1. I had to bid the Troxstar and his parents farewell this morning. I hope my gratitude for their hospitality and for giving me a chance to have such an awesome weekend in Massachusetts came through.
2. The drive back to Maryland took about nine hours. I considered myself very fortunate that there were only two traffic delays along the way and that I left I-95 just north of the Beltway before it got really badly backed up.
3. I enjoy trips like the one I took from Thursday to Monday. I saw parts of the USA I've never seen before, gained more confidence in my ability to navigate unfamiliar places, and, most of all, I loved seeing Adrienne and Jack and the Troxstar and his family; loved meeting and spending time with Adam, Keeley, and Amy and hope to see them again; loved being welcomed into Derek and Cathy's home and spending a great afternoon with them. It's always relaxing to be back home in the familiar confines of our little apartment home where I can sit and reflect upon how grateful I am to be able to travel and see people -- new and old -- family and friends. This is what's defined this calendar year for me whether in Idaho, Washington, Maryland, D. C., New Jersey, Indiana, New York, or Massachusetts: being with friends and family, participating in many changes in many lives, and living with gratitude that I have so many great people in my life. And, just think, I will get to see more friends and family in November when I return to Idaho with trips to Washington and Oregon, as well.