Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good Will

Christopher and I were sent out on a simple mission last Sunday: To deposit some old clothing in the nearest Goodwill box.

Kelly had taken our recent change of residence as an opportunity to separate some of my best 90's-vintage apparel and bundle them up for reissue to the needy. Being a bit of a pack rat, the clothes weren't too easily wrenched from my still living hands and before I agreed to let them go I had to be shaken out of several personal delusions to squarely face some hard truths, namely:

a.) that Grunge will never make a comeback,
b.) 5 sweat jackets is more than enough for any one man, and
c.) I will never, ever, ever fit comfortably into a size 'L' button shirt, ever again.

Best to box up the clothing and the memories, and send them off to people who might actually make use of them.

Chris and I set out on this mission about 1-ish on Sunday. Unfortunately, it was a particularly sunny day and we were soon drawn in an entirely different direction; north towards..whatever. Surely we'll find some other Goodwill boxes along the way...

We were motoring up route 116 occasionally stopping here or there to snap some pictures. Chris handled the repeated halts and tedious waiting by ignoring me and immersing himself in Bill Bryson's hilarious book 'A Walk In The Woods'. A veteran blogging passenger, Chris knew how the afternoon was going to pan out and had made sure to grab a book off the shelf when we left.

Letting the vehicle take us where it may, we found ourselves over by Puffer's Pond in North Amherst, where a cool looking, half-frozen waterfall was attracting the attention of passerby's.

It looked cold.

Real cold.

We continued north and passed through peaceful Leverett center, where their classic 1774 congregational church still stands.

The design around the windows for some reason reminds me of that famous painting 'American Gothic' and it's dour, hard-living characters.

We motored on; me mostly listening to the radio and stopping for pics, and Chris mostly buried in the book and looking up to ask which state we were in. Just a little farther north I got the notion to see what the Peace Pagoda looks like in mid-winter garb. A short uphill walk from the parking area, and the gleaming Pagoda emerges fantastically as always from the New England woods.

The snow surrounding it only served to make the white paint brighter.

the Coy-fish pond was frozen over, hopefully sans the Coy fish...

I walked around snapping pics while Chris found a seat in the sun and plowed on with the book. He was already half way through it at this point. I have to hand it to the kid, he's a voracious, and fast, reader.

Now if I could only pry him from his other voracious habit, video games...I took a break myself and sat down on the bench, resting against the Pagoda in the shining sun and taking in the great view below...

It is truly peaceful on this hilltop, and always a great place to think, reflect, or read. The sun was starting to get low and we finally had to get moving, and start making our way back to the car.

The walk back down was with refreshed, subtle feelings of peace and good will.


Almost forgot. Better find those boxes and get the donating taken care of before we get back home....

But first, just a couple more winter-scenery stops, since we were in the area. First, a look at the famous Leverett sawmill which evokes visions of modest 19th century industry.

21st century activity now surrounds it and the classic old sawmill is the focus of a rehabilitation campaign...

In keeping with the whole 19th century New England vibe I was now feeling (Buddhist pagoda visit not withstanding), I made one more stop for a quick gaze at a modern New England farm, and their livestock enjoying the last rays of a glowing sunset.

Alright, where are those Goodwill boxes...A run through several shopping center parking lots in Hadley produced none that we could see, but we did encounter a couple of PlanetAid boxes across from Atkins Farm on route 116 on the way back. Hmm...Planet Aid, Goodwill; tomato, tomatto...

Hopefully wherever those clothes end up Grunge music and flannel outerwear is just now coming into style...


Fred said...

Dear Chris and Kelly,
Thanks a lot for this nice story.
We at Planet Aid appreciate our effort to find a donation box.
Thank you for the donation.

Planet Aid is located in Holliston, MA. You can get our website at where you also can download our annual reports.

We sell the clothing that gets donated to us and use the net proceeds to run aid programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Thanks again,

Fred said... of course be "your effort"...sorry for that typo


Mary E.Carey said...

What a patient blogging enabler, Chris is. Interesting about Planet Aid!

Anonymous said...

Would have been nice if you were able to donate your items to the Amherst Survival Center since you were right in the neighborhood anyway. It is unfortunate that Salvation Army doesn't accept donations on Sundays, although I can understand why.

Tony said...

There's more clothing to come, that was just the first salvo. We'll probably spread it out among several organizations...

Mary, behind every blogger is someone rolling there eyes and sighing..!

CBL said...

I certainly miss the grunge era, but I suppose it's finally time to make space for a new generation . . . viva la grunge. . .

Mattenylou said...

Hmmmm, again, you were just around the corner from that old Charcoal Kiln, and you missed it!!! Seriously, you have to put that on your list for that area, it's just a stones throw from the Sawmill.

Love the pics, we were going to take a ride in that direction over the weekend and check out our cabin, but really didn't feel up to trudging in from the road thru the snow. Looks, from your pics, that it's not too deep right now.

Keep on blogging, Tony, we are enjoying the view from here!

KBrady said...

A Walk in the Woods in a great story. Hope Chris enjoyed it, and you will too, if you haven't read it. It's funny and informative at the same time.