On the way up to Boston we made an overnight stop in Middletown, CT to visit with the incomparably lovely A., A., and W. in their cozy home. I’ve been blessed to have a number of surrogate parents in my life, and I treasure each pair for different reasons. For A. & W., it is for opening their apartment to me the summer of 2001, where Amanda and I spent a sleepless season schlepping to internships; hosting me at many Thanksgiving dinners; teaching me about Rein’s, New England traditions and a well-made bed; saving the transportation at our wedding; telling stories about exotic travel and family follies that last long into the evening. This time around: legendary steak sandwiches, snuggling with W. in the window seat, a walk through the cemetery, a lesson in avoiding banalities in conversation, the tale of Amanda’s junior high science project involving highway moss.