I went to visit mema before I headed toward Boston. I had to laugh when the staff said to me, you are dressed up today are you going somewhere? Believe me when I say I had on a pair of black dress slacks and a nice printed top with shoes (instead of my normal flip flops or sneakers). I thought, wow I have been really dressing down lately, need to pick up my game a bit.
To be honest, I drove to Braintree as I did not want to drive into Boston and deal with very expensive parking garages and not knowing my way around anymore. Bottom Line: I was fearful of getting lost. So when I got to Braintree I got a parking space in the garage. I wanted to limit what I was carrying so I cleaned out the purse a little, but added a book (just in case I had a moment), and got my money ready to purchase a train ticket. After I got the ticket, I turned around to find out that I had to take a bus because there were no trains on this weekend to this part of the line as they are replacing track. Now, why this did not show up when I was researching the day before I'll never know. Anyway, I walked over and got on the very warm bus. Turns out the bus has to stop at three other stations to pick up passengers before our final destination to catch a train. This turns out to be about a 25-minute ride one way. I tell you this background because of what happened next.
I'm on the bus, checking out the people and surroundings, when I realize I don't have my phone! I checked everywhere and then I remember I placed it on the roof of the car in the parking garage. Now, I tried not to panic, but knew I had to go back to the car. I took several deep breaths and thought ok keep calm, perhaps this happened for a reason. It definitely took my mind off the reunion. So I get to the end of the line and turn around to head back to the car. I have to tell you I was saying a few things to myself along the way.
Luckily, the bus ride back was not as long as the bus did not stop at every station. I am so grateful that when I got to the car the phone was right where I left it on the roof. So now I'm calm and thought everything will be good now. Story from the bus: two women and four kids get on the bus. One woman, sat with her daughter. The other woman sat with one child and was texting on her phone without paying much attention. Her two young sons (around 9) were sitting closer to the back of the bus. I kept hearing the buzzer to request a stop, but was not paying all that much attention. We stopped at a red light and suddenly the driver gets out of his seat and goes to the middle of the bus. He says to the woman, stop him from ringing the buzzer or you'll be moved off the bus. The woman who had not been paying any attention looked up. He was talking directly to her and pointed to the one son. The driver also made the young boy change his seat to sit beside his mother. The mother then yelled at her son in a foreign language. He looked pretty contrite when she was done. Part of me thought, what did you expect of two boys without direct supervision? I think they were testing their boundaries. I was surprised at how observant the driver was to know exactly what was happening (eyes in the back of the head!!). After that the bus and train rides were non eventful. Again, luckily I left to go downtown early because it turned into a three-hour adventure.
I was able to walk around the North End and memories started coming back as I walked the small streets. There are many many new restaurants and coffee shops, but there are a few that have been around forever including a couple of bakeries and markets. I took pictures of our old school (now high priced condos) and places I wandered when I was there. I found the bench that was placed in honor of a deceased classmate and sat and said a prayer. I have to say by this time I had no anxieties about the reunion. I was really looking forward to connecting with these women that I had not seen in 40 years.
The food was good, the wine was very good and the chatter was loud and fabulous! I posted an album on FB and I can see connections popping up already. We took a few moments to honor two class mates and a teacher who have passed away. I have to say the energy that flowed in that room was amazing. In some ways a bit overwhelming.
I sat between my two closest friends from high school. Two very different women and it reminded me of how expansive my circles are. My friend Donna and II have been connected since freshman year is a little slow with social media so I'm hoping she catches on soon to be able to stay in touch easier. We have not seen each other in a couple of years because as we all know, work and life do not always balance well. We were able to talk as we sat on the bench together and catch up a bit. I actually asked her out loud if I had done anything wrong or offended her in some way since we had not been in touch. I don't think years ago I would have had the nerve to ask the question. I always felt sad that we were so close for so many years and then suddenly almost nothing for a few years. Again, work life and real life do not always balance well.
My friend Liz who helped me get my first job in an answering service and I did not connect for many years. It's only been the past few years that we have connected more in person and via social media. She even had her family drive me to Braintree so I did not have to worry about the bus. How wonderful was that?
I have to finish by saying I'm so glad I went to the reunion. I am also so glad I was able to put the nerves and anxieties aside to just have fun. I do think the phone incident served the purpose of letting me have a laugh for the day.
I did not get home until almost 11 and I must say papa was waiting for me. He said, if you were not home in 20 minutes I was going to take Lady out to sprinkle. So, of course I took her out right away for a little walk. Then he wanted a cup of coffee and asked me to sit down and tell him about my day and the event. I have to say I was exhausted, but he's never asked me to sit and talk before so I got a couple of bottles of water (I was a bit dehydrated) and we talked for a while. Lady must have missed me yesterday because she slept in my bed with me.
I did not realize how much I needed a day/night out until it happened. WOW it was good to be out with women and have adult conversations that have nothing to do with healthcare or caregiving. I was exhausted on Monday and I think it was a mixture of doing something out of the norm and the energy that I took in and gave out.
I hope you have a good rest of the week. Take care. Chat soon. Marie
The following quote is what I used in my yearbook and when I saw it, I thought I would use it again as it applies today just as much.
"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Henry Ford