Monday, December 21, 2009

Morning Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

My Jetta and I drove from Florida to Maine two wks ago. I would call it a life-experience.
I entered the Appalachian Mntns the 2nd morning. I appropriately turned on Edvard Grieg's "Morning" as I wound up my first mount. The music seemed to meander and dip and climb with my road. Then, with amazing precision, the music climaxed just as I rounded into my first valley. I was nearly overwhelmed by the rush of visuals and music. Just below my road was a rusty coal train. Just beyond the coal train was a broad river. And the second burst of music erupted at the same moment that I spotted a shallow waterfall as wide as the broad river beyond the coal train below me was broad. Although it was winter, the view was spectacular. A light snow lay between the bare trees. More twists and turns revealed old red barns, valleys of grazing horses, bubbling brooks spilling out of still ponds, and few humans.
I drove from the Blue Ridge Parkway, across the dog ear of West Virginia, through the crane neck of Maryland. I passed Scranton, PA but did not stop at Dundermifflin, then paralleled Long Island Sound til I reached the Masalin's house.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Clustered crystals of that wintery white stuff

It’s 6AM. When I woke to the site out the window, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” came on immediately, like a needle had been lifted and set on the Bing Crosby record in my head. It looked as though Ledyard, Connecticut was being sprinkled with sugar: yards, trees, roofs, cars, and roads- all were covered in a tremendous layer of the finest sugar that I had ever seen. I think it was the snow plow that awoke me. But I am glad for it. It was such a wonderland outside and I decided to go walking in it. I recovered my denim, donned a warm shirt and jacket, and borrowed some men’s boots then trekked out the back door. The snow crunched beneath my soles as I made my way to the stacked stone wall that lines the Masalin’s property. Beyond the old fence is a marvelous slope which peaks near their land then rolls downward until it fades into trees a few acres away. In the summer, the lushness of the meadow is lovely and in fall the brilliance of its colors is stammering. On this December morning, the trickling snow forbade me see too far, but I did witness it in its most dazzling state yet. The sky was as white as the ground, distinguishable only by an icy branched divider. Some branches appeared limp with the weight of the clustered crystals while others bore the burden well. I hope I can be the latter tree when my trials come.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Savannah just became one of my favorite cities.

The history of the colony is layered upon layer and the beauty of the historic district is unrivaled!

The town has 23 grassy squares. Most feature a monument or fountain and are surrounded by antebellum buildings.

All of which are veiled by Spanish moss. (Did you know that it is called Spanish moss because the local Indians said it looked like the conquistadors’ beards. The British thought that quite funny and the name stuck. Once Henry Ford decided to use it for seat stuffing in his cars, but he had to recall it because people were being attacked by chiggers.) There is so much Spanish moss in Savannah that some trees looked like matted-haired beasts!

Chris and I rode a trolley through town then walked along River Street, which was built with the ballasting stones from the bellies of the boats. Now, a Christmas light-decked River Queen docks there.

Chris' uncles run a Victorian Bed & Breakfast there, Park Avenue Manor. We lounged in their parlor(s) for a while and they treated us to dinner at Six Pence Pub, where Julia Roberts catches her cheating husband, Dennis Quaid
in "Something to Talk About." Other stories set there include "Cape Fear," "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and songs like "Moon River" by Johnny Mercer.

Friday, November 27, 2009

dog scares seagulls scare girl scares seagulls excites dog

Chris and I ran up and down a beach throwing the rugby ball back and forth.  After tiring ourselves out, we collapsed on the sand and I took a semi-nap on his tummy while he read about Andrew Jackson.  I got bored and went to dip my toes in the waves and sing to the ocean.  Things were wonderfully peaceful until a hilarious floppy-tongued puppy herded a flock of seagulls toward me.  This little chocolate lab bulted up out of nowhere and forced the sleepy birds to take off as quickly as they could; they fumbled on each other in the rush, which was hilariously awkward.  And they didn't notice that I was standing where they were aiming until they were in the air.  The mass avoidance of both girl and dog made the comotion even more awkward for the poor birds.  It was the silliest thing.  So they just went up and up and revealed me to the A.D.D. dog, who immediately wanted to meet me.  So I gave her some attention and she got me wetter than I already was, then I returned to my husband and the dog continuted to pursue the seagulls.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The oldest city in the U.S., a college, a fort, and another fort

