Nihil Sine Labore (Nothing without Work) (Part 3)
Confused? This is Part 3. See below for Parts 1 and 2.
The thing about breaking up when you live with another person is you can't always extricate yourself from the relationship in a physical sense.
That day in South Station, Jason and I agreed that we would break up. But there was the matter of the dinner we were having with my parents. We also promised to go to his dad's house to get our stuff from storage in his basement and to meet his mom for lunch.
It was not like a break-up in high school when you just find other routes to your locker so you don't see each other between classes. Breaking up with a long-term, live-in lover is complicated. There are shared objects, shared finances to consider. There are dinner parties and future RSVP's to consider.
We decided we would still attend to our individual parental obligations together, but then I would return to the city and he would stay in Maine. We decided we would figure it out as we proceeded. We set a "break-up date."
Fast forward to this past weekend, a whole two years later.
Jason and I are driving down a long country road, heading towards the Wagner Vineyards, a winery and microbrewery on the east side of Seneca Lake. According to the thermometer on the dashboard, it is 95 degrees Farenheit outside.
We drive slowly and sing along with Jimi Hendrix, "There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke. But you and I, we've been through that and this is not our fate . . ."
By the side of the road, there is a large worn wooden sign that reads . . .
"Cheese? We should get some cheese to go with all that wi--"
Car lurches to a halt.
Jason executes a perfect u-turn and turns into the driveway that leads to this farmhouse.
A man pushes open the screen door and steps out on the porch.
"I'm sorry," I say in my polite customer voice, "We just noticed your sign for cheese."
"Sure, yeah. Come on in!"
I turn to look at Jason. I give him the Is he a serial killer? look. He seems all right. We enter a makeshift back room with a washer and dryer and a standing fridge with sliding glass doors.
A stout woman with very smoothe skin greets us warmly. She is rinsing plain white plates in a sink.
"Hi. Uh. What kind of cheese do you sell?"
"Well, here you go. We can sample some if you like." The woman grabs a cheese knife and waddles towards us.
Doris, we learn, is renovating her kitchen which is two room away. There is a partially knocked out dark wood wall in the next room. That's why thing seem in disarray. She takes out three large slabs of cheese from the standing fridge. They are perfect. Creamy and clean.
We buy all of her triple cream bergenost and she takes us on a tour of her old kitchen.
She motions around the air in large gestures, "I'm going to have an island here. And a peninsula!" She giggles heartily like how Mrs. Claus would laugh.
"I'm getting a sub-zero freezer!" She squeals.
"Well, we'll definitely come back when we return to this area."
"I sure hope so," she says genuinely.
We drive carefully away and continue on to Seneca Lake.
I turn to look at Jason and talk excitedly.
"I'm so glad we stopped. That was so amazing! I love that we did that!"
Jason's gaze focuses far down the road. He is serious, "Well, I just want to make sure you have a good time."
I look out the window at the long stretches of grass. They all lead to a steep hill in the distance, covered in thick evergreens. Once in a while, a farm passes like a Norman Rockwell painting zooming through the atmosphere. I have seen vistas like this many times. I love the city too much to become a farm girl right now. But, every once in a while I see something in the landscape that grabs me. Something I could love. Completely.
"All along the watchtower
The princess kept the view
While all the women came and went
Bare feet servants too
Outside in the cold distance
A wild cat did growl
Two riders were aproaching
And the wind began to howl . . ." -- Jimi Hendrix, "All Along the Watchtower"