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I wasn’t at Point Chautauqua for the 4th of July…The timing just didn’t work out that well, and I wasn’t feeling that well. But I did keep up a bit on what my offspring and their families were doing, to some extent. I hope next year will be better. And I hope it will be cooler!

Alice 4july 2018 stephen and clara and pepper go fishing

Soon after arrival, Stephen, Clara and Pepper headed down to the docks for a bit of fishing.

And the morning of the 4th, most who were there drove over to Mayville for the parade.

Alice sent me a few photos:

alice 4july 2018 parade 2

Blue and this day glo green seem to be Stevie’s favorite colors these days…

alice 4july 2018 parade 4

alice 4july 2018 parade 1

I’ve never seen a helicopter in the parade before!

And in her spare time, Alice reupholstered the glider on the porch with some very inexpensive but sun-proof tableclothes she found at Marc’s, an Ohio discount store. The fabric we bought and used last year really didn’t hold up and we hope for better with this.

Alice 4th july glider upholstery

I’m always amazed at how much Alice accomplishes when she is there. No one has stayed all summer at Chautauqua since 2005 and it is difficult to keep it all up and make so many improvements. If you look at the “porchsitting” post you can see what the glider looked like only a few weeks ago.

 

 

 

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May all have a joyful and safe 4th of July…..

The bad news is that another tree is down, victim of the wet weather and supersaturated soil. It is the little apple tree which I’ve known since we moved here in 1980. It stood just off the deck behind St. Francis, but its growth was much affected by the huge Norway Spruce which fell last November.

https://thickethouse.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/not-again/

It’s difficult to actually see in this photo, but it is down and Alice, Nathan, and Stephen have cut most of it down now.

Alice june 2018 apple tree down 1.JPG

But while working on this, they discovered more black raspberries and picked them for a clafouti later on.

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More happy news is that Alice and her dh Mike were at the rally yesterday, in the public square in Cleveland. It was for families to remain together and our immigration policies to become a little more human. They said some of the speakers were really excellent.

alice june 2018 protest 4

Alice june 2018 protest 1

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I hope so much that things will improve. I know they will change. That’s the constant. But I am proud of Alice and Mike for being part of this rally.

Porchsitting

After the 2016 gathering at Fern Lodge, I was amazed to receive a wonderful handmade needlework cushion from Perry, with contributions from all who were there. In it she invented a new word which you can see in the upper left part of the pillow – porchsit. This is something we do a lot of at the Chautauqua cottage.

https://thickethouse.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/things-that-are-making-me-happy/

We porchsit interspersed with visits to quilt shops and the elusive (because we didn’t understand their hours) East Branch Bookstore (tried and failed to visit this great bookshop in Sherman for the first two years, but this year was the charm!)  and the cheese shop in Dewittville, owned and operated by Susan’s generous cousin Jane Currie. Then we porchsit while munching on all manner of cheese and crackers, Wensleydale with cranberries, double Gloucester with chives and onions, Stilton with mango and ginger, fabulous Swiss, and the so satisfying horseradish spread among others.

Chaut june 2018 porch all.JPG

Yes, we sit, we eat, we chat…Some of us actually did some swimming. The evening of the day we had lunch at The Fish in Bemus Point Alice made fish tacos for dinner. Wednesday we had “tea” with lots of special tea sandwiches as well as English “biscuits” people brought with them. Alice and my grandsons had to leave on Wednesday because Nathan had some  Boy Scout activities for his Special Investigator badge that evening, and they missed the lobster bisque we actually had Thursday evening. Still, I managed to freeze some for them to enjoy the 4th of July holiday when I hope we will all be back at the Point.

chaut june 2018 daly writing to io group re musgraves

We also found time to post something to the group discussion of The Musgraves which was ongoing at our D.E. Stevenson online group. But most of the time, I must admit, we were porchsitting and munching and talking about everything under the sun. Pepper fit right in with this relaxed lifestyle!

chaut june 2018 daly pepper

A few years ago I had given Susan a lot of small print reproduction fabrics for the dear Jane quilt she’s been working on. And this year she quite surprised me with a beautiful tote bag she made with those same fabrics, which are some of my favorites. Isn’t it great!

chaut june 2018 susans bag 2

How Sweet It Was!

I was lucky enough to arrange another gathering of my D.E. Stevenson friends at our cottage at Chautauqua this June! The first time this happened was in 2014 when we were having a much larger gathering in Toronto and a few members who were coming from far away asked if they could stay overnight at the cottage on their way. Of course I said, “Yes!”. It’s always fun when “Dessies” get together. This group began in 1997 and is still going strong. People who enjoy Stevenson’s work always seem to feel like kindred spirits.

chaut june 2018 daly all of us minus husbands on the side porch

And we were able to meet again in 2016, but it didn’t work out in 2017. However, 2018 was a fortunate year! Seven of us met, along with two husbands and three dogs and my dear daughter Alice who did so much of the work and my two grandsons. Two couples drove up with their campers and were at the KOA campground in Dewittville, joining us for our daytime fun.

