Monthly Archives: August 2013

Summer Doings Part 4

This is what happens when you are having such a great summer that you start to get cocky.  You think, “Man, life is good.  My kids rock.  My husband is quite possibly the most fantastic person on the planet.  I’m about to get a new job that pays more but requires me to work less.  I love where I live, and I have a kick-ass farm share.”  And then, karma comes back and bites you in the ass.

This is what went into the trunk:


This is what happened when I slammed the back shut:

This is an artistic shot of the havoc that was wreaked.


I did not get a picture of Nate’s mad face when I insisted on taking pictures for the blog.  :-)




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Summer Doings Part 3

We have never before been to a reenactment of any kind.  You’d think with our family penchant for all things history and military that we would have done that before, but this was another first for us this summer.  We attended a reenactment of a civil war battle – I can’t really tell you which one.  They had Union and Confederate soldiers, rifles, pistols, cannon… you know, war stuff.  We had absolutely no idea what to expect.  Would there be stands to watch from?  Would there be a presentation of some kind?  No and no.  We just found a shady area, plopped down, and cannons started going off.  We watched the Union and Confederate soldiers advance on each other.




It was interesting to see the different battle tactics, and the fact that there were children fighting.  When men were shot and fell to the ground “dead” I actually did feel a trace of the terror that they must have lived through.  It was sobering – in a different way than looking at pictures of the actual battle is.

At one point, a group of Confederate soldiers broke off and tried to sneak around and up from the side to capture the Union cannon.  They ended up going around right behind where we were sitting, so we have the battle raging in front of us, and shots going off right behind us as well.  It was all very exciting.  And noisy.  Did I mention noisy?

Here are some soldiers about 20 yards away trying to sneak by:



Apparently this event happens every year – I imagine we’ll be back to see it again.

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Summer Doings Part 2

Do you remember bumper cars?  Why aren’t there bumper cars anymore?  I guess it’s a liability thing, like merry-go-rounds.  I loved the bumper cars when I was a kid!  We just recently tried out the bumper boats at our local park.  It’s like bumper cars, but they are heavy-duty tubes with engines attached that you drive around a lagoon colliding with all and sundry.  So much fun!




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Summer Doings Part 1

This has been such an interesting summer.  We’ve done a lot of very fun things as a family that we haven’t ever done before, and we’ve done  a lot of the old favorites, too!  We’ve (well, OK, maybe just I’ve) been stressed out with my impending job change.  Braces have gone onto a certain 12 year old boy’s teeth, and somehow we all survived.  Over the next week I’ll post a mish-mash of summertime fun while we are away on our vacation.

First up – the Charlemont Reggae Fest.  This is our second year going to the Reggae Fest.  Last year there was a torrential down-pour and we spent the entire day huddled under a picnic structure while lightning crashed around us.  We still had a good time, though!  This year, the weather was PERFECT.  Not to hot, not too cloudy.  The music was fantastic, of course.  We had a lovely time, spending about 6 hours kicking back, eating good food, listening to great music.  Here are some pictures:


Lydia, Aaron, and a new friend all got little puppets from one of the vendors and spent a very long time making them dance!


Cousin Tony was there making balloon hats, swords, rifles, and pistols for Aaron. I’m not sure he can fit any more balloons on his body.


Aunt Betsy working hard to ensure a smooth day for the Reggae Fest.


Grandma Elizabeth came this year – and vows she will come again next year!


Grandma catching a little shade.

It was a great experience – there’s really nothing like listening to music in the outdoors.  A wonderful mix of people, young and old, hippie and button-down.  All smiling and happy.  Can’t wait for next year!

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Family History

My paternal grandmother was very connected to her past and her family history.  She talked to me often about her life when she was a child, and her mother who had died when my grandmother was a young girl.  She grew up where her family had lived for many, many generations, among her people.  As is so common in American life in the 20th century, her family drifted away.  Her son moved to first one coast, then the other, and her daughter went to San Diego, where she eventually followed.  As a result, I didn’t grow up among “my people.”  My relatives are flung all over the country, from corner to corner.

Nate, on the other hand, has lived and still lives among his people.  His ancestors came over from England in the 1600s, and have been within 100 miles of where we are now ever since.

We were in New Salem, MA on a lovely day last month having a picnic at our favorite picnic spot, the Quabbin Overlook.  On the way out, we decided on a complete whim to visit the cemetery, thinking there might be some Paiges or Cadwells in there.


We wandered around, looking at the very old gravestones, some of them so faded and worn away that we could hardly make them out.  Then we came upon this one:




It says:

In Memory of Mrs. Lydia Paige, wife of Capt. Timothy Paige, who died June 7th, 1816 in the 75th Year of her Age.

This is the woman who Lydia is named after.  When Nate and I were trying to find a girl name that we both liked, we went back through Nate’s family tree looking for a pretty name that would have some family significance, and there was Lydia Putnam Paige, with her beautiful name.  And so our Lydia became Lydia.  Lydia Paige is our Lydia’s 6th great grandmother.

Her husband was Timothy Paige, who was a captain in the Revolutionary War.  His grave was right next to his Lydia’s:


This one says:

Erected In memory of Mr. Timothy Page who died March 17, 1811 in the 72nd year of his age.

There were many more relatives there – we spent a long time wandering the aisles talking about history and family and life in western Massachusetts through the ages.  A few weeks later, we went to the town cemetery in Warwick and browsed some more.  I feel so blessed that my kids can experience their roots in a way that I never could.


Lydia with her namesake.


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