27 November 2006

Visit to Boston & Keene, New Hampshire

Daughter Emily is in her first year of college at Boston University, and so Jan & I decided to visit over the Thanksgiving holiday. Andy & Sarah, our good friends from the Cornell years, live in Keene, New Hampshire, about 2 hours from Boston. They generously invited us for a few days--along with Emily's boyfriend Sam, who traveled with us, and their friend Calvin, who traveled from Colgate in New York State.

Sam left his classes at University of Montana-Missoula a day early, and we picked him up early one morning at his Mom's house in Butte. Our nearly-six-hour drive to Salt Lake City airport was broken up with a lunchtime visit to friends Brent & Karina at Pocatello. Brent teaches high school science & math, Karina is a gifted interior decorator who paints floral patterns on walls, and they have two young school age kids. Adler and I were fishing buddies at our Mussigbrod Lake campout last summer.

We arrived in Boston's Logan Airport VERY early in the morning, picked up the car (a PT Cruiser?), dropped Sam off with Emily at BU, and then Jan & I spent about 2 hours making the "15-minute drive" back to hotel near the airport. Glad there wasn't much traffic!
Calvin flew into Logan the next morning and we were on the road again. What a relief to arrive in Keene, have Andy hand me a beer, and kick back. Andy & Sarah's daughter, named Emily after "our" Emily, is now 11-years old and in Middle School. Sarah's mother, Jane, lives next door. She was off spending Thanksgiving with her son & family at her old Vermont home, and she was so kind to offer Jan, Emily, and I the use of her house.

Andy is a gifted teacher and dedicated academic, though he does not get on too well with his college administration and most colleagues. But we talked about teaching, the lessons of history and literature, and the work of literary critic Harold Bloom. We watched a taped Bloom interview that Andy uses in his classes, and I am now very interested in Bloom's How to Read and Write. Andy has often acted as a sort of teacher to me, and I deeply appreciate the insights and passion he brings to ideas.

Thanksgiving Day began with a race. Andy has become a marathon runner, but also likes to run some shorter races like Keene's 4.5 mile Cranberry Run. His goal was to string 7-minute miles together, a goal he missed by seconds. Sarah also ran--her first registered race, I think.

Inspired by the morning's events, I took Jane's overweight but very lovable Golden Retriever, Heide, for a long walk. Later, the day brought a wonderful meal, more good conversation, and the joy of friends spending time together.

On Friday we visited the family cottage at Silver Lake. Sarah collected white pine and hemlock boughs for decorating, and we all reminisced about good visits there in summers past. I think this might have inspired Jan & Sarah to buy lobsters for supper--a treat greatly appreciated by everyone (including Jane, who returned home Friday before dark). Before supper, Emily Wilson demonstrated an immediate knack for using my little digital camera. She made an investigative documentary about laxatives. According to Emily, Sam, and Calvin, colleges routinesly add laxatives to cafetaria food. EW's documentary included a discourse into epistemology (led by Andy): If people believe something, does that make it true? Well, as Emily argued, it increases the likelihood that it could be true. Hmmm... I think Emily & I will read& discuss Plato's Socratic dialogues over Christmas break. After supper and a lively game of dictionary (talk about majority opinion creating truth!), we all called it a night.

We guests left for Boston the next morning, where Emily was an excellent guide to the Commons, Quincy Market, street performers, and the Italian restaraunts of the North End. Wow. Hard to believe she has only been there a few months. Jan & I had a similar experience as college students in Philadelphia, and we still have warm memories of that city.(Photo L to R: Jan, Emily, Sam, and Calvin)

I am very thankful to live in Montana. After driving from Salt Lake to the Montana line, we stopped for pie & coffee at Jan's Diner in Lima. Though still 2 hours from Butte, we were home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pat, you have found a way to flourish here (Montana). I do appreciate you saying you are thankful to live in Montana....sort of makes me a little sad about my own blog, but I feel impressed to forge on. It may be cathartic for me.