Monthly Archives: July 2011

…And Motor Man’s Sunset

A few days ago, I spent the afternoon and evening with a relative in the emergency room. (Everything’s okay: she wasn’t admitted.)  But it meant that I was away from home during sunset.

Motor Man, however, was at home, and, being the wonderful hubby that he is, grabbed the camera and captured the sunset for me.

He knew I wasn’t seeing that sunset from where I was. And he didn’t want me to miss it. So he saved it for me.

That’s just the kind of guy he is.

Linking up to Weekend Reflections.

A Brown-Eyed Girl’s Sunrise

When I was a teenager, the song “Brown-Eyed Girl”,  by Van Morrison was always a favorite.  Not only did it have good lyrics and a great tune, but it was about a BROWN-EYED girl! It seems that blue eyes get all the attention, and being a brown-eyed girl, I was tickled that there was finally a song about “us”.

It was (and continues to be) one of those songs that require that the radio volume be turned up immediately as soon as you realize it’s playing.

And what, you may be wondering, does the song “Brown-Eyed Girl” have to do with Thursday morning’s sunrise?

Think about it: “in the misty morning fog with you….my brown-eyed girl….”

And now, we’ll all be singing that song for the rest of the day.  You’re welcome.

That Little Blue Plate

Since probably before I was born, this “little blue plate” hung by the front door of our house.

After I was grown, my Mom gave it to me. She said that it was on a bedroom mantle at Bacon’s Castle when she and her family moved into the house in the early 1920’s. She and her sisters shared the bedroom, and my mom “claimed” the plate.

Some time after she gave it to me (maybe a few months or even a couple of years later), this was a conversation we had one day while Mom was visiting:

Mom:  “I gave you that little blue plate, but I haven’t seen it since then.”

Me: “It’s in the china cabinet. I was afraid to hang it on the wall, because I don’t want to take a chance on it getting broken.”

Mom: “Well, I had it hanging on the wall all those years, and nothing ever happened to it.”

 I then went to the china cabinet, took out the plate and brought it to the sofa where Mom was sitting.  The string attached to the back of the plate was just a simple little piece of cotton twine. “We” decided to perform a little test.

I tugged gently on that string.  And it broke. So the plate went back into the china cabinet, where it’s been ever since.

When Mom gave this to me, I wasn’t familiar with Wedgewood. Even after realizing what it was, I was unable to find any information about this particular design.  A few years ago, a local museum offered an appraisal event by Sotheby’s. I took the little blue plate, and it was appraised for $750.

The plate may be worth that figure. But there’s no way I could put a price on the memories that it brings.


A Grown-Up Decision

For Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop today, I chose this prompt:

1.) A moment you realized your child was growing up.

When my son, Marshall, was eleven, my mom went to live in a convalescent home. Thankfully, we lived just a few minutes away, so I was able to visit her every night.  Most nights, Marshall went with me.  He got to know most of the staff and many of the residents. He had lots of adopted grandparents!

As his twelfth birthday neared, I asked Marshall how he would like to celebrate.  His birthday celebrations were typically simple backyard cake-and-ice cream parties or maybe pizza with a few of his friends. And I thought this year would probably be the same.

But for this birthday, Marshall surprised me with quite a grown-up request.

He asked to celebrate it at the convalescent home. And, other than immediate family,  he only wanted to invite the friends he had made there at the home.

But the most important reason for this decision? So his Goggie could be there for his birthday.

I love the love in this picture.

 Mama’s Losin’ It

“Sherlock’s Home”

During our recent riverboat cruise along the Connecticut River, we spotted this stone “house” up on a hill.  Seeing it from that distance, it appeared to us to be in disrepair.  (I cropped this picture on the computer, so it seems closer than it was.)

One of the crew members on the boat explained that it’s Gillette’s Castle, built by William Gillette, the actor who portrayed Sherlock Holmes in the early 20th century.  And we found out that it’s open for tours.

So once we completed our train/riverboat cruise trip, the castle was our next stop.

It’s an amazing place with quite a history. Building the house took five years, and it was completed in 1919. All the stone (and there’s quite a bit of it) was mined right in the area.

I’ve never been a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, but we discovered that William Gillette was the one to actually bring the character to life. The cap and curved pipe with which we’re so familiar were Gillette’s idea. 

We learned a little about William Gillette during the tour. Apparently he was quite a character and loved playing pranks on his house guests. 

There’s a breathtaking view of the Connecticut River from the grounds. Apparently people boating on the river are looking up at the Castle, and folks touring the Castle are looking down at the river.

I took this picture from inside the house through a little diamond-shaped window. I didn’t notice it during the tour, but those stones at the top of the window are shaped like animal hooves. Learning what we did about William Gillette’s attention to detail, he probably planned it that way.

Since no flash photography was allowed inside the Castle, we didn’t get many good pictures of the interior. I took this one of the library for Marshall; he’d love to have access to all those old books.

 Cozy is not a word that comes to mind to describe this house.  And we were told that William Gillette never referred to it as a Castle.   

But there’s a word that fits.

Here’s a link to read more about Gillette’s Castle. If you’re ever in that area of Connecticut, it’s worth a visit. And I can’t take credit for “Sherlock’s Home”; that was the title of a booklet offered for sale in the gift shop.

Cruisin’ Down The River

Yesterday, I posted about the train portion of a recent trip that Motor Man and I took to Connecticut with friends. The reason the train stopped after about a half hour into the trip…?

It stopped here for us to board the Becky Thatcher Riverboat for the next segment of our excursion.

The riverboat ride lasted about an hour and a half.  We could not have asked for a more perfect weather day. 

We took advantage of the offer to go up on the top deck of the boat: definitely the place to be. These are our friends, Bev and Bill, enjoying the cruise.

I wish we’d had someone take a picture of the four of us together, but we didn’t think to do that.

There was  lots of boat traffic on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Including this:  a floating hot dog stand. Since the Becky Thatcher had a snack bar, we didn’t stop here, but we thought it was a clever idea.

And then, far up on a cliff, we saw this.

And tomorrow, I’ll tell you what it is.

On The Road Again

A couple of weekends ago, Motor Man and I traveled with our friends, Bev and Bill, to Connecticut.  The main reason for our visit was to take the Essex Steam Train/Riverboat Excursion. (I’ve mentioned before that we have hobo blood flowing through our veins. And it seems that our friends do, too.)

This sign was the official way of letting us know that we were going to get dirty. It didn’t deter us, though. The weather was too gorgeous for us not to sit in the open car.

Our trip took us along the Connecticut River.  Are you able to tell from the picture how beautiful the day was?

Our husbands – enjoying the trip. 

And their hobo-wives, doing the same. I’m guessing that you can probably tell which one of us is the blogger, and which one is the beach-lover. Need a little more time?

About a half-hour into our ride, the train stopped. Tomorrow I’ll tell you why.