A Happy Vacation
It’s good to be in your feelings, and it’s cool to be sad, and it’s cool to feel all of these feelings. ~Cuco
So I took a quick vacation back east over the last few days. It was a quick and wonderful trip. On the way back to the train station in Hudson, I snapped the picture above of the first house I lived in from age zero to two. I love that it’s still the same light blue as it was back then. I also miss the fall colors back east. This trip was really full of an amazing array of emotions, definitely a bit of a nostalgia as I walked by my old home.
Brooklyn – Halloween
As you know if you know me, or read this blog, I LOVE pizza. Especially NYC style pizza and being in Brooklyn for a couple of days meant that good pizza was everywhere. From a whole pie for dinner at my brother’s place to slices on the streets as I walked between his place and my hotel. There are fewer small perfect joys in my life than a couple of great slices and a coke.
On Kane Street, near where my brother lives, there are the famous staked out pumpkins. The house has been doing it for over 15 years, so it was a must see stop for me since I was in the neighborhood.
The absolute best part of my time in Brooklyn was getting to meet my littlest niece who is four months old. She’s an absolute doll, and holding her was spectacular. She smiled, cooed and laughed for me and although I was always madly in love with her via photo, she completely stole my heart in person.
I also got to go trick or treating for the first time in over forty years. My two nephews who are almost four and six, were going as Transformers, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee to be exact. I let them pick my costume so I was decked out in a full-body skeleton costume. Brooklyn Heights on Halloween reminded me of my old neighborhood in the 70’s, full of children everywhere. More accurately, my old neighborhood on steroids, there must have a thousand kids in the neighborhood, the streets where blocked off, it was amazing.
The weather absolutely cooperated, it was a pure Indian Summer night with temperatures in the 60’s. They go all out on Halloween in Brooklyn, houses are decorated everywhere and lots and lots of people are out on their stoops with bowls of candy. I spent the time with my four year-old nephew holding my hand and trying to navigate trick or treating. He struggled with all of the steps at once. He knew, say trick or treat, raise up his bucket, pick some candy if they don’t hand it to you and say thank you. It was just that he didn’t necessarily get all the steps at any one house. Luckily for him he’s absolutely adorable and so he was continuously forgiven and in many instances people gave him lots of extra candy. My equally adorable six year-old nephew also raked in the candy although he was much more aggressive and sneaky in racking up the candy.
It was absolutely an incredibly special night for me. Walking the streets with my little nephew depending on me, holding my hand and never ever not talking for a full 90 minutes was absolutely magical. When we got back to the apartment my older nephew told me I could pick 4 pieces of his candy to have. I love these two little rascals and it was really amazing to share this night with them and my brother, while my littlest niece napped at home with her mom.
Virginia – Wedding
On Friday I flew down to Virginia to attend the Saturday wedding of my friend Second Star. Second Star was part of my Appalachian Trail Family. In fact, of all of my hiking partners on the trail, I spent the most time with Second Star. We spent 63 nights together on the trail and she features prominently in my book Appalachian Trail Happiness. On the trail she joked after the hike, she’d get a job, find a military man and get married. Well on Saturday she accomplished exactly that. She’s found a wonderful guy and looked absolutely beautiful on her wedding day. It was like watching one of my sisters getting married and I was so incredibly happy for her. The wedding site was beautiful, the weather perfect, the ceremony on a mountain was fun and amazing. A really special day and I was honored to be there.
I wrapped up the trip by flying back from Virginia and then taking a train up north to the town of my birth, Hudson and to dinner with my mom, oldest sister and my two nieces. My mom’s birthday is this weekend and it was a chance to buy dinner for her birthday. A quick overnight trip, then back to NYC for the night and a plane to California in the morning. Was able to snap the picture below from the train.
It was also a sad night as my youngest sister’s step dad passed away. Bill was a great guy and he’ll be missed.
It’s important my friends to every once in awhile reach back and touch the past. To hold on to the hand of your little nephew or hold your newest and littlest niece. I can be a jaded and cynical human, but sometimes it’s really, really important and good for your happiness to open up and let the emotions flow, and have some happy days with special people. ~ Rev Kane