Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Monday, July 28, 2008

Treasure Hunt (1)

"Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe."
-Anatole France

For a whole twelve months I have been much looking forward to what, in my eyes, is the sum equivalent of a vacation.
Spouse is embarking on a week-long course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
Just like last year, beginning from tomorrow, I will accompany him for the outing; the routine begins shortly after 5 AM and concludes late each evening.
While Spouse sits and experiences, on a short-term level, one of his lifelong ambitions, I myself will be strolling up and down the streets of Cambridge venturing into my favourite thrift stores, used book stores and preferred places to eat- all discovered last year, the memories still fine tuned and fresh.
As with the previous encounter I will be blessed with the option to sit for hours watching people in a cafeteria; I might stay one hour or four, might come and go as I please, back and forth to the stores like a happy squirrel in a tree. I intend to make the most of the brief and too transient occasion and I refuse to waste a minute of it. I will roam where I want to.
I will get an enormous amount of walking accomplished; the same, too, with writing, and I will find a treasure trove of stories in the faces, phrases and actions of strangers.
This is best- to know that Spouse will be immersed in what he loves most while I indulge in a change of scenery that brings with it the freedom to walk for hours and then write about it.
All signs are present that it will turn out to be a superb week.


Pauline said...

sounds perfect! I think the best marriages are those in which both parties can pursue their own interests while letting the other do the same. Can't wait to read about all you see and think about! Wave in my direction - Cambridge is 3 hours due west from where I am :)

Beth said...

Sounds like a wonderful week. Enjoy! I'll look forward to the stories about your prowling.

Pappy said...

Don't forget the camera and the battery. Perhaps a relflection picture of the elusive Ele in one of the big picture windows you pass along the road to the cafeteria. Have a great time. Pappy

Barb said...

Sounds wonderful. I hope you are making the week perfect by staying at least one night in a bed and breakfast! Looking forward to your stories and pictures from this week. B

Anonymous said...

Haging just returned from a two week vacation I can tell you it was so refreshing. People who don't take vacations are missiong out. My spouse and I also take separate time apart. For example she and her sister are going to San Francisco for a long weekend, while I am attending a philatelic convention/show in Boston/Hartford.

Now if we can only find someone to look after the kids for a weekend, we could have a romantic weekend away as a couple, maybe later this year. Dare to dream I guess


Jaime said...

I love wandering in new places such as much to take in...window shopping, cute little cafes, great people watching. I used to do this alot when I first moved to Victoria. There were so many new areas to explore. Now I am running out of's time to venture out a little further! Thank you for the inspiration to do so, and have a wonderful time discovering new things and gathering stories. Looking forward to reading about these new adventures of yours.

julochka said...

sounds wonderful! can i come along? :-) enjoy!!!

paulmerrill said...

L love Cambridge and Haah-vid Square!

We visited just Lexington a few weeks ago. The kids weren't up for more city time, so we stayed instead near Portsmouth, NH, where my wife's uncle, aunt & cousin and her family live.

paulmerrill said...

Oops that was supposed to be "I" love Cambridge...

mermaid said...

seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary is a gift. thank you for sharing it with us.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Sounds heavenly! Have fun!

tangobaby said...

That sounds delightful. Enjoy your special treasure hunting days.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Pauline, I like what you said about marriage- it's true that my day would not be as fulfilling if Spouse were not off doing something he wanted to do.
And I did wave ;) Cambridge is a place you can do what you like and nobody will look twice at you so I did wave in your direction.

Beth, I've been looking forward to it for so long, I'll be glad to share the stories. I know there will be plenty.

Texican- I'll see what I can do. Elusive... not I, surely? :)

Barb, No we're not staying, although the commute home is next to impossible. We got home this evening after 7. It's tough but I don't think we live quite far enough that we can justify that to ourselves... even though it would make the morning easier.

Steve, It is refreshing- sometimes you need to just turn everything off and relax. It's better for your health to do that, and it's fun, too. So who could complain. I hope you get to have that vacation you dream of!
We don't actually take separate time apart- we spent the first 14 months of our marriage apart- more than enough! But how great that you both will be doing something you enjoy- I've passed through Hartford once and it looks like a great city.

Jaime, it's the wandering I love best. And thanks for reminding me: wandering is one of my favourite words. It even sounds marvellous :)

Julie- of course you can. I found a Dubravka Ugresic book hidden at the back of a shelf for 50 cents- The Ministry of Pain- it made my day, as I didn't already have it/haven't read it.
(Hello? Hello.. oh, you must have started flying already ;))

Paul, Portsmouth is wonderful, truly charming place. I especially love the 'Immigrants Bench' stone seat they put up in honour of the Italian immigrants that settled there. I really like that place.
And I too love Harvard Square :)

Mermaid, thank you- I could never be bored. There's always something going on somewhere.

Pamela, Thanks! It was/is/will be! So much fun, and worth waiting for.

Tangobaby, alas, over all too soon, but I'll enjoy the days I do have. I feel so free today, like I haven't felt since I was in California... truly. The air smelled so good (books, food...)

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