Heidi Isern

writer. thinker. whiskey drinker.

Upstate New York: The Four Seasons

Location: Hamburg new York (outside of Buffalo)

Mileage: 4,750

Meal: Car snacks of apples and protein bars

Music: “November Rain” by Guns N Roses (thank you Al for the reminder)

I left Fulton to head west, spending the night in a random roadside hotel near Buffalo, New York.  Many think of Ani DiFranco when they think of Buffalo.  Many do not think of my own musical time spent here; my summers at Orchestra Camp at the University.  I had forgotten that much of my youth was spent in front of a music stand; I learned Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi, playing the cello all over the state.

Returning to a place, especially one from your childhood, conjures up memories that you didn’t know you were lucky enough to posses.  After a mere 24 hours of inhaling upstate New York, all the darkness broke apart and beautiful recollections shone forth.  My seasons and years there circled around my brain, creating a kaleidoscope of my life in brilliant colors.

As if out of a Vivaldi composition, my childhood was marked by the Four Seasons:

I fondly remembered Autumn spent in the apple orchards with my parents, us all on the hunt for the roundest, shiniest Macintosh apples.  My mother would turn their crispness into soft pies.

Winter was marked with towering snow banks, fierce proof of our 4 am snowblowing sessions.  During the holiday times we marched around them, clad in moonwalker snow boots, singing Christmas carols around the circular neighborhood.  Doors opened, off key voices sprung forth, and cider was offered, either a tribute to our efforts or a way to prevent us from singing more.

Spring was short lived; a tiny interlude between snow and ice and thick humidity.  However as soon as it whispered its arrival, my group of friends would rush to put on shorts and t-shirts, hopeful our allegiance to the sun would quickly melt away all the ice on the roads.

Summer, despite its stickiness was greeted with joy.  We were free from school and able to plan river water skiing parties during the day and great bonfires at night.  The forest bordered everyone’s house, so sticks and fire fuel were plenty.

It was this type of joyful life that made my later move even more unbearable. In addition to the dark trouble I got myself into, I didn’t have the stability of the seasons, a reminder that everything comes to an end, and there is always a chance for a new beginning.

œ œ œ œ œ

I had gone back to the sonatas of my past to help round out my heart and direction in life.  Another woman I knew returned to her grandparent’s past, to better help her uncover her own identity.  As an acclaimed singer and songwriter, she is much more the musician than I ever became. I am working on her story now….please stay tuned…

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