I ran away a number of times when I was a little Kid. I wrote thoughtful "goodbye forever" notes and left them on Mother's pillow under the bedspread, my thinking being that no one would notice I was gone until bedtime (I was an only child!). I always remembered to retrieve the note before we sat down to dinner. I don't think my mother ever knew.
I ran away again as an adult. (Things had gotten really bad with my second husband.) I called my mother, who lived across town, and asked if she wanted to run away, too. She was in her late seventies then. She asked when, I said now, she said okay, and she was packed by the time I got to her place. "Where are we going?" "Well, we came from southern California so we know what's down there. We can't go very far west before we run into the ocean. It's winter and too cold to go north. How about east to the Gold Country?" (Little did I know I'd be living here someday.) We spent a week traveling through the hills, stopping at every monument, every roadside stand, every little town, and every old cemetery we passed. I have a thing about old cemeteries; there is so much history to be learned. I did tell Mother about this fascination so she wouldn't think I was giving her a preview of coming attractions. One of my favorite photos shows Mother sitting on a tombstone, eating a banana as I cruised the rows reading epitaphs. We ended up down the coast in Santa Cruz, came up through Monterey, and finally reality set in and, after a week, we came back to Sacramento. If one is going to run away, I highly recommend taking one's mother along. It was one of the best times of our lives.
I ran away again yesterday. After making sure all animals were fed and safe, I took off and left the farm behind. Deb and Craig had called in the morning and invited me to their house for the afternoon. They live in Woodland, down the hills and across the valley. For one who rarely ventures far from home, this was a major trip. Deb had spent the day making a vat of sauce with beef, sausages, onions and garlic, and herbs from their garden. It was hard to keep from drooling when I got my first whiff of that perfume. I got to see the raised garden beds they put in last year, with cold frames and drip systems, and their wonderful little trailer. It is perfect for the two of them, and already has their own special touches. Later, they served up sandwiches with torta bread and that wonderful Italian sauce...I was happy! It was terrific to spend time with this dear couple, and it ended too soon.
Just as when I was a little Kid, I had to be home before dark.
It was a good day.