2019 Life Logs, Day 164: Dinner with Great-Nephew in Woods Hole

2019 Life Logs, Day 164: Dinner with Great-Nephew in Woods Hole
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2019
Weather: Rainy, Rainy Day; High 69, Low 55 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

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I love having a great-nephew because that means I am a great-aunt. Who doesn’t like to be great?!!! But I especially love having a great-nephew who is a poet. And that poet is Josh Martin. He is an instructor and graduate student at Georgia State University in Atlanta and won a fellowship to the 2019 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing which is happening this week. So he is on Martha’s Vineyard for the week and I invited him to take the ferry over to Woods Hole to meet me and Heather and family for dinner. It was a rainy day, but the Goldpebbles and I braved the rain to meet Josh at the ferry dock. We had a wonderful dinner at Quick’s Hole Tavern and then walked over to Jed’s lab so Josh could learn a little about science research in Woods Hole. It was then time for the last ferry back to the Vineyard, so we all walked Josh back to the ferry terminal and said our farewells until Saturday when he will return at the end of the institute. He flies out of Boston at 6 am on Sunday, so we will only have him for a few hours, but we’ll enjoy the time we have together.

Prior to meeting Josh in Woods Hole, I attended the Newcomers general meeting and installation of officers for next year at Highfield Hall. Highfield is currently featuring Stickworks by world renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty. He and his assistants are building a special stick structure on the Highfield lawn with the 18,000 pounds of willow saplings that have been delivered there. Over the last thirty years, Dougherty has built over 250 stick structures from Scotland to Japan to Brussels and all around this country. The Highfield structure will be completed by the end of next week, so I look forward to returning with the Goldpebbles to see the final product. It was the hope that the Newcomers would be touring the grounds this afternoon, but the rain stopped that. Still it was a wonderful gathering in Highfield Hall with delicious food and wonderful friends.

2019 Life Logs, Day 163: Jonah’s 4th Grade Graduation

2019 Life Logs, Day 163: Jonah’s 4th Grade Graduation
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 72, Low 54 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The last two evenings have been spent at East Falmouth Elementary School. Last night was Ollie’s first grade concert, the first in his school career. Then tonight, I returned to the school with the Goldstones for Jonah’s 4th grade graduation. He will be moving on to another school for 5th grade and 6th grade. Tonight he 4th graders sang the school song and then a song named “I’ll Make The Difference”—a song of hope that was perfect for the occasion. After each student was awarded their diploma, we all moved outside to the courtyard. There were beautiful pastries and Smitty’s, the neighborhood ice cream shop, came to the school tonight to serve ice cream for all. A couple of years ago, Heather wrote a grant to turn the courtyard into an outdoor classroom and has worked continuously since to make it a reality. Tonight was the first public use of the space and it was spectacular. The new pergola is now surrounded by raised beds, tree stump seats, and Adirondack chairs. It is a beautiful addition to the school and the 4th graders enjoyed posing for photos and signing year books in a lovely setting. Jonah looked quite spiffy this evening in a black sport jacket, long black pants, and a maroon shirt. I managed to get a picture of him with Molly, the ‘girl next door’ who Jonah declared at age five that he would marry, one with his good friend and soccer buddy Kayden, as well as another with a larger group of good friends. But I think my favorite picture was of Jonah checking out his yearbook. All you can see in the photo is the back of Jonah’s head—big hair—and the yearbook. Made me smile. Another nice touch to the evening was that each 4th grader painted a kindness rock that they placed in the courtyard during the evening.

As we move into the next school year, all three Goldpebbles will be in different schools. Ollie will remain at East Falmouth Elementary for three more years. Jonah will be at Morse Pond for the next two years, and Sam will be moving on to Lawrence School where all Falmouth students attend seventh and eighth grade. He doesn’t have a graduation ceremony as he leaves Morse Pond because Morse Pond and Lawrence are both considered middle school, just in two different buildings. Sam’s next graduation will be at the end of eighth grade when he moves on to high school. Could that possibly just be two years away?

2019 Life Logs, Day 162: LCC and Ollie’s First Grade Concert

2019 Life Logs, Day 162: LCC and Ollie’s First Grade Concert
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Weather: Rainy AM, Clearing PM; High 77, Low 54 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

