Just tell me the boatman’s name wasn’t Charon

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My kids, asleep until 8:30 am. THIS NEVER HAPPENS.

A decent drive down to my ancestral home. An amazing reunion with my family. Lots of food (of course). Lots of exhaling. Eating – did I mention eating? – at any hour thanks to no moratorium on eating thanks to break from cancer drug. Today, a good long walk in nature, and some excellent food too. And Young J walked my brother’s dog.

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Young J walks J.

Only letting go of the leash once, which I have to say is pretty good for Young J.

We also took White’s Ferry back home. The last time I had been on it was July 1992. I remember specifically it was then, because I had just flown back from a very significant few months studying in Italy – my first time abroad on my own, finding my own place to live, deciding what my priorities were, oh yeah, and studying. It sure was hard to come back from that experience.

Perhaps my dad intuited this, or perhaps he wanted to avoid traffic. In any case, from the airport, we took winding country roads through Leesburg VA until we wound up at the ferry landing, with a stout overgrown Boy Scout indicating to the cars which line to get in.

“Welcome home,” the entire scene screamed to me. “This is the Potomac, not the Arno. This is a car ferry, and it’s not taking you to Elba. No, you didn’t find yourself a boyfriend in Italy, but that was just as well, because the options were ridiculous, and it wouldn’t have lasted. It will take you about a month to stop being a big snob about your time in Italy.”

It’s no Giuseppe Ungaretti, I’ll grant you that. But we don’t really get to choose what inspires us. I went back today to the ferry of my discontent of 23 years ago. It hadn’t changed, but I had. In infinite ways. And the boys loved the ride.

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