Saturday, September 5, 2009

mt. riga: the first chronicle

and so the summer draws to a close. i think i spent the near-end of it well last week, taking one last trip for the year up to mt. riga to be with my family.

i feel that i can't get enough of this mountain. the drive up through connecticut, the views, the sounds and smells of the earth and the air, the wind on the night, looking up between the leafy covering of trees to make out pieces of casseopeia, orion, the big and little dippers...and lying curled up in my sleeping bag up in the loft, listening to the sounds of the fire crackling below, and the breeze rustling the branches outside, above me. i used to be afraid at night, because it was so dark, but now i can listen as i didn't before.

on saturday afternoon of last week, i drove up to conn. and arrived at my aunt's cabin at about 8:00pm, just as everyone was finishing dinner. inside, the flood of hellos and questions began and did not cease for the next twenty minutes. i was greeted by my stepsister, who unaccountably had grown another six inches in height, and in gorgeous dark, ringlets that trail down to her waist. i can't beleive she wants to be a blond.

then my dad, and stepmother, and aunt and uncle all were greeted and hugged in turn, and then i was reintroduced to several familiar faces at the dinner table who i could a little more than vaguely recollect: my great-aunt virginia, my great-uncle ken schwartz, and their son and his wife, chuck and elizabeth, my first cousins once removed. as you may imagine, everyone was still talking at once and so i was sat down at the table to take part in a very agreeable conversation about how i was doing, how they were doing, news relating to other relatives and to the mountain, and a general discussion on the virtues of the dessert: two pies from the local market.

i do not think i'd ever seen my cousin and his wife before that evening--or rather, if i had, i do not remember it. i could remember great-aunt virginia and -uncle ken pretty well enough, but it was possibly the second time we had ever had a chance to sit and talk together for an extended time, and it was gratifying to get to know them in a way i hadn't as a little girl. they are very active, considering their age, and my great-uncle has a very dry sense of humor, which he employs frequently. great-aunt virginia is very sweet and good-natured.

i'd arrived late in the evening, for mt. riga time, so the rest of that evening was quiet, and shortly after dinner, i went back to our cabin with dad, kornelya and jalom. they were going to bed early, as they would be getting up the next morning very early in order to go back to brewster for a craft fair in which kornelya would be selling indonesian jewelry (which is very cool). they planned on staying in brewster sunday night, so that the agreement was that i would spend sunday night back in my aunt's cabin, and they would return on monday to the mountain (brewster is only about an hour away).

my aunt and uncle, however, were also going to brewster on sunday, but planned on returning in the evening, so i was free to please myself as i wished, puttering about and amusing myself until they returned. essentially, there would a window of several hours in which i would be sleeping on my own in my cabin, and then waking up and heading over to hang out in my aunt's cabin. why am i giving you these inconsequential details? well, the backstory is necessary becuase of what followed.

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