Vacation, and what this blog will be about

I've never been good at letting go, never good at endings - this is why I have dozens of unfinished stories sitting around my hard-drive, why I wallow in heartbreak, why I constantly reread favorite books. Sunday evenings are always tough for me, because I have to let go of the weekend and muddle through another week at work; it's even worse when you wake up Sunday morning on vacation and then suddenly - not. I am a creature of anxiety, too often, and it hit particularly hard this Sunday after parting at the Crystal City metro station, reading Jeanette Winterson's newest short story on the train. It still doesn't color how good this weekend was, how liberating, how utterly fantastic to get outside the Beltway.

We got a leisurely start on Friday morning, brunch followed by a train ride to Reagan National, then a shuttle to the car rental. There were some brief hiccups in the car-renting process, but nothing we couldn't overcome. Finally: we were on the road, me driving gleefully and C.T. singing "On the Road Again." It felt inexplicably grown-up, renting a car, leaving. A few wrong turns before making it onto Skyline Drive
, snaking along the Blue Ridge Mountains; I was nervous about driving this, remembering family road trips where my mother clenched the side of the car on especially perilous-seeming overlooks, but mostly it was fine.

Luray was by turns kitschy and creepy - the latter mostly at night, I'll admit. We checked into the Luray Caverns Motel, then off to dinner and the movies (Star Trek, because that is the sort of people we are). We returned to the motel room, having successfully dodged a drunk who lunged into the street, and having spent some time in it, I declared it the sort of place where a horror movie might start. A frosted glass window next to the door let in light from the passing cars, which I first mistook for people walking around outside our door. (Note: knowing that it was probably car-lights did not make it less creepy.) The morning brought us brunch and the Luray spring festival and caverns and the maze. We chose the caverns first and they were as impressive as I remembered them being. The audio-guided tour let us go at our own pace, which was nice; C.T. took pictures (I took only poloroids and only on the drive) and I vaguely listened to the tour, offering up bits of information about what we were looking at. I learned that when the cave drips on you, it's called a cave kiss and is apparently good luck. I got cave kissed three times, so - here's hoping, I guess. Then the maze! Oh, the hedge maze. You would think something I've been building up for two years would necessarily disappoint, but that was not the case. Despite thoroughly enjoying it, though, I can't really think of what else to say.

Having thus exhausted pretty much all of Luray's tourist attractions, after dinner we decided to go to the Wal-Mart, which was predictably traumatic and later inspired - after watching our purchase, O Brother, Where Art Thou? - a conversation on the perils of Wal-Mart, the downfall of small towns (and how to save them, if they need saving) and some of my own fears. These fears were made worse by the creepy window by the door, shadows changing because of the wind outside (we told ourselves, though it didn't really make it better). And then the next morning, C.T. drove us back to the District and all too suddenly the vacation was over.

But now I think I know what this blog will be about: living well. It's something I struggle with, being good to myself. It fits, though, with the name I chose for it. All Jekyll wanted was the good part of himself, and though to cut out the bad part leads to madness, it's something I can't help admiring. So expect posts about cooking, about yoga, about writing, about these things I do to be good to myself.


  1. Cooking, yoga, writing...a good mix. And living well is definitely the goal. Thanks for "inviting" me for a nice visit w/your link.

  2. Margaret, hello! Thanks for stopping by - you're welcome anytime!

  3. Hey there, Danielle. I'm delighted to find you here writing about living well. What a grand idea. Thanks so much for stopping by and then listing The Sister Project as a blog you read. We're honored. Right back at you, sister.

  4. Marion, thanks! I am just tickled that you and Margaret have stopped by. You are both (and, obviously, everyone from the Project) welcome anytime.

  5. this entry made me miss you, because i can picture what it would have been like to be there hanging out with you!

    i'm also really digging the snapshots of the polaroids...very pretty! :)

  6. Aww, I miss you too! It's too bad we couldn't meet up when you were in WV.

    Thanks! I tried to scan them at work but all our scanners are only black & white. This seems to work just as well, though!