It’s almost midnight as I begin to write. Snow falling. The deck is covered but the driveway and roads are merely wet. If it weren’t for a nagging respiratory infection and cough I might entertain a midnight ride. But I’m tired and my stomach is signaling its displeasure with the antibiotics I’ve been taking. So the Vespa scooter sits in the darkened garage. For days now. I can’t ride.
I get stir crazy. Especially when I’m sick. And just have to get out of the house to see something. Anything. With car keys and camera in tow I left the house this morning to meet a friend and wander a bit.
Another silver vehicle. It doesn’t lend the same energy to a photograph as the Vespa. But it gets mere where I want to go. And a perfect match for the scooter. Small, simple, utilitarian. The weather was brisk and slightly damp. Slowly I’m adjusting to the weather. Just not the lack of light.
Chocolate brownies now at Saint’s Cafe. Just like the Vespa and Honda Fit — well almost. They’re simple and utilitarian. But they’re not small. I couldn’t finish this one. A sure sign of old age when I can’t or won’t down a brownie.
When I find myself on foot with a camera I look at things. Like the lichen on a tree. Or the way light shines through the trees. I like to tell myself that I’m a traveler in life. Moving through the world as a quiet observer. Served well as a photographer. And as a rider.
Driving and making photographs has none of the excitement or satisfaction that the Vespa offers. In cold weather the car can be seductive with it’s ability to blast heat and recline seats. And if I couldn’t ride, it was still nice to get out on the road and see if anything has changed.
It’s not Montana, but it has a central Pennsylvania big sky feeling. A front moving across the valley. The light fading at 4pm in the afternoon and we’re still a month away from the winter solstice. Everything feels like winter.
This is Happy Valley. Home of Penn State and the Nittany Lions. And a host of other sights, sounds, people, businesses and communities. Mount Nittany rises in the distance, dwarfed by the heavy skies overhead.
Some days beckon to travel and keep moving down the road. This day felt as if it were whispering, “Home, home, home…”
Christmas decorations go up earlier every year. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and the town is illuminated. Triggered some Christmas shopping. Kim, if you read this, I got one of your presents. If you’re looking for something for me, I want the same thing as previous years.
The clock struck twelve a few minutes ago. The house is dark save for the glow of the computer screen. A swig of cough syrup with codeine, a glass of water and a quick check on the dogs and I can drift off to sleep. I saw some things today. And it didn’t matter that it wasn’t on two wheels.
I’m flexible. Even if I can’t ride.