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Susan Ito trying to do it all: reading writing mothering spousing daughtering working living

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The End (almost)

It really is the end of the trail, the end of a blissful journey. I have loved these weeks here. I have loved the endless sideshow of weather (snow flurries again, today) and the solitude and the company. I have loved being far away from “civilization.” I have only left the BMC property twice this month: once, to visit the wonderful Adirondack Museum (well worth it) and once, to have watery margaritas and odd, soupy chili at the only restaurant within 12 miles (the company was good, the food was not worth leaving the grounds). I have loved not driving, and not using money except for the aforementioned two outings. (credit card purchases over the Internet don’t count, do they?) I am a little terrified of returning to the hustle and bustle of regular life, of shopping and driving and …. Aughhhh! The idea just makes me want to throw the blankets over my head and never come out.

But it makes me think, that I could do this. I really could. I could live out in west Marin or the Sierra foothills or Vermont or upstate New York, and love it. Being far away from luxuries makes these things all the more precious. We have no television here (I have loved this, although have checked up on the progress of the Gilmore Girls via the website Television Without Pity, and that has been almost as satisfying as seeing it myself). Every week a movie or two arrive from Netflix. We all gather around to watch, and it is the grand social event of the week. We have made an evening out of a bonfire, and another evening out of looking at stars from the snow-crusted lawn. We have made many, many evenings out of playing Scrabble and Dictionary, and they have been drama enough for me. I have loved just sitting around and talking, something there is never time for at home. I have really, really loved not having to consult my calendar or appointment book for this month, except for micro-managing my family’s activities three thousand miles west.

Having easy access to fantastic restaurants and a million shops and movies and shows and clubs and bookstores and what-all else we have in the Bay Area has made me feel somewhat overwhelmed, numb and annoyed. But what if you could just have a wonderful restaurant meal once a month, or every two months? I know I would look forward to it the way I was so excited about the anticipation of going out for watery margaritas and chili. I felt like a ten year old going to Disneyland (and sadly, I know ten year olds who are utterly blasé about going to Disneyland!).

Of course this has been a completely “unrealistic” life that nobody can live unless they’re obscenely wealthy and have a raft of servants to cook and shop and take care of their every need. It’s been one of the greatest gifts imaginable. But it’s also made me ponder, how I can quiet things down, simplify them. Is that possible, living in a household full of five busy people? I don’t know. But I’m going to try.

I love the slow life. I want more of it.


Blogger C(h)ristine said...

someone once told me years ago about how he challenged his high school students "to eat as an apple as slowly as possible."

it was an incredible statement to me about slowing down.

i'm so happy you enjoyed your time there! and made some happy memories!

Thursday, November 03, 2005 9:09:00 AM

Blogger melanie said...

I often think how much I would get done without a TV (or at least cable). Even though I love the escapism of it, you're right, all the conveniences we have can be overwhelming and in the end leave us underwhelmed. (A ten-year-old thinking Disneyland is blasé? Oh no!)

Have you been to this residency called Soapstone? It's just you and one other writer out in a cabin - you chop your own wood!

Thursday, November 03, 2005 10:43:00 AM

Blogger Susan said...

Melanie, I've never been to Soapstone but I am DYING to go there. It looks absolutely wonderful. I might chop my own foot off though.

Thursday, November 03, 2005 7:56:00 PM

Blogger marie said...


Wow, I loved your pictures. Totally gorgeous and QUIET (the prep school next to us is blasting heavy metal--AC/DC--right now--ugh!!) Hope you got a lot of wonderful writing and thinking done. From your posts it sounds like it. Sorry I missed you both here and in NYC...but catch you in the spring, hopefully.

p.s. thanks fo rincluding me on your writers list--i was touched!!

Saturday, November 05, 2005 10:31:00 AM

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Saturday, November 28, 2009 5:22:00 AM


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