FLOWERS AND GETTING LOST – Marilyn Armstrong

Flowers, but lost – FOTD – May 9, 2019

It was a gorgeous, perfect spring day today. Warm and full of bright sunshine. As we left the house this morning (it’s a 2-hour drive into Boston), I noticed that we had squirrels glued to both feeders in the back.

I would normally have gone back to the deck and chatted with the furry feeders, but I was wearing my good clothing.

And there was no time for one of those me versus squirrel conversations.

Pink tulips

I should mention these are pretty much one-way conversation. I talk. The squirrels give me the squirrel eyeball, so I talk some more, and they go back to eating. Eventually, I will open the door, step onto the deck, and stare at them. They then move a little bit — from the feeders to the railing. And stare back at me.

I can hear them thinking “And what are you gonna do about it, huh?”

Magnolias and new leaves along the Mumford River

I quite like squirrels, but I feel that by the time we are approaching midday, they should go back to being tree squirrels and stop being deck squirrels. Is that too much to ask?

We had to leave. It was going to be a long drive and traffic in and out of Boston is heavy. We were 100% sure to get lost, even though the directions appeared to be simple. There’s construction on 146, too. Of course, there has been construction on 146 for the past 19 years, but there’s more now that it has warmed up.

Snowballs along with the steps in the park

It took us almost 2 hours to get there — and we got totally lost in Boston. So did everyone else. As a result, the memorial began an hour late and ended even later. So it was a really long day.

Since we bought our GPS (maybe 2 years ago?), they’ve redesigned almost all the major roads in Boston and completely rebuilt the seaport area. The last time I was there, it was mostly vacant lots and empty warehouses and a few party cruise ships. So our GPS can’t find anything. Moreover, the directions which we got from the hotel (via Google) said to get off Route 93 at Exit 20, then follow the signs to the Seaport Cruise Terminal.

Snowballs and a wooden bench

Except there were NO signs. We wound up at the airport. We did a couple of loops at Logan, including a round trip through the “Return your rental car here,” except we were in our own car and we couldn’t find anyone who knew how to find the Seaport Hotel.

Massachusetts is infamous for NOT putting up signs. I don’t know whether we are just too cheap to pay for signs, or we assume if you don’t know where you are, you shouldn’t be there.

The park at the Mumford Dam

It turned out that not only did we get lost, everyone got lost. Since this is a big expensive hotel — and NOT brand new, either — the complete lack of signs was infuriating. We almost gave up and went home and might have, but we didn’t know how to get home, either.

Finally, we were stopped by a police detective. He had a gold badge but was in street clothing, so we assumed he was a detective. He pulled us over. Garry rolled down his window. Were we going to get a ticket too? Are the fates so against us?

“Are you guys lost?” he asked. Were we that obvious?

“YES,” we cried in unison. “We are SO lost.”

Flowers and the falls

He led us to the hotel and he recognized Garry — and knew we were going to the “Tom Ellis Memorial.” I was never more grateful to see a police officer.

We knew we had to be near it. We were at the docks, so how far could we be from the Seaport Hotel? It turned out to be about a mile. Make a right, take the Ted Williams Tunnel and when you can’t go any further, make another right.

Azaleas along the path

It was good to be there, though. Many people, including Garry, shared memories and since we are all — how shall I put this — an older group of folk?

We got to do a little crying, shared some laughter about stuff no one else remembers. We saw people we rarely see except at reunions and funerals. Remember when we used to meet at weddings? It was good to hug friends, notice that although everyone looks older, I look even older than they do.

We left Boston exactly at rush hour. Three and a half hours for the homeward journey. I spent a lot of time admiring trees.

Please enjoy the photographs. They are from Tuesday which was every bit as beautiful as today, but we were outside with cameras.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

31 thoughts on “FLOWERS AND GETTING LOST – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I had a feeling you journey to Boston might become a mystery trip, but glad to see you safely back. Not such a good occasion, but isn’t it wonderful to see old friends again.

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    1. You know, if they would put up a few signs, it would make a HUGE difference. When we were in California, one of the things that struck me was how many signs they had. Not only did they tell you what street you were crossing, but they put a sign a block ahead to tell you what street was coming up. They had signs on the street you were traveling and at every cross street. It was GREAT. We were better able to navigate San Francisco than Boston! And we LIVED in Boston (together) for more than 15 years.

      The city has changed so much, too. The whole seaport has been completely redesigned. It is much more attractive — especially for tourists (lots of restaurants, hotels, shops, cruising party yachts, etc.) — but it was nice to have an empty space by the ocean. No parking issues or traffic problems, either.

      And inside Boston, they’ve rebuilt almost all of the old intersections. Granted those intersections were dangerous and often scary with MANY accidents — but getting from one place to another now is entirely different. All the routes I knew, circuitous though they were, are gone.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I was so bummed out when it was obvious we were, yet again, LOST!
        I know – I know — I have a reputation among friends and former colleagues for almost ALWAYS getting lost enroute to an event. It’s beyond embarrasing. I was so darn happy when the detective came to our rescue.

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  2. Wow I know I keep saying this…Your photos look like paintings they are so beautiful I really love that yellowish tree in the second one. I would love to have a tree like that in my yard. So beautiful Marilyn 🙂

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    1. Those are just brand new maple leaves. Quite literally, all the leaves opened on Tuesday. There were buds, but everything was waiting for the rain to stop and the sun to come out. In a few weeks, those bright golden green leaves will turn dark green.

