Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On the Road: Massachusetts

I have essentially known The Philosopher for my entire life. We first met in nursery school when we were three years old. We have played many roles in each other's lives over the decades. When I was a goalie, he was my center fullback. You develop a lot of trust in that relationship. He was an usher at our wedding and is still one of My Wife's favorites among my old friends. He is the smartest person I know. He is also the most physically fit person I know. Above all, he is a quiet, gentle man and an awfully loyal friend.

The Philosopher's family has a house in the islands off the coast of Massachusetts. I first visited the island when I was 13. I visited twice as a teenager and this past week was our third visit as a family. The 100-year-old house sits at the base of an inlet surveying the ocean on one side and green woodlands on the other. It is, to my mind, just about perfect: stunning colors during the day while the celestial light show over the ocean is subtly different every night. On our first day there, Our Girl declared it her favorite place in the whole world.

We flew kites - a first for both Our Girl and My Wife. We kayaked in the sea. We swam in saltwater. We swam in freshwater. We hiked. We ate fresh vegetables from the beautifully-tended garden. We mostly sat on the porch watching the world go by: a stunning variety of birds and sea craft on offer for our gawking pleasure. Without a doubt, it was the highlight of our summer - nay, our year - so far.

Adjusting back to mainland society has been brutal, especially having to weather Massachusetts highways on the way home. Our transition was eased by some dear friends in Worcester. We shall call them English Prof and The Playwright. They're old friends of My Wife's from Chicago and we usually manage to see them once or twice a year, often spending Thanksgiving together. Worcester also offers the opportunity for My Wife to visit Trader Joe's - one of her favorite grocery chains and we don't have any in Vermont. We can also now add That's Entertainment to our list of retail must-visits. Encouraged by Mock's and Mrs. Mock's strong recommendation, we paid a visit to Worcester's independent comics/toys/collectibles emporium. All of our gift shopping for Our Girl's birthday is now complete!

It was a wonderful week but it's great to be home. I took a lot of photos during our trip, enough that I think they're worth their own post.

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