Tomorrow morning, Abbott and I will leave the neighborhood while stars still glimmer overhead. His hockey team plays in a Canadian league; most Saturdays since October we’ve been on the road. (Alexi helps coach Cal’s hockey team here in Seattle while we’re gone.) For three weeks running, I’ve made a batch of these muffins to take with us.
It’s a lot of time in the car, but it’s okay. I’m used to it: I’ve been taking road trips through Canada since I was seven, when my family moved to Alaska from Texas before audio books, and all I had to amuse myself with for 4000 miles was a Strawberry Shortcake scratch and sniff sticker book. And we eat well in British Columbia: kimchi poutine and a lot of butter chicken. And I hear from Abbott in a way I wouldn’t, otherwise, if we were home, getting things done in separate corners of the house; about how it felt when he asked someone to go to the dance with him and she said yes, and how easy and fun it was for them to be together, and how they danced until they were sweaty and then how they drank milk from the machines in the school cafeteria when they got thirsty.
On one of our recent trips we watched a Canucks game. It was days after George Michael’s death, and before the game began Faith reverberated through Rogers Arena, and tears ran down my cheeks. My teenage life was set to the soundtrack of George Michael and the other greats of the late eighties. When I watched him on MTV in my basement in North Pole, Alaska I hadn’t yet been in love, or even had a boyfriend, so I could only imagine most of what he sang about; feeling big feelings without really knowing why.
Last Saturday was one of the best days I can remember. In between Abbott’s two games we drove through spare landscape and snowy, fallow farmland to visit a bird sanctuary on the Fraser River estuary. In the dimming daylight, we watched ducks slipping and sliding as they landed on the frozen water, and fed the waterfowl right from our hands.
Happy Friday, everyone. I hope you and yours are well.