Saturday, September 17, 2016

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse And Portland

Today was a perfect day.  Weather wise and otherwise.  I spent it with Nathan, Julia and Thatcher.  We went to Portland.

After stops at the Derry post office and the Portsmouth Wal-Mart to buy Thatcher new clothes after he got car sick, we were on our way to Portland.  I have never been to  Maine.  Maine is the 2nd new state I have visited this trip.  The first stop in Maine was the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse.  I love lighthouses.  I was so excited.  I was not disappointed.  Cape Elizabeth has a beautiful lighthouse.  Of course, I took pictures from different angles.

Then, I took some of the water and shore, too

I took a lot more pictures than what I am posting.  If you know me, that goes without saying.

The drive into Portland was short.  Our main goal was lunch.  We were hungry.  Since it was a perfect day,there were a lot of people out and about in Portland and most places had a line, even though it was after 1:00.  We chose J's Oysters, mostly because it had the shortest line.  We looked at the menu while we waited.  We were ready to order as soon as we were seated.  I had a cup of clam chowder and a lobster roll.  The lobster roll had a very generous portion of lobster.

And, a couple of pictures in Portland.

I think the day can best be described by the following picture taken while we were at the lighthouse.
I thank you.. for most this amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirit of trees and a blue true dream of sky and for everything which is natural which is infinite, which is yes.

e.e. cummings

I would also add and thank you for this time with my family.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jigsaw Puzzles And Whopper Breaks

On December 31, 2004 my first grandchild was born.  She was perfect in every way.  In my eyes, she still is.  It soon became evident that this child loved puzzles.  I, also, love puzzles.  But, it would not have mattered if I did or did not love puzzles, I would have worked them with her just to be with her. 

With each passing visit, our puzzles became more difficult.  We have worked one 1000 piece one, one that had a metallic finish on it.  When the overhead light was shining on the pieces, it transformed the colors.  We did finish that one.  And, then there was the one I ordered of her new hometown.  Little did I know, as a bigger challenge, it came with no picture.  We worked and worked on it.  We never did finish that one.  Now, at least, we can laugh about it.

Two years ago I went to help them move.  Camille and I went off to pack some boxes of linens and pillows.  She had some whoppers.  Not whoppers as in Burger King, but whoppers as in chocolate malt balls.  We would put a few things in a box and she would say, "I think it is time for a whopper break."  We would laugh and have a whopper or two.  We had so much fun.  After we arrived in New Hampshire, we went to get some whoppers so we could unpack.  Since then, we always need whoppers when I come to visit.  Always.

We bought whoppers last Thursday at Target and started on our puzzle later that day.  This year, we have no table for the puzzle.  We have a somewhat stiff mat on the carpet of her bedroom.  We have to put the pieces that have not been used away every night.  It is okay, we are up to the challenge.  Some days, we just have a few minutes to work on the puzzle.  Some days, we have more.  We may finish the puzzle tomorrow.  We finished the whoppers last night.

This is a very special time.  I love every minute of it.  I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I don't think I am the dullest either.  Camille will soon be 12.  She is swimming 5 days a week.  While, I would like to think, there will always be jigsaw puzzles and whopper breaks,  I realize some time I will come to visit and she won't have time to work puzzles.

Trust me, I am treasuring every second we spend working jigsaw puzzles and taking whopper breaks.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

In Full Glory Reflected

Thursday, one thing after another happened making packing difficult.  It was late when I started, and Thursday night turned into Friday morning before I realized.  At 3:00, I decided going to bed was pointless. 

At 9:00, Matt and I left for the airport.  Both Nicole and I forgot to give each things to each other. Oh, well. 

The minute I got on the plane I went to sleep.  And, when I woke up 2 hours later, we were still sitting on the tarmac in Tegucigalpa.  I was really thankful that I had a 4 hour layover in Atlanta.  I was also, thankful the flight from Atlanta left on time, 10:15 p.m.  All luggage arrived.  I was glad to see Linda and Larry.  It has been six years since I had seen them. 

We were all so tired, but we still stayed up to visit.  Saturday meant sleeping in a bit.  Quite a bit.  And, lounging around visiting some more.  We took a quick drive and saw some of Baltimore, returned home to have Dr Peppers.  Yay. 

Erica and Zach and the boys came over for dinner.  I had never met Zach, much less the boys.  Those 3 boys sure need to get with my Haley, Emma and Paige.  We had a pleasant evening, with way to much food.  I ate so much that I had to say no to ice cream. Another late, late night of visiting.

Today, we did Baltimore in a day.  We met Erica's family for breakfast at the Paper Moon, a truly Baltimore joint.  Zach was off to work, Erica and the boys off to the park.  We then did Fort McHenry, the Baltimore Museum of Art and Phillips Seafood for crab cakes.

We got to Fort McHenry just in time for the flag changing ceremony.  This was beautiful and I am glad we did not miss it.

This was a very meaningful ceremony.   The flag has 15 stripes and 15 stars. 

We walked around and I took a bunch of pictures of the harbor.

We went back into the visitor's center and watched the video.  I think the video is designed to be seen first, but it was time for the flag ceremony when we arrived.  I like the order we did it.  The video was a brief history of the battle and the writing of  The Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem.  As it ended the words were being sung.  Everyone in the room rose, as did the video screen.  Behind the video screen was a big picture window and we could see the big flag that we had just witnessed being raised.  The big flag was gently blowing in the breeze.  Pride swelled in my heart.  As the song ended, there was not a dry eye in the place.

This was just so great and loved being at Fort McHenry today.