We often go to movies on Friday night, but last night the mood was not there--so we headed out on what has become one of our occasional, even customary, Friday (or sometimes Saturday) no-movie-tonight jaunts.
We headed down Norton Road, which cuts along the southern edge of Hudson, under new Rte. 8, across old Rte. 8, and down into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We almost always see deer on that road, once we cross both 8's, an experience that combines fundamental wonder with a soupcon of fear (Good thing we saw that one in time!). Last night, a young doe stood in the road regarding us, her look conveying the obvious: What are you doing here in that machine in my house! We slowed; she turned and executed a lovely, effortless leap into the woods, where she disappeared like a dream.
At the bottom of the hill, we turn left on Akron-Peninsula Road, going as slowly as following traffic will permit. Last night--a cloudy, drippy, gloomy gloaming--there was none, so we coasted more than drove alongside the Cuyahoga River, surprised by how bright the leaves could be even in the absence of much support from the sun. Once again I was startled by a goat that isn't a goat, just a black two-dimensional silhouette/sculpture some folks have installed beside their mailbox. Every time--every single time--we pass it, I slow, thinking I'm about to hit an animal ... (What's that line about Old Dogs and New Tricks?)
Our grandson Logan adores blue herons, so we feel an even stronger affinity for the bird.
Along the way, we cross Ira Road, which leads to Old Trail School, where I very nearly taught in the 1981-1982 school year (but that's another story).
The herons are gone now, though, so we turned right on Bath and drove up out of the Valley. Next, we turned left on North Revere Road, climbed some more to Smith Road. And civilization.
"My Last Duchess") When Joyce returned from her (failed) mission, I recited it for her the first time. She held the text, corrected me a few times. (The story of our marriage?)
Then--off we went to West Market Plaza. I sat in Panera and read some more and tried to eradicate the errors I'd made in "Duchess." And did so (but for how long?). Joyce was reconnoitering in TJ Maxx (no Pendleton there, either, alas). When she came back, we shared a bottle of water; I watched her eat a blueberry scone (and wanted with all my heart to eat it all myself!).
We headed out onto I-77 North, the slow way home. It's a way that takes us through Akron, where Joyce was born and grew up. I cannot drive through that city without feeling a surge of gratitude for my good fortune in finding her, in fooling her sufficiently that we got to the altar before she knew me very well. Whew!
And then it was after eleven. Bedtime.