With Meghan working at the Lego store for the afternoon, Alpha, Beta, and I decided to go roller skating. I haven’t been since before I got married, Beta has only been once, and Alpha has never been.
We went to Roller World in Saugus, since Beta had been there once with friends and liked it. It’s also not too far and had good reviews on Google. They offer a choice of roller skates or -blades (for a few dollars more). We elected to rent roller blades instead of skates, to make backwards tipping a little less likely.
Beta took off after a moment of getting used to the skates again, while Alpha spent a few minutes just trying to stand. I had my own troubles but got going soon enough.
Alpha and Beta skating together
After a little while, the most amazing thing happened: the sisters started helping each other out. Alpha was still a little unsteady on her skates, so Beta stepped up and tried to help her out. They did a few laps around the floor together as Alpha slowly worked away from the wall. I’ve seen the “sisters-against-the-world-thing” in other people, but I’ve had my doubts that these two would ever bond like that. I’m glad to see that I was wrong.
After a couple of big spills (but no injuries) we decided to head out. We were all surprised to find that we had been there for a couple of hours – even I could have sworn it had only been an hour. Time flies when you’re having fun! The girls spent the ride home talking about going back and buying roller blades for themselves.
On one of the last warm days in September this year, Beta asked me ever-so-sweetly to take her swimming. Silver Lake smells terrible at the end of summer (and that day was no exception), and, though Beta insisted that she didn’t mind the smell, I refused to take her there. The ocean was the only option! Meghan had to work on a book and Alpha didn’t feel like swimming, so Beta and I piled into the convertible and headed out.
One the closest spots we can go to see the ocean is Lynch Park in Beverly, MA. I picked it by browsing on Google Maps. We’d never been there, and didn’t know what to expect.
The water was cold and a little dirty (natural dirt, not pollution) so I elected to stay out, but Beta (and some paddle-boarders) braved the water. The park itself is gorgeous, with a spectacular view of Salem. There’s an amphitheatre, a short walkway along the ocean, and a broad expanse of grass for people to plan on.
We spent a couple of hours there until the air started to turn chilly, and then took the long way home to avoid the traffic snarls on I-95.
To thank me for doing a great job on a gruelling project at work, I was offered tickets to see the Red Sox play at Fenway. I don’t normally watch sports but hey, game on! We live so close I should watch at least one game. The game was played back on September 23.
I took my mother-in-law Joan, because she’s a fan-in-the-literal-fanatic-sense of the Sox. It was also a way to thank her for all the times she’s helped us out. She thought it was a hoot.
I had an ‘oh-thats-so-quaint’ moment when I realized that the score board along the back of the field is updated by hand. There’s a jumbotron too, but in between innings some dude goes out and hangs little panels on the scoreboard to provide scores for other games being played nationally. The current score is updated by hand, too, but they stay inside to do that.
The Sox lost, in the end, but Joan and I had a great time! I’m planning to take the girls next year for an afternoon game.
Quinn used to work at Margarita’s in Mystic. (Its a great place for pretty standard Mexican food. The stories that came out of that place are legendary.) He loves cooking Mexican food. I’m … okay at it. Tonight, we came up with something epic.
hamburger (about a pound and a half was pretty good)
two handfuls of cheese
two dollops of salsa
green enchilada sauce
sour cream and more cheese for garnishes
chilies for more garnishes
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
Brown the ground beef. When it is cooked completely, remove it from the heat and drain the grease.
Mix in the cheese and salsa.
Spoon the mixture into the tortillas, rolling them and placing them in a 9×13″ pan. Keep going until the pan is full or you run out of filling.
Pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil when there is about 5 minutes left on the timer.
Scoop out the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese (and chilies if desired), and dump some sour cream on them for good measure.
A quick “downer” note to our adventures in the north.
I realized today that one thing I actually miss is running into people I know. We were back in Mystic for a couple of hours today and we ran into three people who know us and we hadn’t planned to see while we were in town, while in a huge crowd of tourists. I haven’t lived there for over a decade but there were some smiling faces. I wonder who else I knew in that crowd and just happened to miss?
Here, in our new home, I go weeks without meeting a friend out and about – even at the local grocery store. I feel out of step with the people around me, I haven’t found a common rhythm with my neighbors. It’s probably common for people who move to a completely new area but it sucks all the same.