Friday, November 27, 2009

Andy's Desk: Freedom on Black Friday

For the past eight years, I never had any extra time around the holidays to explore the Adirondacks. You could always find me in the woods at the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center holding down the fort with one or two others while the rest of the staff traveled to visit family. My family lives in the Tri-Lakes region, and the farthest I have to travel this time of year is 22 miles to Tupper Lake to see my mother. This year, life during the holidays as a full-time work-at-home writer and publisher is much different.

Today, for example, is still a work day, but I’ll be spending it on the road, delivering the new “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” books to stores in Old Forge and Inlet, where I’ll be able to experience the annual Adirondack Christmas on Main Street, a three-day extravaganza in both communities designed to lure shoppers to these resort towns. I’m looking forward to seeing my book-selling friends at Old Forge Hardware and the Adirondack Reader in Inlet. And I’ll be taking photographs to use in future editions of the Adirondack Vacation Guide, which I edit for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

This trip will be unique, as Dawn and I will be transporting a passenger, our nephew Michael, a 9-year-old from Piercefield. We usually ride alone on business trips. Michael has the day off from school and jumped at the chance to get away from home (especially his older sister) and do a little traveling for the day. An Adirondack Christmas on Main Street instantly had new meaning. A few days ago, Dawn and I were merely going to witness the festivities, and now we will see if Michael wants to do anything fun. Face painting at Old Forge Hardware? Make a stuffed animal at the Inlet Town Hall? Fun sounds good.

These are the kinds of days I envisioned when I said I wanted to write full time and be self-employed. Summed up in one word, it is called “freedom.”

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