The time together began with an amazing feast! Perry, who lives in Maine, bought lobsters (Lobstah!) for all of us and drove them in her truck to the cottage in upstate New York. She told us to have the water boiling and so we did. Newspapers were spread on the table and Perry gave us a tutorial in How to Eat a Lobster.  Everyone loved it, except for Stephen who ran from the room screaming his intention to be a vegetarian when he grew up.

chaut june 2018 perry tutorial.JPG

I have been having problems getting these photos uploaded and now they seem to be too large! Sorry. After this deliciousness, we saved all the shells and one entire lobster which was not eaten and next day Perry made us lobster bisque for supper.

chaut june 2018 daly lobstah sideporch

One day, Sulie invited all of us to a new restaurant in Bemus Point, The Fish, and we found everything delicious! Some of us had a version of fish and chips which reminded me of family dinners years ago at Davy’s Famous Fish, now alas no longer in business.

The Fish is painted a brilliant blue when seen from the land side but when arriving by boat as most of us did, it’s bright orange.

chaut june 2018 daly the fish by boat 1

chaut june 2018 daly by boat alice

There is more, but with these large photos I think I will stop here and make a second post about our time together which was so pleasant and too short!

 

 

Do you remember my December post, before my break from blogging? I wrote about Alice and Emily’s visit to their Aunt Maria in San Francisco after the death of her dear husband.

https://thickethouse.wordpress.com/2017/12/16/this-n-that-in-the-bleak-mid-winter/

Yesterday Maria flew back home after a week visiting relatives in the Cleveland/Akron area. It was a wonderful visit, at least from our point of view. And I think from Maria’s as well. She stayed with my dd Alice and there were several events connected to her visit. Last Saturday Alice had a huge family party for her.

Alice may 2018 party 2

The kids were all playing with the zip line and on the tree house and racing around. But you can see it was rather overcast, so when the rain began, the party moved indoors for dinner.

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The younger generation went to the basement or playroom after, but the “grown-ups” stayed to catch up. We had people from New Jersey and Michigan as well as our local family. And no one got a photo of the whole group, alas.

Maria enjoyed getting to know her younger great nieces and nephews. Stevie played Legos with her quite a bit.

Alice may 2018 Stephen the cruiser from Maria

One afternoon Maria wanted to visit Paul’s grave. My husband was her youngest brother.

Alice may 2018 party cemetery with Maria.JPG

Tuesday Andy, Aniko and I drove up to Rocky River and met another sil for lunch at our favorite restaurant. We spent nearly three hours! No one quite wanted to leave. But finally, Andy, Aniko and I returned home and Susie took Maria home with her. She stayed with them overnight because they live very close to the Cleveland Airport. Maria was flying home from there the next day. She will be in San Francisco for two weeks and then fly to Alaska to visit more family. Maria and her husband were the greatest travelers in our family. It began with her two years in Africa in the Peace Corps in the 1960s. I think India was the only major country they never visited….Paul used to say some in his family had this wanderlust and others did not. He and Maria certainly did.

Today is the last day of school for my grandchildren and Saturday is another graduation party!

Young animals have an amazingly strong appeal to almost everyone. Yesterday a fawn appeared in my garden. I don’t really want to see deer, though I think I am stuck with them and their devouring ways. But the fawn touched my heart.

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When Andy was at the cottage last weekend he caught a photo as he came up the road. I really like this one. There are so many memories of this place we all love.

Chautauqua cottage may 2018

Alice and Emily went to a memorial service in Buffalo over the weekend. It was held for our wonderful neighbor Helen Conkling who died last December. Helen and her husband Ed were incredible neighbors when my kids were growing up. They had no children of their own, but all nearby children benefited from their generous hearts. They had hundreds of tea parties in their back yard, but anyone could knock on their kitchen door and be welcomed in with enthusiasm if they were home. Helen did a lot of art work with the neighborhood kids and kept a folder of their drawings, stories and poems which she presented to each one when they reached the age of 18.

FnF Conkling Helen with Meredith HC died 12 3 2017

Here is a photo of Helen with our neighbor Meredith. They were year round neighbors for years until they moved to Buffalo in the late ’90s. Ed had been a professor of Economic Geography at SUNY Buffalo and Helen was a poet. She won a prestigious prize from the University of Pittsburgh (the University of Pittsburgh Press, Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize)  and had a book published, Red Peony Night. We all treasure our signed copies! Helen had been working on another book and a friend from her poetry group read aloud from it at the memorial…It’s still available from amazon, though only used copies. When she was younger, Helen and Ed had been professional musicians. He played the viola and she played the oboe. A couple with amazing accomplishments which they shared so freely. A lovely memory from Chautauqua, long ago, were evenings when Ed’s quartet of string musicians played classical music in the backyard.

Helen and Ed founded the Point Chautauqua Historical Preservation Society and Ed wrote an excellent book about it – Frederick Law Olmsted’s  Point Chautauqua: The story of an Historic Lakeside Community. Helen was the first president of the Society.

Ed Conkling book

All this remembering of time gone by is making me have to work hard to be happy that it happened and not too sad that this time is over.

Helen Conkling ted peony night