It's that time of the year again, the time when I pick up the dog toys from the yard, cover the raised garden beds, put away the porch furniture, empty the refrigerator, and close up the house for the winter. It's a bittersweet time.
I'm lucky enough to own a summer home in Vermont, in a sleepy little town with one small IGA, two restaurants (only open 4 days a week), a diner and a Dollar General. No MacDonalds, no Starbucks, no Walmart. The speed limit through town is 25 mph and everyone obeys it--and stops for pedestrians whether in a crosswalk or not. And at night, the only sound you hear is peeping frogs.
This is where I come to write. I write for hours on end. And my friends come up for a couple of days or a week to write. It's the perfect retreat: quiet, serene, no distractions. I have internet, but no cable TV. I can take long walks, but there are no malls or movie theatres for distraction. Just quiet and long hours to plot, write and revise.
Next week, I'll drive back to Connecticut, back to traffic jams, honking horns, and incessant phone calls from solicitors and people offering me yet another credit card I don't need. I'll go back to cooking for the church soup kitchen, volunteering, and attending innumerable meetings. And, inevitably, my writing hours will evaporate. On the plus side, I'll no longer have to drive 60 minutes to Home Depot, and fresh fish, smoked salmon, and sushi will once again be part of my life. And the library will be open 7 days a week, not three. But my writing will suffer. Every year I promise myself I'll make more time for "winter"words. I'll still write every day. I'll commit to my daily hour of exercising my craft every morning, but all too soon other commitments and obligations will demand my time and the long summer hours of writing will dwindle to that single early morning hour.
I'm sad to be going, but I know that come next May, I'll be back, ready to tackle another manuscript and renew my creative spirit in the peace and quiet of this wonderful, sleepy town.