Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Warm Summer Rain, Bartlett Pond, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Nothing quite like a good soaking downpour of warm summer rain.

And here's a short video clip of what it looks and sounds like for you desert dwellers who rarely get to see this sight...........

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Country Lanes, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

I am always surprised to see a scene like this in Plymouth.  For some reason, it just seems to be somewhere else - where else I don't know but, it just doesn't seem like Plymouth.

It is rare that rabbits don't scamper across the road anytime when I am either walking or driving down this lane - I like that. A place where rabbits are a common sight is a nice place to be - except when they eat the garden goodies.

The same country lane about twelve years ago - but during January.  (This is a digital photo of a 4x6 paper photo - thus rather poor quality). What a difference a season makes.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Flowers - Yet Again, Amy's Garden, Bartlett Pond, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

It seems the beauty of flowers in full bloom is always a good subject for a blog post.  Of course, these are all from Amy's garden. When I take my glasses off and look at this image from a blurred distance it looks like a raging fire.

The first of the blue thistle has begun to blossom......

.....while the bees are finishing up the already bloomed varieties.

In a few months, I can call these blog posts up easily when it's cold, drab, windy, and grey and enjoy their warmth and beauty all over again.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Neighborhood Park, White Horse Beach, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

As of July 23, the new park on White Horse Beach Road (between Rocky Hill Road and Robbins Hill Road) is almost complete.  I still don't know who the benefactor is (other than rumor) but perhaps he/she will put up a sign soon.  (Panorama - click the image to view in full width).

July 16

May 7

Recently, this property held a Catholic Church building and a very large asphalt parking lot. The homes that abut this property (unless they are Catholics disappointed the church is gone) suddenly have a beautiful green/open space next door - what a nice unexpected benefit.

Email Notification of My Blog Posts

If you normally receive my blog posts via email you need to re-register by going to the blog and filling in your email address again. I had some technical issues recently and my subscriber list was irretrievably dumped.  Of course, if you received my blog posts by email you are probably not receiving this message and therefore, don't know that you're not receiving my blog posts.  So really, this message will not reach the people for whom it is targeted. Go figure.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Weathered Look

Even on brightly colored buildings, the cycles of nature's seasons leave their mark in New England - rusty nail heads, cracked or peeling paint, fading colors......

My favorite look is the multicolored weathered cedar shingles that grace so many buildings, the warm browns fade to silver over time......

....and fully aged, they develop a shimmering silvery patina - coincidentally, just like the hair on my head.

Elsewhere, this old wagon wheel rusts and pits despite a coat of gold paint.

This boat also displays the faded and chipped finish of seasons of wear.  New England has a dynamic climate with four distinct and different seasons.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Dream Come True

Evan Scribner

Troy Scribner

As a nation, we are passionate about our sports teams and players.  Sometimes we are distracted by and focus only on how much money professional sports players are paid.  But that's not the subject of this post nor what's really important.  What it's really about is a "Dream Come True." Not just for the players but for their families, and friends, and coaches, and mentors who have spent much of their past twenty years - almost the entire lives of these young athletes -  nurturing their growth and development. It's about the parents who spent years in the backyard pitching and catching and hitting and coaching and teaching; the years of schlepping around to dozens of rural ballfields to play games,  the years of local teams, school teams, college teams,  multiple levels of the minor leagues -  thousands of players each with the same goal and dream -  a chance to be successful as a Major League baseball player.

The odds are long for success.  Only a very few have the tenacity, talent, and good fortune to gain a berth on a Major League team.

It's a story that dreams are made of.  A young boy with photos and posters and autographed balls on the wall above his bed, his last thoughts at night and first in the morning about baseball.  Sitting around the house on a rainy or snowy day throwing a ball into the pocket of a new glove to break it in just so.  It's that same young boy going to try-outs year after year and hoping to make the cut each time. It's about long, hot and dusty bus rides across much of America to the next game.  It's about moving from town to town with each new team, not really having a home except perhaps their childhood home - the parent's homestead.

Then one day, for the very few, the call comes.  And at that moment, it was all worth it - whatever the hardships and sacrifices, to be able to live the dream.

At a Major League baseball stadium there is an area set aside for the player's guests to attend the games.  More than anything, what fills those seats is the parents and grandparents and family members and lifelong friends who just beam with a pride born out of a lifetime of effort and overcoming long odds.

So next time you think of a professional athlete, think about the years of hard work, the sacrifices, the long odds of success and be happy for the pure human drama that plays out each time these competitors take the field.  All these young men are somebody's sons or brothers or grandkids or childhood friends and the joy and meaning in life the sport has given them is priceless.  These young men achieved their wildest dreams - it's a wonderful thing to celebrate.

And if the odds are long for any one young man to make it into the big leagues, I wonder what are the odds that two brothers both earned the opportunity to play in the big leagues!! Congratulations to Evan Scribner in the Oakland Athletics organization and his younger brother Troy Scribner in the Houston Astros organization and their parents Dave and Gail for achieving just that!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Beauty, Amy's Garden, Bartlett Pond, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

As I age I find myself increasingly noticing natural beauty in the world around me. Doing so is one of the few acts that is NEVER a bad idea. There are few subjects that one can say that about.  In these days of media emphasis on bad news here, there, and everywhere, focusing on the good seems even more important.  If not now, when?

