Then we walked down Main Street and stopped in a gift store that had a LARGE window display of Red Sox stuff. I cannot believe the amount of gifts, stickers, books, hats, umbrellas, etc., with Sox stuff on it. It's everywhere! Even the gas stations have displays in them...I saw a Yankees-Red Sox chess set in a convenience store the other day.
It's been cloudy and rainy today, so we came home after our walk and had lunch here in the hotel room and took naps. We don't have a kitchen but we do have a fridge, so we're able to keep milk for Jonathan and some leftovers and fruit on hand. David and I are trying to hold each other accountable to not eating too much at dinner, so we've been bringing stuff home every night.
Brattleboro is a completely artsy, granola town. For those of you in Charlotte, think NoDa except further to the left :-). There's a great food co-op that we wandered around in yesterday morning, and there are all kinds of galleries, shops and little restaurants. Dogs are welcome nearly everywhere. The people are an interesting mix of love-the-earth, hate-the-president folks and native rural Vermonters who are a little more farm-y and less earthy. Strangely enough, as the boys and I were standing in the center of the town waiting to cross the street, "Song of the South" was blaring from a pickup truck nearby. (sweet potato pie and shut my mouth...) I loved exploring there! I wish we could have had a bit more time, but we may drive over there sometime and spend a day.
I must put in a recommendation for the hotel where we stayed... the Latchis Hotel and Theatre is right in the middle of town. It's an old, Art Deco hotel which is being restored piece by piece. The place is decorated with art from local artists and schoolchildren. There's a theatre downstairs that hosts shows, first-run movies and art films. It's not a luxury hotel, but it's clean and comfortable and all the people were friendly and helpful. They even let us rearrange the furniture to house the kids more comfortably.
Now we're over in Keene, which is another charming little New England town, with more of a college town feel. Keene State College is here in town, within walking distance. The main street is full of little stores and cafes. We're within walking distance of the Y, which gives a discount to the guests at our hotel. It was kind of stressful getting all our stuff and the kids over here by myself, but fortunately my mom came up and met me for lunch and helped me get situated in the hotel.
We also went and did laundry this morning at "Suds Bucket." While the clothes were sudsing away, we walked over to Dunkin' Donuts and got two munchkins each, and I got my first DD's iced coffee of the season. "What are munchkins?" the kids asked, to my horror!
What do you think the female equivalent of the goatee is?
David's theory: shaving stripes into one's legs or shaving smiley faces into one's armpits
Kelly's theory: shaving entire leg, leaving a ring of hair around one's knees, with the center shaved out
Does anyone care to comment or is everyone running to throw up right now?
|What American accent do you have? |
Your Result: Boston
|The Inland North|
|What American accent do you have?|
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
We pulled off to a rest area in northeastern PA to let the kids run around a bit. Right before we pulled in, we passed a car with a license plate frame from a car dealership that is in Worcester, MA, near where I grew up. The car followed us into the rest area and parked nearby. Forgetting that Northerners don't talk to each other, David struck up a conversation with the passengers of said car. He told them that I grew up near Worcester, and the conversation quickly became a rapid-fire exchange of information and "really?!" comments. It turns out that they lived around the corner from me for most of my childhood. I remember their son...he was in my sister's graduating class and he escorted her to a semi-formal once. And they were on their way back from...
Charlotte! Their daughter now lives in Dilworth.
So there you have it...two families traveling from Charlotte with Sterling, Massachusetts, in common, meet in a rest area in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Who'da thunk it?!
Things are always entertaining in the minivan when we're traveling. Here are some of the highlights from today:
-About forty minutes out of Charlotte, Kelly mistakenly thinks she's forgotten her cell phone. Ensuing panic gives way to scheming about how to get it back. David opens a different bag and finds it right on top.
-(one hour in) Mommy, what state are we in? North Carolina (repeat three times)
-(ninety minutes in) Sign: "Jesus Saves."
David: I wonder if in other countries they have signs that say, "Buddha Helps." Persistent giggles from Kelly for about five minutes. David, after considering it in silence for a while, decides that it would probably be, "Buddha Enlightens."
-Mommy, what state are we in? Virginia (repeat eight times)
-(four hours in) At a rest stop in Virginia, the ladies' room is out of order, so Kelly finds herself waiting in line for the men's room with another woman. Upon hearing Kelly's apologies for the wait (David and three boys are in the men's room), the woman says in disbelief, "you have four little boys?! Don't keep trying, because you might not get a girl!" At this point, Kelly decides to check out the selection of Little Debbie snacks with Jonathan.