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  3. As for the squirrels, there’s always the broom approach. Then there’s the rolled up newspaper that you can smack on your hand to make a big noise.
    Leslie

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    1. I just have to open the door and put a foot down. There ARE a few who try to stare me down, but mostly, they jump off into the trees. We filled the feeder last night just before dark. The hanging feeder holds almost five pounds of seeds and they’ve eaten half of them — and it isn’t even 24 hours yet. If they would just SLOW DOWN a little.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We are getting our week of spring. Before two weeks is out, it will heat up and be summer — unless this rain pattern continues. Then, I have no idea what will happen. The weather is changing and it is hard to know what it will do. Even the most experienced weather guys can only guess based on what used to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you made it to the memorial. Those things, as sad as they are, should NOT be missed. My best friend, whom I’d known since I was two, passed away in 2016 (?) and his widow only held a graveside service. His brother is not someone I admire greatly, but I was determined to go to the service. Turns out they buried his ashes right next to hubby!! I don’t care for his widow EITHER, but she’s (was) really pushy about us being good friends now that our ‘men’ were together too. Poo to that noise. Your post reminds me that I’m going to go to hubby’s (and friend’s) graves this year on Memorial Day (or maybe the day before…trying to navigate what used to be Salt Lake City and environs is insane on Memorial Day…I made the mistake of going to the Veteran’s Cemetery once on Memorial Day and was there for four hours before I even got near to where hubby is interred. Not doing that again. But I feel that respect should be paid to those we loved, even if it’s fighting horrible traffic and getting lost. Good for you!! (and thanks for the beautiful pictures. Those always soothe my soul).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe go the day before? I won’t travel on holidays anymore. The last time we did that, we visited friends in Philly, which is normally about a six hour drive … seven if you stop for lunch. It took us 14 hours. We have never traveled on Thanksgiving again except to my son’s place which is 4 miles down our own road.

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  5. Glad to hear you got there despite getting lost, and that the memorial service went well. We have lots of towns over here that seem to be phobic about putting up signs, so I know how you felt. It’s very frustrating, especially if you’ve got to be somewhere at a certain time. At least the long haul home gave you time to reflect and, as you say, admire the trees. And fantastic photos, as always.

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    1. It’s particularly infuriating because our GPS is virtually useless in Boston. Too many tunnels, so it loses its signal and when you come out of the tunnel, you don’t know where to turn. I print direction too, A lot of the “roads” our GPS suggests aren’t viable roads, even for a horse and rider. Maybe they were 200 years ago, but now, they are paths in forests with huge trees in the middle or what I suppose was once a road. They never seem to know when a bridge is down for construction, either.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re not alone. My GPS isn’t much better. We’re often apparently driving across fields or being directed to some narrow dead end instead of a castle or abbey. Someone should tell the satellites we’re not in the Middle Ages any more – sadly! 🙂

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  6. Well, I imagine the squirrels don’t have a deck built onto their nests up in the trees, so I can’t blame them for wanting to borrow yours for the day to relax on. Might as well set up a sciurine bed and breakfast while you’re at it…

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    1. I thought about trying to set up a special spot for the squirrels to eat, but they would eat everything and THEN hit the feeders. They never stop eating. How can such little fuzzy things EAT so much? It infuriates The Duke who sees squirrels and can’t get to them. The gate to the deck is shut (and VERY hard to open) and Duke’s afraid of the open stairs. So am I.

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  7. Glad you made it, if late and hey, so was everyone else, so you were in good company. Thankful to the lovely officer who recognized you and probably would have assisted anyway, and I’m thankful you made it there and home safely. By the way, these are some pretty gorgeous pictures, the flowers are so lovely! Thank you for including them in your post!

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    1. We were relieved. Until that cop found us. I’m still puzzled about how he knew we were lost, but maybe it was because we were driving so slowly, often the sign of some poor soul looking for a sign that isn’t there!

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        1. People get so lost in Boston that they leave and go to a different city. I can find my way around New York — and I haven’t lived there since 1979. I can find my way around Philly and San Francisco and Berkeley. But not Boston.

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          1. That’s crazy, isn’t it? I used to get lost going out my front door in Hardy, and it was tint. I went back to Vancouver and straight 5o my aunt’s house and had ony been there when I was 10 and it was 20 years later.

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  8. Trips to Boston must be so trying but it’s good that you made it to the memorial and nice that the cop recognised Garry and realised where you were trying to go. Naomi and I were talking about GPS last night. She doesn’t care for it although that is largely because she likes music when she’s driving alone and feels she can’t have both. I just prefer to read a map as I feel I have more control than blindly following directions but I’m guessing that a map would be worse than useless in Boston. I find lack of signs or lack of useful signs annoying too. I always used to get annoyed in Melbourne where many highway exits are just the name of a street. If you don’t live there that means nothing to you. You’d think a city like Boston which has made itself more attractive to tourists would also offer them some directions by way of proper road signs but I guess they spent all the money on the digging everything up part.

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    1. I would rather use a map, but they are never detailed enough for a city like Boston … and of course last year’s map would be useless this year because they’ve changed so many roads!

      You’d especially think there’d be a few signs in areas that are specifically designed for tourists, but nope. It’s infuriating.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I absolutely love that second picture — the one of the trees along the Mumford River! San Francisco traffic is a mystery to me — I can get lost 5 days in a row, going to the same place each day — you can’t get there from where you are!

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    1. We weren’t trying to get anyplace complicated. We know better than that. We are ALWAYS lost. Sometimes a little lost, sometimes hopelessly lost. That’s how we navigated Ireland. We kept discovering places because we were lost.

      The rivers are just exquisite when the sun is out Unfortunately, it’s going to rain again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

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