This morning I feel a bit like the battery on my new iPad. My old iPad always charged fully over night, and I didn’t have to pay too much attention to how long that over night lasted. This morning I woke up to find my iPad charged only 85%. It had its rest, but it needed more.
Yesterday was a rest day. I spent the day reading, playing my flute, eating, and sleeping. I turned down an opportunity to go for a walk: too energetic. We hosted a dinner party at the hotel restaurant. My brother Andy came down from Northampton, my sister Margot, her husband Peter, and their daughter Mallory came up from Mystic, and my old friend Joe Matteis and his wife Jane came from Clinton. We were seated at a single round table, which put us into a single communion. There was a lot of gratuitous talk and laughter, and there was certainly no more boisterous table in the restaurant. Joe recounted the Episode of the Rare Quarter, and my sorry role in that event, a story I had forgotten, or repressed, for obvious reasons. I told what almost happened to me in Salt Lake City when I was 12, a story I don’t think I’ve ever told to anyone. We were, however, I assure you, well behaved. No one said anything about calling the police.
Still, I woke up this morning feeling sore, apathetic, and beaten down. The prospect of another day riding seems more like a chore than an opportunity. I am sure that all endeavors include this phase. According to the official American narrative, this phase is followed by Renewal, demonstrating the Triumph of the Human Spirit. I detest stories about the Triumph of the Human Spiri; I certainly don’t want to live one. But I do believe in the Triumph of Caffeine. I’ve had two cups of coffee with breakfast, and already things are looking up. I haven’t gotten into the Stay Awake yet, but I’ll certainly take a couple of doses before we leave.
Our plan had specified that we would ride to Mystic today to stay with my sister for a night. However, when I looked at the distance yesterday, Google indicated that it was 72 miles. Since the longest we’ve ridden so far in a day is closer to 50 miles, we explored ways to break up the distance to Mystic, and decided to spend tonight in Old Saybrook, on the west bank of the Connecticut River, where it meets the sea.
Andy disputed 72 miles, and asserted that it was closer to 55. At age 12 he rode his bicycle from our home in Kensington to our summer cottage in Mystic because our mother refused to carry his bicycle in the car. (Even good moms can be mean sometimes.) He was pretty confident about 55. Margot added her evidence. She watched the odometer on her way home, and texted us that it was 52 miles. We shall see. Someone is wrong. It can’t be Google. It is probably me, once again.
Oh, the picture? It hangs in the reception area of the Thompson House in Windham, but is unsigned. It is, hands down, my favorite cow painting. The white cow looks wise and serene as a buddha. I wanted to show the picture to my friend Joe, who restores art professionally. He immediately suggested that the painter was Clinton Leverage. Leverage is pretty obscure, & I haven’t been able to find out much about him beyond 1824–1902.
Every good blog needs a cow picture.