Switching my domain host this week, so the blog will likely be down for a bit. I'll get it back up & running as soon as possible. Hang in there!
Friday, November 1, 2013
Another image from Copp's Hill Burying Ground in Boston - the cemetery that nearly made me fall over in my excitement (need an explanation? See taphophile).
I'm not ready for Hallowe'en to be over yet. It's nice that I can fall back on the Mexican Day (shouldn't it be "Days"?) of the Dead for another two days!
Happy All Saint's Day!
Thursday, October 31, 2013
I visited Boston (by the way, nice job beating the tar out of us in the World Series) last year for the first time. The only thing I wanted to do was walk the Freedom Trail, because just about everything a history major could want to see is along that 2 1/2 mile red line. It did not disappoint! From the beginning (we started at the U.S.S. Constitution & Bunker Hill) to the end (Boston Common), I was in history heaven, geek that I am.
The first cemetery we came to was Copp's Hill Burying Ground. I was completely overwhelmed by it. I'd been in old cemeteries, but nothing like this. I really can't explain it, only that I had to keep my emotions in check, because Himself just had no idea what the big deal was with me and cemeteries. I had to leave him behind and wander around by myself in awe and (respectful) curiosity.
I look at this photograph, and it still seems a little unreal. Click on it to see the larger image - this is as big as I can post it. Four children (look closely). Little children (but for one - who was still way too young). "The children of Andrew and Melicen Neal" (it's hard to make out the wife's name, but I think that's it - almost like Millicent) - "Elizabeth Neal aged 3 dayes" and underneath her inscription "Hannah Neal - 18"; "Elizabeth Neal aged 2 weeks" (a name so nice they used it twice) and "Andrew Neal aged 18 months" - no date was ever carved for him - I wonder why? Could the family not afford it? Somehow I doubt that. This isn't exactly a small, cheap stone, but it was likely purchased much earlier than little Andrew's death, and even if the family had some financial worries, I'd think someone would be kind enough to have it done for them. Was it too sad for them? Possibly - my grandmother didn't have the date of death put on her mother's stone, because it seemed too "final" - I finally convinced her to get it done 30 years after the fact. Or was it simply an oversight, forgotten in the day-to-day grind of 17th century life?
The Death's Head carvings were everywhere, which is so odd to see for the first time. The Puritans did not believe in using religious symbols, so instead you see what, in modern times, looks very harsh and creepy (click here for some good information regarding the iconography of these old gravestones). You can see above each child's name a separate, very secular carving - crossed bones, an hourglass, and (perhaps most jarring to me), two crossed shovels. Each carving on this stone is so intricate though - what an art!
"TEMPUS EDAX RERUM" - Time, that devours all things. Wow.
Happy Hallowe'en & a Blessed Samhain to you all - be safe & be nice!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Today is my sweet, little (seriously, she's pretty short) Ma-ma's* birthday! In her honor, I'm posting this lovely snapshot of her as a toddler with my grandfather's old farm dog, Queenie, and directing you to her blog - A Little Fur In the Paint. You'll find her latest art & gardening projects, whimsical home decor, cats (it comes to me naturally), and anything else she feels the need to share with the world.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMS!
*I use variations of "Mom" (Moms, Momsy, Ma, Ma-ma, with emphasis on the second syllable) now that I'm older, it's funny, & I can get away with it.
P.S. It's also the 54th anniversary of my hands-down-very-favorite Twilight Zone episode "Walking Distance." You can bet I'm watching it today.
"I only wanted to tell you that this is a wonderful time of life for you. Don’t let any of it go by without enjoying it." ~Martin Sloan
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
It occurred to me this morning, as I dress in my Hallowe'en-week best (pumpkin t-shirt, the rest black), that maybe I should post some appropriate photographs on the blog this week. Hallowe'en ties Christmas for my favorite holiday - for totally different reasons. I just can't choose one over the other. Granted, there are parts of each celebration I don't like. I'll pick on the materialism of Christmas another day; for Hallowe'en, it's the gore factor.
I'm not really into slashing, blood, and general grossness. I don't visit the "haunted houses" with their chainsaw murderers lurking in the hallways and other nonsense. If I want to go to a haunted house, I'll seek out the real thing (or as close to "real" as legend tells me). I LOVE my Vincent Price movies, but they are much more fun and definitely tame by today's standards. There's just too much mean-scary out there now. Not my style. Give me vintage Halloween - jack o'lanterns, pumpkins, ghosts, and of course - black cats!
