“I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.”

It’s cold but it is winter after all. The sun was bright earlier this morning, but clouds are in and out, white clouds, though, which don’t hide the light. Snow has a remote chance later in the morning.

I’m watching the send-off for the Patriots. Thirty Five Thousand people are in Gillette Stadium. Most of them are wearing Patriot’s gear. Send-offs aren’t unusual around here. Crowds even gather to send off the Red Sox equipment trucks to spring training. Even more than robins, those trucks are a sign that spring is coming.

When I was a kid, Sunday was a boring day, the most boring day of all. Nothing was opened. We had to stay around the house. My father monopolized the TV to watch football. None us watched with him. He was always a screamer and sometimes rose out of his chair to yell at the team as if they could hear him. When I was older, my mother and I would sit at the kitchen table and play word games. We didn’t need to watch the TV to follow the game play. We just listened to my father.

My mother cooked my favorite Sunday dinner on Saturday, the day before I left for Peace Corps training. She served roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy and baby peas. We didn’t talk all that much. My parents were sort of still in shock that I was leaving for two years, and I was going to Africa, a totally unknown place to all of us. That scared them. I was more excited than scared. My parents drove me to Logan Airport. My father had purchased a plane ticket for me. Peace Corps had sent a bus ticket to Philadelphia, and my father said no way. We walked together to the gate where my parents and I said goodbye. I looked back once and waved. My mother was crying. I know I’ve told this story before, but it is a favorite of mine. I found my seat and started to put all my carry-ons away. There were so many my seat mate asked me if I was running away from home. I told him I was headed to Peace Corps training in Africa. He bought me a couple of drinks. That memory always gives me a chuckle.

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8 Comments on ““I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Snowstorm here and I had to call the animal hospital to cancel the eventual surgery tomorrow. The one I talked to wasn’t happy about it but I snapped him off telling him that I might not even manage to leave the village if the snow drifts were too big. He annoyed me just as much the last time I talked to him and I was anything but polite when he complained about how they had planned this surgery, he said he remembered me from the last time we spoke πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ The vet will have to call me so I can get a new appointment, I am really not risking my or Nova’s life just because they have planned something and all the other nonsense he was babble about.

    I wish we had something like Peace corps here, I’m pretty sure I would have signed up for it, especially if I would have gone somewhere as exotic as Africa πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      That was one rude receptionist. Yours and Nova’s safety is of primary importance. I think I’d complain to the person running the vet practice. That person could cause people to go elsewhere.

      I didn’t know I was going to Africa until I’d been accepted, and I was really excited. I thought it exotic as well and had no idea what to expect.

      Have a great day!

  2. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Yes, it’s still winter although you wouldn’t know it here. Sunny again with a high predicted in the 60s. Yes, it’s almost time for spring training. Last year I had to go to Phoenix in March and the hotel room was a hundred dollars more than what I paid in January. It seems that spring training draws huge crowds to the Phoenix area which jacks up the hotel rates. The Rangers now train in Surprise Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, along with a lot of teams. I think both the Red Sox and the Yankees still train in Florida.

    Going into the Peace Corps was a brave thing to do when you were just out of college. I can understand your parent’s apprehension. Unfortunately, the Viet Nam war was just cranking up when we graduated high school and the draft was in full swing. Going to Canada seemed like a good idea then as now it does now. πŸ™‚ I do think that there should be a requirement for national service by young people similar to the Peace Corps.

    • Bob Cohen Says:

      When I was living in NYC as a teenager we used to say, β€œI spent a week in Philadelphia one day”. Then I went there while visiting my sister-in-law and discovered it was an interesting town.

      • katry Says:

        We spent close to a week in Philadelphia, and my mother and I went there on our Pennsylvania vacation.

        On that first trip, the Peace Corps one, we did the tourist thing including the museum. I liked Philadelphia. Parts of it reminded me in a way of Boston.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I’d love even a single day in the 60’s. Boston almost got there last week where it was 58˚. A cold spell is on the way. We’re talking 20’s.

      The Sox do have spring training in Florida, in Fort Myers. They have built amazing facilities at Jet blue Park, Fenway South and there is an adjoining Player Development Complex in Lee County, Florida.

      When I think back, I am amazed that I had the wherewithal to do that when I was 21. I was nervous about going, but I was also massively excited. I loved Ghana right from the beginning.

      I agree about service.

  3. Rowen Says:

    Sunday for me meant the end of the weekend, the dreaded and unavoidable return to reality the next day. And there was never anything good on TV.

    I liked reading the send-off to Ghana again, empathizing with your folks, of course, but with your excitement even more. Getting bought drinks on your explanation of where you were going sounds like icing on the cake.

    • katry Says:

      When I was young, Monday was no big deal. It was school, but I liked school. When I worked, I dreaded the end of the weekend. And you’re right, nothing was good on TV.

      I called my parents a couple of times from Philadelphia including the night before I was leaving. My mother cried. I didn’t know what to say to her to make it better. I did tell her I’d write as soon asI could, and I did.

      I think the guy felt a bit guilty after I told him why I had so many carry-ons.

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