Musings in the Maples

Written on 9/18, after a road-trip from St Albans, Vermont back to the Capitol Region of New York.

Musings in the Maples
by mk hubbard

I love that the whole state seems to bleed syrup
instead of blood
— roots dive deep into the Earth, & maples are very strong.
The people there view the golden liquid as the nectar of life,
replacing other golds, like honey & precious metal.

The trees are lined with taps, connecting forests together,
a web of dependence on the sugary substance that oozes from their cores.
The farmlands are large, and double yellow lined roads with their higher speed limits, still wind & curve forcing you to slow down,
to make you look around.

Like the maple liquid itself, the drips of sweetness come at their own time, as you travel further & further North…

The mountain top with its trees changing in drips to fall foliage as the sun sets over them, reminds you of the snow to come–
And the ghost of chairlifts swing in the summer heat, waiting to be filled with people, excited for another sugary substance, although this time a powder.
As the Moon rises over the trees, it illuminates the change in a sadder way than the sun does– reminding you that seasons changing have nothing to do with the whims of what we as humans want, but what the Earth demands.

Monday Morning Coffee

When I was little, I used to steal my Grandma’s coffee. I loved the way it tasted—warm and a little bitter, but most importantly, I felt like a grown up. My mommy had some in her cup every morning, my grammy would have some too & I wanted to be just like them when I grew up. So whenever I was over, I would steal the sips out of my Grandma’s mug when I thought she wasn’t looking, but she knew it was me. Who else? My sister was 2 1/2 tops, at this point, and she had other things to do. The coffee was mine for the taking. But instead of scolding me for taking her coffee, my Grandma poured me a small cup of my own, and said it was “okay to have a little.”

I did not stop stealing sips of her coffee until I eventually could have my own cups. I stole some from my mother too. My mom didn’t want me to start drinking coffee for health reasons (fair) but I wanted desperately to be seen as older than I was.  I was mature enough for coffee Mom! I could handle it! I was done growing! All of my arguments were made. My mom eventually started letting me drink coffee every day with her when I was in the 6th grade. It was big doings because I had to wake up an hour earlier than everyone for the middle school bus. I got to have coffee with Mom & I felt like my life was going to happen. Maybe I’d even get asked on a date! That could happen to coffee drinkers, my 12 year old self pondered while sipping her watered down coffee.

Slowly 2 of my sisters started to join in as they too had to get up earlier and earlier. Our days were getting more packed, and somewhere along the way, the coffee time in the morning became scarcer and scarcer. Coffee in the mornings were purely for purpose instead of socializing. Days and schedules were discussed. Things were in motion. The cups we had were on-the-go.

Coffee in college brought back some more aspect of socializing. I had study groups in small Starbucks, and I had some groups where we would stop to grab each other coffee before class if it was on the way–it became a point of discussion. “Oh man, my night was so busy studying xyz…pass the coffee!” In academia, business, pretty much any aspect of life– being overtired becomes glamorous at some point, so you better have a signature drink to match. After college, I entered into the working world where coffee was again an on-the-go experience.  I frequented drive-thrus, mobil-ordered ahead, got my apps. I justified my coffee addiction as “cheaper than cigarettes” but not any more beneficial to my health. I substituted meals for coffee, and felt like I didn’t have time to enjoy any of it because I had other things that were more important.

When I met Ryan, I was not in a good place. I had been on a road of anger directed at everyone and everything.  I felt really lonely, but instead of admitting that, I lashed out and grew distant, or overshared as a test of people’s loyalty. I didn’t know how to be a good friend. Ryan & I met under funny circumstances, and not in our best state of mind thanks to another liquid. We hit it off and ended up going on dates, tip-toeing around the topic for 1 month before he asked me to be his girlfriend with a mouthful of Sour-patch kids. He was introverted like myself, but his sense of humor made me double over. I remembered thinking “I love laughing with him” after a date where he had made me dinner, and couldn’t get the wine bottle to open.

