Last week, because I was working in Boston, and did not have Stacy with me to share the cost of the expensive parking ($22/day), I took the "T" (Boston's commuter rail) all but the first day. All the parking in my client's area is Residential Permit Parking only. It's a $40 ticket if you park in a residential space illegally. I had to drive in the first day so I could bring all my supplies, but for the remainder of the week, I took the "T". I drive to the station and park my car there for $7. The round trip fare costs an additional $4, so it is half the price of driving into the city.
What's really nice about this type of commuting is that I can actually sit down and catch up on a little reading on my way in to work. My cell phone does not work here, so I have some time to just relax! During the week, I was able to plan my Thanksgiving recipes from some magazines I brought with me, and pick out some classes I want to take this Winter, from a local adult education catalog. Normally, when I'm in my car driving to a job site, I'm on my cell phone, checking in with clients, whomever I'm working with that day, my daughter, friends, etc., so this was a nice change of pace!
When I exit my "T" stop at Park Street, I have about a 10 minute walk to my client's home. The walk is really quite beautiful. As I cut through the Boston Common, I can see the State House to my right.
To my left I have a great view of Frog Pond, which just opened for public ice skating last week.
I continue my walk up this hill and then down 2 side streets, filled with historical buildings. There are still a few tourists out and about, but not nearly as many as there were during the warmer months. I always see them with their maps out, cameras in tow. I also sometimes run into a guided walking tour and catch bits of the tour guides narrations. It's really a nice way to start the day.
One very sad event occurred on my return trip home one day last week. The Boston Common is one of the places in the city where you will always see quite a few homeless people. As I entered the subway station to go home, a man and his young son, who looked to be about 7 or 8 years old, stood just inside the doorway with a sign that read, "Homeless father and son. Please help us." The weather had just turned very cold last week. The young boy was huddled against his Dad. While it is common to see many homeless men and women wandering about the Common and subway stations, you rarely see a child. I had only a $10 bill on me and knew I would need $7 to claim my car when I got to the end of my stop. I thought about that little boy all the way home. The next day I packed some extra treats in a bag and a left over helicopter kit from one of my Mad Science classes. I was hoping I'd see this little boy again and now would have something to give him. I have not seen him yet, but will continue to carry this little packet for him, just in case. Sometimes the contrast from the well appointed homes I so often am privileged to work in, to the homeless people on the streets is just a little too great. During this season of Thanksgiving let's all remember those who are not so fortunate to have a warm home and loving family and friends.