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Lydia K. '14, MEng '16

Aug 6, 2013

A Few of my Favorite Things (Counting Blessings)

Posted in: Best of the Blogs, Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

I’m home in Pennsylvania for three weeks, for the second time this summer. The morning after I got here, I woke up to a pile of stuffed animals on top of me where I had fallen asleep on the couch and, on a post-it note (it was the second draft, apparently), this:

I think it’s safe to say that this note and the feelings behind it was one of my favorite things. I found it again this morning and curled up outside with my coffee before everyone else was up and thought about it, and about life, and realized that though I don’t think I’ve felt rooted to a place before, Boston and State College have both become home, though in very different ways, State College over eight years and Boston over the past three. Here are a few more of my favorite things from both places, split by 500 miles:

Warm Boston thunderstorms just outside my open window, from safe under my loft with my Legos and my books. Having a boyfriend who likes Legos and science fiction as much as I do. The chocolate and hot glue E. coli figurines my 7.02 (Experimental Biology and Communication) TA  Regina C. ‘14 made our bay in lab two semesters ago (at right).

The smell of Cambridge in the early fall—rain, cooking, the memory of late mornings, boxes, and the same smells during freshman orientation. A clean, efficient black-and-white figure in a paper, and comprehensive scientific controls. Getting an email and it’s a comment on a blog post.

Writing alone in a crowded café or bar. Walking until I get lost and finding myself in the Boston Public Garden. Fog on the Charles River at sunrise. Crossing the Harvard bridge into Cambridge, MIT growing in the distance, and feeling the thick wind blowing off the Charles. Happy voices trailing up to my room from the neighboring apartment buildings while I p-set, and the knowledge that 92 of my best friends are just beyond my open door.

Having an 11-year-old brother who appreciates my sense of humor and sneakily stays up reading Motor Trend like I used to stay up reading Lois Duncan. The omelet my grandmother made me yesterday, with cucumber slices and bread arranged around it like rays of sunshine.

Clean dishes hot from the dishwasher. Ten minutes of shavasana after an hour of power yoga. The smell of burnt coffee spilled on the stove. The end of a good science fiction story, resurfacing days after I read it.

Biking alongside Spring Creek and the memory of hugging my boat before a race, the creek flowing around my arms like they’re rocks on a riverbed. The memory of my dad teaching me how to drive stick shift four summers ago, in my pick-up truck on a two-lane highway, the sunset diffusing through rows of corn. The view of the stars far from town.

Reading a book while Max plays saxophone, the windows closed so we don’t wake the neighbors. The way my mom playing Bouree in E Minor on the guitar seems to connect every stage of my life, creating a sense of continuity no matter what else seems to change. Candlelit dinners with the porch door open, the cold night breeze and the sound of crickets, and the quiet, empty night. Biking at sunset with my dad and my brother, breathing clean cold air into what feels like every branch of my lungs, fireflies rising from the grass like dust.

My mom and my brother and me about five years ago, in November 2008, when I was 16 and Max was six, photographed probably by my grandfather.

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