Words to Live By

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Trip Back East

First I would like to express my gratitude to everyone for your prayers and kind words for our friends, Sticks and Dimples. They are doing well and expected to make a full recovery. They, too, appreciate your kind words, prayers and thoughts.
Recently, I went back home for a long weekend. I just felt like I needed to connect with my sisters.
I landed in Boston on Friday afternoon and the sun was shining brightly. That was the last I would see of the sun all weekend. I met my sisters for lunch at Ruby Tuesday, and ran into an old friend while there, too. It felt good to be sitting at the same table with my sisters, rather than talking on the phone or trying to communicate through email or facebook. It just seems like some things get lost in translation through electronic communication. It was great to re-connect with them.
Friday night, I went out with our friend Joker and Susan. It was nice to meet Susan, she's a great gal. And it was great to see Joker. We had quite a time with Blackstone at the Boneyard. It just seems like the bars close SO EARLY back there! Anyway, I stayed at their place Friday night because it was too far and too late to drive back to my mother's condo. I got up early Saturday morning and drove back after sleeping on the most comfortable couch my ass has ever made contact with!
After sleeping a few more hours at the condo, I had to dial-in to a conference call back here. It lasted 1.5 hours, and my cell phone would only work in a parking lot near the condo. Not actually at the condo. So I sat in my rent-a-wreck in the rain while on the call. After that, I enjoyed some wonderful New England Clam Chowda, and headed back to the condo.
In going through my Mother's things, my sisters found a large box of letters. These weren't just any letters, though; they were letters that my Dad had written to her while he was in the Army and she was in college. One of my sisters is reading them, the other does not want to. So after Gayle reads them, she will be sending them to me. I sat down to read some of the letters Saturday afternoon. They were wonderful! My Dad ended every letter with "Love, George" and "P.S. I miss you." These letters are a true treasure, and I'm so glad my Mom kept them.
Saturday night, we had a sleepover at my sister Christine's house. She had a few friends over, as well. It was a great night filled with lots of old memories, and beer, wine and spirits. ;) It is times like these that I wish I lived closer to them. We had so much fun.
Sunday we went to the cemetary, as I hadn't seen the new stone since Mom had passed. Then we went to lunch at Lindsay's. The chowda, crab cakes and clam plate were all incredible, but I just couldn't finish it. There was so much food!
After lunch, I decided to hang out on Cape Cod a little longer. I went to Onset Beach and took a nice walk. It was overcast, but not raining. And it was warm enough that I didn't need my sweatshirt. I walked on the pier and watched the people that were fishing. Saw all the boats moored in the harbor, and remembered when Dad had a boat moored not far from here. We used to love going out on the boat in the summer. Even though it almost always broke down, we still had fun. These are the kinds of memories that I cherish. I often wonder if I would cherish them so much if I still lived there? Or do I cherish them more because I don't live there anymore? Yes, there were some real deep thoughts going on that weekend.
After coming back from the Cape, I stopped in at Gaff's, the local watering hole in Taunton. Our great friend Savina was there, and I had a few beers with her. We were dancing and having a great time when I noticed someone familiar-looking at the bar. I took a second look and realized it was someone I hadn't seen in 19 years! I went to school with John, and after that he worked with my Dad for a while. It was so nice to see him!
When we left the bar I gave Savina a ride home and got back pretty late. I had to get up fairly early for my flight on Monday, so I was just going to read a little bit and then go to sleep. That didn't exactly happen. I ended up reading Dad's letters to Mom until 3:30 a.m. I figured I could sleep on the plane. :) I really can't wait to receive the rest of those letters from my sister.
It was difficult to leave the condo, as I knew this would be the last time I saw it. I think it was so difficult because this is not only where I last saw and spoke to my Mom, it's where she died. It didn't make me uncomfortable to stay there, but it was very hard to leave.
I stopped at my sister Gayle's house on the way to drop off the rental car. I hadn't seen my niece Amanda all weekend, and I wanted to see her before she left for college at Johnson & Wales University in RI. She's moving into her dorm today, by the way. Good luck, Manda-Panda!
The flights home were uneventful. I wasn't able to sleep, but did read The Notebook. I was a crying mess while reading that, but it kept people from talking to me, so it was ok. :)
After getting in late Monday night, I had work and class on Tuesday. Then I was at an HR conference for the rest of the week. We're having a party today, and I have a huge psych paper due on Tuesday. To say that I've been busy would be a large understatement. I should have taken Tuesday off from work just to rest up and get some things done around the house. But that's what Saturdays are for. :)


Paula said...

