Category Archives: Memorial Day

Memorial Days


1. Memorial Day. I love this day.

IMG_3677 memorial dayThis photo always makes me sad. And I every time I drive through the New Hampshire Veteran’s Cemetery, there is a fresh grave.

Over¬†Memorial Day Weekend we ran two 5ks. Because isn’t that what you do for fun?


The kids were great and Nelson once again kicked my booty with a time of 20:36 and 20:46. I shall never catch him again…which actually tickles me pink ūüôā


By the second 5k, Paige had had enough and meandered down the course a full hour.

2. Maya Angelou. Love that woman. Sad to say good-bye to a hero and legend. I still remember reading I know why the cage bird sings in middle school and what an impact it had on me. I recently finished her memoir on her mother (her 7th autobiography!) and loved her interview with Time:

‚ÄúI‚Äôll probably be writing when the Lord says, ‚ÄúMaya, Maya Angelou, it‚Äôs time.‚ÄĚ

3 . Track and Lacrosse


My boy flew like the wind, prompting tears from his mother on several occasions. “Mom, are you crying?” his sister asked me after his first mile race. I just don’t know what comes over me when it comes to running!

Cope played lacrosse in a cute short skirt for the first time. She also gets to wear a face mask and hit people with stick. What a great sport! Really, it’s pretty fab.DSC_0916

3b. My girl went to her first semi-formal dance. The next we chopped her hair off.


4. Black Flies. Oh sorry, that’s just wishful thinking.

5. Double Digits. My girl turned 10!¬†What’s going on in the world?


6. The Babies Left


That baby in the tutu is Charly Barley and she came to see us this weekend with her sister, Sydnie. Oh yes, they have parents, Allison and Peter…and we miss them, but the children in this house are pining away for the babies. Here Peter is reading the new Honda Odyssey manual to his pregnant wife while she feeds the squirrely baby, scrambled eggs. Family life!

7. Meat. For my Year of Living Without, I’m not eating red meat this month. I hate it. It’s not right. I need my meat, my steak, my cheeseburgers and kabobs. I can’t wait for this trial to be over.

8. School. There are 17 days left. My head is dizzy with all the details left to do.

9. The Dining Hall. I’m weeping. (it’s where we¬†eat dinner…often). Um, how do you normal people do it every night? If you see my children foraging for dandelion stew, remind them that Hogwarts will once again be open in the fall. For reals – what’s on your menu this week?

10.¬†So we’re saying HELLO SUMMER!



In Memoriam

‚ÄúIn great deeds something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream, and lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls.‚ÄĚ

~ Joshua Chamberlain

Gettysburg, October 3, 1889


one must cheer

Have I mentioned, maybe a couple of times, that I kind of like to run?
Watching is just as thrilling. ¬†I can’t wait to watch the Olympics. ¬†Cope made it to the state track meet, qualifying in the mile run and as the first leg of the 4×100 relay. ¬†Is that a beautiful track or what? (Check out Nellie’s new duct tape mohawk hat.)
My hands were clammy, my heart pounding.  Watching my children run can move me to tears.
Have you ever run the shuttle relay? ¬†Oh, it is so fun. ¬†You have to time the hand off or you will drop the baton and looooose. ¬†On Cope’s team, the back runner yelled, “Peanut!” and that prompted the runner ahead to start running. ¬†When “Butter!” was yelled, the front runner stuck her hand back to grab the baton. ¬†Oh yes, I do love a good race. ¬†Most of all, my girl had fun.
Memorial Day we ran our annual 5k Black Fly Blitz with the cousins. ¬†Paige is mad here b/c Brynne moved her over. ¬†“I want to run!” she wailed. ¬†I told her if she started she had to finish the whole 3.1 miles. ¬†She nodded enthusiastically. And I gave her my racing bib.

Here’s Nellie with his cousin, Dennison, and his buddies. ¬†Check out the 5-toe shoes!

See that little blue shirt in the middle, a little to the left?  That was my Paige, taking off after her cousins.

After 300 yards she decided that was enough.  Nice Uncle Ben ran back with her while pushing two children in a stroller.
Where was her mother, you say? ¬†Running like the wind up front? ¬†Oh no. ¬†Sadly, my foot was not cooperating. ¬†I contemplated up until the very last hour. ¬†I iced, wrapped, took ibuprofin, and stayed clear of cute shoes the entire weekend. ¬†I even wore my running shoes to church. ¬†With a dress. ¬†On Brynne’s baptism day. ¬†Just so I was giving my foot its very best shot.
I thought, I’ll just run and take care of it later.¬† But wisdom nagged at me. ¬†I was limping. It wasn’t gonna happen.
And so, when one cannot run, one must cheer.
Holy bananas! ¬†That’s a fast 5k!

