A developing subcategory of “seeing friends” on this trip is seeing friends in places where they don’t really live. Jenny is in this group, as normally we see her in Eugene, where she and her husband Don are both faculty members in the architecture department. But they also own a house in Edgartown where they spend the summers. This year Jenny is on sabbatical, staying in Edgartown and working on a book, so we decided to go distract her from this work.
A lot of Jenny’s work – design, research and teaching – has involved architecture in small towns, including an article she once wrote comparing the structure of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, so she was the perfect guide to these places. We walked around the campgrounds in Oak Bluffs, strangely deserted in the fall, and wandered to all her favorite haunts in Edgartown, including her daily ritual of drinking coffee (or in this case, cider) at the end of the yacht club wharf.
Besides being a great colleague, Jenny is also a great mom, and so she immediately slipped into mom (or aunt) mode with Greta, which was appreciated, as Greta had been living in dad-world for a month and a half. Jenny cooked some wonderful meals, on what were the coldest, rawest days of our trip, suggested an endless series of snacks, and invited some friends over to dinner to meet us. There was also the flip side of mom-mode, where she badgered us into a long bike ride to the beach into the strong wind and possible rain, when we might have sat inside and blogged, if left to our own devices. (But that all turned out well, with a walk on the beach and the collection of a horseshoe crab shell in perfect condition.)
On a trip where we’re visiting many friends whom I haven’t seen in decades, it was fun to see someone who is normally part of our day-today lives; it felt a bit like being at home.