Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Out and About

April 15, 2019

No matter how cold, snowy, or long the winter, Spring always arrives eventually. And the glory of the season never fails to amaze and lift my spirits — and, based on conversations with friends and chats with strangers on the street, I’m not the only one.

Last Saturday, Patrick, Mom, and I drove to Castle Island — which is neither a castle nor on an island — for a couple of hours of enjoyment in the cool sunshine

From a bench, we marveled at planes taking off from and landing at the airport across the harbor, commented on the hundreds of people (and plenty of dogs) passing by on foot, scooter, stroller, bike, and wheelchair. We didn’t count, but I’d estimate that we overheard conversations in at least a dozen languages.

Being his usual generous self, Patrick stood in the very long line at the storied snack bar in order to buy our first soft serve ice creams of the year. Mom had a twist in a cup. Patrick and I shared a cone.

Back at Mom’s apartment, the knitting continues. Even as I was getting the hang of the House Greyjoy sock pattern, I had to suppress a nagging fear that it would be too small for the intended recipient. The leg looked so narrow.

Nevertheless I persisted, ignoring that inner voice of doom and reminded myself that yarn (like humans) usually relaxes after a bath. Sure enough, after a good soak and blocking on my new frame, it relaxed quite nicely, revealing the cable and twist details.

House Greyjoy knit sock

As usual, the second sock is progressing faster than the first although I still have to check each row with the pattern chart. If you knit cables or lace, do you follow a chart or row-by-row instructions?

marked-up pattern chart for knitting

Family Weekend

March 25, 2019

Every so often I remind myself how fortunate I am to live near many members of my extended family and, even more so, that we love and enjoy spending time together.

Saturday evening, we gathered to celebrate Luke’s birthday with the usual delicious food, lively conversation, laughter, and of course, cake. His family has a traditional birthday cake, a scrumptious sour cream chocolate chip bundt cake topped with our cousin Tom’s grandmother’s chocolate glaze. Did you follow that or shall I draw a family tree?

old woman, two men, holding birthday cake with candles

Ben and Mom did the cake honors while Nora took care of the photography. Mary had prepared the meal, and Jim, Hank, and Mike were part of the chorus.

Sunday really felt like spring had sprung here in Greater Boston. Mild temperatures and a gentle breeze brought many people outdoors just to enjoy, well, being outdoors.

On our walk around the neighborhood after Mass, Mom and I spotted a few crocuses (croci?!) and dewdrops pushing through the mulch.

close up of purple crocus flower with bee on yellow stamen

As Mom’s ability to make sense of the world decreases, she increasingly focuses on physical details, like tearing each piece of junk mail into small strips before putting them into the recycling or zipping or buttoning every item of clothing when she puts it on a hanger. I remind myself that she’s controlling what she can, a comfort (I imagine) as she’s able to make sense of less and less each week.

Tidying (not full-fledged weeding) of gardens or plants that we encounter on our walks is a regular activity now that the snow is gone.

old woman in green coat next to stone wall, clearing dead plants from grassy garden

After lunch, we drove the 1/2 mile to the Arnold Arboretum and walked to the summit of Peter’s Hill, a wonderful spot to view the Boston skyline. More than a dozen other people had the same idea, jogging, walking, cycling, kite flying, and just sitting to enjoy the sensations of spring.

woman in green coat standing on hill overlooking Boston skyline in distance

Back home after supper, Patrick and I gathered around the computer for a five-person video chat with Hannah, Kevin, and Michael. Say what you will about how frustrating technology can be — and I’ve said plenty — but the chance to take a break from daily life — whether it’s laundry in Brooklyn, a group engineering project outside Philadelphia, or NCAA hoops in New Orleans — and talk with those who love you and know you best is damn near miraculous.

screenshot of group video chat

How’s the second sock coming along, you ask? That’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

Back to the 60s

April 18, 2018

As a change of pace from our usual walk into the square for marketing, errands, and lunch, Mom and I took a field trip to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Perched on the edge of Boston Harbor, it’s a beautiful, powerful, exhilarating, and somber place to spend a couple of hours.


I’m sure the thousands of school children who visit each year take some comfort in learning that young Jack was far from a good student. As these letters show, he was determined to do better, and his father expressed confidence that he’d turn out OK. Ha!

JFK-school┬áHaving grown up in Massachusetts in a politically active family of Catholic Democrats, Mom feels a kinship of sorts with the Kennedys. The politics of the 50s and 60s are vivid in her memory — in part, because she was so politically active herself.


Watching parts of Kennedy’s speech at the 1960 Democratic Convention prompted snippets of her own participation at the 1972 Convention, when she chaired the Foreign Relations platform committee — a lively topic (to say the least) in 1972.

I love these Get Out the Vote ads. “Sure you’re busy — but…”


No presidency is perfect, but the belief that the government has a vital role to play in building a better society for all that undergirded the Kennedy administration touched my heart again — especially in contrast to what passes for our current political leadership.


In knitting news, I seamed Mom’s Wham Bam Thank You Lamb neck warmer while we waited for our lunch at our favorite bakery. Looks pretty spiffy, don’t you think?


I’d like to think she can put it away until next winter, but given the wacky weather we’ve been having, she may need it this month!

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