Here comes Emily, my cousin. Four babies later and she’s still got it.

Nelson said he did NOT want his buddy, Dave, to beat him. ¬†I told him, “Let Dave set the pace. ¬†You just stay with him and sprint it out at the end.” He did it perfectly. ¬†That’s him in the blue coming in. ¬†Dave beat him by two seconds and I was so proud of them both. ¬†They ran a 26 minute 5k. ¬†If Nelson can beat me before he goes to high school, his Uncle Seth will fly him to San Diego. ¬†Nelson thought I should have run with my hurt foot.

Little Denny on the left, bringing it in with the big kids.

Brynne was a social bee during most of the run, chattering and walking at times.  But at the end she sprinted in.

And Annielle, age 6, was trailed by Ben, who always pushes the babies and beats half the crowd anyway.  It was a great race day with beautiful weather.  After, we headed to the lake and ate big burgers. 

My foot is better, but I worry…when will I run? ¬†Will I ever wear cute shoes again? ¬†I swam the other day, yes sir, I took the plunge in the lake water and swam to the island until a power boat scared me back to shore. ¬†The water felt amazing, refreshing, and my hair desperately needed a wash (we are out of hot water until Tuesday! I went to a dress-up dinner on Friday smelling suspiciously like a lake.) ¬†But I am missing the pound of the shoe, the sweat, and natural high.¬†
Maybe next week will be the week.
I tried out the boot for awhile. ¬†It reminds me of the song Nelson likes to sing…I’m sexy and I know it…


Memorial Day Weekend, Memorable

A busy, musical week led us into Memorial Day weekend.

Cope had her last band concert. Sadly, she is giving up the bass clarinet after this year. ¬†The story of band is a tremendous “battle of wills” story I cannot share at this time, but never fear, it will circle back to the blog someday.

We sure enjoyed watching her play. ¬†It’s a deep, beautiful instrument she plays very well. ¬†
The day after the band concert was “Andover Idol” at the Middle School. ¬†After last year’s¬†debacle, the only thing I wanted her to do was get back on that stage. ¬†You know, “get back on the horse!” ¬†She decided the day before Idol, that she would give it a try.
She giddy-apped all the way to the top. ¬†We’re so proud. ¬†Don’t you hate braggy blogs?¬†
She eschews most pop music (yes!) and has stewed for a year on what song to choose. ¬†Though she loves Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, she balks at the thought of singing such songs in public. ¬†She chose “On My Own,” from Les Miserables. ¬†Way to go, girlfriend. ¬†Let’s que, “Hero,” by Enrique Inglesias…

And the very next day was our very first piano recital. ¬†After I heard famed violinist Jenny Oaks Baker say, “Performing is the reward for practice,” I freaked out and decided I better reward my children by giving them opportunities to perform. ¬†Since I teach them, I haven’t pursued this enough. ¬†We joined a piano teacher’s group at an assisted living home. ¬†I am now convinced we need to do more of this. ¬†Very fun.

My Nellie-boy

The biggest highlight was having family come to town. ¬†The reason was Brynne’s baptism (worthy of it’s own post). ¬†My parents flew in from Arizona and Allison came with baby Sydnie from New York. Cousins arrived from Belmont and Neeham Mass. ¬†We love them so.

Sydnie Jolene.  What a doll.  She had many admiring peeps.

She wasn’t left alone for one minute. ¬†I’m sure she’s missing us dearly.

Allison was mean and said we couldn’t have Sydnie. ¬†We laughed at my brother Peter’s reaction (very adoring father) if she came home without baby. ¬†Just in case there is any doubt, we will take her. ¬†Preferably now! ¬†Oh…baby fever…

Aunty Allison is so adored.
Um, can you believe I didn’t get any pictures of my parents? ¬†Tsk, tsk… My mother went crazy buying tons of plants to plant in our yard (gorgeous), weeding, and feeding baby Sydnie, pickles. ¬†My dad planted the last garden bed with me. ¬†Potatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and spinach in one bed. ¬†I tend to overdo it. ¬†He also bought us a roto-tiller. ¬†Next year I’m asking for my very own beef cow.
There’s nothing better than having family around for the holidays, especially if they do work for you ūüôā ¬†It was perfect weather aside from New Hampshire’s not-so-lovely black flies. ¬†Monday, Memorial Day, was the annual 5k Black Fly Blitz. ¬†This girl (me) could not run due to the foot issue, but when you cannot run, you must cheer. ¬†So I did. ¬†But that also deserves it’s own post.
We did not go to any cemeteries this year, but next year it’s a must. ¬†Cheers to that.


