The most efficient day was yesterday in Boston, where I managed to meet my littlest sister at 6 a.m. for an hour of conversation before she got on a plane to San Diego for Spring Break, then met David T., a grammar school friend, at 7:30 for a long and leisurely breakfast, then met Todd and Debby and Cecilia for lunch, mixing business with pleasure (and incidentally confirming that Cecilia and I will probably be throwing a party together at WorldCon in Chicago this September, and you're all invited), then taking the T with T/D to visit Grand Opening, the main sex toy store in the Boston area, to scope out whether it would be a good venue for an Aqua Erotica reading (probably), then having tea with Julia (college roommate) and her new husband Jake, where among other bits of news/gossip I learned that someone I knew briefly at Chicago just got hired in the Psych department at Utah :-), then dinner with Todd and Debby and Mark, their artist friend who somehow was just the way I expected him, in both looks and personality, followed by ice cream at an odd little place that has an old bank vault in it that you can sit in (and we did, among the painted water and fishies).
I could get a lot more detailed about describing the trip, but you get the idea, I'm sure. I had a very good time, both seeing old friends and meeting new people (such as Duncan and Bob, two of the people I've worked closely with on AE). I spent many very pleasant hours on Amtrak -- they now have outlets at every seat, so I cheerfully plugged in my laptop and played Caesar. (Theoretically, I was supposed to work today. Heh.)
I sometimes looked up to enjoy the scenery -- it was so incredibly beautiful. It's funny -- Utah is lovely, but it's not really my kind of lovely. I can appreciate the starkness of the mountains sharp against the sky, the clear, thin air and the magnificent sunrises and sunsets. I'm startled almost every day by their beauty, and I think living here has really awakened me to nature's loveliness in a way I didn't know before; I notice my environment now. I look at the trees.
Being home in New England...oh, it is home, in some sense. Even if I never live there again. I grew up with those wooded hills, with the quiet old houses that seem so comfortable there. Even at the tail end of winter, there's a lushness to the landscape, and you know that the forsythia are just a hint of the explosion of color that will soon arrive. The greens there are so varied, the many shades of leaf and grass. And there is water everywhere -- how can I ever settle down somewhere without small streams around the corner? Deserts are good for some things (and in fact, Alex's mother was from the desert, and talked longingly about returning to it), but that water imprinted me young.
I'd like to tell you more about the trip, but it's almost 5 a.m. now. I got in very late -- the plane was delayed, so I didn't get home until about 3:30 a.m. At that point, it seemed silly to go to sleep, especially when I'd have to get up around 5:30 to do some class prep. So I stayed up; made some rice and heated up some of the curry my mother insisted I take along. I opened some mail, answered some e-mail, caught up on my journals. Heather's off to Spain. Columbine still isn't talking, but we did have a lovely time visiting (though I think I may have lectured him a bit much about marketing his writing). Shmuel is good, and yes it was a lovely lunch. Karen is still writing. :-) I'm a little worried about Pamie, but I think she'll be okay. I have faith in that girl.
I drank some tea -- without milk, but still just drinkable. I'm feeling a bit groggy, but I think I can make it through my classes. After that, there are a few things I need to do for AE (talking to Duncan and then FedEx'ing back final galleys), and then I think I can actually go to sleep. Now I'm going to go do my prep (I get to teach my business students UNIX and HTML today -- they're gonna be terrified :-), and then maybe climb into bed for half an hour to rest before I get dressed and go. Kevin is there, sleeping so soundly. He expected me to arrive much earlier, and probably thought I'd wake him up coming in to bed. Would have been nice, but not this time. Was very comforting finding him here when I got home, though.
Good to be home.