After driving up to New Hampshire yesterday, we spent most of today at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts. There was an event there we wanted to attend and we had a really nice time visiting with family friends (even though it’s been years for Cathy and I’ve never actually met most of them). After the event, which included a chapel service and lunch, we had a little time before we were meeting other friends for dinner. So, we stopped at Gordon College and walked around Coy Pond. The fall color is not quite at peak yet, but it’s coming and it was already beautiful. Also, we weren’t at home, which was nice. After a lovely dinner with Rob and Iris, we drove back up to our hotel in New Hampshire, looking forward to three days of doing nothing in particular.
As the weekend wound down, we had a busy but nice Sunday. After church we had a very nice lunch with Emiko and her family at a house they had rented for the weekend. It was really nice to get to know them a bit better. After that we returned to the art gallery to dismantle Dorothy’s installation. Before taking it down I took a series of photographs of various parts of the piece. I have overall views taken two weeks ago but I wasn’t able to get many closeups then. With a tripod and a bit of time, I was able to get them, some from the top of a scaffolding, so I wasn’t looking up from the floor. Then we pulled all the pins and collected the various pictures, booklets, and related paraphernalia that made up much of the piece. The painted portions will be painted over, of course. If you were not able to see it, I’m sorry, it is gone forever.
But not without photographic evidence.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Dorothy graduated from college this weekend. We arrived in the rain at about 2:30 on yesterday (Friday) and after a little while went to the Baccalaureate service from 5:00 to 6:30 or so. When we came out, the sky had cleared and it was cool and quite beautiful out. We had been invited to dinner at the home of one of Dorothy’s friends and that was a really nice time, relaxing and comfortable, eating pizza out of their boxes, as it was meant to be eaten.
Today, the sky remained clear and cloudless. In fact, if anything, it was a little too warm and we all got a bit of sunburn. But it was a glorious day for an outdoor graduation ceremony. The students went across the stage in groups, alphabetically by their departments. The Art Department was first, and Dorothy was the fourth graduating senior to cross the stage. She was met there by our friend, Doug, who was there as a member of the Board of Trustees. He stayed long enough to walk off the stage with Dorothy before heading to the airport to catch his flight home.
Of course, one problem with being right at the beginning of the ceremony is that the rest of the time you don’t really have anything to do. That’s not to say I didn’t take any more pictures, of course, because we’ve gotten to know some of Dorothy’s friends and I tried to get pictures of them crossing the stage, as well. I got some good pictures (as well as plenty that aren’t all that great) but I did my best. The sun was pretty intense, which made it a little harder. After the 180 minute program, there was a serious amount of milling about and a lot more opportunity for pictures of Dorothy with her friends. It took us all a little while to find each other but eventually we managed it. First up is this picture of Dorothy with her mom, who is obviously and rightly proud of Dorothy for all she’s done in the four years she’s been at Gordon.
As an art major, obviously the Art Department played a significant role for her. I know she’ll keep in touch with a lot of her friends but it’s less likely that she’ll be actively in touch with her three art professors. Nevertheless, I wanted to get a picture of her with them. She had asked about the stoles that many graduates were given to wear. She was told that the art students could were stoles if they made them. As you can see, they made them for professors James Zingarelli, Bruce Herman, and David West, as well.
After the pictures with her professors, we took quite a few with Dorothy’s friends, as you might expect. Jonathan, on the right in this photo, lived with us the summer before last. It was nice to be able to watch him graduate and especially nice to meet his parents, who came all the way from Malaysia, arriving just in time for yesterday’s service. Andrew and Dorothy have been very good friends and together form the musical team known as Kinsman.
This picture of Dorothy with Rachel and Taylor sort of goes with the previous one. Rachel is engaged to Andrew and their wedding is in two weeks. Dorothy will be there for that and is one of Rachel’s bridesmaids. Taylor and Jonathan are dating, as well. We’ve only recently gotten to know Andrew, Rachel, and Taylor very well in the last year, but are glad to know them and feel like Dorothy has some really high quality friends.
Eventually we left the campus and headed back to the house where Dorothy lived this year. Sadly, the school is selling Dexter house, so they will be the last cohort of students to live there. Needless to say, there was joy and sadness as they said farewell to each other. They are headed in all different directions, both in the short term and the long term. One is leaving for Israel tomorrow, another for Iceland. I don’t know where all the others are going next but this was a really tight-knit group and I won’t be surprised if they join up as a group in the years ahead.
