It is a unique and supremely-nice sensation just before Thanksgiving: inbox zero, office paperwork done, and shutting down the laptop.
I’m in Harvard Square this morning. So, with work done, I go for a walk.
A gentle rain amid the cold fall air. The Square is unusually empty, with students away for break.
It is nice to walk around without an agenda, a luxury, even. No meeting to which I’m rushing. I am just hanging out for a bit before I head home.
The area is so different from my student days. More clean, more glam.
I chuckle how college Admissions marketing materials always show sunny buildings, smiling students and green trees. The reality is a college town can be urban, gritty and loud.
The rain now is steady. Trucks and cars whoosh by on wet roads. Tires splash through puddles. People are starting to sprint. My khakis are getting wet. I walk on, steadily, not increasing my pace, my fly-fishing rain jacket impervious to the elements. I’m relaxed.
My mind wanders. I think of my friends, and how I hope they’ll have a good Thanksgiving. I think of my mother and how holidays used to be before she passed away. Things are different now.
I think of the many good things in my life. I am very grateful for much, in particular, for my family.
For example, after a 24-hr. journey from South America involving four flights and two long layovers, our daughter wrote a note before going to bed. Mrs. T. and I found it the next morning, along with some gifts. The letter is very long, sincere and dense. Two pages that tug at your heart.
The children decline my invitation to eat out. So, I decide to grab a quick lunch. I am not sure where to go. Choices abound in this area.
So, I start walking. I go by the old barber shop where I used to go as a student. I walk by Bartley’s Burgers. Back then, Mrs. T. and I had very little money. We afforded ourselves one meal out a week. Sometimes, a $10 meal at Bartley’s was the place of the week.
Life was simple then. We clipped coupons and hungrily watched every dollar. We lived in a tiny, rent-controlled flat near Central Square, which back then was pretty grimy. We didn’t own a car, and we had few possessions. The kitchen was tiny, and the only fridge that could fit in was a mini version, like college students have.
We were happy.
I keep walking in the rain. I remember Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, full of scenes of grey skies, urban living, and little restaurants. It was Paris for him then, and it is Cambridge for me now.
I decide that a hot bowl of ramen would be the right thing to get, gluten-avoidance be darned. I slide into a seat at a communal table. My raincoat drips everywhere. I place my order, and the food comes fast
So, here I am. Time to tuck in. Time to sign off. It was a walk that became one down Memory Lane.
Safe travels to all. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thank you for reading my blog. I truly do try to do a good job for you.