What is LCC? For me it stands for Laundry, Cooking, Canning. And I could add another ‘C’ for Cleaning. But there was no cleaning today, just LCC. Doing laundry means taking three trips back and forth to Heather’s to use the Goldstone washer and dryer. It is only a mile and a half away, but still three trips back and forth takes a chunk of time. On my first trip over, I picked up the pressure canner we share and came home to start my first canner load of chicken mineral broth. While that was jiggling, I started my cooking project for today. I cleaned and chopped strawberries and rhubarb to make two strawberry rhubarb pies—one for my neighbors Shirley and Doris and one for me to share with the Goldstones. I shared one with the Goldstones last week, but rhubarb is only available for a few weeks this time of year, so you have to get your fill of this wonderful treat while you can. My neighbor and landlord, Shirley, has a home just across the drive-way, and she and her sister Doris returned yesterday after spending the last nine months at Doris’ home in Scituate near Boston. They are here for the summer and I am so glad to have neighbors once again. I delivered the pie this afternoon and welcomed them back to the neighborhood. In-between laundry trips, pie baking, and visiting, I continued to can my chicken mineral broth as well as Heather and Jed’s chicken broth. I usually spend my Tuesday afternoons with Jonah and Ollie after school, but today Jed wanted to come home to watch the USA vs Thailand Women’s Soccer World Cup game, so I just stayed home and kept the canner loads going. And I also tuned in to the soccer game. When the score was 11-0 in favor of the USA, I stopped watching. That’s went next door to visit. Then at 5:30 pm, I headed to the Goldstones (trip three in the laundry cycle) to get my laundry out of the dryer and then head with the family to East Falmouth for Ollie’s first grade concert. He had chosen to wear a white dress shirt with a dark blue blazer and turquoise shorts with his black patent leather Doc Martin boots. He had also combed his hair just so. What a handsome AND stylish kid. But he is also a very serious little one. During the concert, he dared not smile, but stood arrow straight and sang every word of every song. While most of the other first graders were doing hand motions to go along with the songs, not Oliver. He’s way too serious for that. By the last song, we saw a little smile and he actually tapped his little foot to the music, but still no hand motions. After the concert, Ollie wanted me to take a photo of him with mommy and daddy under the tulip tree in front of the school and then photos of him in the tree. Then we headed to Smitty’s for ice cream. A certain percentage of tonight’s proceeds were going to Sam’s school, Morse Pond, so we all had ice cream to support the school. Great excuse!

2019 Life Logs, Day 161: Beautiful Day on Cuttyhunk Island

2019 Life Logs, Day 161: Beautiful Day on Cuttyhunk Island
Date: Monday, June 10, 2019
Weather: Beautiful Sunny Day; High 72, Low 62 degrees
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

58 Boys at Play

18 Jonah and Sam on Foredeck as We Approach Cuttyhunk

Our Newcomers Teacher Group traveled to Cuttyhunk Island today. It was a beautiful day weather-wise and a fabulous island experience. We traveled by car to New Bedford which is about a 45-minute drive across the bridge and to the west. There we boarded the Cuttyhunk Ferry for another 45-minute ride back to the southeast across Buzzards Bay to the island. You can actually take a water taxi from Falmouth to Cuttyhunk, but it is a much more expensive ride and just as long. So, the ferry from New Bedford is the way to go. When we arrived in New Bedford at the ferry dock, we were joined by about forty 4th and 5th graders from Wellfleet on Cape Cod and off we went. There were wispy clouds in a very blue sky and the temperature was warmer than forecast. Perfect weather for a trip to an out island. I have many memories of sailing to Cuttyhunk, first in 1991 when we sailed Skybreaker north from the Chesapeake Bay and made Cuttyhunk our first landfall in New England. I have no photos of that landing in Cuttyhunk as it was so foggy you literally couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. But it was an experience that Mark, Heather, Justin, and I will never forget. Then fast forward to 2013 after Mark and I had returned from our sail around the world. We sailed to Cuttyhunk with Heather and family and the visions of Mark building sandcastles on the beach in Cuttyhunk with Sam, Jonah, and Ollie, of Heather jogging through town with a four year-old Jonah, of Granddad walking down the dock hand-in-hand with a one year-old Ollie will always remain with me. And then in 2015, Mark and I sailed with the three grandsons to Cuttyhunk and memories of Jonah and Sam on Windbird’s foredeck as we sailed into Cuttyhunk are indelible memories. I am now making new memories of visiting this very special island. In 2017 I went to Cuttyhunk with this same Newcomers Group and today returned to experience this very special island. Today we had a couple of classes on the beach with the students from Wellfleet, walked into town and had lunch at the Townhall, hiked up the hill to Lookout Point, and stood atop a World War II bunker where the views were spectacular. Only twelve people live on Cuttyhunk year round, but in the summer, the population swells with summer residents and daily tourists who take the ferry to experience this special, special place on this earth.

2019 Life Logs, Day 160:  Soccer and Gardening

2019 Life Logs, Day 160:  Soccer and Gardening
Date:  Sunday, June 9, 2019
Weather:  Beautiful Sunny Day; High 70, Low 53 degrees
Location:  At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As planned, I headed to Heather’s early this morning to hitch a ride with the Goldstones to Jonah’s final soccer game of the season.  We had a 40 to 45 minute drive and Jonah needed to be there around 9 am for a 9:30 game, so we left at 8:20 on the dot.  The weather was beautiful and a little warmer than predicted last night.  It was one of those bright blue sky Cape Cod days.  At some point during the game, Sam asked if he could take the photos today and he got some great action shots.  It was a great game, well matched teams, and fun to watch.  The score at the end was 5-5, a good way for two good teams to end the season.  It was almost noon by the time we got home.  The Goldstones headed to an end-of-the-year Scout picnic for Ollie and Jonah and I headed home to garden.  I worked until 3:30 and then headed to Heather’s to do some planting there.  I got a lot done today, not everything, but almost, and I am ready for a good night’s sleep.  Tomorrow morning I have to meet a group of Newcomers at 7 am so we can carpool to New Bedford where we will take a ferry to Cuttyhunk.  I went on this trip in June of 2017 and enjoyed it so much I decided to return.  Anytime you get the chance to spend the day on a beautiful island, I think you should take advantage of the opportunity.