Monday, June 22, 2009

Lovely New England

I got to Penn Station hours ahead of time this morning and had a pleasant visit with my friend Alan, who works and lives nearby and popped into the waiting room to say hi. We've known each other since high school, but haven't seen each other for twenty-five years, so it was great to visit with him, however briefly.

The train ride to Amherst, through the never-ending rain (will I ever see the sun again?) was peaceful and pleasant. I got a lot of knitting done on a hostess gift for Deirdre and listened to music. I did not, alas, get any work done on the Secret Project, but I will! I promise! Soon!

Deirdre and I haven't seen each other for four years, since she moved East from Reno. She was my best friend at church and helped me through some truly gnarly times, so I was just delighted to see her again. it appears to be mutual! She gave me a very brief tour of Amherst and Northampton, both of which are so charming you could just go into sugar shock, especially after the dreary lack of architecture in many Reno neighborhoods. All the houses here look like something out of a children's story or a Christmas card (if it were winter); gingerbread trim, fantastic roofs and chimneys, lawns so green they look painted.

Deirdre said that for her first two years here, everything she saw made her exclaim, "Oh look, how cute! It's just so cute! How can everything here be so cute?"

We went out to dinner with Deirdre's boyfriend Skip and her daughter Morgan. Afterwards, Skip drove us around so I could see more of town, especially the Smith campus. (Deirdre had shown me Amherst College and UMass Amherst earlier.) Then we went back to Deirdre's house, which is as charming as everything else around here. We sat on her porch and drank tea and caught up on each other's lives, and i admired and patted, when the animals allowed it, her dog and three cats. They are, of course, very cute.

I also called my cousin Val in Amherst and made arrangements to get to her house on Wednesday. I haven't seen her since her brother's funeral two years ago, and I'm looking forward to spending time with her under happier circumstances.

Tomorrow I'm going to wander downtown -- nearly everything's within walking distance here, another plus -- and check out the shopping. Deirdre tells me that one of the yarn stores here is the largest in the country. Bwah-hah-hah! I hope they ship!

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