Posted tagged ‘Logan Airport’

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

January 27, 2019

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.

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.”

September 15, 2015

Such a busy morning it has been. Fern and her caterwauling woke me again, but I didn’t mind as much as it was after nine. I emptied cat boxes, fed the beasties then went downstairs. I made coffee, got and read the papers. Gracie was barking incessantly but I couldn’t figure out the reason. She came in when I called then I shut down the dog door for a bit. I looked at my e-mail and found out I needed to call the GOES site as it seems I have two accounts: one is the renewal I just did and a second account I must have started. Five times I tried to reach a human being but all circuits are busy. (The GOES program is for trusted travelers: I skip customs, stop at a kiosk, put my hand on the screen for fingerprint ID then get an entry pass. The last time I used it I beat the crew outside.) I am skeptical that all circuits are busy so I used the e-mail form for problems, but I don’t have much faith in that either.

The thought of flying always gave me a sense of awe when I was a kid. We’d go to Logan when we visited my grandparents so we could watch the planes take off and land. My uncle, only two years older than I, led the way. The Logan terminal back then was one long building shared by all the airlines. We used to walk through, and I’d take brochures of hotels, airlines and whatever else was offered. One time I made a scrapbook of my vacation, my imaginary vacation. I used pictures cut from the brochures and wrote a story to go along with each picture. I imagined the flight and wrote about the clouds below me and being so far above the ground. I described the airline dinner and the fun of eating on a plane. My hotel room was beautiful and overlooked the ocean. We ate dinner in ornate restaurants where the waiters wore white jackets and black cummerbunds. I found beautiful shells along the shore as souvenirs. I fell asleep happy and contended every night. It was the best vacation.

“I think that travel comes from some deep urge to see the world, like the urge that brings up a worm in an Irish bog to see the moon when it is full. “

June 1, 2015

I apologize for the lateness of the hour. Every Monday my neighbor and I chat. It is her way of improving her English. She is Brazilian and does speak English but is hoping to learn better pronunciation. Today her son, who is graduating from high school on Saturday, joined us, and the three of us chatted about everything including corn ice cream, a favorite in Brazil. I couldn’t imagine ice cream and vegetables being a good pairing. Her son agreed.

The day is damp and cold. My house is only 65˚ so we’re back to sweatshirt weather. It has started raining, and it is a welcomed rain. My garden needs the moisture as does my grass. My pollen-covered car could use a good cleaning and a heavy rain will do the trick.

When I was a kid, I dreamed of going to faraway places. My geography book was a wish book filled with pictures of where I would travel. I was in Rio on the top of the hill standing below the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer. I went up the Amazon on one of those long wooden boats while two tribesmen paddled. Each tribesman had a bone through his nose. I wandered down the rows of banana and cocoa trees growing on plantations. I saw the sphinx in Egypt from atop a camel. Riding in an airplane was part of my dream. Though no one I knew traveled just for pleasure, I knew for certain I would.

I once walked from my grandmother’s house in East Boston to Logan Airport. My uncle, only two years older than I, was the guide. It was a long walk, miles, but I didn’t care. We wandered the terminals, the old wooden terminals. I stood on the observation deck of one of those old terminals and watched the planes coming and going. From displays scattered around the gates I took brochures describing airline routes, sights and hotels. I watched people with their suitcases getting in lines to board planes. I was both wistful and jealous.

When I got back to my grandmother’s, my parents were livid, but I thought their anger a small price to pay for what had been a grand adventure. A few days later, I started reading the brochures and cutting out pictures. I began an album of my trip. I described the plane ride and flying into and being surrounded by clouds. The pictures of my hotel rooms had arrows pointing to my bed. All the wonderful sights we saw in the different cities were pasted on the pages and described by me in a first person account. I was traveling the world.

I filled the whole album with wishes and dreams.

“Well, mother, he is a very nice man. he gave me some candy.”

May 18, 2014

Today is cloudy and a bit chillier than yesterday. My bedroom window was open all night, and I was cold this morning, cold enough to grab my comforter. I burrowed down, got cozy and fell asleep for another hour. Gracie woke me up. She banged her paw on the bed right beside where I was sleeping. Even though I kept my eyes closed and my breathing even, she knew I was awake. I gave in and got up. Now she’s sleeping. Oh, the irony!

I loved visiting my grandparents because they lived in a city. The houses were close together separated only by walkways almost like alleys. Small bakeries sold square pieces of cold pizza and Italian ice from opened windows. We played stick ball in the street and baseball against the steps. It was a whole new world to me. I remember two streets up there was a park, and I remember there was a store on the corner of their street. It was tiny but every shelf and counter was filled with something to buy. We went there to spend the dime my grandfather used to give us.

Once my uncle took my brother and me to Logan Airport. We walked from my grandparents’ house in East Boston. My uncle is only two years older than I am so it was just three kids on an adventure. It was a long walk and seemingly longer going home. Logan in those days was a series of hanger type buildings, many made of wood. They were mostly one story. The roofs of some of them were for observation, for watching the planes. There were fences around the perimeters of those roofs, and I remember standing there a long time watching the planes taxi to the runways and fly off while others landed. There were still prop planes and no jetways. People walked from the plane to the terminal. We went through the interconnected terminals, and I took brochures as souvenirs. I remember that as a favorite day. My mother wasn’t so happy when she found out how far we had gone.

I have another memory of when my uncle took my brother and me to the MDC pool. To get to the pool, we had to take a bus and then the subway from my grandparent’s house. I remember standing on the subway platform by myself. I don’t remember exactly where my brother and uncle were standing. A man came up to me. I remember he wore a straw hat, had bad teeth and his coat was striped. He had a cane but it was on hooked on his arm. He spoke to me, and I said hello. He offered me gum and said if I followed him behind the stairs he’d give it to me. Never take candy from a stranger jumped into my head so I ran to find my uncle and brother who were together further down the platform. They wanted to know why I was running. I didn’t tell them what had happened. I broke the rule by saying hello so I kept the whole incident secret. I never told. This isn’t a favorite memory.