​There was nothing like summer at Uncle Joe’s. Cooling off in Balston Lake, enjoying the fruits of the grill, boardgames with the cousins, sparklers, bonfires, and fireworks sometimes. In short, a cornucopia for any child. However….life is made up of archs, one might even say story archs, the greatest of joys often being followed by the worst struggles. 

I was an early riser, climbing the stairs from the basement room we stayed in at typically six thirty AM. The house was at its quietest and the sunshine was always so warm and welcoming. Snoozing in the hallway near the front door was Chloe, one of uncle Joe’s big, goofy golden retrievers. As I came up her shaggy tail thumped on the floor in greeting. I sat next to her and started running my hands through that warm, plushy fur.  

“We’ll be leaving now. I’d tell you where we’re going but you wouldn’t understand.”

I wanted the arch to go in reverse. Before arriving at uncle Joe’s all I had to think about was Uncle Joe’s. What came after could take a backseat. But now, our time here was over and there was nothing left to serve as a distraction. I wanted to go home. 

   As the clocked ticked forward everyone else began stirring. Bags were brought up to be loaded into the car and find farewells were said. Before leaving I gave the sweet dog and goodbye hug and tried not to cry. Tears came searing out anyway and kept flowing as I got into the backseat of our Ford Escort. My sister Monica, mom, and dad joined me and we drove off. Aside from a few left over sniffles and sobs the mood in the car was cheerful. We joked around and chit chatted. It would be over before I knew it and there was so much to look forward to afterward. But the arch couldn’t leap forward either. The only way out was straight through. 

We drove to Boston, Massachusettes and we weren’t going for the sites.