 One of the reasons that Amy's garden is so spectacular is lots of rain during this spring and summer. The following video clip will give you a glimpse.

This 35-second clip includes lightning, thunder, and sheets of rain being blown across the pond surface.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Fixing a Hole Where the Rain Gets In....," Bartlett Pond, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Like the old Beatles tune said, "I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in ........"  This 60 year old chimney has been leaking for at least the 12 years we've owned the cottage.  It had been our plan to tear down the entire house so over the years I took no action to fix it.  Now, however, since we are NOT tearing the house down but rather will be repairing it, I need to finally address the leak.

So on a blistering hot 90+ degree day with brutal humidity, the construction crew starts work with hammers and chisels to knock it down brick by brick. More later on the men who did the work.

Three men working in the hot sun spent half a day to knock it down into a pile of  loose brick, mortar, and rubble.

I picked out many of the bricks that came out whole and  was able to chip the old mortar off somewhat easily.  100+ of them will serve as a path in Amy's garden. And rather than put the rest of them in the dumpster to add to the landfill, Amy found a man on Craig's List to haul them away for free to reuse to make at least two backyard barbecue/fireplaces. How's that for the concept of repair, reuse, recycle?  

The S & H label on each brick marks it as a product of the Stiles and Hart Brick Company, our state's only brick manufacturer. I am amazed that so many of the bricks, 60+ years after installation, still look so good. 

Here is some of the rot that was on part of the wall.

After removing the bad wall, the carpenters discovered the rot reached all the way down to the sill plate so they had to jack up the floor of the house to be able to insert a new repaired section.

They also had to brace the ceiling during rebuilding because so much of the wall was rotten and had to be removed.

Here's a new window, part of the wall, and the bump-out that will house the fireplace. The new trim is composite so no more painting or rotting.

And here's the finished wall.  Yes, the vent is supposed to be off-center for our installation. It's amazing that today's design allows a fireplace to be vented safely in this manner instead of needing a tall chimney. It's a 40,000 BTU, Heat & Glow Model 6000CLX.  We chose to bump-out the wall and not bump-in so that we didn't have to relinquish any space in the living room of this small cottage. This model propane powered fireplace will function with or without electricity - so we can have heat even during winter storm power outages. 

July 8, 2012 - last year - the old version with chimney.

July 16, 2013 - this year - the chimney is gone and the front wall shingle siding is being added.

July 20, 2013 - almost all complete! (an early morning, low light, no-blue-sky picture).

The house sure looks different without the chimney sticking up above the roof. Note that we had a bit of project creep.  The street side wall was also repaired, windowed, trimmed, and shingled.

We used Jim Callahan of Jade Carpentry and his associates. He had built our sunroom rehab/addition 12 years ago.  He gave us a great product/service at a fair and reasonable price both back then and now.  His men were skilled, personable, reliable, and unbelievably hard-working in the brutal heat/humidity conditions of this heat-wave summer in Massachusetts.

I spent every day on the job site (which is why I haven't blogged much in the past week). It's amazing to watch what a difficult and involved task this is considering that it affects such a small section of house. It was a pleasure to watch experienced craftsmen with knowledge, experience, and the right tools go about their work purposefully and efficiently.  If I would have tried to do this job it would have taken me a month to do what they did in a few hours - not that I could even have accomplished most of it. There is no good substitute for skilled and talented professionals - and that's who they are.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Priscilla Beach Theatre, Priscilla Beach, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Priscilla Beach Theatre began its 77th season this summer.  Always creative, they erected a tent to hold performances while the barn theatre is repaired and refurbished.  Although mostly an opportunity for children to get a taste of acting, stagecraft, and teamwork, they do offer adult performances as well.  Paul Newman, Rob Reiner to name just two had stints at the Priscilla Beach Theatre early in  their careers.

The audience begins to gather for a Saturday morning performance of  "Fairy Tale Courtroom," wherein both the Big Bad Wolf and the Wicked Witch are on trial for stirring up trouble. The audience serves as the jury.

Artistic Director and longtime creative force at the theatre, Geronimo Sands introduces the play to the audience.

The judge presides over the court.

The judge and  prosecutor gesticulate wildly as the Big Bad Wolf pleads her case.

The judge is incredulous at Little Red Riding Hood Grandma's testimony.

The scarecrow from the Wizard of  Oz had to testify also.

The Wicked Witch listening to testimony against her.

Dorothy with her ruby slippers made an appearance, too

And in the audience, a dad and son watch attentively.  

The cast takes a final bow after the audience shouted out the verdict - many said guilty and many said not guilty. But everyone enjoyed the show, actors and audience alike. It's a small intimate setting.  Perfect for a summer morning of entertainment.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More Flowers, Amy's Garden, Bartlett Pond, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Just when I think Amy's garden can't get any prettier, it does...............  

Note the little bee critter in his color coordinated outfit. 

New England in summer - it just doesn't get any better - except for maybe in spring and fall. Winter I can do without.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trash or Treasure? Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

The town recycling center is a fascinating place.  There is a mountain of "small metal" things awaiting new lives. Bicycles, beach chairs, and steel outdoor furniture seem to be popular items.......

....and exercise equipment and bedsprings - even bent extension ladder pieces. It is great to see our society embrace the concepts of repair, reuse, and recycle.