Finally we went to a party given by the local families of a few of Dorothy’s friends. Bob and Barb hosted and there were a lot of students there with their families. It was a casual affair with plenty to eat and lots to talk about. I especially enjoyed getting to know the parents of a few of Dorothy’s friends, some of whom I’d have to describe as “our people.” This is a time of transition and that can be scary and uncertain, but one thing is sure. Dorothy went to college with a lot of the same worries she’s facing now and has come away with a really wonderful group of friends, some of whom I suspect will be friends for life. I certainly hope so.
It was a busy, tiring, beautiful, exciting, long, day. Congratulations, Dorothy!
P.S. I didn’t take that last picture. Just saying.
We drove up to Massachusetts again, having been there two weeks ago for Dorothy’s art show. This time it’s her graduation and it is just Cathy and me, without Dorothy’s grandmothers. We had traffic problems around Boston, with rain and accidents on I95 but we left early enough that we were here in plenty of time for the Baccalaureate service held this evening from 5:00 to 6:30. We had good seats in the front row of the balcony and I took a few pictures. The candle lighting portion of the service was particularly nice, which is what is shown here.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Cathy, Dot, Margaret, and I drove up to Massachusetts to see Dorothy’s senior art show, which was from 4:00 to 6:00 PM this evening. Considering school is nearly 500 miles from home, I think Dorothy had a pretty good crew of guests. Kendra and Jacob came the farthest, flying up from North Carolina. Emily and Jessica drove from Virginia and Rob and Susie drove from Maryland. Jean flew in this morning. Abba and Josh drove from Rhode Island. Of course there were a lot of her school friends there, as well. This is her piece and here’s her artist’s statement.
What makes a person? What dictates how we remember them, what we keep of them when they go away? How much of the story can we get from objects left behind, and how can our impression of that story change the trajectory of a family? We all encounter things that change us—spirits pass through and transform. To what extent do these encounters, proclivities, and transformations get passed down from parent to child?
This work explores the footprints we leave, the things we keep, and the things we throw away. We inherit traits genetically, but we receive much more from our families than genetic material. Repetitive, mythic cycles appear in family narratives, from a history of tight hip muscles, to a history of alcoholism, to a history of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Stepping past the story of the individual, our family legends can teach us about the tasks that belong to us, the roads we are to take, and the whole to which we ultimately belong.
Dorothy and Rachel, another of the senior artists, are in a creative writing class together and their final project was related to their art project. Together they put together a book which read one way had Dorothy’s writing and flipped over had Rachel’s. I think the show was a success from pretty much every perspective. I enjoyed talking with the three art professors and they all had very nice things to say about Dorothy’s work.
One problem with this picture is that it’s a little hard to get the scale. The ceiling in this room is about 12 feet high, so this is a rather large installation.
We spent most of the day on the road today, driving up to Massachusetts to visit Dorothy for the weekend and see her senior art exhibit tomorrow evening. It was four of us, Cathy, me, and our two moms (Dorothy’s grandmas). We didn’t have traffic problems to speak of until we got onto Interstate 95 around Boston. Then it took us two hours to go 25 miles. We met up with Dorothy and went to the art building where the final preparations are under way. I’ll post a picture of Dorothy’s art tomorrow. Today, here’s Dorothy pointing out an article about a woman being attacked by a beaver.
It’s homecoming weekend at Gordon and although were weren’t attending a lot of the scheduled activities, this is one we couldn’t miss. Dorothy and two friends, John and Bobby, submitted a proposal for a chicken coop to be built and maintained behind the road halls and it was approved. The run and coop were built a couple weeks ago and the hens arrived last Sunday. Today was the official dedication of the Village Chicken Coop, also known as the R. Judson Carlbnerg Memorial Chicken Coop.
Admittedly it wasn’t the most attended event of the day but it was on the official schedule and those who came all seemed to have a good time. The chickens got a pumpkin, freshly chopped into pieces and there was cake and sparkling cider for the humans. It was also a beautiful day for it. Yesterday was rainy and chilly but today was pleasant and sunny. We couldn’t have asked for anything more. They are already producing eggs so the project is off to a good start.
