Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Take A Break; It Is Meant to Be

Life lessons are only that if learned, otherwise what transpires is annoying, and often ignored.  Touch a hot stove, and most of us won't do it again.  Work for months and months without a respite, and you will begin to unravel.  This is one of the life's teachings that is ignored so much so that reminders are considered annoying, and we will block them.

Not a good decision.  When we begin to come undone we aren't playing our best game.  Our streams of thought are fuzzy, we make poor choices, we slip out of character, and act out.  Our job performance suffers, our relationships suffer.

Reasons are many as to why we let this happen.  Too many to get into, but what we can get into is how to make it better.  First off, just stop.  Stop moving so fast.  Stand still.  Take a breath, and then look around you.  Slowly.  Remember what you see. You haven't really seen it in a very long time.  Next, turn to your other half and look at them, and say, "Lets take a break".

Good start.  Now, choose a place for one, maybe two nights at least sixty miles away, and then count the days until you go.

We started a tradition when we first met to be sure to get away every few months, and at the very least every spring and autumn.  Minimally, it would be for two nights, but there are times when just one night will do wonders.

About three years ago we received a gift for dinner aboard the Cape Cod Central Railway.  The train runs from Hyannis to Buzzards Bay a few times each day for sightseeing, lunch, dinner, and the "elegant dinner", which we were booked for.

The Six Degrees of Separation
At the train station the night of the dinner, the conductor checked each passengers ticket and read their name aloud, and made a friendly comment about where they were from.  When he came to us, he took our ticket and read, "The Hersee party.  Any relation to Bob Hersee from Medfield?".  "He was my Dad", I replied, "He passed in March.".

The conductors greeting smile fell, and his face became quite sad.  "When the train is fully boarded, and everyone is seated, I'd like to share some stories about your Dad.  I am a retired music educator, and I knew your Dad quite well".

Of course, we were thrilled, and invited our conductor to join us.

After we were underway, Steve Bell, Train Conductor, and former high school music teacher, sat at our table and shared how he and Dad had met years ago during the All State music competitions around the commonwealth.  Unlike a lot of teachers, they had varied interests in music, and a natural friendship evolved.  They looked forward to seeing one another each year.  To hear someone speak so well of my father, and in the same tone as those that I knew quite well,  was comforting, and amazing.  Seems that Dad was respected everywhere he went, and not just in Medfield.

Mr. Bell was obviously touched by meeting us that evening.  He had a relationship with someone for a long time, and as the years went by, and Dad retired, and then Mr. Bell followed years later, they had lost touch, until that moment on the platform at the train station.  Our train conductor had turned our excellent day on Cape Cod into the perfect day.

Fate, destiny, kismet, or the more scientific theory of those Six Degrees of Separation, I really don't know.  What I would call it is something that was meant to happen, did, and for all parties it was wonderful.  It was also just two days after what would have been Dad's 78th birthday.

This all would not have occurred if we had not chose to take a little bit of time off to recharge, and to use that gift certificate on that particular weekend.  Mary took my hand across the table after Mr. Bell had left, and said, "Your Dad is here.  This was his way of telling you".

Take the time to recharge, and breathe deeply.  Empty your mind, and enjoy one another in a place far away from the days routines, even it's for just one day. There are experiences out there waiting for you, and friends you have yet to meet.

It is meant to be.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this special day with us!


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