Strangers in a strange land, Tuck and Barry above, like ourselves, put our everyday concerns on hold as we are called to bear witness and comfort loved ones in the heartland.
Off we went into the wild blue yonder Monday morning for a day and a night and a day to gather together with Clarke and the children and grandchilden and extended family to celebrate the life of our beloved Nancy, who left this vale of tears a few days back. Nephew Richard gave a most touching remembrance filled with sadness and humor and love.
"Nancy was a wonderful woman," Clarke (center) told daughter Mary Barbara (right) when she solicited a few words for the program of Tuesday's Funeral Mass [That's cutie-pie bro-in-law Barry at left]:
We met 52 years ago and would have celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on June 21, 2008. Our life together was beautiful. Please remember her in your prayers.
At Logan Airport we finally got to experience the effervescent glory of Christopher Janney's "Rainbow Cove" window treatment, blogged here last year. "My interest is to try to create an interesting, stimulating, alternative experience," the artist -- an architect and jazz musician trained at Princeton and MIT -- told a Boston Globe reporter on the occasion of the formal opening of his "architecture-and-music" installation. No music playing when we saw it today, but as far as we're concerned, hallelujah. The mindless background music that chugs along like a noisy engine in every public square we enter these days deadens the soul.
Somebody designing passenger waiting areas was working on all cylinders of late. You can still get grimly-lit, claustrophobic seating arrangements where you're elbow-to-elbow with your fellow waiters and self-consciously trying not to stare at the person across the aisle, but this one, with traditional New England front-porch rocking chairs affording a leisurely look out the window at take-offs and landings, was wicked amenable. Tuck, above, enjoys the view even as the notice behind him at right warns that Bandara Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali "does not maintain and administer effective security measures."
Tuck as "Exorcist" walks down the ramp towards an American Airlines Eagle shuttle.
Something wonderful unfolded before our eyes as Tuck and Barry walked onto a moving sidewalk (right) and we, the inveterate walker, strode along beside on the unmoving aisle to the left. An adorable girl and boy in love took two paths. She, on the moving sidewalk, seemed at first to have the leading edge, but he, on his own hoof, soon gained the lead. She started to run to catch up, and then he, too, started to run. Pure happiness in a joyously spirited competition.
We snapped a shot of Ground Zero as our Eagle plane circled around lower Manhattan prior to touching down at La Guardia on our two-stage itinerary to Hopkins Airport in Cleveland.
Waiting, waiting, waiting. As long as you take a good book along, it ain't that big a deal.
We stayed at a generic hotel, Hampton Inn, and that was our downfall. Rising a couple of hours before Nancy's Mass at 10 a.m., we showered, powdered and perfumed and then headed out for a morning walk but soon found ourselves totally lost once we left the beaten track. Didn't Rudyard Kipling warn about something along those lines? At any rate, Cleveland has a number of well-marked east-west and north-south major thoroughfares, but in between are countless residential areas whose roads wind this way and that and never go anywhere. The image above illustrates our point. A sort of normal house faced with totally arbitrary, meaningless cladding. We panicked a few times along the way, fearing Tuck and Barry would give up on us and go ahead to the ceremony without us. It was the sun itself which finally got us back on track. Remembering that we had started out with the rising sun in our face, we realized that we must head west to get back home. We saw a policeman or two along the way and longed to ask them which way to go, but we couldn't remember the name of our hotel. It's that generic thing we mentioned above. Everything is all the same now'days.
It was a long, long way from the check-in point to Gateway 19 at Hopkins. These folk were at the ready to give weary travelers a ride. We, of course, would never, but it's good to know they're out there.
Girls just wanna have fun. Nancy's girls Mabs and Megan embody her incandescense.
"It's even better than GPS," says Tuck of cousin Chris, the Jesuit-trained funster who guided us on the last leg of our often-mis-directed journey from here to there. Above he poses in front of Nancy's childhood home. By the time we were ready to head back home, we had found our sea legs, so to speak, but even so, it was such a blessing to have Chris leading the way back to the Budget Rent-a-Car terminal so we didn't have to worry our little heads about any wrong turns.
The "eggs" of Boston's -- actually Winthrop's -- Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant were a landmark out the window of our aircraft -- Continental, as we got a last-minute change from the original two-stage AA to a direct flight from Cleveland to Boston via Continental -- as we approached an ahead-of-schedule landing at Logan Tuesday afternoon.
Barry accepted our invitation to stop by for drinks and something to eat, an opportunity for a couple of awesome new dishes from our Cold Turkey experimental kitchens. Above, sliced microwaved dogs on toast squares with mayo and dijon mustard. Two other experimental offerings included corny cornbread minimuffin halves with cream cheese and olive slice and bread squares with mayo topped with leftover poached chicken and bacon bits. Yummy.