Black Fly

The annual tradition continues…
It was hot and humid but we had fun. ¬†Ben came in, then me, then Nelson with a 26min. time, then Copester, comin’ in strong. ¬†She wasn’t happy with her time, but we were happy she ran!

Emily is ahead of me pushing the DOUBLE stroller.  She was also flanked by Annie and Brynne, the entire race, while battling the mosquitos and of course, the black flies.  She is super mama.  I came back for Annie as Paige wanted to run in with her cousin.

Nelson asked if he could run another race the next Saturday!  The bouncy house in the back was a huge hit for parents and kids.

This girl cried when she was put into a stroller instead of getting to run.  But with the help of a medal and Cheetos, she survived.

The raffles were awesome this year!  Nelson won a kayak rental and I won this great bag of goodies Рlotion, body wash, fudge, a notebook, soap, a hook, and African earrings to wear with my African clothes!  Daddy won fudge for pushing Paige and Mychal Reynolds.  Mmmmm.

So happy the Castleton cousins came to be with us.  Nelson, Dennison, and baby Brigham who is suddenly a 3 year old little boy!

Eight kids proved to be quite entertaining…

After the race Cope went horse back riding for a birthday party…hard life, huh?

The 80+ degree weather pushed us right into Highland Lake.  Whew.

Fabulous weather, beautiful water, and cousins who all got along. ¬†We’re already planning the next rendezvous.

Ben gives Nelson some excitement.

Cousins wrestling like wild puppies in the water. ¬†Nelson still can’t stand to go under water without his giant goggles. ¬†We all got sunburned. ¬†I had to get this shot b/c of that Yolo surfboard in the background. ¬†I know that faculty member on it! ¬†Maybe I should tell him he’s on my blog ūüôā
The day ended with a quick bbq and then off to the Wilmot parade where Cope played with her middle school marching band. ¬†They marched down the street and ended up at a war memorial. ¬†Guns were fired, taps was played, followed by the bagpipes. ¬†It was probably my favorite part of the day and made me pause for just a moment…we have so much.

Memorial Day 2010

A very busy weekend!  Saturday Proctor held graduation.  We said a sad good-bye to some great kids.
Brynne and Paige love Grace
Now it’s time to welcome summer! ¬†Paige models her new bathing suit.
Castleton cousins arrive from Boston on Sunday night.  Paige LOVES that Annie.
Nelson makes a serious weapon:  a sword out of one of my gardening stakes.  He wraps twine around it and spends much time in the basement spray painting.
5k Black fly blitz was this morning! ¬†We missed the usual suspects. ¬†Gregor was a darling and pushed a double stroller filled with Paige and Michael Reynolds so Sarah and I could run. ¬†Got my PR ūüôā
The one thing I’d like to add to Memorial Day is going to the Veteran’s cemetery and remembering our fallen soldiers.
The best part of the race was watching for Nelson. ¬†As he emerged I saw a little girl with him holding a big balloon and running like crazy. ¬†It was my Brynnie! ¬†Awful shoes and big necklace. ¬†She was running effortlessly to keep up with her brother. ¬†She finished and said, “Can I go to the bouncy house now?” ¬†Whatever gets you through a race…
It was a beautiful day except for the thick haze from a Quebec Canada fire that blew smoke all the way down here.  150,000 acres.

After stacking pellets (another post), mowing the lawn, and a swim, G gets his grill on.  Caribbean jerk chicken, baked beans, grilled vegetables, potato salad, cole slaw, corn, fruit, lemonade, oh yeah.
Art brought us so much yummy food.
The newest Castleton addition:  Robert.  2 1/2 mo. old.  His mother Emily looks amazing.
Ice-cream lickin’ cousins
Brigham, Cope, Nelson, Brynne, Dennison, Annie, and Paige

“You’re my best friend.”
“Don’t go!”
“Take me with you!”
Hard to say good-bye
Ben had to get one more sword fight in.  The inner Jedi comes out.
Beautiful weekend.  Hello summer.