Our first full day visiting Dorothy was a busy one. We had breakfast in Beverly at Cityside Diner, then back to the campus for a convocation in the chapel where Dorothy was one of the students being presented an award (and yet we still don’t know, specifically, what she did to earn it!), and then a walk in the rain while Dorothy was in class. We visited the chicken coop that Dorothy and two friends got approval to build behind the road halls. After that we walked to Gull Pond and back and the color of the light was very nice. As you can see in the reflections, the trees are just starting to turn colors. It was also quite a bit cooler than what we’ve been having at home, barely getting up into the low 60s.
We have been here about a week and we had a really good time. It started with Hannah and Drew’s wedding last Saturday. That was a lot of fun and a beautiful start to a new family. Since then we’ve spent time with Dorothy as well as some time without, when she was in class or otherwise engaged. The weather was often a bit less than sunny, although there were two days when the sky was clear for at least part of the day. The rest of the time it was damp. One day it rained quite hard. But rainy, overcast, and particularly foggy weather can be very beautiful. I think the pictures taken at the beach on the rainy days are my favorite from the trip.
This morning we checked out of our hotel and drove back to campus. We met Dorothy for a little while between classes and I took this picture, along with a few others, at Coy Pond. When Dorothy headed off to class, we called for an Uber and were picked up within 10 minutes. She got us to the airport earlier than expected and then our flight was delayed two hours. Five hours in Boston’s Logan Airport isn’t my idea of a good day. But we made it and we are home again.
When we got to Boston on Friday it was raining. As we drove to New Hampshire, it was raining even harder. In the evening, after the wedding rehearsal (which we were not really part of except being asked to take a few pictures) it was drizzling and quite cool. Then for the wedding yesterday, it wasn’t actually raining most of the day but it looked like it was about to all day. This morning, the sky was a beautiful, clear blue, about as lovely as any you’ll see. We drove back in time to go to Dorothy’s church and then spent a little time at Gordon College while Dorothy took care of some business.
We walked across the campus and about a third the way around Coy Pond. The skunk cabbages are in full bloom and the cinnamon ferns (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum) are sending up their furry crosiers. I took some picturs of those, of course, but I like these two from the main part of the campus. The first is in front of the Phillips Music Center, looking towards the chapel. The second is of the chapel from across the quad.
When Dorothy was done, she took us to two of her favorite places. First we went to Halibut Point State Park at the northern tip of Cape Ann. Then we drove through Rockport and Gloucester to Rafes Chasm. Both were beautiful and I can understand why she likes them so much. We talked about visiting them during a storm and she said that she and her friend when there during a squall and there were “waves the size of houses.” Sounds wonderful.
We also visited a small graveyard in Beverly, which was pretty in the late afternoon light. A busy day with lots to do and done, but very nice.
We drove up to Massachusetts today, taking about ten hours. Part of that was down to heavy traffic on 95 getting around Boston but the fact that we had two vehicles played a role, as well. We made it, though, in spite of getting separated coming off the George Washington Bridge. Dorothy moved into her dorm room and we met her new roommate, Kenna, pictured here with Dorothy. We went to a little taco place in Beverly called La Victoria Taqueria (http://www.victoriataqueria.com/). It was quite good and we enjoyed our food out doors. We’ve been having such hot weather that it was nice to be out on a pleasant evening. Here’s to Dorothy and Kenna.
Here’s one more picture from Tuesday, January 12. After a short break while I walked around the campus and then went and checked into my hotel, I went back to the school and picked up Dorothy and two of her friends, Bobby (center), and John (right). We went to Nick’s Famous Roast Beef for dinner. We weren’t sure they would be open, because in December the owners were indicted for conspiracy to defraud the United States (i.e., they are accused of hiding receipts from the IRS to avoid taxes). We were happy to find that they were open for business and we enjoyed a nice meal. When we left, it had begun raining and by the time I was back at my hotel, it was snowing a fairly wet snow. I wasn’t sure what that might mean for the drive home tomorrow.
As mentioned in my last post, also from Tuesday, January 12, I drove Dorothy back to school today. It was a mostly cloudy day, quite good for driving, actually. After we got to the school, Porter and Dorothy took their things to their dorm rooms. I was going to see Dorothy for dinner but she wanted a little time to settle back in, so I went for a short walk. I headed towards the library and then went down to Coy Pond, where I took a few pictures. I like the shape of this tree, as well as the drama of the clouds in this picture.
