My parents went shopping for a car on an early evening in the early 1960s, with light provided by the tail end of a sunset and the blazing overhead lamps on poles at the lot. The dealer told them the color of the station wagon they were looking at favorably was “Coral” – a delightful name that promises a natural getaway with warm breezes and cool water. They bought it.
I bought my father a couple of books for Christmas 2020: one about engineering feats and failures (he taught engineering for decades), another about inventions and innovation (he is known for MacGyvering nearly anything with a leftover hunk of aluminum and a couple of sheet metal screws).
When I bought the books, Dad was still reading quite often, and enjoying it. With all that’s changed since then, I’m afraid my father’s books may go unread.
In early February, Coronavirus was a muted, distant soundtrack for the weeks following my father’s fall and broken hip. COVID-19 was still largely foreign, and warnings from Wuhan, China, remained abstract.Continue reading “Life On Its Own Schedule”→
Yes, the days are growing shorter, but there is still plenty of light each day to take advantage of one of the most pleasant sailing outings on the lower Connecticut River. Whether it’s a daytime trip or the popular Sunset Cruise, the Onrust is likely to please anyone with a desire to be on the water.
The ship – a replica of an early 1600s Dutch coastal exploration ship – is based for the season at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex. Because of the simplicity and traditional design of the ship, the modern sailing trips harken a bit back to the 1600s.
Connecticut’s John Trumbull may be best known for his painting The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. Despite its precise title, what Trumbull created by 1819 (and repeated twice again by 1832) was a carefully crafted record of an event that did not take place exactly as or when he portrayed it. In this painting there are meticulous portraits of 42 of the 56 delegateswho would eventually sign a revised version of the declaration, but the initial presentation to Congress of a draft of the Declaration of Independence took place on June 28 (not July 4) and was far more sparsely attended. Trumbull worked hard to represent the spirit and personnel of the event, if not all the other specifics.
Even forgiving Trumbull’s casual regard for some of the details of the event, there was more amiss than just that.
My father and I recently visited the wonderful Normal Rockwell Museum in picturesque Stockbridge, Mass. The main exhibit halls hold hundreds of examples of Rockwell’s optimistic, patriotic, and often humorous paintings and illustrations, most of which were first shown on covers of The Saturday Evening Post.
(This post was published previously, on another blog I maintain. I imported it from that blog this July, which explains why it’s posted in the summer, but concerns wintertime activities.)
It’s winter 2018 — or the roller coaster that may pass this year for winter in Central Connecticut — with fits of warm weather, occasional low teens, minor snow or ice … but still a simmering risk of cabin fever. (Sometimes just knowing it’s winter is enough to keep a person bundled up indoors, busy on some type of puzzle or book or computer.)
It has been six years since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I mark this anniversary as I have previous anniversaries, by providing a link to a site that provides its own links to information about some of the children and adults murdered on Dec. 14, 2012.
This year, I add a link to Sandy HookPromise – an organization that works to educate students and educators about how to spot potential violence in schools, before it happens.
While Halloween 2020 is likely to be unlike any recent celebration, the holiday is nonetheless on its way, and many Americans prepare to welcome this peculiar holiday — a mix of Christian and pagan rituals — by stocking up on candy, buying or making costumes, snapping up scarecrows for their stoops, stringing lights and cobwebs, floating white sheet ghosts from trees, devising frightful surprises for gatherings of youngsters, and grabbing some of the 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins that will be grown in the U.S. this year.
But what might say “Halloween” even more than a Jack-O-Lantern?
I thought each call would be easier than the previous, but it’s just the opposite. Perhaps my numbness is fading, and my grief is sinking in. Or perhaps I’m just tiring of sharing with others the reality that my mother has died — tiring of sharing the circumstances and the details of how we’re all reacting, what we’re planning, how we feel.
My father played hockey in his teens, on rock-hard New Hampshire ice, and he continued playing until he was 70, and he would have continued playing had he not lost a battle in front of the net a dozen years ago, fallen backward, hit his head, and lost consciousness. His doctor told him to quit the game — quit the battles.