We drove down a barrier island to a place that really didn't feel like America.  St. Augustine, founded in 1565, is the oldest port in the U.S. Spanish architecture and mosaics dominate the city's buildings and squares.  We walked through ornate stone arches below embellished bell towers near carp-filled fountains.  We gawked at the hotel ponce de leon's
courtyard and wondered at Flagler College's atrium.
Railroad barren, Henry Flagler built numerous hotels in Florida to bring his wealthy yankee friends to on his RR. Clever huh? The atrium of his school's foyer is filled with sunlight and brushed with gold.  The glimpse I got of the dinning hall reminded me of Cambridge. 
We circumvented the 16th century fort, Castillo de San Marcos, too.  We walked in what used to be a moat and sized up the cannons.  Twas yet another reason I didn't feel like we were in America.
As dusk approached, thousands of little white Christmas lights flipped on.  The trees were doused in them and the buildings were lined with them and the wet cobblestone street glowed because of them!  We stopped for Cider and Yuengling at a colonial tavern.  The room was lantern-lit, the beer came from a barrel, and colonial garbed employees were quite entertaining.

Thanksgiving, we toured Ft.Clinch, a Union-held Civil War fort on the Georgia border.  Then we ate our feast at Cracker Barrel because our hotel hasn't an oven.

I just love driving down roads like this. 

Pumpkins to Poinsettias

The days of my pumpkin spiced lattes are dwindling. The plump pumpkins that lined the grocers’ windows have been replaced with poignant poinsettias and will soon be joined by mistletoe and fraser firs.  In September, I wrote, “If it weren’t for Thanksgiving, Christmas would start November 15.”  Ha!  Okay okay I take it back.  I must have forgotten that Plymoth has been forgotten everywhere but the 1st grade classroom and the dinner table. 
Here I am in Florida attending Christmas tree lightings and sampling peppermint hot chocolate.  It's so warm here!  I haven’t worn a sweater in weeks. Rather, I walk on the beach barefooted in a t-shirt. I bet the water here never gets as cold as the warmest water ever gets in Maine. I am a Texan from Maine staying in Florida. Well, I am just tickling the underbelly of ubiquity aren't I?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Don't Feed the Alligators."

What a welcoming sign
What an interesting area. As I drove through Seminole Park, I felt like Christopher Reeves felt in “Somewhere in Time” when he crossed from 1989 to 1912 and his surroundings flickered and faded from modern to Victorian. My surroundings seem to flicker and fade between Hawaiian and Georgian as I crossed from the entrance booth to the beach…A tropical flower to my left and a rhododendron to my right, a swamp-lake down this street and an ocean view down that, a palm branch on the forest floor and Spanish moss dangling above it… flicker fade.
I approached the beach to find oat-covered sand dunes standing like a wall unbreached by the sad kelp that lay mangled at its base. The sand was course, the shellsherds many, and the water warm. As I looked out across the horizon, the numerous barges and carriers reminded me that my nature preserve was near a port. Above the big-beaked and long-legged birds flew J-hawks and HH65s. Beyond the foam puffed another tugboat.

Beach this Morning

Morning sun beams snuck between illuminated clouds and made the water and the mist bright white. I could not see more than 200 yards down the stretch because of the white film around me. Early bird surfers did a disappearing act as they bobbed up and down with each wave and the figures of joggers faded into the mist soon after they passed me. So every once in a while, I was completely alone and then moments later, I had company again.

My husband is wise.

“Chris, thank you for understanding me and validating me. Sometimes I think you understand me better than I do myself.”

Some people get in fights and doubly hurt each other because they react to their spouses actions instead of looking at the deeper cause of that action. This is like slapping a horse because it pinned its ears. A wise owner deepens his/her level of thinking and considers the source issue that is causing the horse’s behavior and addresses the issue instead of mindlessly slapping.
My husband is so wise. When a problem arises, before he gets angry, he ponders the position of my heart and considers that the problem at hand may be just a symptom or manifestation of a deeper and maybe even yet-to-be-discovered trouble. He has a knack for knowing what the real problem is. Then we talk it out and he comforts me and I apologize and we pray about it and both leave happy and unscathed. This wouldn’t work if we did not both value honesty and desire to know each other better. I am so thankful for this man.

English is ridiculous.

The barren bear bared her beard then barely bit the board that the bored boar bore.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Once you get past the acting, Fireproof (Sherwood (church) Pictures) is a really good film.  The movie is about fixing a broken marriage.   One character just said, "A woman is like a rose.  If you treat her right, she'll bloom.  If you don't, she'll wilt."  I sent Chris a text message saying, "I just want you to know that I am blooming."  :) They're coming out with another film.

