring and ceramic tile in our kitchen three decades ago. . .

We’ve seen these carpet fellows before. When they arrive in our driveway they linger in their van and smoke cigarettes for five minutes. Clouds of smoke roll out of their open windows. Some of them wheeze as they work their craft on their knees stretching the new carpet against tack strips. It’s a demanding job. The elder fellow mentions he’s just recovered from pneumonia.

Barry’s out with his trusty chainsaw, cutting up the wood pile. Lots of work for us in upcoming months as we’ll saw, split and haul the firewood. We’ll work our craft steadily–hopefully in the early morning before the hot sun sears–perhaps watching hummingbirds drink from the red feeder against the house.

I’ve been sorting through photos of our trip to New Jersey to visit our son and his wife in their new home. Would you like to see some of the pictures from the wee iPhone?

The wind blew and cherry blossoms photobombed my guys. Cheeky cherries wanting center stage!
Our grandcat wants some oysters too. (He didn’t get any)

City cats like Mango watch Cat TV on the big screen. Can you imagine such a thing? Our cats lived outside in the woods, ate mice, got attacked by owls, ran away, came home again. Whose to say who has the best life? There are advantages and disadvantages of both cat lifestyles.
Hey look–the Statue of Liberty behind our crew during a fabulous three hour tour of the New York City skyline on a vintage tour boat. One free cocktail lured us aboard (just kidding–we would have gone anyway).
I love the Statue of Liberty. I love that our country welcomed so many immigrants and offered so many opportunities.

New York City Skyline. We traversed the Hudson, East and Harlem Rivers making a big circle around the city of skyscrapers and home of 8.419 million unique people.

Barry says I should tell you that these buildings show the transition between old style exterior skeleton skyscrapers and new glass towers that rise like gleaming monoliths above the river.

Belated birthday dinner for the kids after the architectural tour. This appetizer features burrata, a soft Mediterranean cheese surrounded with spicy sautéed apples. Yum!

And birthday dinner is not complete without a New England style hazy IPA. Double yum!

Camels in the bathroom at the birthday dinner restaurant. “Arabian Nights” sang through the speakers, adding to the magical feel of the day.

Another day, another meal. This delicious feast is Korean Barbecue grilled over pans of charcoal at your table. Oh how I love the city for its wide variety of restaurants!

I could show you another seventy five photos but perhaps this is enough for today. You can now perhaps imagine how precious it was to spend time with our favorite son and daughter-in-law. How we’re vowing to visit them more often. How it warmed our hearts to spend time in their sweet little home and pet their dear Mango-cat.

Have you been able to visit loved ones in faraway places–or had them come visit you–recently? One thing coronavirus taught me is that I will not miss any opportunities to stay close to those I love. (And I will soon be back on the road visiting my mom downstate. It’s been seven months since we saw each other.)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in May 2022 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Traveling from little house in the woods to big city on the coast

  1. Ally Bean says:

    Mango-cat is a charmer. I like you photos. Everyone looks happy and it is delightful to see something different than what I see in my suburban life. I agree that one of the best things about NYC is the variety of well-prepared food.

    • Kathy says:

      Mango’s a sweetheart, Ally Bean. Glad you liked the photos and enjoyed seeing a different view than your ordinary life. That’s what I liked, too. Oh the restaurants! So many wonderful places to choose from!

  2. Anna says:

    Loved the pink trees! Looks like a fun trip to the Big Apple. My recent trip to clear out my sister’s apartment was not so fun but my nieces and I made the best of it. Thank goodness for family! I could not have done it without them.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Anna. I imagine your trip was not so much fun, for sure. I am glad you made the most of it and were surrounded by family at such an important time.

  3. Carol says:

    Spring is busting out all over. I’m glad you had a good trip and wish you many more. As to “I love how our country welcomed immigrants and offered opportunities” – if only it could still do that!

    • Kathy says:

      It is fascinating getting to know people from different cultures. I have learned so much about South Korea from our daughter-in-law, and an equal amount about Egypt from our son-in-law. One nephew married a girl from Nicaragua and another dated one from Mexico. The world’s cultures are filled with so many riches, and ways we can all complement one another with our differences. If more people recognized that maybe our world would be a more welcoming place for others with different languages, skin colors, etc.

  4. john k says:

    It is so heartening these past three or four days to see the pictures of the kids in their prom attire being posted from the drive-in, Cafe L’Anse, and Skippers and now seeing Dr. Drue living in the Big City. It is so wonderful to see someone who grew up in a little house in the woods achieve so much and go so far. You must be so proud. You are such great parents.

