Sunday, June 15, 2008

Home Again

Actually, we've been home for a few days now (since Wed.). But by now we're unpacked and I've caught up on my sleep.

The trip was great. We spent the first week up at L's house, where there was much book reading, knitting and some writing. We had a low-key party for L's oldest son (whose actual birthday is later this month) so that he could celebrate while we were there. Ice cream, chocolate cake (the kind made with boiling water over cocoa), and fresh strawberries. We only actually talked S into having a cake at all by telling him we needed something to put the candles into. Given his own way it would have been strawberries, whipped cream and ice cream.

Because S's birthday celebration was the day before A's graduation party we ended up making four homemade cakes in 24 hours. For the graduation party it was lemon/white chocolate cake, chocolate angel food cake, and an apple-spice ring (vegan). Those were carted into Boston for the party, but held up well and were duly demolished by the guests.

A's place was next. As usual that was a whirlwind of visits to everywhere in creation. On the plus side, she now has a high-end GPS, which means that for the first time ever I spent a week driving around downtown Boston without getting lost. For those who haven't been there, Boston streets are supposed to be paved over cow paths. This is supposed to explain why they are so twisted. Given the sheer number of one-way streets, five and six-way intersections, roundabouts that aren't round and other bizarre features my contention is that the cows of early Boston were ingesting some kind of hallucinagen. If you miss your turn it is impossible to simply go around the block and try again - even attempting such a thing is likely to land you across the harbor. This is complicated by Boston not posting street names for most of its major streets apparently under the impression that everyone knows what they are anyway, so why bother? The GPS was a godsend. It even got me to my clinic appointment at Mass General on time and on the first try with only one wrong turn. (Even a GPS isn't a miracle worker. "Turn left in 50' " isn't always going to work in a town with five, six and more way intersections. "WHICH LEFT!!!")

The neuroendocrinologist visit was all good. Dr. Utz was lovely, spending a good 90 minutes with me answering every question under the sun. I have a couple of blood-test results waiting to come in, but the upshot so far is that the adenoma appears to be doing no harm and is unlikely to ever do any harm. She feels that if the next MRI (in August) shows no growth, then I can drop back to having an MRI every second or third year just for safety's sake. As much as I like Dr. Utz though, I'm very glad MGH isn't my regular hospital. It's hellish to get around in - lots of traffic, weird street patterns, and a huge campus that isn't particularly well labeled.

While we were at A's, I got to leave the boys behind for a day and jaunt down to NYC for a day with Beth and Becky. B&B are friends from college. I've seen each of them several times since then, but have not in the last 15 years had a chance to just spend a day hanging around as a trio. It was wonderful. We had lunch at Alice's Tea Cup, and Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant with out-of-this-world food. For a random note, BLT's with dark bread and bleu cheese spread are marvelous. We also sampled frozen hot chocolate (fabulous), went to a good yarn store (where I got materials to knit Beth a beaded stole for weddings), went shoe shopping (successfully), and hit a Tibetan store where I finally got a pouch for my MP3 player and a leather case for my PDA.

Then it was back to Boston, where we spent the day at the New England Aquarium. We went with one of A's friends from work and her two girls. All four kids had a grand time. Aaron (with A's encouragement) is now talking about spending a summer volunteering there when he's old enough at fourteen. Robbie would rather volunteer at the Science Museum.

The last day of the trip was Beth's ordination. We left A's early, went to Connecticut to meet up with Becky, and then all crammed into her and her husband's Civic to go down to Manhattan. The 4th Universalist Society is a beautiful old stone church - with air-conditioning, thank goodness. Beth and her mother had already hung up yards of rainbow organza and yellow satin. I got to help with setting out candles. Lots and lots of candles. Judging by the number we had to choose from, the UU's really, really like their candles.

The service itself was beautiful. UU congregations ordain the ministers, so there were a number of welcoming speeches by various communities, readings selected by Beth, a couple of beautiful songs, and then Beth and the congregation read vows and charges to each other. This was followed by a laying on of hands by everybody in the room in a sort of giant human web. Followed by more welcoming speeches, a gift of her robe by her parents and of a stole by the congregation. For me it was a wonderful chance to see Beth in her element (she's going to make an awesome chaplain), and to meet many of the other important people in her life.

After that it was the drive home, losing one of the DS's (after we got home, no less), and flopping out to recover for a couple of days. Normal life to resume tomorrow.


Becky said...

Sounds like a great trip. Hooray on the good doctor visit!

michelle said...

looks like a great & very tasty graduation party!