Friday, December 02, 2016

Tuesday in Salem

On Monday, October 17, 2016... we visited Lauren, and her hens, and Marky, and we made art.

Then we drove home to Ken and Jennifer's place, where we were already comfortable and familiar enough to think of their place as home, and where we were treated to ice cream, just as though we really did belong there. A drive to Maine was on our schedule for the next day, including an explore of Salem Massachusetts. As much as I was looking forward to seeing our plans through, it was hard to imagine our trip being any more comfortable, interesting, fun, or beautiful than what we were already enjoying. Nonetheless, we had our rental car, and a pin dropped on the map, and we were about to embark on the next leg of our New England adventure!

I love the point when traveling, when I am about to come face to face with reality versus my mixed-up, naive, totally ignorant, or perhaps highly perceptive notion of what we are about to encounter. I did just a smidge of advanced research in preparing for this trip... looked over some websites, anticipated some places we thought might be essential places to see, like the Burying Grounds, and the ancestors. I took into account my recollections of American history lessons, and our interests in literature, and honestly, Halloween. So, I ask you, What could be more historical meets literary, and Halloween, than seeing Salem Massachusetts? It really felt like a slam-dunk, no-brainer, must-see place to visit. And it sort of was. Sort of.

We drove to Salem, and I admit, I could have been better prepared... had a specific destination or activity arranged, but we basically pulled off at the most promising exit, then turned at the most promising street corner, which happened to have a large, black home that literally said "Witch House," and then I parked the car in the first available space. I plugged some coins into a meter, and we looked up and down the street, and opted to go to our right.

Very scientific. Super strategic. I am an ace travel guide. Sort of.

We walked and walked and walked through some old neighborhood, and took pictures, and were absolutely delighted by things that we have never seen in our lives, sights all together new and fascinating, then we turned directions, and arrived in the heart of old Salem, and that was novel and fascinating, too. They definitely have got their visitors pegged, and all things witchy and sort of historic-ghoulish were amply displayed and available to consume. I am quite certain that had I done better research, we could have enjoyed sincere and reverent examples of local history, and of literary Salem, but... I didn't. And a lot of what we saw left me feeling intrigued, and not necessarily disappointed, but it did feel a bit... sad. A lot of what I noticed felt exploitive of a tragic history, of real people who suffered horribly at the hands of religion, and greed, and ignorance (if it's not too redundant to say.)

Still, no regrets. I've never seen homes with their entries turned away from the street, or such fittingly awesome looking Halloween touches... everything we try to achieve, back home, with decorations are just naturally, spookily achieved to perfect effect, practically effortlessly, in New England. We loved seeing the scenes and touches that are so iconic and reeking of picture-book Halloween. The gardens, the window displays, the bricks, cobblestones, the cemetery... it was all worthwhile. And if I could get my hands on a For Night Delivery Deposits door, like the one I saw in Salem, Massachusetts, that would be delightful!

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