Later Friday night found me baking hostess gifts for my dear friend Jan who lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. I've written about my visits to her home before. This time, I brought her orange marmalade scones and a coffee cake loaf. She was freezing some of the goodies for her daughter Logan's visit home from Colorado next week.
I so love visiting Jan in Hatfield. With such a hectic "real life," it was almost liberating to get in the car Saturday morning and head east through the Berkshires to exit 4 of I-90, head north on I-91 to Hatfield, to drive through the beautiful country landscape and finally arrive at Jan's door. I was greeted by Leila, her enthusiastic and wriggly Golden Retriever, and evaluated by Pearl, the cat she adopted about a year ago. Jan and I talk, and talk, and talk (whoda thunk I could do that for hours on end - don't answer that!) and solve some small problems if not some of the world's biggest! It's truly such a gift to have a friend like that, someone you only see a couple of times a year but who knows you so well, who knows your heart and forgets about the lack of communication between such visits. It's a mini-vacation and so rewarding, even for just a 24-hour period of time. As usual, my little Canon camera came along, and captured some lovely moments of our walk along the banks of the Connecticut River, where Jan's home is located. After our long walk with Leila, Jan and I headed to the movie theaters in Amherst and saw The Hunger Games. I had not read the books (Jan's read all three) and I had a few preconceived notions that I might not like the movie. I couldn't have been more wrong. While it does seem to glean from so many sources ("The Lottery," The Wizard of Oz, Dr. Seuss, the Olympic Games, reality TV, even The Coal Miner's Daughter) it is an amazing film and now I can't wait to read the trilogy that inspired this movie and undoubtedly the sequels that will be made.
|A lovely time in Hatfield, Massachusetts|
Back in Middle Grove yesterday afternoon, Katie took me for a ride in their new ride - a 2007 Volvo with 3 rows of seats: all the better to fit assorted grandparents and two car seats, my dear! It's like brand-new, and though I am sorry that their wedding-year Subaru bit the dust (2005 Subaru, wedding, new puppy in that quick order), this new-to-them car is not only beautiful but larger and safe for the precious cargo it now carries. That afternoon I realized it was good to be away in order to take a fresh look at what I have at home - a lovely home so close to Katie and Bill and the little guys. I took a look around, and appreciated all that the weekend had provided...friends, family, and an awareness of all that is to be appreciated, now. And the weekend wound down...
|Generous Pete sharing his pbj with Odie|
Today, back at work, I decided to go see Henry in his nursery school class, right on campus. I usually don't have the opportunity to leave my office to go check in on him, but today I was running an errand that brought me right by his classroom. I got permission to stop in and say hello, so I walked in and surprised him. He said, "Grandma, whatcha doing here?" I reminded him I'd be stopping by one day this week. He was in full-on fireman gear (after a visit by the local fire department last week which absolutely captivated him!). He was so happy to see me, and my heart melted as he went to each of his little friends and said "That's my Grandma!" with a look of pride on his face. I don't know that I've ever had such a heart-felt introduction in all my 58 years! Well, the ever-ready camera was with me, so I captured that moment, one that is already etched in my memory.