Summer is on its way out. In this listener essay, Diane Kavanaugh-Black writes about a vital companion on her childhood summer journeys, and a relationship that lasted twenty-five years.
In my family growing up, there was me, Mom and Dad, Vera, Mae and Alex. And The Van.
A turquoise 1964 Dodge A-100 cab-over-engine truck—the 49th off the assembly line, purchased by my parents eleven months before I was born. Mom called it “Bessie” until the van’s age and appearance earned it the nickname “Trusty Rusty.”
In the elegant beach town of San Sebastian, I found myself with a warm late spring afternoon free to take in the city by foot. It was the last Saturday of May and the whole city was alive. It’s as if all one hundred and eighty thousand residents were in the streets dancing, singing and watching dancers and singers. The beaches were packed, one with fotballers and bathers, the other with surfers and kite boarders, and both had pet dogs running wild with the children on the sand.
Elisabeth Grace is a retired clinical social worker living in rural Columbia County with two cats, Molly and Silkie. She divides her time between birding, animal welfare, gardening and writing.
After the Rain
Over two days in early June, 2013, I watched my driveway flow downhill and join Albany Turnpike. Soon, a lumbering orange tractor would grind its way up and down the slope scraping displaced earth and stone from the ditches at each side, would divert the runnels of water from the plateau at the top into a gully which had become blocked with fallen branches, rocks and mud, and filled in the 18-inch- deep crevasses which had kept me from driving up to the house for several days.