Final days before college

Helen has a bucket list of things she wants to do before leaving for college. They included going out to a movie with her Dad, eating at her two favorite restaurants, and getting in some mountain time. Last weekend fulfilled one item on her list...






Lots to think about before leaving.


It is now down to the final couple of days. We're packing and packing.
I sewed her a new sleepsack/blanket for her bed. I found in my sewing basket a scrap of the trim I had put on the blanket I sewed her for first grade naptime. 


She has been baking away her anxiety. 
She has baked something every single day ...and sometimes at night.


This is what I smelled at 1 a.m. and found when I got up this morning.
I'm taking them to my interns at work.  We are all tired of cookies.


The mountains, some crafting, a lot of baking...not bad ways to keep busy before such a big moment.


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Summer Vacation Days with Family

Vacation found us all together in a Maine cabin by the sea.
We had some rainy days and the girls did a lot of baking...


...and knitting.


Hats were the pattern this year.
Here is the first hat off the needles.
They are a bit more useful than the many, many gnomes they knit one year.


 

This hat wasn't such a success.


We always love to find a good bookstore and coffee shop.


Puzzles are a must.


We also spent time on the water.






Many, many thanks to our dear friends who loan us their cabin every year.


 The final hat was completed in the car on the way home.



We stopped to visit my brother and his family.
The girls just had to have this photo!


Well...I promised this wouldn't go on Facebook, but never mentioned the blog.
My brother, gentleman farmer.


It has been quite awhile since we have all had time to just hang out.
It was wonderful.


Before heading home, we took my father out to the Isles of Shoals for a 70th birthday celebration.
What a fun day!



My brothers, my parents, and me!


My brothers got my father a birthday treat. It was 5:00 somewhere in the world.
Definitely not on the boat...


It was a lovely week by the sea with family.
Just what we needed.




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It isn't summer without Village Harmony

While I was off on all my history jaunts, Elizabeth was at Village Harmony. Village Harmony is this fun concept where musicians go around the world to tiny villages to collect songs. They bring them back to the U.S. and then offer singing camps and retreats for teens and adults.  

After the participants learn all the music they go on tour to tiny villages in Quebec and New England. The villages put together potluck dinners and host the teens.  So, the villages all come together in many ways though food, music, and fellowship. 


Here they are on the last night singing a song with prose from Wendell Berry. It is incredibly beautiful.




Slowly, slowly, they return
To the small woodland let alone:
Great trees, outspreading and upright,
Apostles of the living light.

Patient as stars, they build in air
Tier after tier a timbered choir,
Stout beams upholding weightless grace
Of song, a blessing on this place.

They stand in waiting all around,
Uprisings of their native ground,
Downcomings of the distant light;
They are the advent they await.

Receiving sun and giving shade,
Their life's a benefaction made,
And is a benediction said
Over the living and the dead.

In fall their brightened leaves, released,
Fly down the wind, and we are pleased
To walk on radiance, amazed.
0 light come down to earth, be praised!


We picked up Liz this past weekend. This photo says so much about the power of music to cement friendships and world understandings. It was a difficult goodbye.


I am so happy that both girls have had Village Harmony in their lives. 

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A Crazy Start to Summer

Every summer I teach a week-long summer institute for teachers on topics in history. This year we studied community history. Teaching 5 days straight all day long is pretty intense, but also wonderful. 

We took over this small town--here I am setting off with a group to study architecture.


The community wondered why all these people were staring at their houses and taking notes. We met a lot of people who then joined in!


We learned about how to teach history in the cemetery.


Here's a page from one of the teachers' journals.


We even ventured into the woods to explore old cellar holes.


It was a fantastic week.  I have two jobs right now and the day after the institute ended, I found myself at our local industrial history museum training 5 teenagers for their summer intern jobs. They are a great group of kids and I enjoy working with them.


July 4th saw us in New Hampshire for a quick overnight in between trips. I had a property owner meeting to go to. Helen and Nelson headed off for a photo at our traditional bridge to commemorate her new college status.

Nelson and I had a breather for one day which we really needed as big changes are coming to our family. We needed to walk and talk.


We met this friend on our hike.


And then...the very next day Helen and I headed off on the train, bound for New York City. I took 15 teachers (many of whom were also on the train) for a week of intensive history workshops and tours.


Helen and I got an afternoon on our own. We visited the Guggenheim.


...and saw Pippin. Helen was so happy to see her first Broadway show.


I took the teachers to study immigration at the Tenement Museum.


We visited a synagogue...


...and had walking tours and workshops in Chinatown.


We got home and I spent the weekend back at the museum teaching kids how to make telegraphs.


This might have been the craziest 6 weeks of my working life. The fact that I am actually blogging speaks to the fact that maybe I'm catching my breath.

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A Poignant June

June brought a lovely high school graduation and many days of family and visitors--so fun!

It all began with a beautiful Baccalaureate service at Rollins College on the Dartmouth campus.

 

It was clear how much Helen's teachers admired her on Class Day. She received several awards for her work in the English, Music, and Theatre departments.


Graduation was wonderful--great speeches and a happy girl!


Helen's friends showed up to surprise her.



Nelson's parents were with us for the week and had a big surprise!  Their "daughter" from Sweden came with her family for a surprise visit on the day after graduation. Helena lived with them for a year as an exchange student and has remained connected ever since.


The next day the extended family came for an afternoon party. It was lovely to see everyone. We played lawn games and had a big luncheon. We surprised Helen with a gelato cake.


Just as we were about to pour 18 champagne glasses for a toast, we discovered the water was fading. We quickly switched over to plastic.  Here are the menfolk investigating in the basement. With 10 people for dinner one night and 18 visiting the next day, no wonder the water had trouble keeping up.


The month ended on a sad note as our friend Eva came home from her spinning class, collapsed, and died. It was shocking for the entire community. Her service was held at the beloved Strafford Meeting House where hundreds of people filled the building, spilling out on to the lawn.


 It was a hard end to the month. Here's my friend Eva with her daughter, Helen's friend Becca.


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