Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday was busy :-)

Started the morning with a hearty breakfast courtesy of Cracker Barrel. I should have realized that "first available seating" down here means the smoking section. The smell of cigarette ash still lingers on the jacket I wore so I switched to my long coat for the day.

First stop: Hartwood Winery. They were holding an open house wine tasting along with Tomahawk Mill Vineywards. I bought a couple of bottles from each. I may be tempted to uncork one at my upcoming holiday party.

Next stop: Fredericksburg Battlefield Center. Watched a 20 min. movie describing the grueling Civil War clashes that took place around here. Took a short walk along the Sunken Road where some pretty intense fighting went down. Bought an interactive DVD-ROM of Civil War battles.

Final stops: Caroline St. This is the main drag for "Old Town" Fredericksburg. Either side of the street is populated by antique shops and other novelty spots. I visited the local apothecary, a micro-museum about Hugh Mercer complete with a staff that plays in character from the 18th century. Picked up a little book on Revolutionary era medicine. Then I went to the Fudge Shoppe. They have the most delicious pumpkin and peanut butter chocolate fudges. They ship everywhere so I may order more to offer my guests at the holiday party.

I got a bite to eat, went back to my room, called some friends and family. I drive back to NJ in the morning.

This week has been rather relaxing as I hoped. It puts me in the frame of mind to get this next book started. Didn't take the plethora of pictures I expected, but that's fine. It was about unwinding and such. Didn't give me a magical cure to all my troubles BUT I did enjoy myself.

P.S. There is a saying that goes "Happiness is only real when shared with others" or something to that effect. Trips like this are fine but, they also point to those moments you enjoy arm-in-arm with those you call friend or something more.

In many ways this reminded of a trip to Gettysburg several years ago. That was a lovely time. And I would have enjoyed having the company I had then with me here. Happiness is best when shared by those who can appreciate its nuances equally and THAT is what I miss the most.

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Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away