Falling in love with Ryan reminded me about my first stolen sips of coffee. His whole persona was like a cup made just for me–warm, inviting and grown up. He did not want to play games with me, he wanted a real relationship. He wanted to make me laugh and hear about my day, or tell me about his–but most importantly to me, he wanted to be as persistent as a cup of coffee. My everyday choice, my forever go-to.

Ryan makes my coffee for me in the morning. Not every day, but about 3 times or so a week, he brings me a cup of coffee that somehow tastes better because he made it. He puts in a dash of cinnamon, and some sugar, but it’s all about the timing. It’s a small way that he shows me love every single day. When I taste the coffee he made for me, I sit and think about the day ahead, or ask him what’s going to be happening in his world for the day. When my coffee is still hot, the day seems to have that much more potential to it. After he leaves for work, while my coffee is still warm, I usually call my Mom or my Grandma. I feel better after checking on both of them, to make sure that they too got a cup of warm coffee & love that day, because that’s what coffee means to me.

Here’s a picture of Ryan:

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He’s usually behind the camera, but I made him pose for a shot. He’s wearing a soft grey t-shirt, some blue shorts from an unknown time & some Vans as well.

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Outfit of the Day in Schenectady, New York

Last night, Ryan & I ended up going out to see one of my younger sisters perform a set at a local bar in Schenectady, New York. It’s a historic town–settled in 1661 by the Dutch, the word itself means “Place Along the Pines.” There are gems throughout, and even having grown up around the area, there are always different places to see or observe something you had not before.

We stopped at a quiet cathedral parking lot. The architecture of this one has always seemed at odds with the modern residential housing around it. Directly across from it is Union College, which was founded in 1795.  Around the corner of this is my graduate college campus. I have passed this place numerous times and have never stopped. So last night we did. It is massive & almost looming with its beautiful arches & windows. Ryan took the following picture:

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I think this picture really captures the massiveness of this building. I do not know much of its history, but I plan on finding out.

We took some pictures of my outfit:

My dress was from a local boutique during our date night out in Troy ($38). My heels are from Lulus, an online boutique ( $30) and my necklace is Nordstrom ($20). My most expensive item of my outfit was my purse ($50), but as far as purses go, I view it as a deal.

We really thought it was fun to have the contrast of the stripes on my dress with the arches of the windows. It was evening time, so the sun was setting. The air had a small hint of the autumn that is right around the corner–but just a hint.

For now, we can still enjoy the summer under the fairy lights of a local bar, the sun only setting on an evening– not a season, not yet.

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My Outfit of the Day- featuring a cozy jumpsuit & new bag

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Ryan & I went out exploring a bit last night, on a part of our #icecreamquest. I wanted to be comfortable, so I chose a Lou & Grey jumpsuit, which is basically like wearing acceptable pajamas for the public eye. I knew I would be eating ice cream, so again, not wearing makeup except my brows (my one standard).

I also could not help but to accessorize with this fun bag I found at a local co-op. The brand, Mona-B prides itself on using eco-friendly materials, or using something that  would have originally been trash. This one pictured is made of tent and tarp materials (that were washed & processed to be acceptable again). Could NOT resist the pop of color on this bag, and thought it was really fun. I debated about posting this picture of myself, BUT I want to remember my pre-ice cream game face in the years to come!

Stay tuned for the full list of the places we end up eating ice cream at this week:

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jumpsuit Lou & Grey, bag Mona-B

#MyOutfitofTheWeek

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Truthfully, I cannot believe this is 10 minutes from our apartment complex. Since starting this blog, Ryan & I have been attempting to find historic places, new places & different places. The bridge I’m standing on in the 2nd picture was an iron bridge used as the “model” of how all of the bridges for the Erie Canal should be made. The 1st picture used to be all a part of the canal. Managed to hit some interesting places & learn some new things too.

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