|january sunflowers, 2013|
As the day wore on, we drove by beautiful water and crossed bridges onto islands. The day wore on and I started to get anxious about a place to stay. We were driving through fabulous country, but not seeing any towns or places to stay. We finally saw a country gas station as we were getting close to empty.
They sky was grey and cloudy by now, and I was tired of being in the car. I remember saying, "Ask about a place to stay, ok?" and Mr. Bryant saying, "Ok sweetie!"
So Mr. Bryant went into the store, paid for the gas, came out and got in the car without a word, and started down the road. I was too tense and anxious to wait this one out. I wanted to know we were headed to a room and dinner.
"Did you ask about a place to stay?"
"Well, what did you learn?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, there was this older guy in the store in blue jean overalls and a cap."
"Ok, did you ask him if there was a place to stay? Did he give you any recommendations?"
"I said, is there a place to stay nearby?"
"And what did he say?"
"He said, 'Yep.'"
"What do you mean? Is that all he said? What did you say?"
"I said, 'So, up the road a ways?' And he said, 'Yep.'"
"What? Are you serious? Is that all he said?"
"That's all he said."
"Didn't you say anything else? Didn't you ask anything else?"
"Nope, I didn't. And the guy? Well, he turned around and did some work behind the counter. And I came out and got in the car."
I was incredulous. I didn't find this funny, I was not happy, I didn't care anymore about the scenery, I must admit, I fussed. We kept driving, and we saw nothing. No signs. No shops. No stores. No place to stay. I finally stopped even talking.
And then we came upon a little sign on the right side of the road. Shore Acres. We turned in and drove down a drive, past big oak trees and around a big white farm house. There was a motel behind the house, with windows all along and everything crisp and clean. It was beautiful, and there was a calico cat walking the perfect green grass under the trees. I still couldn't talk - but now it was because I was smiling. Mr. Bryant checked us in, and we had a picture perfect room at the end of the row. All blue and white and wood, with original watercolor paintings on the walls. Every room faced the lake, and the lake was breathtaking. Lake Champlain. The lawn went down to the slate rocks and the slate layered into the water, and the entire place was peaceful and beautiful and calmed my heart and my soul.
Mr. Bryant brings me home sunflowers every chance he gets. And we relive the trip and the gift of our stay, and our sunflower morning.