I just got back from a trip to New England (Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, to be specific).
It was an intense few weeks with work leading up to the trip and a little crazy actually getting out the door. We had just hosted a play on tour from England–in a town about two hours away from Fayetteville, had a board meeting at Quaker House (the locations rotate), gotten the newsletter out, made presentations at the Piedmont Friends Fellowship and Yearly Meeting’s Spring Retreat, and, just days before I left town, finally gotten our kitchen floor repaired. Thank you to all the people who donated funds to help with this necessary work and who donated a new refrigerator! Because the House is still fully working even in my absence, I needed to put things back together before I left. It was a late night with an early morning following.
But, I made it. We made it (I met up with my daughter and son-in-law for parts of the trip). We made it to the not-unheard-of-April-sleet-and-ice-weather in New England from the fully-into-spring-70-degree-days in North Carolina. Luckily, we had checked the forecast and were prepared, and we had some well-timed coincidences.
For example, I drove down from Maine to Boston to help my daughter and son-in-law with luggage so they could walk the Freedom Trail Tour before driving them to our next destination. They were running late, walking in the freezing rain and wild gusts of wind (same day as the Boston Marathon, if you saw those weather reports). I just happened to drive down the same one-way street in the same direction and recognized them in all their bundling. I could not pick them up there at that second (city traffic), but, amazingly, found a loading zone just around the corner that I was able to pull into without raising anyone’s ire while they caught up with me. We were still late getting them to the starting point of the tour, but my son-in-law looked out the window and wondered aloud, “Do you think that’s them?” pointing at three separate groups of poncho-clad people. They jumped out of the car and randomly picked the correct tour group that had them listed. The two history buffs were off on their tour.
Next, we visited two of my brothers and their families. It has been approximately 12 years since we have seen them and, therefore, had actually not yet met some of the newer family members.
There was lacrosse;
inflation of an indoor bouncy house while sitting in the middle of it;
baseball (Maine spring weather stops no one);
games of Foosball, Connect Four, and Apples to Apples; hair gel applied to match the visiting cousin-in-law’s style; and good food at every turn.
One of our final adventures was to buy a delicious “medium” (half-filled paper cup) of hot chocolate sold by a young guy in the parking lot of the art studios that neighbor my high-school-days home. Price: $1.00.
I returned to North Carolina about 12 hours earlier than I originally planned, and was very pleased with that decision for traveling arrangements. After that adjustment had already been implemented, I found out that the Quaker House web site was in urgent need of my focused attention. So, that timing worked out, too.
Hopefully, it will not be another decade before returning to Maine.