I moved to NY from Hawaii. In Hawaii, it is always tourist season. There is never a time when there are not people clamoring to visit. I suppose maybe there are more in the winter when it is cold on the mainland. Or maybe not. They are just always there.
Here. On the North Fork of Long Island, that is not the case. Here, the people who live here made it though, from all reports, a mild winter. But it was still a winter that had the sun setting so early in the day that I made my 8 hour a night sleep goal almost every night. Mostly because it was so cold and so dark that getting into bed seemed like the best choice. After what seemed like an unending amount of time, we finally sprang ahead. The clocks went ahead and it was light out later. It was what I was told a “late spring” with decidedly cool and unspring like temperatures.
Despite the cool weather, it really started to look like spring. The grass, which we had truly forgotten had ever been green, greened up. The flowering tress seemed to pop out first. All these crazy colors. Purples and pinks. The larger trees were more reticent. As if not quite believing it was time to unfurl their leaves. And then it was all green all the time. Save for the trees with the deep dark leaves. No green for them.
The bunnies had another litter? Clutch? Brood? Seven. Four black and three tan bringing to mind tasty layered beer. Some of them have overly fluffy heads which makes them seem super round. They hop about looking like teeny cotton balls. The turkeys can frequently be heard gobbling through now open windows. A noise that is ridiculously comical.
And this weekend, Memorial Day weekend, no one told me. My mom complains about the summer traffic but I typically add to it. It is the only way that I see the North Fork. But now my lens is more attuned to hers. This weekend, it is like someone flipped a switch. Or pressed a button. And boom. Instant tourist season.
When I went to pick up my CSA on Friday afternoon, there were more cars there than I had ever seen. It was the last week of spring greens and I could not figure out the pickup. It was not in the usual place. I found the sign in but could not find the veggies. I finally had to ask someone, and they had packed everything up into a single bag because they knew what it was going to be like. Friday for pau hana, a friend and I met at the local brewery to grab a beer and some dinner. There was no parking in either the regular or the overflow lot. When I went food shopping, something I do every Saturday morning, the market’s paltry produce section actually had no zucchini. Had all the visitors decided that that was the best vegetable for grilling? I briefly contemplated getting some bagels, but the line was literally out the door. Starbucks only had three hipsters ahead of me so that was not bad.
It is just something that I have to get used to. This population explosion. The slow-moving traffic. Slowing whenever a winery is looming on the horizon. The inability to make a left turn onto the main road. Cars pulled over on the one-lane-in-each-direction main road with blinkers on trying to find out where they are (we have bad phone service). I will take it along with the lesser amount of sleep in my nights. I will take it so I can sit outside. And open the windows. And watch the baby bunnies consuming grass like spaghetti strands. I’m ready.