    • Kathy says:

      John, it is wonderful seeing our kids (and other kids we know) go out into the big world and following their heart’s desires. It is also a little bittersweet that they are gone from the woods and rural areas and we can’t see them as much as other parents here. I sometimes wonder how they’ve been able to settle so happily in the urban areas. We are proud of them. And wanting them to be happy…as so many parents do.

  5. Debbie says:

    So glad you were able to take this jaunt, Kathy! Looks like you had perfect weather for it, and I’m happy you treated yourselves to such a variety of food and things to do. I’m fascinated the cat actually watches TV. Monkey doesn’t seem particularly interested in it (though he will watch football once in a while, ha!)

    • Kathy says:

      I wonder if cats and dogs have different ideas about TV, Debbie? LOL. Although our daughter’s two cats have no interest in the TV at all, and they are apartment cats just like Mango. I am smiling at the thought of Monkey watching football. It was a fun visit, and one we’re hoping to repeat in future years.

  6. Susan D. Durham says:

    Ah, what a lovely post. Enjoyed all the words, and the photos are heartwarming, some stunning in their beauty. So glad, toe and all, you and Barry were able to make the trip, and see that sweet couple.

  7. Shirley K says:

    What a fun trip! How lucky you are to visit cherished children and have them show you the sights!

    • Kathy says:

      Shirley, how nice to see you again! It was a nice trip and so fabulous to spend that much time with the kids. It meant a lot to them to show us their world.

  8. dawnkinster says:

    A wonderful trip, and you will get to see spring twice!

    • Kathy says:

      It was great, Dawn. I like your attitude about seeing spring twice. Guess what? I saw the first wildflower here this morning. It feels like the woods are greening up in just a few short days. It’s beautiful!

  9. Oh my … what a wonderful trip. Obviously, you ate well. The grandcat at the table made me laugh. Hope the hummers arrive soon!

    • Kathy says:

      Good thing the grandcat knew better than to jump ON the table and get those oysters. He would have been in deep trouble with the oyster lovers! I did eat well. TOO well, if the scales are telling the truth. P.S. We are putting up the hummingbird feeder today, just in case.

  10. Always look forward to your posts, illustrated so beautifully with photos. So glad you could spend time with those you love and with other trips planned.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you so much! I sometimes wonder if it’s worthwhile to continue sharing things like this trip here on the blog–your kind words are appreciated.

  11. What a grand, newsy post! How nice to be able to travel, and visit loved ones! It looks like big adventure, and good meals (I miss that, too!).

    • Kathy says:

      That’s one of the hardest things about living in a rural area, isn’t it, Cindy? Not being able to eat out at a variety of good restaurants. But we do have our perks! So glad you enjoyed the post, too. ❤

  12. Val Boyko says:

    NewJersey is a whole new world. The dogwoods are spectacular though! Thanks for capturing your perspective as well as others…. and living to survive the tale or two. 💛🙏🏼💛

  13. jeffstroud says:

    It looks like you enjoyed your time with the Kids, experienced delicious exciting foods and beverages! Every time I go to NYC I forget it’s surrounded by water! The riverboat tour would be a great way to see the city…

    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, I think you would enjoy this tour a lot–it gives a new perspective of NYC. Thank goodness Chris came up with this idea so we didn’t have to walk long distances (the toe was still healing). It was a fun trip! And I always think of you when visiting the City.

  14. Robin says:

    I very much enjoyed the happiness shining out of your photos. The virus has taught me the same lesson (and many more).

    • Kathy says:

      I am so glad you could feel the happiness we experienced, Robin! I know you’ve experienced the same when visiting your own beloved family…

  15. LaDonna Remy says:

    It looks like a lovely trip.

  16. Thank you for sharing your pictures from your trip to New Jersey. The dogwood and cherry blossoms were spectacular! I love the Statue of Liberty, too. Have you visited Ellis Island? That was a profoundly moving experience for me, as my Ukrainian grandparents came through there. The tour of the New York City skyline by boat sounds wonderful. Most of all, you got to spend time with the kids and share some precious memories.

    • Kathy says:

      Sorry I’m so late in responding, Barbara. Have been on another trip–this time to spend 11 days with my mom. I have never been to Ellis Island and it sounds utterly fascinating. Knowing you–you would have been so moved to learn more of what your ancestors experienced.

  17. Tilly travel says:

    What a wonderful trip

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