I read this today and teared up for the truth of it then called Chris to express my pride in having him for a husband. “A woman who has known healthy love from a man is stronger, more content, and more self-assured. A haven of a healthy love becomes a safe place to run back to. A haven to rest in . A shelter from the storm. There is someone to hold her in the night. Someone to call her beautiful.”

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chris has 24-hr duty on the boat on Thanksgiving Day. I'll probably get Christmas with him, but they will be gone by New Years. Last New Years, we were on our third date in New York.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Temporarily Floridian

Florida is warm and humid.  Not that I expected it to be any different. Glad it's not hurricane season.
Jaguars football game last week. Woohoo.
Casting Crowns concert Thursday.  Man the lead singer is so genuine.  Some bands play for the sake of music and add lyrics; some bands write for the sake of lyrics and add music.  Casting Crowns is the latter.  I recommend scoping out their music videos on Youtube.  Esp. Slow Fade and American Dream.

Honky Tonk Friday.  Man, we were so eager to go country dancin!  Unfortunately most of the country this "honky tonk" played was rock-remixed.  And most of the dancers were square dancin. What is that?  If we were in College Station, they would have been booed off the floor.  I love A&M.  I requested some Aaron Watson and all was well.  Chris spun me all around the floor!  I am so glad he is a good dancer!
Today we hiked barefooted on a sandy path in a nature reserve.  weird plants.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dormant Sugar Maples to Vivacious Palm Trees

Chris and I fell asleep to the Christmas-tree-topper Chrysler building standing outside Brian's window at 37th and Lexington.  I have labeled his 80 yr. old flat a "cozy little money-sucking fire hazard."  He agreed.  I like it. 
We had spent our evening in New York carrying pumpkin spiced lattes through Times Square and Grand Central Station.  I got to wear my pretty coat, so I bounced instead of walking and twirled instead of standing.  (and they say boys never grow up- ha!)  Did you know that Grand Central Station was built by the Vanderbilts? Yep. Interesting fact: the ceiling is a painting of the night sky and the constellations are all reversed because they traced them from a projector!
The next day, I caught a glimpse of the U.S. Capitol while crossing the Potomac River.  Soon after that, we saw the original capitol of the first American Colony in Jamestown, VA.  And Pocahontas told me to tell you hi.  Okay she didn't really.  Anyway, that night, we cozied into the Dyken's house for dinner and video games then woke up to pumpkin pancakes!  Mrs. Dykens is so sweet.  : ) We drove 10 hours straight and made it here (Jacksonville, FL) by midnight. 
We went from one of I-95s nothernmost cities to one of it's southernmost cities.  I felt like we were chasing fall southward.  The trees went from gray to orange to yellow to what is this color again?  Oh Green.  Yes, we ran out of fall around Savannah and now here we are in Jacksonville, where the hibernating Sugar Maples have transformed into vivacious Palm trees.  And my attire has gone from pea coat to bermuda shorts.  We are here for the month.  I hope I don't miss the first snow and I hope I do get to go to Disney World. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

the head bone is connected to the ankle bone.


Stuff flows into our ears and eyes then infiltrates our minds and hearts. It is unlikely that something that enters our minds will not puncture our hearts whether it be truth or lie, pure or foul, love or lust. Additionally, it is impossible to disconnect the state of our hearts from our hands and feet and stride. In Matt. 12:34-35, Jesus says, "For from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him."  Heart matters don't only dictate our verbage; they also feed our cravings, steer our thought patterns, sway our decision making, and direct our next step.  The way we walk is a direct outcome of the what we put in our heads and hearts.  Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your HEART, for it is the wellspring of life.  Put preversity away from your MOUTH... let your EYES look straight ahead... Make level paths for your FEET."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Zombies Perform Thriller in Market Square

