Slice of Life Day 16 of 31: Journeys (my March theme)
Boston, Massachusetts holds special memories for me. When my grandmother Haynes died in 2003, she left each of her grandchildren a small inheritance. I’d been planning to get my Master’s Degree, so I invested mine in furthering my education – something that never depreciates and would have made my grandmother proud (and it also can’t be split 50/50 in the event of divorce, which happened in my first marriage). I explored a fast-track program called the National Institute of Teaching Excellence (NITE) at Cambridge College in Boston. I applied, was accepted, and registered to attend in the summer of 2005, where I’d spend six weeks in the city studying during the week and exploring on weekends. I’d been there once before, in 1998, for a long weekend to see the fall leaves and take our youngest daughter to visit the Boston Science Museum. She climbed up and down the musical chiming stairs in the museum with such joy!
We’d walked the Freedom Trail and stopped by the Boston Public Garden to see the Make Way for Ducklings statues based on the book by Robert McCloskey. I’ve seen on the news this week that someone knitted a yellow and blue sweater and placed it on a duckling to show support for Ukraine, but for me it carries more than a show of support for Ukraine – that sweater on a duckling is a sobering reminder that there are children involved in this crisis. Children through the years have lined up to climb on the backs of the ducklings one by one, Leapfrog-style, until they get to the to the mother duck at the front; then, they run back and get in line to leap to the front all over again.
I fell in love with the New England Aquarium, where Sy Montgomery conducted her research for her book The Soul of an Octopus. As I turned each page of the book, I reflected on my time in the aquarium and envisioned the events unfolding with Athena and Octavia and all the other octopuses and their antics. I could spend weeks more in Boston and never get enough of the city, from the USS Constitution to Boston Harbor to Old North Church and the Paul Revere Museum. I love it even more than Manhattan because of its unique history and the ease of getting around.
If the experiences and places of travel create the memories, then the specialty food of a place adds a dimension of richness of the cultural experience. Even though my October 2021 trip to Boston didn’t allow more time than one loop on the Hop On/Hop Off Trolley for a refresher glimpse of the city, I didn’t miss the opportunity to hop off and eat my favorite Boston meal. I ordered a bowl of New England Clam Chowder in a pub near Faneuil Hall and savored every bite of my chowdah – something I enjoy whether it’s hot or cold weather whenever I’m visiting Boston!
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.