Alice and Mike were married in 1999 and we’ve known Ingmar since 1998 when Emily was a grad student in Munich and they were dating. But it was not until this year that I grasped the fact that the birthdays of Mike and Ingmar are exactly one week apart, July 19th and July 26th. Of course, my talent at remembering birthdays at all is not exactly stellar, but still……….
So yesterday, everyone at the cottage celebrated both birthdays, despite the fact that we had celebrated Ingmar’s last week when I was still there………They had a pinata (for the kids) and it was in the shape of -no, not Miss Kitty. That was Clara’s birthday on the 8th – but a bottle of Bavarian Beer. And have I ever mentioned that Ingmar is a wonderful baker? Yes, he could be professional. He made a glorious looking SCHWARZWÄLDER KIRSCHTORTE (Black Forest Cherry Cake) for Mike.
I know it was delicious! And very authentic! I’ve had Ingmar’s Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte before and am sorry I had to miss this one! Maybe next year!
Here are a few more pictures from Alice of the birthday part of the day:
I think they had this birthday celebrations around 4pm when not much was happening at the community events (though probably the baseball game was getting underway). It would have been Ingmar’s time for kaffee und kuchen. And afterwards around 5:30 the potluck begins and the tug of war, egg toss, and balloon toss. And bonfire….So here are a few “after” pictures.
This photo of the wonderful bonfire was not from Alice…I plucked it from fbook and I think it was posted by someone named Mary Easely, but am not sure….
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Today is the best day of the year at Point Chautauqua, the day of the Point Picnic. The entire day is full of events. In the morning there are all kinds of contests for little kids, potato races, three legged races, finding pennies in the grass at Memorial Park, and lots more….There’s a sailboat regatta, a chipping contest for golfers, and the Marathon. I remember Emily, the first year we had the cottage, 1981, running this marathon barefooted because her sister Alice had lost her shoes and talked Em into lending hers! I was standing on the upper porch and could hear Emily’s feet slapping on the road as she approached. Mighty Girl!
In the afternoon we have a baseball game between the punks and the old-timers….Of course the people who were the punks (teenagers) when I first saw this are now the old-timers! In the evening we have a potluck picnic at Memorial Field followed by tug of war and an egg toss and a balloon toss! And still later a bonfire and sing-along. It a wonderful day.
Today Alice had photos of Em, Sofia, Clara, Mike and Nathan running the marathon. These pictures give a good sense of what it’s like!
Mike is wearing the almost chartreuse shirt, Clara is behind him in pink top and purple pants, Sofia in dark top and pants with green across the top, Emily is behind her in black. Nathan is seen best in the middle picture, wearing a green tee shirt. Click on any photo to enlarge it.
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We had a wonderful gathering to celebrate Clara’s Fifth Birthday yesterday afternoon….Alice had the party on her deck and her family, Em’s family, Alice and Barney and Andy and I were there…….There were nibbles and herbal ice tea and an ice cream cake! There was a Hello Kitty pinata and presents for the Princess.
It is difficult to resist posting my favorite photo first! Those of you who do not have little girl relatives in the age group swept away by the international phenomenon of FROZEN probably are not aware that as soon as the dresses for the Princess Elsa character were released they were snapped up by scalpers and it is impossible to buy this dress for less than $150.00…(Even the normal $50.00 cost seems fairly outrageous to my mind, raised as I was by parents whose ideas were formed by the depression and WWII.) Yet Princess Elsa was the character Clara adored (naturally!) and hoped to have a costume of…So it was that the night before the party her wonderful Aunt Alice spent hours and hours sewing her a costume, a dress and a cape, like Elsa’s. It is also, naturally, Clara’s very favorite gift…And since the dress Elsa wears in the movie is decorated with snowflakes and Alice’s dress had sparkly tulle but no snowflakes, six year old Sofia spent lots of time this morning cutting paper snowflakes to decorate the dress…..I think Clara is feeling very like a Princess this morning!
Today Em and Ingmar are looking at more houses they might like to buy, but they have found a wonderful house to rent, not far from us.
Clara in another costume from Frozen, attacking the pinata.
The ice cream cake made for Clara by her father with lots of ice cream, candy, and tiny paper umbrellas, just the way she likes it.
And now, she’ll need to wait for another year! A year of excitement! A year of moving to Ohio! A year of beginning Kindergarten!
Credit for these photos goes to my sil Alice B. and my daughter Alice C! Just because I found my camera doesn’t, alas, mean I brought it to the party. Sigh……..
Does anyone remember this song? It was running through my mind a lot yesterday! Somehow, I remember how especially important it felt to me to be five! So grown up.
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First of all – I found my camera….Now I need to find a missing library book and two necklaces! Mercy!
Tomorrow my dd Emily and her family are coming to Ohio. They are spending July at Chautauqua and on Tuesday Clara turned FIVE! It was celebrated there and tomorrow we will have a small party here……
Em and Ingmar will be looking at houses on Friday and drive back to the cottage that night.
The next day I will be leaving for the cottage, too. I’ll be there at least a week this time. The 19th is my sil’s birthday and I plan to celebrate it there with them.
Here is Clara about one month old!
She’s grown quite a bit!
