I spent much of the past week visiting my native soil in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. The reason for the impromptu trip was to celebrate my mother’s 86th birthday. Yep, it seems like only yesterday that the lovely wife and I were there for Christmas, but that’s another story for another day.
It’s a sad fact of life that as the annual milestones of life increase, the size and intensity of the celebration decrease. My mother was lamenting about how few friends she has left; in an attempt to counter, I mentioned that the same applies to her enemies. Needless to say, this line of reasoning was not well received! We did however commemorate mom’s big day with a delicious lunch which included a cake without candles. I recall my sister commenting that 86 candles might set off the smoke detector!
During visits east it’s always my goal to visit with many friends from high school, but on a five day trip, time passes very quickly. I did however get the opportunity to have lunch with my high school French teacher with whom I recently reconnected via the miracle of Facebook. To be honest I was absolutely amazed that he ever remembered me as it’s been some forty years since I sat in his classroom. I never realized that I was so memorable!
We had agreed to meet in front of a restaurant as a practical matter as it was likely that both of us had changed a bit over the past four decades. As is my custom, I arrived early at the appointed meeting spot. With time to kill, I found a place to sit in the sun and enjoy the beautiful New England spring weather. Suddenly from behind I heard a familiar voice asking if I had my homework. I turned and respond with a greeting in broken French; fortunately Mr. Smith responded in English. I guess my French was so bad that he figured anything other than English would be lost on me. We then proceeded to spend the better part of three hours sharing life life stories. Needless to say, it was as the French might say, “une vraie explosion”.