Thursday, July 15, 2021

There and Back Again

I spent most of the last week out in Philadelphia, visiting my mom.

This is something of an achievement, really, given the realities of both summer classes and pandemic travel. But things lined up – my summer class didn’t need me for a week, I had no advising appointments or important meetings to attend, and you can actually travel these days after a very long time where that was not true – so away I went.

I flew out on Thursday last week after my class was over. Kim took me down to O’Hare and I ended up on a mile-long plane seated next to two immense sumo-wrestling manspreaders which made the trip rather more intimate than I really wanted but there you have it. The Lyft driver on my ride out from the airport turned out to be from Haiti – a nation very much in the news this week – which was a fascinating conversation and that made up for many things.

I spent a week out there, and it was a lovely low-key sort of visit.

We told stories and caught up, and generally enjoyed each other’s company. And at one point we were joined by my brother and sister-in-law, as well as my niece, and we all went out to celebrate my mom’s birthday. We were going to do a big bash last year for her birthday in honor of one of those Round Numbers That End In Zero, but that, like so many other things, got lost in the pandemic. This year it turned out that a small gathering of family was in order. The food was good and the company was better, so there you go.

You take these opportunities when they come up because they are finite and to be celebrated.

I got back last night and today it was back to the usual whirl of classes and grading and advising appointments and such. Those things never go away, and I am fortunate that way in this economy.

But for a while I was visiting, and it was good.

No comments: