Grieving, Healing, and R & R

As you can see from my last post, my family has been going through a tough time since April. The last few months we have gotten by on prayers and hope and happy thoughts, but in the last few days reality hit us hard. Our spirits were lifted by the hundreds of people who waited in line for over an hour to pay their respects to my uncle and tell us all what a great man he was- something we already knew but it felt good to hear. We all held hands and stepped forward into the next phase of life, knowing that the last thing my uncle would have wanted was for us to stay quiet and sad.

Everyone agreed that some R & R was in order. Some of my family members attended concerts, others threw themselves into yard work and home repair projects. A few retreated back into the ever busy cycle of school and work. Some went shopping for clothes, while others went shopping for plane tickets to tropical destinations. I hopped onto the back of Chris’s motorcycle for a slightly impromptu journey through New England.

Our ride for five days, cooling its breaks along the Mount Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire.

Our ride for five days, cooling its brakes along the Mount Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire.

Having taken no big trips during the summer, I found myself with a fantastic problem- vacation days that I had to take before they expired. I used two of them to extend the already long Labor Day weekend, giving us five nights and days to ride and explore. Booking hotels was slightly more difficult than we had anticipated because many required two night bookings over the holiday weekend, but we found a way to make it work.

We started in New Jersey and took a zigging and zagging route, avoiding big highways as much as we could and enjoying scenic routes with a few touring stops along the way. Our overnight stops were in Greenfield, MA; Portland, ME; North Conway, NH; Rutland, VT; and Oneonta, NY.

Initially it was hard to leave as the day of my uncle’s funeral was so emotionally taxing, but in the end it felt wonderful to get away. With my uncle at peace it seems that now the whole family can feel peaceful again. I’ll detail this fantastic little minibreak over the next couple of weeks!

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