Our next stop from Mary’s was Ithaca, NY. Our very good friend and film professor at Framingham State, Jason Harrington, recently moved up there about a year ago to take on a new job at Ithaca College as a film and animation professor. They found their dream house, dream job and in January welcomed their newest addition to the family, Ilyana Sophia Harrington. So we were very happy to meet up with them amidst all this happy change. Upon arriving we were immediately struck with a sense that this house was a place of happiness and balance, at least as balanced as could be with so many new changes. They say that the three most stressful things you can do in life are have a kid, buy a house, and leave your job, all of which the Harringtons jumped head first into. Jason and Laura’s warm and tranquil nature was apparent in both of their children. Skye was loving, articulate, and highly intelligent for a boy of two and a half. Ilyana was docile and calm; I don’t think I heard her cry once the whole visit. We spent a some time in their back yard admiring the birds, rabbits, and flora of their new home. Jason and Skye proudly showed us their yet to be planted garden and the impressive fort they’ve been constructing out of fallen branches and leaves.
The morning after we arrived we all set off on a hike on one of the area’s many beautiful trails. The woods were vibrant with stippled beams of light from the clear, sunny sky. Jason was able to identify a few bird calls for us before we reached a glittering river, where we stopped to chuck some rocks with Skye. Back in the car he explained, as we noticed the uncommon abundance of Subaru Outback wagons driving around, that Ithaca was at the highest tier of earthy-crunchiness.
Afterwards, Jason brought us to his see his new digs at Ithaca College. The facilities there were excellent and it was heartening to see Jason so excited about what he was doing and to be in a place that truly respects and appreciates him as an artist and educator. He deserves it. We can both say with utmost sincerity that he has been one of the most genuinely helpful, concerned, and inspirational mentors in both our lives, something which we will always be grateful for.
It was also a pleasure to finally get better acquainted with Laura. Her kind and open nature came as no surprise and we could easily see that the two of them complemented each other well, forming a strong foundation for their family.
They wished us well as we packed up our belongings to head out on the open road and reminded us that if the west coast does nothing for us there’s always Ithaca… we assured them that we’d return one day for another visit… after all who could resist such an invitation?