Connect the Dots

When I graduated from college, my parents came out to New England for the first time since they dropped me off as a freshman. Much to my surprise, my grandfather and godfather also accepted my invitations. It was the first time my grandfather had flown in like 30 years. He was 80 at that point.

After graduation, we wandered around New England for a few days. I remember a breakfast in which I shocked my godfather by paying for it (in sort of an “I’m not a kid anymore and get to be in on the fighting over the check” move on my part.) That same breakfast, a woman at an adjoining table asked if we were part of a history club. I love my family for that.

We also stopped in this Northern Massachusetts mill town, and had a ball doing the whole museum thing. I remember my grampa on a scooter listening intently to a discussion of 19th century work practices. We all really enjoyed it, and my godfather had a brief obsession with fabric factories in the period.

My company recently moved to a Northern Massachusetts mill town (NMMT) — into a mill building no less. While I’ve thought desultorily a few times about that trip, I never buckled down and thought. I figured that the tours had taken place in Lowell — I didn’t remember the name of the town from the visit, but Lowell is sort of NMMT central. (Isn’t it strange, on a side note, when you visit some random place and then find yourself living there much later? It’s a sort of surreality of perception.)

Well. My parents are going to be here soon soon soon! And by here I mean my office. I gave them the address and told them my chances of getting to leave before 5:30 were quite slimmish. So they decided that if they were early, they’d go revisit that museum.

You know, the one we visited four years ago?

The one that is two blocks away?

Which, in my working here for four months, I had never realized was the same one?

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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