06:11:32 am on
Monday 24 Jun 2024

Flying Away
AJ Robinson

Click here for more from QZ Quotes.

The above comment, by T S Eliot, was a belief my father held. When I wrote a book of advice for my daughter Alexa, one of the tidbits I included was the suggestion that she live in a small town and then a big city, as that was the only way she could figure out where she’ll be happy. Well, it seems that drive to explore is strong in our family and Alexa took my idea to heart.

Settling near Boston.

Alexa is moving to Massachusetts in the fall. This makes me happy. I from Boston.

She’s been working remotely for several months since the coronavirus struck close to home. There were several people stricken with COVID-19 in the office building where she worked. Working from home has done her and her employer well; her employer decided to let people continue to work from home.

As far as the company is concerned, if the staff is productive, they don’t care where they live and what they do. As dedicated to her work as she is, if Alexa can work from any where she wants, she will.

Alexa made the decision to move to Massachusetts. The thing is she never asked me where she should move. No, this isn’t a case of me influencing her.

She came up with the destination. It does help that my niece Heidi and her nephew Ian live in the area. That makes me happy.

Heidi is on Martha’s Vineyard. Alexa will be in Northampton and Ian lives nearby. She’ll have loving family members at hand.

Alexa is working on a graduate degree.

This is yet another aspect of her life that makes me pleased and proud. Once she’s living in Northampton, Jo Ann and I will have yet another excuse to visit the old homestead. We’re excited for what Alexa living in Northampton will offer her and us.

Alexa currently lives in Florida. It is, shall we say, rather limited in terms of social and cultural depth and growth potential. In Massachusetts, she’s going to be close to UMass, the college my dad and brother Steve attended, and in a much more liberal and free-thinking community; we think she’ll thrive there.

The one fly in the ointment, as the old saying goes is the weather. Alexa was born and raised in Florida, and she does not exactly have much, shall we say, bodily insulation. Although she’ll love the sights and smells of fall in New England, always one of my favorite times, there is the matter of the temperature.

Years ago. Robby, the son of our friend Betsy went off to MIT. The school year started in August. By September he was calling his mother to ask for money to buy winter clothes as he said he was freezing in the brutal weather of September in Cambridge.

When I was a kid, living in Arlington, six miles northwest of the greater Boston area, a light windbreaker was more than enough for that time of year. We didn’t trot out the heavy parkas until January. Does growing up in Florida make one soft?

Fall weather is the only aspect of life in New England that worries me. How will Alexa react to a truly severe New England winter? Not only can it get cold, there’s deep snow and slick ice and she’s not going to be near the ocean, which can moderate the weather.

One thing I learned while living in Atlanta, Georgia, is that the water acts as an insulating material. That’s why winters aren’t as cold on Martha’s Vineyard. We’re just going to have to wait and see how she handles it.

Whatever her future holds, Alexa made the decision. It’s her life. Although we’ll be sad to see her go live farther away, my heart shatters to see her go,

Gently weeps my heart.

I know it’s for her best and I will watch her fly away. I’ll have a smile on my face. My heart will be sobbing.

Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

More by AJ Robinson:
Tell a Friend

Click above to tell a friend about this article.