...the Journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

For the next few weeks, we'll be seeing magnets from Ned & Marta's refrigerator door.

Yes. It's what it looks like.

Household Hints


A Medieval Home Companion:
Housekeeping in the 14th Century

taking a hiatus until we get home from Boston on Wednesday night.

Here are some of my theatre reviews, if you're interested.

Updated 3/10/01


In a Sunburned Country
by Bill Bryson



That's it for today!



10 April 2001

If you want to be transported back to the dawn of American history, this is the shop for it!

Since we'd all been to Boston before, we decided to take today and explore the surrounding countryside. Our destination was Lexington and Concord and because of a wrong turn, we went to Concord first.

Concord seems like it should be on the back lot at Universal studios. One look at the tall church steeples, the old fashioned "town square," the patriotic statues, and the bunting waving from all the quaint buildings and you expect to see Harold Hill marching down the main street, leading 76 trombones.

The day was perfect. The haze and drizzle of the last two days was gone and the sun was warm enough we didn't even need jackets. There is still enough snow on the ground, and some frozen ponds, just starting to thaw, but you couldn't have asked for better conditions. What's more, since it was a Monday, we pretty much had most of the historic places (those which were open) to ourselves.

We first stopped at the Visitor's Center, where we looked at the exhibits about the events of April 18, 1775, when someone fired the "shot heard round the world" which started the American Revolution. There was a multi media presentation which described how the British marched on Concord. The presentation was a bit better than a lot of such stories I've seen.

It's interesting to note that there were 3 men delivering the word that the British were coming, and that Paul Revere never completed the ride, but was captured by the British. It was actually a man named Prescott who made it all the way to Concord, but who remembers Prescott? It was Longfellow (thanks Miriam) who made Revere's ride famous...who can rhyme anything patriotic with "Prescott"? Listen my children and you will hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere...

We glanced through the guest book after the presentation and were amused to note that guests to the visitor's center had turned the guest book into a forum to debate the Second Amendment and gun control. One book seemed to be running 3 to 1 against gun ownership, while the other book was more half and half.

We passed by The Wayside, once home to Louisa May Alcott, then Nathaniel Hawthorne, and also Margaret Sidney (author of The Five Little Peppers series), on our way to North Bridge, where the Minutemen met the British. Though 200 years have passed, the area is still full of barren trees. The battle took place just about this time in 1775, so we got a feel for what it must have been like to be stalking the enemy through the dense growth of barren trees. The area had recently flooded and the path with significant historic spots marked was under water. But it gave me the chance to take pictures of a lovely pair of Canadian geese.

We had lunch in a local sandwich and ice cream store. The clientele seemed to be a mix of locals and tourists and we were amused to see that this barren, eclectically decorated sandwich shoppe offered gift certificates. However the burgers were again excellent and head and shoulders above McDonald's. Following lunch, we wandered around in a local privately owned book store. I seem to be the only one who found it interesting that the shelves on "books by local authors" were filled with books by Alcott, Thoreau, Emerson and Hawthorne! On the science fiction shelf, I also found David Gerrold's latest, Jumping off the Planet newly released in paperback. This is the book where I appear briefly as the lesbian lover of the mother of the heroes.

Our last stop in Concord was to the Sleepy Hollow cemetery, where we visited "authors' ridge," the final resting place of all those famous "local authors" we saw at the book store. The thing I found interesting was that the Emerson family plot was quite large and in the center of it was a giant lump of a shapeless rock with a simple plaque on it denoting the final resting place of Ralph Waldo.

(The Sleepy Hollow cemetery, btw, doesn't look a thing like the one the headless horseman rode through.)

We drove home through Lexington, a more booming metropolis than Concord, and then back to the motel. I suggested that since the rest of the group wanted to nap and I really, really wanted to get onto the Internet, I had Walt drop me off at Kinko's. I discovered their ISDN line allowed me to post a journal entry, read and answser e-mail, and send a notice to the notify list all in about 20 minutes. Kinko's is open 24 hours a day. I will be there at the crack of dawn tomorrow, while all the folks here are sleeping.

For dinner we tried out a local Chinese restaurant. We have managed to hit some really excellent hole-in-the-wall restaurants and this one was no exception. We had a huge dinner and have enough left over for Jeri and her roommates to have dinner some other night.

One Year Ago:
A Simple Faith

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 4/4/01 by Bev Sykes