Tag Archives: Massachusetts

A shift in July plans – Visiting Home


Wednesday, 07-July-2021 through Wednesday, 14-July-2021

After the funeral, I couldn’t bring myself to fly back to Oregon immediately. It didn’t seem right… I had the opportunity to work remotely, and my family was grieving… why wouldn’t I stay for some time?

I went to visit my Aunt first, but after spending a few days with her I headed back to my childhood home, to spend time with my Mom, Stepdad, and Sister.

It’s been so long since we’ve all lived under the same roof… it felt good, if a little strange. We’re all the same people, even if a few years have gone by… but we definitely interact a bit differently. A bit more calmly, I like to think.

Anyways, we had a good time. We worked, we ate, we chatted, and we enjoyed spending time together.

A shift in July Plans – A funeral


Friday, 02-July-2021 through Wednesday, 07-July-2021

It still hasn’t really hit me.

I’m writing this up in early August, and it still hasn’t truly hit me that my Grandma is gone.

She wasn’t young, by any means, and she absolutely lived as full as life as any of us could ask for. She experienced, loved, traveled, lived, and passed those experiences on. She grew, and grew a family around her… and thanks to that, she doesn’t seem like she’s really gone… even though I know that she is.

I got the call on a Friday morning. A little bit before work, as I was getting ready for my low-key work Friday.

Within an hour I had plane tickets booked, and was working with the IT department in my office to get a loaner laptop assigned to me. My leadership tree was exceptionally helpful, and before early afternoon I had a laptop, travel authorization, I’d rescheduled my climbing trip, cancelled all the bookings that could be cancelled, and was getting myself ready to fly out East for the time since the Pandemic started.

The sky put on a show for me as the plane flew East and I stared quietly out the window.

It was the Fourth of July, and I could see scattered fireworks below us… steadily getting thicker as we got closer and closer into Boston.

I… don’t really know what to write, here. I didn’t take any pictures from the funeral, of course, and the entire day seemed to flow around us all like syrup.

People arrived. The Rabbi spoke. My family spoke. They weren’t the same words that were spoken after my Grandfather passed away… but they were similar.

The dirt landed with a thud against the coffin. We were reminded, again, that placing dirt into a grave is the greatest mitzvah that can be performed since the people it’s being performed for can never repay the debt in this life. The sentiment helped, but didn’t take away the dulled senses and feelings of emptiness.

We finished the service, we went home. Everyone stayed together, consoled each other, and stories were both told and heard.

It was… It was. Those words are enough. It simply was.

Visiting Massachusetts – Hiking the Blue Hills, followed by a North End dinner


Saturday, 16-Nov-2019


As I mentioned, the main goal of this trip was to visit family and spend time together.  But that doesn’t mean we had to stay in one place now, did it?  And I’m pretty confident that if I was able to carve out some time to visit with everyone when we were back for Daniel and Erin’s wedding, we should also be able to visit with friends for a bit this time, right?


Steve unfortunately had to work on Saturday, but never the less Sarah, my Mom, and I all piled into the car on Saturday morning, and headed into Boston to meet up with Daniel and Erin (and their dog Biscuit too!) for a short hike in the Blue Hills.  We weren’t really planning on any specific hiking… just a chance to visit and walk around, you know?  Get out of the suburbs and into some woods while the weather was nice.

And let me tell you – the weather was NICE that day.  Perfectly blue skies, crisp air, and just a tiny bit of frost on the ground… the ideal New England Autumn day, in other words.  Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely cold.  But we’d planned for that, and had some nice warm clothes packed with us that we pulled out.  But there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so everything seemed just that much warmed and brighter, thanks to the shining sun and bright skies.

I honestly couldn’t tell you what trail we walked on… Daniel probably knows thanks to his fancy new tracking GPS watch, or maybe some sort of implanted auto-download data feeds, but the short version was that we did a lovely short walk around the hills, passing a neat little cabin and a beautiful bridge.  A bridge which, obviously, Daniel and I climbed the side of while playing fetch with Biscuit.



After the hike, my Mom had to head out to a “friendsgiving” dinner with some of their friends in Medway – we were welcome to join, of course, but instead Sarah and I took the chance to catch up with some of our own friends in the city!  Daniel graciously offered to not only drive us into town, but also to give us a ride back to Medway afterward!

With those logistics dealt with, we messaged Dillon and Liz and headed into town to rest before dinner – nothing huge, just hanging out at Daniel and Erin’s place for a bit to drop Biscuit off and see some of the new condo accessories before driving to the North End for Italian.

See, I’m sure that Portland has a good Italian restaurant somewhere.  But truth be told, I haven’t been able to find it.  I haven’t really spent that much time looking though… since we can always just go to the North End when we’re back in Boston visiting everyone!

We hadn’t been to this restaurant before, but it absolutely lived up to our expectations of perfect Chicken Parm and a good atmosphere to catch up with everyone.  Really, that’s all I need in an Italian place – a good simple dish, and a good environment to talk in.  The massive boat of oysters (literally, check out the below photos) was just a bonus on top.

Not much else to say, honestly.  The conversation was fun, and catching up with very appreciated.  It was an amazing chance to fully unwind and relax, spending time with good friends in a comfortable place.  Huge thank-yous to everyone!