Every Halloween, a parade of wowingly costumed people marches through old downtown Portsmouth.  Seriously, these costumes are ridiculous and meticulous!  I do not think I saw a single storebought outfit.  There were characters from every movie, story book, and youtube video you could think of.  I saw the Knights That Say "Ni," the Teacher from the Black Lagoon, Achmed the Dead Terrorist full-sized, the cranky critics from the Muppets, the boy from Where the Wild Things Are, smurfs, a family of pirates pulling their son in a homemade ship on a wagon, a man with shoes on his hands and gloves on his feet so he looked like he was walking on his hands, a band of aluminum foiled tin men clanking on tin lids and banging on cans in a really neat ditty along with a group of Wicked Witches of the West marching on stilts and hammering their long brooms into the ground on tempo saying "I'll get you my pretty" in an odd off beat.  I went with a lobster, a moose, and a ninja turtle.  I was a painter, but the only painting I did was the ninja turtle's face.  At the end of the parade, 50 zombies performed Thriller in Market Square!  The crowd was so dense that we could not see a thing.  I really wanted to watch though!  Then, I rembered that I am small.  So I crawled on the pavement amongst tattered jeans and striped panty hose without disturbing anyone till I reached the front of the crowd.  I poked my head between some knees and watched housemaid zombies, egyptian zombies, tuxedoed zombies... quite skillfully do the Thriller dance.  It was quite a site and it made me happy.
"Sow a thought; reap an action
Sow an action; reap a habit.
Sow a habit; reap a character.
Sow a character; reap a destiny."

Galatians 6:7-9
1 Corinthians 15:3
Philippians 4:8

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

There is no preemptive action we can take. Seasons prove year after year that the earth is bigger than we are and we are forced to live under the circumstances it presents however unforgiving they are.
            v                                      v                                           v

7am over coffee in Market Square

I have lived in Portsmouth since June. It is nearly November. And I am still enchanted with this place. It's all brick and wood and books. Old bridges, old shops, older houses, a blue door, a red door, the trolley. No one hustles here. But boy the town did bustle in summer; I miss that. And here comes the pending halt of winter; I fear that. Right now. Right now, it is fall. we are in an inter seasonal warp between the most liveliness I have ever seen and what will probably be the most like death I have ever seen. It looks as though everything is dying. But dying with valor!
The colors of autumn are simply brilliant. Some trees look like blood, some match pumpkins, and a few resemble sunshine. It is like a contageous cold is being carried by the chilled breeze and making the trees sneeze leaves. Winter has already struck some bows bare while summer still lingers in a few branches. The streets are similarly decorated. Some residents dec themselves in lengthy coats, scarves, and ear-covering caps while others scurry in sweaters and cartigans. Some have resigned themselves to their homes and lit their fireplaces while others are scrounging for last chance hiking trips. Soon enough, winter will catch up with all of us though. Right now. Right now, it is fall.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So my neighbor is a lobsterman.

So last night, Iwas anticipating cooking chicken when the door bell rang. It was our lobsterman neighbor, Jeff, holding two live lobsters that he had caught in the bay! He instructed us (in his rich Mainer accent) to boil 1" of water then stick 'em in for 12 minutes. Great. So Chris and I let them crawl around on the kitchen floor while we boiled the water. It was like having pets. Then we killed them. Nervously, Chris took one tail-flapping crustation and I took the less angry one; we exchanged glances then quickly crammed them into the pot and slammed the lid on. Ah! Their feelers were hanging out under the lid and I tried to tuck them in, but didn't have room. 12 minutes later, they had turned from black to red. We used the reverse side of the canopener to break them open and a fork to do the rest. They tasted pretty good. What an experience.

Liz Bolner gave me a funny video. No, we didn't cook them this way. ha. Youtube: "How NOT to cook lobsters."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

rainy rucky rugby and the american revolution

And today, Chris played a rugby game in Boston. Do you know the history of rugby? It started in a soccer match at Rugby Boarding School in England in 1823. A player picked up the soccer ball and ran then the other team said Hey, you can't do that and tackled him. Later, they said Hm that was fun and started rugby. American football is spawn of rugby, of course, but we lost awesome words like "pitch," "scrum," "ruck," and "maul." Half of Chris' teammates have gnarly Brit, Scot, Irish, or New Zealand accents. BTW I thought my stubbly-faced husband looked pretty good standing there with mud all over his british-looking jersey and rain and sweat rolling down his face and hair tips. The rain made it more fun (only bc it was 65 deg.)

After the game, we went to Walden Pond and pretended to be transcendentalists.
After that, we drove to Concord where we saw the other home of Henry David Thoreau along with the homes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott. And we walked across the Old North Bridge where the Minutemen fired the "shot heard round the world."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yes. It's snowed here. No, it did not stick on the ground.

Monday, October 19, 2009

To Spice Cider (and a good lookin man)

Buy cider from your local grocer
Pour desired amount into sauce pan
Throw in two cinnamon sticks
and a palms worth of whole cloves
Heat to a simmer

SO GOOD! Do it. Toast pumpkin seeds too.

