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We Have Lift Off

Updated: Oct 1, 2022

Targets are not equal.

A few weeks ago, I did the craziest thing. Over 12 days, I flew 6375 miles and drove 1912 miles.

I flew from New York to Seattle with one of the hockey pucks and a cat. I stayed for five days and helped that hockey puck and the cat move into an apartment.

Then I flew to Washington D.C., where I met two more hockey pucks. I stayed one night, left one hockey puck at their recently rented apartment, then drove for three days with the other hockey puck to Denver, Colorado, and helped this puck move into their new place.

Four days later, I flew back to JFK and Ubered to the fourth hockey puck’s new apartment in Brooklyn (my first visit there). Then that hockey puck and their plus-one drove me back to East Hampton.

Prior to this trip, during the eighteen months of the Covid pandemic, my average daily travel was six miles – the round-trip drive to the East Hampton post office.

You’re probably asking yourself, “why would she do this? She must be a wonderful mother.”

Well, thank you. I am a wonderful mother, even if you’re the only one who thinks that.

My wonderfulness was a reason for going on this zany journey. Moving is hard. Driving across the country is hard. I was happy to help the little puckers.

After all, their lives have been on standby since the pandemic began. During Covid, some or all our hockey pucks lived here as they finished up their college classes, graduated, looked for a job, worked, applied to grad school, and graduated from grad school. We had pucks, their plus ones, and sometimes their friends, working in the basement, on the back porch, or in the bedrooms, while Mr. Hockey labored in his home office.

I, of course, was in my garret, toiling away on my columns. That is, when I wasn’t working on my magnum opus.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Ooh, I wonder what her magnum opus is?

I can’t tell you. The first rule of magnum opuses is that you can’t discuss magnum opuses.

Just kidding, there is no magnum opus. Mostly, I play games on my phone and peruse

Anyway, after 18 months of covidian limbo, the hockey pucks sorted out their immediate futures and prepared for lift off. I think they heard we were closing the pool.

In mid-August, I helped the Washington D.C. puck move in. A month later, I embarked on my daft expedition to help the Seattle and Denver pucks. I can tell you from moving into all these homes that there is never enough storage space, and every Target is better than the one in Riverhead.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Aren’t all Targets the same?”

No. Some have way cooler clothes.

I learned this on my silly 12-day excursion and the 3-day D.C. jaunt, when I made nine trips to Target and seven to Bed Bath & Beyond. Is there a higher level than beyond? Because I shopped beyond beyond.

I also drove beyond beyond, or approximately 1800 miles from D.C. to Denver. We didn’t drive the most direct route so we could visit the puck’s friend in Cleveland. Unbeknownst to us, the Independence, Ohio Holiday Inn was hosting the 2021 Tamburitza Extravaganza as we were passing through.

You’re probably asking yourself, “What’s a tamburitza?”

It’s a long-necked lute used in Balkan music. Obviously.

Just kidding, it’s not obvious, I had to look it up.

That’s the cool thing about driving across this great country. You learn stuff. For instance, at 2 a.m. in the Holiday Inn, I learned tamburitzas are often accompanied by accordions.

On my wacky travel spree, I purchased just-the-right bins for bathrooms, I assembled desk chairs, lamps, and bedframes, and I jury-rigged milk crates into shelves to optimize closet storage.

After laying the rugs and making the beds, I knew my precious hockey pucks were safely launched into their new lives. Then, I cried as I left each of those little puckers, including the Brooklyn puck, who’s coming back next week.

I even cried when I said goodbye to the cat.

You’re probably asking yourself, “What’s she going to do now?”

Great question.

Prior to the pandemic, if things had gone to plan, the puckers would have trickled out of the house as they graduated and got jobs. I would have been like the frog in gradually heating water; I wouldn’t have noticed I was being cooked. Maybe as I slowly boiled, I would have come up with a strategy for my future.

Instead, they all left at the same time, and I feel like a frog that got roasted in the rocket’s exhaust as it lifted off. A sizzled frog can’t make plans.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Would a frog be on a launch pad?”

It’s a metaphor! But I imagine many things get burned when rockets launch.

So, what’s next?

I guess I could write a magnum opus. Perhaps about I’ve done the research!

A friend suggested I start drinking and smoking. Just kidding, I’ve been drinking and smoking all along.

Mr. Hockey wants to clean out the garage, necessitating a dumpster. That’s a good opportunity to chuck our useless stuff and tidy up the launch pad.

I want the place to look nice because those puckers will be back.

Probably next summer when we open the pool.

Published in The East Hampton Press October 14, 2021

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

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