Cambridge, Mass.

Here at last — well, in Massachusetts at last. We got here sooner than I had expected, but that was partly because we decided not to stop anywhere along the way except to sleep. We’ve done a lot of driving over the past two days.

It was good to see Carol again. She’s been here in Massachusetts for six or seven weeks, working at a new job, while I closed up the apartment in Geneva. Carol is cat-sitting in Cambridge, which is why we met her here. She, Jean, and I went out for dinner last night at about 8 p.m. You can read my sister’s blog to read about our dining saga. But I want to go back to Monday evening….

Monday evening, Jean and I were in Batavia, New York, home of Batavia Downs. After an 18 month hiatus, the track is going to open again today. It sure seemed like there were lots of people trying to find a motel room in Batavia on Monday evening, maybe in anticipation of the opening. We finally wound up at a Days Inn, taking a room that had “weak A/C.” They said that was all they had left, and no one else had rooms so we took it. We dumped our luggage, and went to find dinner.

We followed the signs to Alex’s Place, right across the street from Batavia Downs. You can see the long narrow horse barns from the front door of Alex’s. Alex’s was packed. Lots of people who seemed to know each other, felt like a real locals’ hangout.

Our table was positioned so we could watch the bar. Right at the corner, my sister noticed an attractive young woman was flirting with a very thin young man. How did Jean know she’s flirting? “See the way she’s flipping her pony tail?” said Jean. The young man was clearly fascinated. He turned so I could see his face, and I saw he had a moustache that did not quite match his face, as if he hadn’t had it for long and hadn’t quite figured out how to trim it so it looked its best.

Then another young woman, wearing fashionable glasses, joined the first young woman (we called her “Glasses Girl” to distinguish her from the first). The first young woman made the young man get off his bar stool so Glasses Girl could sit between her and the young man. We decided that the first young woman realized that the young man just wasn’t going to go away, but didn’t quite know how to get rid of him.

It was quite a little drama to watch. I decided that these people probably all knew one another, maybe even worked together. Jean wasn’t so sure. Then Jean said, “You know where we got this from?”

“What?” I said.

“Watching people and figuring out their motives,” Jean said. “Mom used to do this.”

“Oh yeah!” I said. Suddenly I remembered Mom doing just this kind of thing — watching people, and figuring out the story or little drama that was being enacted.

Then back to the hotel, where we grdually realized that we didn’t have “weak A/C,” we had no A/C. It was stifling. At 2:30 in the morning, I called the front desk, and they found us another room. We had air conditioing from 2:30 a.m. until 8 the next morning, and then another long hot drive with the windows rolled down. And here we are, in Massachusetts ahead of schedule. I still feel jangled from all that driving. Good thing Jean was willing to come along and share the driving with me. Thanks, Jean!