No doubt about it, 2010 was a hangdog of a depressing year for myself and friends (I don’t know any hedge fund managers or bail-out executives) but this fall I encountered a scenario that gave me hope for our future and spread a happy smile on my face.

I and Kyle, my assistant.  were in Burlington at the Best Buy store, pricing monitors which would display our database of images to clients who visited  the Peter Miller Gallery.  As we headed to the television displays, I saw, coming towards us, a woman with a determined stride and purposeful set to her mouth. In her right hand she held a notebook. She was neither tall nor short. Her eyes were blue and her hair fashioned neatly in a no nonsense style — a dirty blond in her early forties, I would say.  Slightly behind her was a young woman, again with short hair, but fairer. Her face was flushed by the late summer sun and freckles bridged her nose and cheeks. She still had her baby fat.  Obviously, this was mother and daughter. Trailing behind the two was a boy, gangly as a growing teenager of about 14 is, with a slumped-shoulder gait that says to everyone,  “I’m bored out of my skull.” Maybe he was also miffed because, on this day, his sister played the lead.

The young woman was pushing a handcart on which sat a boxed, compact refrigerator, similar to one I had bought earlier for our office. Her eyes were closed, and a very special smile lit up her face. I knew in an instant the destination of that refrigerator; that smile and countenance of her young and pretty face said it all—­She was on her way to college.  No Mom, no Dad, no brother, no groundings.  She’s cutting loose, and oh is she looking forward to it! A curriculum to choose, and so many subjects to learn. Clubs to join, sports to play and boys to kiss.  A room miles from home. A new routine, or no routine and new best friends — a campus brimming with people her age. And parties.

Most of all, this young lady will control her life. She just can’t wait to cross the bridge that will, in all probability, set the course of her destiny. How exciting! She glowed with happiness as she faced her future with that new refrigerator and my spirits and smile soared with her.

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