Last week I was in Boston on business. Though it was to be a hectic time for me as there was much to be done in my world of work, I did take time to meet two of my favorite Gatherers - Bob (Elizabeth E.) and Nancy Spivey.
On Tuesday, Bob came up to Quincy (a town just south of BostonÂ whereÂ I workÂ - also, birthplace of two presidents). We met outside Starbuck's and the moment I saw her I knew I'd found the right person. It is usually awkward meeting someone for the first time but Bob put me right at ease with a big hug and thoughtful gifts for both Deb and myself. We chatted as we strolled down Hancock St. to a small park in front of City Hall. I'd just had a very busy day and wanted to sit awhile and get my bearings before heading off to our chosenÂ place for dinner (Tony's Clam Shack on Wollaston beach - my favorite spot for fried clams).
We chatted for awhile, admiring some of the interesting features in the little park. I believe this globe is made from granite, a product for which Quincy is renowned.
Finally hunger got us moving. I was highly amused when Bob handed me the keys to her car and insisted that I drive. It did make sense though as I had worked in Quincy for years before moving to Arkansas and knew my way around.
For dinner we shared a box of fried clams (whole ones of course) and a hummus plate. Afterwards we headed across the street to the beach. The conversation was lively though I was interrupted a few times by phone calls from work (I did mention it was a hectic time there, didn't I?). Bob was very gracious and we picked up our chat right where we'd left off. It was a thrill for me to be able to smell the sea air and watch the seagulls (something I actually miss since I no longer live near the ocean).
Wollaston Beach is a great place to see the Boston skyline and to watch the sun set.
It was growing a bit chilly so I was ready to head back to the car. We were having such a great time that neither of us was ready to call it a night. I decided to take Bob on a little tour of some of the lesser known spots I'd discovered in the area as she is mostÂ definitely filled with a spirit of adventure.
First it was to a little park where there is a very interesting marker.
Then we drove to a spot that has a statue that I have always admired. It is an a small park that honors all the granite workers who made their living working in the Quincy quarries. The statue is made entirely of granite which makes the detail just astounding.
Time flew and since I did have to work the next day we needed to call it a night. We parted with the expectation that I would visit Bob in Carver where she lives over the weekend.
On Friday, Nancy SpiveyÂ braved the hellacious Boston traffic to meet me for dinner in Quincy. This was an act of extreme kindness on her part for which I was most grateful. We met at Fajita's and Ritas, a restaurant that offers Mexican cuisine.
Nancy arrived before I did and was already seated when I got to the restaurant. There was that briefly awkward moment of trying to determine if we were the right people but once we'dÂ decided that, yes, in fact we were, it was if we were old friends.
The waitress had to make multiple trips to our table to see if we were ready to order as we quickly became engrossed in conversation and temporarily forgot that we were there to eat.
My dinner with Nancy happened during a time of great personal stress. Her warmth and intelligence truly helped me to take a break and just enjoy her company. The humorous artwork on the walls also helped lighten things a bit.
The conversation never ebbed and when we were done eating we decided to take a little stroll. We ended up back at the little park where Bob and I had visited awhile on Tuesday. On the way I admired the light reflecting off an old building and Nancy informed me it was the original Hancock building.
We also talked a little about the President's church where both John and Abigail Adams are buried.
I was able to capture a reflection of it in the windows of City Hall.
Too soon it was time to part ways, a fact that was hastened by an impending thunderstorm. Nancy was an absolute delight and I hope that both Deb and I will be able to visit her in her hometown of Plymouth some day soon.
Meeting these two Gatherers truly was a highlight of my trip. I was delighted to find that the real people behind the words and icons are both ladies whom I amÂ so glad to now be able to call friends.
There is another essay to follow as I did make it down to Bob's home in Carver. She and her wonderful dog Tucker took me on a walk through their woods and of course, my camera came along as well.