-Many, many signs for Virginia Tech
-Sign: "Endless Caverns."
David: "I don't believe that. That's a lie. You can't prove it."
-By the roadside: many silos
Cameron: You know why farms smell so bad? Because sometimes cows smell.
Cameron: And goats do, too.
Ben: And skunks! They smell really bad! They smell badder than cows and goats.
Andrew: And onions and peppers! They are very yucky!
To sum up, we're going away. David has a work assignment in New England and we'll be staying up there for 2-3 weeks. I hope to keep you all updated on our various adventures while we're away. Our house and garden will be well taken care of; we are grateful for those who will be here in our absence.
So I will most likely be "off-blog" for the next couple of days as we travel. Please pray for uneventful drives to PA (where we'll be tomorrow night) and VT (where we will land on Monday night). Maybe we'll squeeze in a visit to Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service on Monday morning before we take off. If you're ever in Carlisle, PA, please pay them a visit. The people in there are so kind and they have an unparalleled selection of books. If you leave their door, turn left and walk down the block, you will happen upon the unimposing brick building that is the U.S. home to Banner of Truth Trust. Such a theological powerhouse for such a sleepy little central Pennsylvania town. We really enjoy visiting!!
The boys are mostly excited about staying in a hotel. The "Hotel Game" is a popular one in our house and it mostly consists of dragging random blankets from room to room and pretending to sleep. I'm not sure why it goes this way; it's not like we drag the blankets around the hotel when we stay there...but whatever.
And when we return to Charlotte, we'll be in summer already. Hard to believe. I hurried up on Wednesday and put my summer veggies in the garden before our departure. It made me excited to taste the fresh pesto...mmmmm...
Andrew: We did see Star Wars, and the guards were fighting!!
Mommy: Oh, were they using light sabers?
Andrew: No, they just did have water guns.
Andrew: And Luke ("wuke") did have a water gun, and Martin Luther did have a water gun, and Yoda the Crocodile did have a water gun!
Mommy: Martin Luther was in Star Wars?!
Andrew: Yes, he was wearing a ghost thing on his head.
(Interpretive note: the robes that the Jedis wear are very similar to the robes that Luther wears in our storybook about him.)
Now who wants to make up a photoshop picture for me of Martin Luther taking the Emperor to task?
Girltalk's list of links
Challies published some emails he received from church leaders in Blacksburg and supplied more links
Like you, I am occasionally watching the news and fervently praying for the whole VA Tech community, both those in Blacksburg and those spread across the world.
This will be yet another memory ingrained in that part of our minds...we will remember where we were when we heard. For me, that list goes something like this:
When the Challenger tragedy occurred, I was in Mrs. Nickerson's third grade classroom. The class across the hall had been watching it live on TV, and their teacher, pale-faced and teary, came to the door to tell our teacher the news.
When the Oklahoma City bombing happened, I was driving from my grandparents' house in NY to a rehearsal for the high school spring show in Shrewsbury, MA. It was April vacation, and it was raining. The car I was driving (my mom's van) had problems with the driver's side window staying closed, so I drove the two-plus hours listening to news reports on the radio with the cold April rain blowing in my face.
When Columbine happened, I was teaching at Holden Christian Academy. The principal immediately called a meeting to address how we would respond to questions from the students.
On September 11, 2001, I was eating breakfast on the couch in front of the TV. Cameron was playing on the floor in front of me and I was pregnant with Ben. I remember Matt Lauer saying, "We're getting a report about a plane that has just crashed into the World Trade Center. We're having trouble getting a picture, so we'll get to that right after this commercial break." I flipped over to ABC and didn't turn it off all day. There was a picture of the towers onscreen when the second plane made impact. I was on the phone with David when the first tower fell. I remember when the newsman said, "All planes are now grounded in the United States," and then hearing a plane go over my house minutes later. I know now that it was a military plane.
When the Columbia tragedy occurred, we were living in Fremont, CA and I heard the news on NPR while I was driving to the drugstore early in the morning.
My dad was the one to tell us about the tsunami...he and Mom were visiting us for Christmas here in Charlotte. He had been up early, reading the headlines online while we were sleeping.
What do you remember?
It's also the one day of the year when you can always take in two world-class sporting events within the city limits, within hours of each other...Red Sox baseball and the completion of the Boston Marathon. The Sox always have an early start on Marathon Day (tomorrow's game starts at 10:05), and if everything goes accordingly, fans can usually head over after the game and watch runners come across the finish line on Boylston St. Tomorrow's race will be the 111th running, and no matter how hard my husband laughs at me, I hope to run in it someday. I know, I'm already too old.
