2.10.2011

Thanks, Harrisburg: I Had a Capital Time


It is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy due to a colossally bad incinerator project. A colleague of mine who once lived there for a summer in her mid-twenties couldn't wait for said summer to end, because the place was so dead. And yet, every time I go to Harrisburg I say to myself, "This place has potential." Yesterday was no different. In fact, it was worthy of a running diary:

8:00a - Amy helps me out big-time by offering to take Aaron to school. I send her, him, and his bike helmet off, walk Jada to school, and then pedal in the frigid morning air to the train station. I lock up my bike and bike helmet, head inside to thaw, and blast through a big stack of reading while waiting for my train.

9:00a - I board, plug in my laptop, and proceed to power feverishly through a load of work. The rattling of the train temporarily derails my ability to use my mouse, and reminds me why I prefer to curl up with a magazine on these rides. But I'm super jammed so I have to be productive during this hour and 40 minutes.

10:40a - I finish my scheduled chunk of work just as we pull into Harrisburg. I walk briskly to the State Museum of Pennsylvania, pay my admission, and scan the museum map. Four floors and one hour means 15 minutes per floor. I'm going to have to walk and read fast.

12:00p - That was highly enjoyable. I make note to bring the kids here when they're older, what with all the dinosaur stuff and general cool things to look at, including a huge William Penn statue in the middle of the museum. I walk across the street to Roxy's to have lunch with two colleagues of mine who work for the Commonwealth. I order a cheeseburger sub on a 10-inch roll; the waitress brings out a cheeseburger on a regular bun, saying they're out of 10-inch rolls. Given that they have a whole section of their menu called "sandwiches on a 10-inch roll," I find this odd. No matter: this is the third time I've been, and the food's been good and the people nice each time, so I'll let this slide.

1:00p - My reason for coming to Harrisburg was to meet with a client. They are within feet of Roxy's. I arrive, breath smelling of onions and potato chips, and we proceed to have a pleasant, stimulating discussion about a report we are working on for them.

3:10p - I must excuse myself so as not to miss my train. I make it with a couple of minutes to spare. I call my father-in-law, who offered to be my second back-up for kid pick-up if I was stuck in Harrisburg and Amy couldn't get out of work, to tell him I'm on track. Then I settle in to a second big chunk of work.

5:00p - I finish with minutes to spare, step off the train, and head into the chilly evening air to pick up Aaron and then Jada. We are home, jackets off and eating dinner by 6. Amy arrives minutes later and we reunite in the foyer, Jada wrapping her leg around Amy and Aaron giving Amy a playful spank on the butt. It's these little moments that make family life great, and I'm glad business in Harrisburg doesn't preclude me being home for them.

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