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I am celebrating quietly today, but happily. I’m remembering my two ancestors who fought in the American Revolution, Henry Ferguson and Andrew Punches (really Pontius). Most of my family is at Lake Chautauqua today, but the 4th is one of the busiest and nosiest weekends of the year up there and I’ve come to appreciate the quiet. They were all at the wonderful parade in Mayville, New York this morning. Mayville is a quite small village (less than 2,000 population) which curves around the northern shores of the Lake and is, for historic reasons, the county seat of Chautauqua County.
It takes about two hours to pass by and schools, organizations and groups from all over the county march past…..People on floats and fire engines and old cars throw candy to the kids lining the way……
This evening when it’s dark one can watch the fireworks on the beach in Mayville from our dock across the lake. It’s glorious! Or one can go out on the lake and see them closer up. It makes a wonderful day. And perhaps next year I’ll be there again. But truth to tell, I’m ever so slightly an introvert and crowds and noise are not really my joy!
But I will be back at the lake next week when it’s a bit quieter!
Many thanks to Alice for her lovely photos!
POSTSCRIPT: Andy and I lit sparklers on the deck as we listened to distant fireworks we could not see and then went inside and read the Declaration of Independence together and lit a last sparkler…..A nice and quiet celebration.
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Rats! Where is it….? I hope not left at the lake! I will check in my car again, just in case.
I took lots of photos of our wonderful long weekend at Lake Chautauqua.
The dock was a big part of the weekend…..(This photo is from 2012!) I have not been in our boat since the last time I was on the lake with Paul, August 2005.Ever increasingly painful knees, melanoma cancer, double replacement knee surgery and breast cancer and the aftermath of exhaustion last summer made it impossible. And that voice in my mind that says, “Oh, no, you can’t do that”, that voice which Andy has been helping me silence ever so gently, kept me off the water. But this year, I did it! Yes! I even managed getting off the boat onto a very bouncy bit of dock at the Casino (restaurant with no gambling!) and getting off again at our own dock when the boat was a bit farther away than I would have liked. We did it. We boated out past Point Chautauqua, past the bell tower and the Institute across the lake, past Midway, past Long Point into Bemus point where we had to wait a bit for the Ferry to pass us by and then docked at the Casino close to the bridge. It was wonderful. On the way back we were very close to the Chautauqua Belle, a tourist paddle wheel steam boat reminiscent of the bit steam boats used to take vacationers from the train stations in Mayville or Jamestown around the lake before the roads were built.
So many many memories. Wonderful memories. I’m really happy that our boat is still going well after all these years. I’m glad that Andy can persuade me that I can do things, and should do them. Yes!
Another old photo of the cottage……This one from 2011…..
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I am putting some photos in this post which I looked at on my computer while we had no internet and I wandered through my “library” of pictures….
Two of them are from the chapel at my brother in law Franz’s retreat house near Kronach, Germany. I will probably never see it again, though one never knows. It is a dear memory.
On Monday a tree I could only call giant crashed down on all our power lines, cable, and landline phone. A big crash. But luckily it fell away from the house and no one was hurt…And we never totally lost electricity, though the voltage fluctuated between 64 and 128 according to Andy’s excellent Fluke Multimeter. We were asked not to use any major appliances and yesterday all electric power was restored. This morning the Time Warner Cable repairman came out and fixed their service so we have tv and internet again. It’s always a bit dismaying to realized how much we use such things! Luckily Andy and I both enjoy reading and playing Chicaneuse, a double solitaire game I’ve mentioned before here. We learned it from my mil who learned it from her grandmother when she was a girl growing up in pre-WWI Hungary. But it is wonderful to have TV and Internet again….When the tree is cut down, in about three weeks I hope, TW Cable will return to tighten up the very low cable. Tomorrow we should have my landline back. I feel a bit ambivalent about it since I don’t usually answer it. It’s always a political call or someone who wants money and I don’t choose where to donate by who calls me on the phone.
When the internet wasn’t working I could still use my computer to watch dvds, play games, and look through my seeming thousands of photos……I think we are all very spoiled. But I loved looking at the pictures of my grandchildren from their earliest days forward…….
Alice, Nathan, and Stephen are at Emily’s dear friend Diana’s home in Falls Church at the moment. Emily, Sofia and Clara are there too. Tomorrow they will be at the Smithsonian Folk Festival were they were last year when Hungary was a featured country…The real purpose is for Alice to bring the little girls back to Ohio. Emily and Ingmar are packing furiously, filling a tractor trailer with their goods and chattels. It will be taken to Canton, Ohio where they can store it for a month. They are moving to Chautauqua for the month of July.Emily begins work at Cleveland State in August. It looks as though they will be renting a house in Ohio and renting their house in Maryland for a time…..I hope someone buys their Maryland house soon, and they find one to buy here and become more settled…These in-between-times are very stressful!
The rose above is my much loved Stanwell Perpetual which I first saw at Black Creek Pioneer Village in ’75. It has a wonderful fragrance and is from the family of Scottish roses. I’ve had it for years and it never did much, but suddenly in the last two years it has become much stronger with more blooms. I think perhaps the roots have reached a deeper level, but whatever the reason, I am grateful for it.
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