Here's an interesting article my mom sent me about the race.
Johnson & Johnson recalled a recently launched Listerine plaque-detecting rinse marketed primarily for use by children after testing revealed contamination by microorganisms.
Jonathan talking with Mom and Dad in the kitchen
Erin was kind enough to read this whole (LONG!) book to the boys. Cameron seems quite shocked at what she's reading here. I wonder what it was?
Desserts were plentiful, including Tom's yummy strawberry cake
Me "in my natural habitat" (that's what David calls it) with Nicole, who is so helpful to me on big days like this...she knows where everything is in my kitchen!
As the afternoon wore on, there was more rambunctious fun to be had with the boys
(that's my dad -- "Pop" -- in the background)
Most of their gifts were cars, as you can see, but they also received some candy and new pajamas.
Oh Yahweh, hear our cry
And gather us beneath your wings tonight
©2004 Andrew Peterson
This morning, while we were out doing some pre-Resurrection weekend shopping, I received a lot of comments, all in RAPID succession. By the time the last person was talking to me, I was inwardly laughing so hard that it was hard to be polite! I just wanted to burst out laughing!
The first man said sarcastically, patting me on the arm, "Four boys? Aren't you lucky!". I said, "Yes, I am!"
Then I turned towards the pharmacy window and the lady behind the counter said, "You know they are amazing, right? So well-behaved!" "Thank you," I said.
Twenty seconds later, we encountered a man in the next aisle who said, "Wow, four boys! Have you got your hands full! My wife and I had three boys, and when I was over in Vietnam she was alone with them. Four months later I was home on leave in Hawaii, and she told me she'd go back to Vietnam and I could stay with the boys. You have really got a job, young lady."
All I could do was laugh and say, "Thanks!"
In the rice and pasta aisle, a lady asked me if they were all mine, and I said yes. She said she'd had five girls. Ben then eagerly engaged her in conversation about how four is a number close to five.
Then in the produce section, a man approached me and said "Working on a baseball team, huh?" Usually people say basketball, not baseball. Baseball teams are SIGNIFICANTLY larger than basketball teams. He also told me that he had three boys who were all grown.
I love the South...everybody talks to you. It's hilarious. In New England people don't even look at each other. The last time I was at the store, I overheard a conversation between two elderly ladies -- who were obviously strangers to one another -- about how much they liked a certain kind of pickle, and how they use it...which sandwiches taste good with it, etc. The funny thing was, we weren't even near the pickles. We were in the women's clothing section.
Also, he's writing some reflections for Holy Week in his online journal.
And I leave you with a reflection he wrote about a wedding he recently attended:
I love watching the groom's face when the bride appears at the back of the church building, and the holy smile on the bride's face, pretty as a queen with that barely restrained gait, arm in arm with her dumbfounded but proud father. Last weekend at Cason's wedding I was crying even before his bride showed up. Oddly, it was the grandmother being escorted down the aisle and seated in her place of honor that did it. Too often we fail to honor the elders in our lives, I think.
And of course I think about Jamie and I. I think about that day more than twelve years ago when it was my skinny, junior high-looking self waiting at the end of the aisle, and then I think of all the life we've limped through together since then, holding the strong hand of God even tighter than one another's. How could I not cry?
Then I'm assaulted with a resonance, a vibration in the air that I can only assume is the spiritual world around us thrumming with the joy of angels who are desperate for us to see and remember the picture of Christ's affection for us painted in the wedding ritual. The vow both solemn and glad made by the groom to the bride. He is giving up his life for her. He is laying it down on the altar and losing himself to show her his mighty love. It's like the tabernacle in Hebrews, a shadow of things to come. Every guest at the wedding watches and feels hope yawning happily inside themselves, hope nudged awake by the kiss, the beginning of a great journey into the deep places of Christ, the fairy tale rightness of it all.
But it doesn't really feel to me like baseball is officially open until they've played at Fenway. I'm not sure why but that's how I am. It's just not summer 'til then.
Kelly, Ben, Cameron and Jonathan (in utero) with Schilling's bloody sock in Cooperstown, NY
(please note the blood stain directly behind Ben's left ear)
As I was scrolling through the choices of music on my MP3 player, though, I was feeling like the list was a little tired. So I ask you, my faithful readers...and my not-so-faithful ones...what are your favorite tunes for working out? Help me beef up my list a little.