Sunday, May 22, 2005

Three Month Reality Check

It was three months ago this weekend that I moved from Baltimore to Boston; actually, from Parkville to Waltham, but let’s not quibble. It was from Maryland to Massachusetts and it was just shy of 400 miles. So far, I have to say I like it here. To a great extent I’ve replicated my life up here from down there.

I’ve found a Friday night swing dance to go to, have settled into work, am finding out how to get around, and am meeting people – mostly dog walkers but that’s ok. I’m not lonely, even though I’m alone. Dixie, the Airdeale dog, has now recovered from almost having died. She does have a dysfunctional thyroid, a heart murmur and Lyme disease. However, I don’t think either of us is going to run a marathon and so as long as she doesn’t get too over-extended physically she should be all right.

I’ve been asked any number of times, at least once a week by one of my sisters, how I’m doing up here. I have to say that all’s well. It’s definitely cooler up here, by about 6 – 10 degrees. One thing that always strikes me as a little odd is that when I go to work in Boston, the big city, it’s cooler than out here in the suburbs. I know it’s because Boston sits right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and so when the breeze blows in from off the water things stay cooler; nevertheless, I always associate the city with being hotter. But here it isn’t that way. One day it was 60 degrees in Boston and almost 70, ten miles west, in Waltham.

It seems that I’ve settled in nicely up here. I like my apartment, though it is smaller than where I was living before. I’ve downsized considerably, going from a 3 bedroom house to a one bedroom apartment. But, I don’t care. I’ve never been one for holding on to a lot of material things and so I don’t miss the teak dining room set or the Scan white wool and maple sofa and love seat set. One thing I do miss, however, is my canoe. The Charles River is just inviting me to get on it and paddle around. The problem is I have no where to store it up here, so it sits in my oldest sister’s fiancee’s back yard, up on saw horses. Maybe one day.

Spring has sprung up here, everything is bursting with life, and, for me, life is good. Everyday is an adventure and every adventure has turned out well. I guess one sore point has been that the other day some one broke the right side rear view mirror on my car. It looks like someone hit the mirror with, for example, a hammer and knocked out the half of the mirror closest to the car. I’m going to have to replace the entire assembly. However, it could have been worse.

I’ve found a barber shop, Frank’s, to go to for hair cuts. I have a vet for the dog. I’ve found an excellent fresh produce store and also a reasonable supermarket. I know where the fee free ATM’s are. Now, I have to find an auto mechanic.

To be honest, I feel very comfortable here in Waltham. I haven’t traveled around as much as I would like, but that’s coming around, too. My job requires me to travel around the state and so I’ve been out west as far as Holyoke, as far north as Salem, and as far south as Plymouth. And, since I work in Boston, I’m getting around the downtown area, too. What I haven’t done yet is to take in Boston’s cultural outlets and events. I’ve not been to Fanueil Hall, nor walked the Freedom Trail. I have seen Plymouth Rock, gone to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and traveled into Sturbridge, though I didn’t go thru the shops and restored village. In a week I’m heading down to New Bedford for a training and I hope to stop in at the maritime museum and take a picture of the plaque dedicated to those who were lost when the original Pride of Baltimore sank.

In the three short months I’ve been here I have to say that I’ve adjusted; I look forward to work, I like the people I’ve met, the atmosphere, and even the weather. There’re lots of parks for hiking, lots of opportunities to listen to music and take in the arts, and lots to do.

Today I went on an art tour. Newton’s art league held an open house. Artists opened their houses and studios for people to travel to and see their work. We started in the New Art Center and then traveled all around Newton going to visit artists in their homes. There were well over 50 artists exhibiting their works in more than 36 locations. It was an excellent way to learn my way around Newton and see the work that people are doing using watercolor, oils, mixed media, textiles, and digital photography.

There is so much to do up here that it almost boggles the mind. I was not interested in getting on an aircraft carrier this weekend, nor was I interested in listening to Hamid Karzai or attending the many college and university graduations going on in Boston this weekend; and, it was too crowded to get to the SoWa art show in the South End, which is where I work, but I did enjoy traveling around Newton.

Next weekend, Memorial Day weekend, I hope to travel out to the Berkshires, into Boston to eat Dim Sum at Chau Chow’s, and maybe get back up to Salem and hang out with a few witches. I also hope to get out to the Cape (Cod, that is) soon. I’ve been told that taking the ferry to Provincetown from Boston is easier and nicer than driving all the way down and around. Going over the water sounds like a nice way to spend a day. I remember going to Cape Cod and to Provincetown back in 1980. I’ve always wanted to go back but it was too far. Now, the Cape is less than 2 hours away.

Just about the only thing that gets me about living up here is that it’s expensive. Just about everything costs a little bit more. I’m finding that the cost of living, in general, is higher. So, where I can be thrifty I am, where I can’t be I’m careful and when I go out, I try to keep it all in moderation. I have noticed that the price of gas is the same as it is in Baltimore.

So, I think - so far so good. In another three months, at the end of the summer, I’ll re-assess and see what I think about things then.


Blogger Silver Streak said...

Where are you? Long time no hear.

1:36 AM  

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