We weren’t going to spend a week visiting Dorothy at school and not meet some of her friends. That’s mostly what we did today, hanging out at our hotel and doing a little shopping until the later afternoon. Then we met various groups of Dorothy’s friends. This is one of a few group pictures that I took the help me remember names and put them to faces as Dorothy talks about people she is hanging out or doing things with over the course of the semester. I didn’t get pictures of everyone she talks about, but what I have will be a big help to me. I’m hopeless when it comes to names.
We had a pretty busy day today. We drove up to New Hampshire to visit Dorothy’s cousin, Abba. She graduated from school last spring and has decided to stay in the area. We had a nice lunch and visited her apartment and studio. Thanks, Abba, for putting up with us. we really enjoyed it.
A busy day, but not without some relaxation thrown in. We enjoyed a visit to another cemetery, this one not as old but much larger than the one in Rockport that we saw yesterday. We also had time for a leisurely walk.
Back in Wenham, on the Gordon campus, Cathy and I had a bit of time before Dorothy was going to be ready to go out to dinner. We walked around the two ponds nearest to the campus buildings. First we walked around Gull Pond, which is the “swimming” pond (and there was a man swimming, in fact). We still had time so we walked around the larger Coy pond, which has marshy banks. The first picture here is from near Lane Student Center. Coy pond is quite beautiful, especially now as the leaves are beginning to turn. It has lilies growing throughout most of it.
The second photo is from near the northeast corner of the pond, looking back towards the building of the campus. It may not be the prettiest campus in the world but it’s certainly quite lovely. We enjoyed our walk and capped off the evening with Nick’s Roast Beef with Dorothy, along with two hometown friends, Porter and Hannah.
If you’ve been following my posts, then you know that we drove up to Gordon College to drop Dorothy off, or more precisely to bring her things, because she was already up here. She had a good time camping and canoeing for a week and a half and among the people she met was this young woman named Emiko. When you move into a new situation with all new people, it’s never easy to predict who you will end up being friends with, but this friendship seems off to a good start. Later we met her parents, as well. Making friends can be hard, particularly for those of us who are a bit reserved and who are not good at small talk. But somehow it happens. I don’t really know how, but it happens.
Cathy and I went to a breakfast gathering this morning and met the school president (among others). Then, between that and lunch time, Cathy, Dorothy, and I took a walk around the pond that is right behind a few of the campus buildings. On the way to the pond, we stopped for this picture in front of a rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos). The pond itself is quite lovely, with a lot of water lilies growing on it and boggy land (if you can call it ‘land’) around much of it. The pictures I took don’t really do it justice. The sky was a light, slate, gray, so colors were subdued. On a day with blue sky and scattered clouds it would be better.
In the late afternoon there was a signing ceremony. All incoming students sign a document as an indication of their desire to attend the school (or something). Anyway, after that was what we dubbed, ‘the crying time.’ This is when parents are asked to leave. Before we went to our car, which was parked at the other end of campus, we went to the school sign at the main entrance (behind the chapel) and took some pictures. This one only has Dorothy in it. We took more, with three other students who Dorothy had gone to school with in years past. After that, Cathy and I headed off and Dorothy’s college career had begun.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, we drove up to Gordon College today with Dorothy’s things. We got there before she did, having no significant traffic issues until we got to Boston, when everything came more or less to a standstill. If not for those last sixty miles, we’ve have been very happy. Still, we checked into our hotel and had time for dinner before going to the campus.
She had been camping and canoeing in the Adirondacks for ten or eleven days so she would not thank me if I were to post a picture of her from that evening (although she looked fine, actually). While we were waiting for the campers/students to arrive, I took a few pictures of the campus. This is the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel. That’s Adoniram Judson Gordon (1836–1895) the founder of Gordon College and nearby Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary.
It’s time. Dorothy has finished her gap year and had a good time working with the youth at 4th church this summer. But a week an a half ago we took her to the airport and she flew off for 10 days of canoeing and camping on the Raquette River and nearby lakes in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. Tomorrow, she returns and we are to meet her at the school which will be her home away from home for the next four years. She had everything packed and ready before she left and all that remained was for me to load it into the car. I was happy that it went into the smaller car and we didn’t have to take the minivan.