Thursday, August 9, 2007

Road Trip Day 15, Life in New Haven

Benjamin and Ruth have a really good life here in New Haven with Ashley. Perhaps it's not the life they dream of for their future, but they've made a very fine life for themselves here. This is what we've seen so far. Today is Thursday, so we've seen nearly one work week. Ben leaves for the train station around 6:30 a.m. By then Ruth must be up and have Ashley ready to go so they can drive him to the train station for his daily commute. He spends around an hour on the train (each direction) and at least eight hours at work. This week we've been able to take over the driving duties for her. It's been our pleasure, as it gives us that few extra minutes to talk with Ben. (The downside of that might be that we fall asleep earlier and don't stay up as late at night, so we have less time with them at night.)

During the day, Ruth cares for Little Britches, cooks, cleans, does laundry, deals with play groups, shopping, getting vehicles serviced, and whatever else comes along. Evening brings the return trip to pick Ben up at the train station, and Ben spends time with Ashley while Ruth puts the final touches on the meal. The family then sits together for a wonderful meal. Ruth is not only a good cook, she's a creative cook. I'm pretty sure we've ruined their food budget for the month. When they finish, Ben helps with the dishes and clean up, then takes care of his class studies, as needed (or plays with Ashley and visits with us, this week). But at least they know that Friday is the end of the week, and they can look forward to Saturday, where all they have to do is... uh, get up, drive Ben to the railroad station so he can commute even further, into New York City, to do his Masters Degree work at NYU. At least Sunday is a day of rest. Home from church by 2:30, and it's truly a day of family togetherness, with no work that can be avoided.

Well, kids, this too shall pass - at least some of it will. The togetherness won't. The habits of thrift and consulting each other on important decisions, the good feelings you get from working together will last a lifetime and pay great dividends. Much better than stocks and bonds.

While all of this has been going on, other than unloading a few dishes and helping John find his way around, shopping a bit and chopping a few veggies, about all I've done is get to know my granddaughter and make comments on the blog. John has been doing chores Ben just doesn't have time to attend to; Ruth doesn't have time to scratch without an appointment. So I guess Ashley and I get to be Queen and Princess this week. Good job, though temporary.

A few comments on driving in New Haven. Never stop on a yellow light unless (as Ben warned) you want to be rear ended. Never go when the light first turns green. Wait for 2-3 cars to run the red from the other direction first (yes, every time). And remember: every road has its potholes.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Hmmmm... I think saying I spend "at least eiht hours at work" is a little misleading. I get on the train at 6:45 and start working (since my company has given me a wireless broadband card, I can get high speed internet anywhere). I work through until 5:00 when I leave, catching the train home. I also work on the train home and get to the New Haven station (where I stop working) after 6:00. Technically, however, I am only at my desk from just before 8:00 until 5:00, or 9 hours.

That's my ideal day. Some days I can't leave priceline until 5:30 or 6:00 (or later, but not under normal circumstances). By my tally, 6:45 AM to just after 6:00 PM is over 11 hours (I don't take a lunch, unless the 'higher ups' invite me out).

I should also clarify that it is 'ok' to stop at a yellow light in New Haven, as long as nobody is behind you. :)