Do you choose the story or does the story choose you?

I’ve just returned from a month-long sojourn on the East Coast and I’m full to bursting with images and events and characters. In fact, I’ve got so much I want to write about I’m paralyzed by infinite choice.

manatee

Start with swimming with the manatees in Florida’s Crystal River or walking the labyrinth at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg? Attempt to describe the Jurassic-like plant life at The Sunken Gardens or the surreal mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs?

What about the road trip with Drusilla Campbell from Florida to New York and stories inside that story? How do you segue from mermaids to losing our way in a huge retirement community in central Florida where everyone drives golf carts? Talk about surreal.

IMG_1298Then there’s beautiful, historic Savannah and the geography of the lowcountry, the changing of the landscape as we drove—memories or were they dreams? And the 23-mile drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel; the deluge in Norfolk, VA on a hunt for a Fed-Ex outlet; the Jersey Turnpike and the confusion at the Newark Airport where we left our rental car.

Finally six days in New York in an apartment in the West Village, a brilliant Broadway play (“The Glass Menagerie”) and an off-Broadway play that we’re still shaking our heads about. A train ride up the Hudson to Beacon, NY and a pilgrimage to the New York Public Library.

IMG_1375There’s the madness of Times Square contrasting the quiet of Bryant Park, the last-night-in-Manhattan aliveness of Washington Square. Shopping, oh, yes, and the food and the restaurants and the streets, the streets of New York, and always the people–friends and otherwise.

IMG_1395Where do you start?

6 thoughts on “Do you choose the story or does the story choose you?

  1. Thanks for posting, Paula. I loved my time on the east coast and yes, that train ride to Beacon is lovely. One of my dearest friends lives in Beacon and so I try for at least once a year there. The town is entrancing, too. As is Savannah. And the history there! Thank you for this little peek at the story of your great-grandfather. A couple of overnights in that town weren’t enough. I want to go back for another sojourn. Maybe next time I come to Beacon we can say hello in person.

    • You can almost feel the stories rattling in the walls, Linda and in every step you take. And I didn’t even show you the pix of the Spanish Moss draping the old oaks. So romantic, memories that arent’ even mine come to mind.

  2. Oh Judy! I wish I had known you were on my side of the States. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I live in New York City now, but was happy to see you took the train up to the city I grew up in Beacon, NY. Is it not the prettiest train ride, hugging along the Hudson River? And Savannah, where my father’s side of the family has been since pre-Civil War. The aqueduct just off of I-95 was named after my great-grandfather, Roderick Steele for his role in delaying the Union Army (he was a slave who served water to the Confederate and Union Armies) so the Confederates could set up a garrison to protect the city of Savannah.

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