That was a wonderful weekend (and a little difficult I'm sure). You and your sisters look so much alike...you are very lucky to have them.

Queen B said...

ah, thanks for sharing :) sounds like a great trip, full of good new memories and some reminiscing over old ones.

Lady Ridesalot said...

Wow! I don't know how you keep up with everything!

Glad you had a nice visit with your sisters. I guess you hated leaving the condo because it is your last real connection with your mom, but the fact that you have letters from your dad to her are absolutely priceless! What a treasure! I'm sure it means so much for ya'll to have them.

Pretty cool that you were able to visit Joker and Susan while you were home and some other long lost friends as well. Going home is full of little rewards like that.

I think you appreciate home and your youthful memories even more because you live so far away now. That's how I feel when I go back to Dubuque, IA. If you lived right there, you would pass that harbor a million times and not give it thought. Going home is good for rejuvenation, but it wouldn't feel the same if we still lived there.

Great post and a great pic of you and your sisters! I hope your happy now... you've made me homesick! ;)

Kim Thomas said...

Wow, Ann. It sounds like a fantastic trip and very bittersweet. I am so grateful to have my sisters close to me. It has to be hard being away from them. Missed you and thought of you on your birthday and quite a bit this last week.

B.B. said...

I'm glad you got to go and see your sisters. I always wished I had sisters because it seems like such a special bond.
I got goosebumps and teary eyes reading about your dad's letters to your mom. Those are really something to be treasured and appreciated.
Glad you made it home safe!

Willy D said...

It’s hard to comment on something this personal. I’m glad you’ll get those letters. That’s a side of parents most people never know. They were young once and fell in love also.

You even write like a Mass-hole… Chowda. LOL

mq01 said...

i'm with willyd, ive wanted to comment and have been speechless. i can just imagine how emotional a trip that was for you. and your parents, very cool, they must have been very much in love. those letters rock im sure. being a part of that happiness is a blessing. very cool ann...very cool.

FLHX_Dave said...

Ann, you brought back some memories from waaaaay back. When I was 5 years old I remember my mom getting reel to reel tapes in the mail. She would get all excited and run to the play and put it in and listen to this dude talking to her. Then she would bawl and cry. I hated the guy on the tapes because he always made my mom cry.

My father returned from vietnam. I didn't know who he was. When I realized he was the guy from the tape I would tell him to stay away from my mom and stand inbetween them. I would jump into their bed and make sure I was between them because now this dude was making her scream late at night. (I later realized that was a good thing.)

Sorry for the long ass comment but I grew to love my dad. He is a great man. Thanks for the "trip"

Glad you were able to connect. Family is important...I need to once again shore up. Glad you made it back safe. See you soon!

Diane said...

What a nice trip. It is always great to go home and catch up with everyone.

"Joker" said...

I was really glad you were able to spend some time with Susan, myself, and the Blackstone crew. I'm really glad you got to meet Susan; she really enjoyed meeting you, and having you stay over with us. Those letters from you Dad are a priceless memory, and I'm really happy you'll get the chance to read all of them.

It was great to see you again - if only for a short while. Glad you made it home alright.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Sounds like you had quite an eventful trip. There's nothing like family.

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Wow...what a priceless find of the letters from your Father to your Mother. I would definately have to read something like that because I'm such a sappy chick!

Glad you had a good trip home and spent time with your Sisters. I live further away from my sister and I miss her terribly. There is nothing like a great sister to have your back!

Cool that you met Susan and saw Joker and the crew. You rate higher on the Joker scale then I do it seems. LOL I couldn't resist that dig! LMAO!

Thanks for sharing your trip. Great photos! :)

Jane: a female given name of English origin said...

Love the pics!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had such a great time visiting with your sisters and friends back home! Sometimes it really matters meeting up in person! Love ya sista!