October is made for adventure.
It's lovely to look back and think that this week, last year, I was in Latvia.
And the year before, Northern India.
And the year before, backpacking in the N. Cascades with my brother.
Upon landing in Portland, my hair exploded into an untamable afro.
My lungs took a big gulp of thick, salty air.
Atlantic, at last!
Visited Uncle Nic at work. Allagash.
Treat. Beer for the travel weary.
Arrived home. Evening meal with knekkebrød and smoked herring. Hygge.
After the kids went to bed, Dom and I sat up talking under the moon.
We leaned up against the wall of the barn,
with hushed tones and bare feet, while the dew settled in the grass.
Questions and Jesus and peppery pipe smoke.
Woke up in the study, under a view of bright maples.
Knudson 6 have taken up temporary residence in Aunt C's unoccupied farmhouse.
Just for the season.
Home is where your camp flags are.
I'm not the only one who knows this.
"Let's take Rachael to the ocean, she misses it!"
Barnacle cuts and fairy forts.
We stripped off our shoes and buried our toes in the muddy shoreline.
Laughing as the mud squished between our toes.
Picked up Uncle Nic and an Americano.
Portland Head. Downtown. Rainstorm. Lox bagels.
Dinner. Snuggling. Reading ghosts stories in warm blankets.
Dad flew home to us.
We were sitting out under the stars,
when his broad smile flashed from the darkened barn doorway.
Late night. Evening meal cereal and low laughing in the kitchen.
"It's really raining out there" Dad said. "So, here's the deal. We hike at dawn!"
I sat next to dad on the couch.
"Do you ever read history, Rach?"
"I have a hard time getting into it. Honestly."
But I like it when he points out historical facts to me.
Or his favorite tree, the White Pine.
My father, the naturalist with his subtle Norwegian habits.
With his history books and fishing guides.
Head full of hymns and constellations.
We cooked delicious meals, of course.
Vegan yam chili. Coconut squash curry. Parsley pesto pizza.
Breakfast for dinner in the farmhouse.
Pumpkin pancakes. Mint tea. Sloshy leaves. Blueberry mead.
"People just want to talk to hear themselves talk." Dad said.
Dominique responded by falling on the floor laughing.
"Dom? Honey why'd you crawl under the table?"
Visited the local market and found...
Wild blueberries. Pure Kombucha. Local.
ROADTRIP TO ACADIA:
In the morning, Dad whisked us off onto Acadia.
Knudson 7 voyaging in the van beneath misty skies and ember bright maples.
Sat in the back. Pondering poems and prayers.
"So, when you build your garage apartment, you'll let me store my furniture there?
While I am living in Africa or India or wherever, right?"
"I think you need, what is it? A chaperone! Because you're young and innocent and naive.
You need an old wise hag to watch over you, like me. 'Oh, you heathens, stop it!"
Acadia. Picnic. Herring.
Pub. Pumpkinhead. Smoked fish.
Foggy roads. Fodder for fairytales.
Before leaving, I was able to catch the first events of Pumpkinfest.
When you think about it, it's a little ridiculous how much fuss we make over a gourd.
At dusk, Papa Knudson drove me to the airport.
Chatting. Hand holding.
"Things don't always go the way we plan." He said.
Then we whistled "Catch a Falling Star"
Honestly, the best part of coming from a big "complicated" blended family
is having so many places to come home to.
California. Arizona. Oklahoma.
Washington to Maine.
Tribes from coast to coast.
I have many families.
Many people to belong to and call mine.
The best way to have it.