However, there is another side to Hallowe'en that I seek - more somber, remembering those that struggled before us. While most people probably go to Salem and Danvers, Massachusetts, for the "fun" factor, I visited last fall to pay my respects. I will always see those towns in that light - something very tragic happened there so many years ago, and it's unfortunate that so many don't really recognize it.
This photograph is part of the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Rebecca Nurse was 71 years old, ill and torn from her bed to stand trial for witchcraft. She never confessed to save herself, and there was no credible evidence against her. She was even found not-guilty initially. However, public outcry for "blood" caused the verdict to be reconsidered, and she was executed as a witch on July 19, 1692. I feel such shame and sadness for the human race and for Americans (even if we weren't yet "Americans" officially) for letting this mockery of justice happen.
Rebecca Nurse's home still stands in Danvers. They were closed on the day we were passing through, but I was fortunate to be able to schedule a private tour and pay my respects there as well. If you happen to find yourself in that area, I highly encourage a visit.
"Oh Lord, help me! It is false. I am clear. For my life now lies in your hands...." ~Rebecca Nurse
Monday, October 28, 2013
I love seagulls. They have no fear, and they get to live by the water (I'm just jealous). I always find myself taking pictures of them on vacation. Every vacation...much to the chagrin of Himself, who hates them. I take pictures of them, because I like them, and I think they are photogenic, but it also amuses me that taking pictures of them irritates Himself so much. :)
I'd like to be back where I took this picture right now - the beach on Hunting Island in Beaufort, South Carolina.
How much more there is now to living! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly! ~ From the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Sunday, October 27, 2013
It's Sunday - perfect day for a little religion!
The Irish have the Americans beat on some things...like churches. I know we have some gorgeous churches in America, but Ireland has these massive, detailed structures that are such a focal point of each town. This one, St. Colman's Cathedral in Cobh (a favorite stop), seemed to tower over the entire village from a hill overlooking Cork Harbour. It was so darn impressive, and again, really hard to get the whole thing in one picture, so I just walked around getting all kinds of different perspectives. My advice - go there.
"We may have bad weather in Ireland, but the sun shines in the hearts of the people,
and that keeps us all warm." ~Marianne Williamson
Don't you love that quote??
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
The first "real" vacation Himself* & I ever took together was to Charleston & Beaufort, South Carolina, with a short stop in Savannah, Georgia, in June 2011. I wanted to see and experience Charleston (history), and Himself had lived in Beaufort as a Marine many aeons ago...OK, well, before I was born anyway! He has fond memories of Beaufort, and this gorgeous, huge Live Oak, dripping with Spanish moss, overlooked the bay and towered over the old Southern mansion-filled street that he remembered so well. I couldn't seem to get far enough away to capture the entire tree in my camera lens, but I think the picture turned out pretty nice anyway. Nature - perfect as per usual!
*"Himself" is the name I use for my significant other in all things online. He has forbidden the use of his picture in anything web-related, but he's never actually told me not to use his name (and as you can see, I actually have in the picture, but it's not his full name), so I thought it best to have a different moniker when I refer to him. I used to call him "The S.O." However, after a visit to Ireland this spring, I was enchanted by the Irish colloquialisms, and decided I would start using Himself, since he prefers to identify with the Irish half of his ancestry. I don't always use it correctly, but it's a little tongue-in-cheek anyway!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
On May 27, 2011, what would have been Vincent Price's 100th birthday, his daughter Victoria delighted fans gathered at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis with a tribute to her father. I arrived early and got a prime seat! The pictures and home movies she shared, as well as her candor and insight into the life of a man we all adored, made it a memorable night. I got goosebumps (the good kind) and was moved to tears (which I sucked up, for fear of totally embarrassing myself) a few times. This event ended a week of celebration in St. Louis - Vincentennial. Fans came from across the nation to celebrate the life and work of the local boy-who-made-good and never forgot his Midwestern roots. I was lucky enough to get to talk to Victoria one-on-one at the end, and she signed her book Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography, a copy of which I'd had for many years. I have a picture of us somewhere, but I'm in the middle of a move, and it's a hard copy only (a fellow fan from Indiana was nice enough to take it and mail it to me, because my camera had died from over-use), so it's M.I.A. for the time being.
Vincent is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month this October - be sure to catch your favorite spooky movies and maybe some you've never seen before tonight and next Thursday - which just happens to be Halloween!