When Carol was twelve, she made a road trip with her older sister and her four kids. Somewhere in Missouri they looked back at the trailer that housed her sister’s dog Heidi, and didn’t see her. With a happier ending than a similar event in National Lampoon’s Vacation, the Crisfield clan hung a U-ee and found Heidi bounding along the highway, her leash that she’d used to somehow manage to open the door to the trailer bouncing behind. The original trip planned to Alaska had to be abandoned in British Columbia, when that same trailer busted an axle on the Alaskan highway. I’m happy to report Heidi was safe, though covered in leftover coleslaw that had spilled out of the fridge when the axle broke. A Native American guide fixed the axle and let Carol’s niece ride his horse during the repair, adding, “when you’re done, just get off; he’ll find his way home.”
The best way to show Carol that I know how to travel with a companion was to show her the pictorial evidence. But that meant showing her Carolyn’s Shutterfly books of our trips together. I worried that might be hard for Carol. Carol worried it would be hard for me. Instead, we were both awed to observe together the artistic eye that Carolyn possessed. For me it was rediscovery.
The year of living alone officially ended on May 4th, and about which and who will follow in coming blogs. Earlier, in March of this year, a friend asked if I’d ever allow myself to be with someone again. ”You don’t have to feel it as a betrayal of Carolyn, you know.”