Sunday, November 16, 2008

This weekend I flew down to Baltimore and joined my brother and his wife and daughters for two perfect days of family and football (my beloved Notre Dame vs. Navy). After a short flight from Providence, they all met me at the airport and we drove to the stadium. Our seats were wonderful -- close to the center of the field and low enough to see the action clearly -- and the weather, at least for the first three quarters of the game, was just right for football. Unfortunately, a squall swept across the stadium toward the end, and, with Notre Dame comfortably ahead, we decided to make an early run for it. Driving home, we heard on the car radio that Navy stormed back in the last two minutes, but the Irish held on for a slim win. Back at Joe and Mary’s cozy home, we enjoyed more football on TV, plus hours of the best conversation, plus a superlative dinner prepared and set out by Mary and her daughters. I retired early for a long, soothing sleep, and was greeted early in the morning by Joe with a pot of the best coffee. We chatted for a bit over the sports page, and then took a brisk walk around the neighborhood amid the last of the vivid trees. Shortly thereafter, my visit was perfectly culminated by a ride to the airport with Julia. She is a supremely gracious and considerate young woman, and it was my pleasure to be in her company for the 45-minute drive that brought to an end a trip that seemed to me the essence of rest and companionship.

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