So, last time I had us finally finishing up our visit to the North End--Boston’s version of Little Italy. In the process, I somehow managed to talk about all sorts of other stuff--like, for instance, Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, the Revolution, a YA book I wrote and didn’t publish, cannoli, Arab Sicily, urban geography, espresso, soccer, and pasta. Particularly the pasta.
And people say I’m not focused and can’t stay on topic. HA I say. And double HA! Maybe even three Has. And a half a Ha to boot.
Where was I? Oh, yes. We finished our cannoli and coffee and made our way back to the T-station. From there, we went to pick up Linda. This was one of her days off, and she was spending it looking after one set of her grandchildren.
She has two sets, by the way, one for each of her children. I’ve now met both her sons, and her daughters-in-law, and most of her grandchildren. They are all -- sons, in-laws, grandchildren--a remarkable crew, talented in very many areas, ranging from athletics to science to dance and song. I foretell that the lot of them will leave their mark upon the world.
That said, I will not identify them or say much about them. That is because I want to preserve their privacy as much as possible. In this day and age, it is all too easy to use the errant bit of data as a weapon. So, I am careful.
As an aside, this is also why I don’t post pictures of my own grandchildren -- Hazel and Miles. If David and Emily wish to do so...share photos on social media or wherever...that’s fine. That’s their business.
But I won’t. Not without their parents’ permission. Not when there are so many threats to the young and the innocent...and, indeed, to us all.
A fact which saddens me no end.
But, anyway, we went and picked up Linda. We met her son and two of his children, and we had a nice time and nice chat. And then the three of us piled into the rental car and off we went.
About the photo: Only one today, and it’s one I’ve used before. This is of Martha collecting shells on Revere Beach at Point of Pines near Linda’s house. But, in this version, I’ve used one of the video generation services with which I’m playing (to be precise, Pika) to give it a bit of animation. See what you think.
It was a quick trip to her home, and then we rested a bit. After that, we decided on yet another walk on the beach, so we put our shoes back on and trotted outside again. It is a quick walk from her house to the sea. You just go up her street, across another road, then take one of the wooden stairways that lead to the beach itself. Then, there you are, the sand under your feet, the waves at your left, and the towers of Boston just visible in the distance before you.
It was cool that day. There was a bit of a mist, which emphasized the fact that the day was getting on and we weren’t far from dusk. The tide was coming in, but it was still far from high, and you could see the flats running off into the Atlantic waves, just a few inches under the water, and children and families played there, splashing and laughing. Soon, it would be too deep for them, and all sand and sun and wet laughter would have to wait for another day, and another tide.
We walked along. I lingered a few steps behind while Martha and Linda talked and walked rapidly. I would pick up shreds of their conversation over the sound of the waves, and wind. “So, is that really happening in that department?” “Oh, did you hear...?” “And can you believe what’s going on in Florida?”
I took my shoes off, tucked my socks into my pockets, and ventured into the waves. The water flowed over them, splashing up onto my rolled up trouser legs...apparently not rolled up enough. I felt the dampness on my clothing, and accepted it as the price of presence at the ocean’s edge.
I realized it was getting dark. This surprised me for some reason. I looked up and saw that Martha and Linda had turned around and were walking back towards me. Of course, I realized. It was time to go.
And it was then that I realized that our trip was coming to end. We had another day, tomorrow, in Boston, and then one more in (again) in Providence. Then, it would be the airport and back to Texas.
I was startled by how very sad that made me. I was startled, too, to realize that part of the reason for my sadness is that I still think of New England as my home. Or one of my homes, anyway.
But, I also know that I can no longer live there. My family, my connections, are elsewhere. And, yes, New England has changed. Traffic and prices are so much greater now. Even if I could be here...even if the kids and the grandkids up and decided to move to Boston...it would not be possible for me to join them. And I would no longer be comfortable here.
This is reality...alas. And the secret of happiness, sometimes, is to accept it. To accept, that is, what is unchangeable. To regret the loss, yes, but also to find the gain where it, too, exists.
Martha and Linda appeared before me. I dried my feet as best I could and then hopped and staggered, to the dry beach where I tried to put on my shoes and socks without falling over and/or covering myself with sand. I managed not to fall. But that was the limit of my success.
And then, Martha took my arm, and the three of us made our way through the dusk, to the stairs, and finally, once more, to Linda’s house...in all its comfort, and its warmth.
More to come.
Care to help out?
I provide these blog postings for free. That’s fine and I’m happy to do so. But, long ago and far away, I was told that if you give away your material, that means you don’t really think it has any value.
So, to get beyond that, I’ve decided to make it possible for you to leave me a “tip” for my posts.
If you like what I write or the videos I produce, and feel you could make a small contribution to support my efforts, please go here:
That will take you to a Gumroad page where you’ll have the option of leaving me a few pence by way of encouragement.
Again, I don’t mind if you don’t. I just want to provide you with the option so that I won’t feel quite so much like I’m just tossing my works into the wind.
Either way, thanks hugely for dropping by the blog :-)
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