Sunday, April 08, 2007

Winter on the Connecticut.

On the drive to work during the tail end of last week's snowstorm, I took the "long way" along the New Hampshire side of the Connecticut River and took this shot across the water.

Several times along the drive, the evergreens which were hold so much of the sticky snow, reminded me of giant weathered men's faces with bushy white eyebrows and mustaches.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

April ... Snow?

Woke up this morning to about seven inches of new wet snow. Not exactly the kind of weather we generally anticipate, but not unknown either.

Two other April snows come to my mind. The first was years ago growing up in Maine. It snowed enough that Mom and I went skiing up at Sugarloaf - I think on April 21st - and Mom broke her leg prompting a visit from Rod to take care of me while Dad finished up his trip!

Later in college, we were enjoying an early Spring and I was hosting a visit from Rod in early April when we got a huge snowstorm! The University was actually closed the next day while we shoveled out - the first time it had been closed in many years.

That won't happen today; off to work I go...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Baseball is back!

I left work early yesterday, picked up some normally forbidden fruits at the Co-Op (Hebrew National All Beef Franks) and got home in time to watch the Red Sox start the season in Kansas City. It's great to see baseball again but I'm pretty behind on all the roster moves and had a lot of catching up to do. The Sox did their best to delight the local Kansas City crowd by offering no offense and very marginal pitching by our ace Curt Shilling, ending up losing badly in boring fashion - though I liked the nifty double play we turned in the middle innings. Defense is always fun to watch.

And so it beings. I didn't sleep well because the damn Yankees won and we lost. And we don't play today so we don't even have a chance to do anything about it.

The long haul that is the baseball season is back! Even with an opening day loss (and the Sox are not known for opening day), that is a fine thing in the turbulent times.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Twenty Seven Years...

Yesterday, Meg and I had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend of mine. Rob was my roommate for the two years that I spent at the University of Georgia in 1979 and 1980. We attended the National Science Foundation Student Science Training program at UGA in Athens for about eight weeks both summers and during that time formed a strong friendship.

Several weeks into the program in 1979, we switched roommates in order to room together. We had a fine time, combing the local records stores, playing basketball, competing in "name that song" and yes studying. After the summer ended, Rob and another friend Cindy drove up to Gilman Pond for a very quick surprise visit.

The second year was even more fun. I returned as the junior counselor for the boys and Rob returned to continue research from the previous year. The group that second year included a number of wonderful characters who became close friends. The highlight of that summer was attending a Who concert at the Omni in Atlanta with Rob and another friend from the program. We had so much fun that year that parting ways was a joyful and tearful affair.

These of course were formative teen years, with the prospect of college and the real world lurking ahead. We were away from home, actually a long way from home, and we were living amongst our peers from all over the country. Oh and there were girls there.

I got to know a number of kids in the program quite well, but none so well as Rob. I learned that despite the fact I had grown up in the wilds of Maine and he on Long Island, we were more similar than not. In fact, we found not only our interests but our values to be remarkably similar. Realizing this gave me confidence and changed the way I looked at the world. It also served as the bedrock for our friendship.

Rob and I kept in touch as we started college, me at the University of Maine, he at Amherst. I visited him on Long Island and he visited me at UMO. We wrote letters in those days and I have a cache of them describing some of the details of the day - the new band we'd discovered, concert we'd attended or college course we liked or hated.

After visiting Rob in January of 1984, our contact diminished until I realized a couple of years ago that I didn't have a current address or phone number for him. Some internet research and probing emails remedied that and we re-established contact. I learned that his parents retired to this area and that he had a brother that had actually lived in Thetford! Rob and his family periodically traveled up to see his parents so getting together should be easy!

It actually turned out to be a bit challenging as we missed each other twice due to a schedule conflicts. But yesterday, Meg and I traveled down to Quechee and met Rob, his wife Sande and children Ben and Hannah for lunch. We're not the same shape we were twenty eight years ago and neither of us have as much hair but I immediately remembered Rob's easy nature, his openness, and his honesty. His values are reflected in his family, who relate to each other with obvious love along with a bit of New Jersey bite. We spent lunch relating stories from Georgia and learning more about the intervening years.

After lunch we all traveled over to Rob's parents home where we were warmly welcomed and spent time reviewing Rob's photos from Georgia and more catching up. When we finally left, it was with a warm feeling that we would be seeing each other again. Friendships such as this are not to be taken lightly.