1) he drove his truck down a muddy rocky mountain road very skillfully at night. That looked really good.
2) later, he plowed down guys playin rugby then we hopped in the car and drove to Boston with him covered in crusty mud not having shaven in a few days. I just stared at him the whole drive. Why does mud and facial hair looks so good? I don't know but he looked dang good. What a man.

Harvest Festival and other festivities

Saturday Chris and I and two of our New Yorker friends went to a Harvest Festival in Old York Village. People get so much more into the seasons up here- it seems like it is a major part of people's lives. I think the semi-lack of seasons deprives Texans of the fullness of this mentality. I really really enjoy it though.
The food tent was full of so many different smells! Meals ranged from hot chili to lobster rolls. One woman use the biggest ladle I have ever seen to transfer steaming clam chowder. Another group had an actual kitchen stove in the tent and were baking cookies. My favorite was the waddling pastry man in a fulfledge cook outfit hat included.
Oh by a colonial cottage, children were grinding apples in a 17th century apple grinder. The crushed apple would fall into a little barrel then be pressed with a weight to squeeze out the juices, which would then be heated over the hearth and then served by folks dressed in colonial garb for a dollar. THIS CIDER WAS AMAZING! Really. Fly to Maine and go make yourself a cider. ha.
Craftsmen sold their goods at traditional market stands.
We went to the childrens section and got our faces painted! ha. Three of us got pumpkins and Janneke made Brian get a heart on his cheek. It was so funny. I wish I had taken pictures.
*Later that night, Janneke and I toasted salted pumpkin seeds and painted our pumpkins while the boys grilled burgers. I also spiced some cider, which they said was really good. :).
*Then we walked downtown to the Spring Hill Tavern for live folk music and dancing.

mud on the tires

ha- so Chris and Rick and I drove the truck down a dirty dirt/rock road in the mountains for several miles at 40 mins till dusk. We were feeling pretty darn adventurous. We parked by a remarkably still lake and bounded around a nearby boulderfield. When we got back to the truck , the lake was pink from twilight and the trees and rocks on the water's edge were black. No prob. we got headlights. BUT we decided to be a little more adventurous and drive across some low water onto an abandoned road. This road was so rocky-crazy. There were a few times the boys hopped out to investigate whether or not we could get over spots. The third of those investigations resulted in an awkard turnaround. So we'll never know where the road goes. After that tho, we got quite the scare- we inched to the left of a big rock, but after the front tires went over, the bottom of the truck landed on the rock. I was pretty nervous. Chris threw it in reverse and got it off. Oh geeze. We went right on the next try. Success. Pitch black out and splended stars by the time we got back to the main road.

Oh Rick has a self-made luggable telescope. So sweet. We examined Jupiter and three of its moons and 2 galaxies that I forgot the names of.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

rock climbing>hiking>log cabin

I top rope climbed a 35 ft. rock! We drove down this backwood, potholed, dirt road then hiked a big hill to this sweet wall, anchored in, and climbed a few routes.

Tell me this isn't a sweet name for a road: Kancamangus Hwy. We went hiking near it in the White Mtns. in the peak fall season! The hike started out crossing the historical Albany covered bridge then continued quite steeply up and up and up. From the uppest spot, we saw a splendid pittapatch work of orange and red and yellow and deep green conifers and a winding river in the valley below. Marvelous!

We grilled meat then ate apple dumplings and vanilla ice cream by the fire place in Rick's middle-of-the-woods log cabin.
In the morning, we made blueberry pancakes, greasy bacon, sunny-side-up eggs, coffee in the sweet old style kitchen, and what other than more rock climbing?
That night, it was live music in a basement-tavern in old downtown. Good times.

Can you tell I like my husband?

Chris gets back tomorrow. He left last Thursday to sail the boat down to Florida for renovations. When he was leaving, I watched them launch the boat from a park on the other side of the Piscataqua River, then as the tug boat pushed them harbor ward, I hopped in my car and raced out to the peninsula-island of New Castle. The road runs along the waterway, so I could glance between the buildings to see that I was barely ahead of the Tahoma. I parked at Fort Constitution (the lighthouse that mom and I visited. also a small coast guard base), jumped out of my car, ran through the gate, and climbed up on top of the old wall. Perfect timing. I sat and watched the boat then walked along the top of the wall with it until a coast guard officer stopped me and told me to go back. I told him that my husband was on that cutter then another coasty came out and asked me if I had my ID. Yes! So he invited me to come down to the tip of the land then he loaned me his binoculars! I was thrilled! So I watched the ship until it got to the open water. I like this old painting of the fort:

