Looking back…New Orleans and Boxford

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Seems like long ago, but New Orleans was just earlier in the last week—a truly beautiful, warm and welcoming city.  We caught the hottest of the days thus far this year, and somewhat discounted hotel rates, so we stayed at the Windsor Court Hotel on the edge of the French Quarter.

I’m coincidentally watching the BBC “Foyle’s War” (oh, so recommend this series) while I huff and puff on my elliptical every day, which is chock full of the British daily lives during WWII, details about deprivations and accomodations of a seaside town in the setting of a Detective story!  So, the Victory Gardens above especially caught my eye—beautiful basil and summer squashes.

Man, I miss Boxford and the garden right about now!  I harvested as much arugala, dill, chives, and mint as I cut smush in my suitcase before I left…and that was in a year Elise and I planted nothing.  boo hoo.

So, with the fun and newness of these wonderful days—great eating, amazing forays into amazing places—I also confess great sadness.  Elise and I (fair to say, right honey?) came together again over our garden, my dedicated and intrepid daughter introduced me to greens and herbs and her special brand of passionate activism.  She astonishes (and astonished) me.

We suffered for that house, but boy, did I love it.  And, our family get-togethers, book groups and friends.  David asked me “what are you missing?” as I struggled to articulate past the lump in my throat.  The familiarity?  The home-centeredness?  The place I defined myself as mom, me, friend, sister, aunt, and then, of course, finally, writer.  Encamped in Elise’s (old, but still Elise’s) room, at the desk David gifted me, overlooking the garden and the cardinal that perched in the Bamboo, I came full circle.  Back to Gail.

With familiarity (sweet home) came also a little stucked-ness, though, as many of you know.  I couldn’t have moved on without moving.  I needed to leave our practice, needed to embrace full-time writing, and had been promising myself for a long long long time that I would.  But then didn’t.  As David has said, we carefully and completely built a beautiful gilded cage for ourselves.

So, Boxford and Massachusetts, and my family and friends and home, are the lump in my throat.  I’m scared silly that I’ve given up so much for a mere promise of something I’ve yet to build.  And even though you might say (and so will I) “of course, you can do it!” for right now, think I’ll wallow just a little bit.

MISS YOU ALL, you are with me every day!!



3 thoughts on “Looking back…New Orleans and Boxford

  1. Beautifully written, Gail. Love the reflection, nostalgia, and ultimately the adventurous spirit. Onward! Your writing life awaits you in California.


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