Sunday, September 25, 2011

Athens, New York

The leaves on the trees are orange-tipped and the mist rises from the Hudson, and the decline of much surrounds me -- diminishing uncles, houses all over this sleepy river town slowly succumbing to rot and humidity. At the same time, Athens offers a level of comfort. Church on Sunday, shopping on Saturday, football games and walks through town -- it's all what I've known forever. As I sat in church today, I realized that the person I was remembering was my grandmother, who had sat each Sunday in these pews and possibly held the same hymnal I was holding. I was wearing her diamond, the diamond that will someday go to my own granddaughter, if I am blessed with one. The Hudson looks green and mottled and placid. The Jets hold their lead over Oakland, the Yankees won their first game of the day -- against the Sox, whoo whoo -- and mom and I sit and sip wine from a box. Meanwhile, the air in Beijing is listed as "dangerous" (formerly called "crazy bad"), and so maybe there's no other place for me to be for now.

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