Friday, October 9, 2009

October II: Pumpkin

I had to buy pumpkins. So I stopped at a 300 year old farm-orchard called Emery and poured myself a $.50 cider then scouted the patch. This is a bonified pumpkin patch. The vines are still laying between the pumpkins, which sit where their stalks were cut.
After I loaded up my cultivars, I decided to explore the rest of the orchard. I took the back road past a hill of maze, beyond rows of apple trees, then parked beside another pumpkin patch, and hiked into some splendid woods. Oh so lovely! Oh so colorful and so quiet and so quieting. I probably walked for half an hour and thought about some important things that have been on the backburner for a while and needed to be pondered. Good times.

October I

I climbed an aspen tree. The sun shone through the bright yellow leaves and made me feel like Glinda in the middle of a glowing bubble.
My favorites are the sugar maples. They are such a glorious red! I can compare the color to nothing else. But if I do ever see something that is such a beautiful red that I want to compliment it, then I will gladly compare it to a sugar maple.

Autumn is in full blow. Tuesday was a blustery day. It was like the earth was sick. The sky had a grey complexion and the woods had a cough like I do. They were sputtering out leaves everywhere. Chris and I drove down a windy narrow road where leaves fell like rain on our windshield from the arches of trees above while the leaves on the ground swirled about us and would have invaded our windows had they been down. What a neat site.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Sailor is not sailing. You wanna know why? Cus he's home!

I'm looking at Chris right now. He sitting on our couch full of football watching men for whom he made burgers and I made sweet tea, homemade nachos, and chocolate chip cookies. From Tuesday to today though, I have had him pretty much all to myself. He is just so wonderful. I love him more than I thought I could ever love anybody. It's pretty much amazing. I stepped outside while he was grilling today and said, "You know, I was thinking and with the way that you treat me and flirt with me and call me baby and tell you me you love me all the time, I think you may be serious." He smiled at me and I leaned over the porch rail for a kiss. Delight. Bliss. Yippy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Expeditionary visit with mom

1) We went to the Tulluride by the Sea film festival at the
in Portsmouth. Neat old theater.

We saw Coco Avant Chanel, a very good indep. French film starring Audrey Tautou. We felt pretty darn intellectual. Then we drank pumpkin spice lattes at
, which also made us feel intellectual.

2) breakfast at the slightly odd restaurant,

3) house-museums and
, a 12 acre museum of homes running from colonial era to WWII. Mid-September, the gardens are still blooming with a hundred colors and the grass is still a lush green while at the same time, some of the trees are turning red and orange and yellow. COLOR! We history-buff nature lovers really enjoyed this place.

4) toured to the top of the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.

then dinner at Petey's Lobster Shack on Rye Beach.

5) watched the Texas Tech vs. tu game. I have never turned on my TV, so mom just about freaked out when we couldn't figure out how to turn on the game on .
Oh and Jordan Shipley almost got impaled by Bevo.

6) I went to the 30 mile cycling race through historic downtown. I snagged a great spot in eye shot of the starting/finish line. I got a cold drink and wondered around the festival, then strategically balanced myself on a 4 ft. concrete pillar to watch the end. I had never been to a race before. It was fun.

7-9) I spent the evening on my own (while mom worked). I went to Sarah Goodwin's garden at Strawbery Banke and memorized plant and herb names for a long time. It was too lovely to leave. Summer is desperate! Fall is migrating southward. There are a few strawberries still on the patches, the morning glories are still glorifying themselves and the johnny jumps have yet to stop jumping. Some trees remain July-lush green and half of the other trees are red, organge, or orangy-red. I left there to go to another garden where I practice my expertise treeclimbing skills and balancing acts. I got some weird looks. Then I went and watched the sunset over the Pascataqua River from a dock at Prescott Park.

10) Rented
11) drove through the white mountains to see the beginnings of fall leaves. Then ate half orders of pasta at a really fun restaurant at the Inn at Mill Falls right on the Lake Winnepesaukee. So we watched the sunset over the water while we ate and that was so marvelous.

12) down to historic Boston and Plymouth on the way to

13) Cape Cod. Walking uphill on fine sand for a long distance works your quads. We drove out to the very tip of the cape and spent the night in a Provincetown.

14) Then Wednesday, we went to the Masalin's (the most kind and hospitable family I've ever met) house for dinner, which was oh so wonderful!

And then headed back to Maine. Mom left for Dallas today.