Remembering my ancestor at Gettysburg, on the anniversary of the battle

I hadn’t been posting as much on the blog lately, and after writing about Aunt Donna I feel like I should distract myself a bit by writing about Civil War history.  So indulge me, if you will.

Among the Union troops at Gettysburg was a middle-aged French-Canadian soldier who had enlisted at the beginning of the war in the Boston Volunteers, a unit that later became the 11th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment.  His name was Moses Beaulieu, and he was a widower who had left his 4 year old daughter in the care of the woman who ran the boarding house where they lived in South Weymouth, Massachusetts.  He was one of the first members of his family (my mother’s family) to move from Quebec to Massachusetts, where he had found work as a bootmaker in the booming shoe industry.

Continue reading “Remembering my ancestor at Gettysburg, on the anniversary of the battle”

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Goodbye to my Aunt Donna, my godmother

This past week, my Aunt Donna, who had been suffering from vascular dementia for the last couple of years, passed away.  She was 72 years old.

Aunt Donna was one of those relatives of mine who helped shape me into the person I am today, in many ways.  I loved her very very much.  I wish I had been able to be there for her more often, especially in the last few months.  They were particularly difficult for her, as her ability to have a conversation and organize her thoughts was eroded away by the ravaging disease acting in conjunction with her other health issues.  Before I met Kelly, she was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to move back to Massachusetts, so I could be there for her when she needed me.  And in some ways I was, and I am all too glad to have done those things like help her get her house ready for the big hurricanes a few years ago.  It was the least I could do.  I wish I had done more.

HPIM0825

She went with me to my first live Red Sox game, which was such a treat as I had been a fan most of my life but, living far away, was unable to attend any games, even in childhood.  Kelly (who was also there) snapped this picture of us, which is my favorite pictures of her and I.  It reminds me of how she was always so full of fun, so full of life.  She was a truly good person, with an endless supply of empathy and compassion for other people.  She donated to all sorts of liberal causes.  She befriended so many people from different walks of life.  Although she did not have any pets of her own as an adult (at least, of which I am aware), she loved animals, and loved to have our dogs sit with her or on her lap.

Even as a kid, she indulged me with things like books and models and taking me places.  She was the one who introduced me to the science fiction of Isaac Asimov.  She also got me interested in political writers like Molly Ivins and Robert Reich.  She was a huge supporter of President Obama, and we had many great conversations about politics.  She always encouraged my intellectual curiosity.  And as a lifelong music teacher, she always encouraged passion for music.

I will miss her greatly, possibly more than I am capable of uttering or showing, at least in public.  I think the world is lesser without her.

~Geoff

 

It’s that time of year again, Merry, Happy, Blessed Whatever

Most of you know that we’ve been doing this for a few years now.  Partly it’s because we’re cheap broke, and partly it’s because we send this link to nearly 200 people who we’d legitimately want to send a real card to.  Also, I’m not big on the card produced by Shutterfly and never seen by the sender thing, and this method actually has a Snowflake’s chance in Cambridge of generating a conversation*.  So we do it this way.

Continue reading “It’s that time of year again, Merry, Happy, Blessed Whatever”

A visit to Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm

Yesterday Kelly and I took a short day trip out to Lincoln to visit the Drumlin Farm.  We wanted to see it because I am thinking about applying for a job there with Mass Audubon. So we spoke with some friends of ours who work there and went out to see them.

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Amazing things to do this weekend

This weekend is full of great things happening in and around Boston.  Take a look at what’s happening and please come join us.

Tomorrow from 10:00am – 3:00pm Geoff and I will be at Endicott Park in Danvers, MA for the 2nd Annual A Day in the Park Fair.  There will be more than 50 craft and other vendors.  The park itself has an unbelievable amount of things to do.  This is an ideal day out for the family, including the dog.  Dogs are welcome at the fair and in the park as well.  Plenty of parking is available.  Directions are here.

Musically, Teri and the good folks at Meravelha are going to be busy this weekend and next.

The Road Most TraveledFamily Concert

Experience the magical sounds of the Middle Ages in a relaxed setting accessible to all ages! Bring the kids, a pillow or blanket to sit on, and/or arrange the chairs to suit your group.

Members of Meravelha will talk through the songs in English, show slides with medieval images that relate to our music, and provide an early instrument petting zoo following the show and answer questions for inquiring minds, both young and old.

Coloring pages and crayons will also be on hand for young ones who like to listen while doing something with their hands.

About the program:

The Road Most Traveled features music from several stops along the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and explores the both the lighter and more ponderous aspects of the religious journey, culminating in the celebration of arrival. The music includes Cantigas de Santa Maria, selections from the Codex Las Huelgas and Codex Calixtinus and features exotic melodies and dance-like rhythms that will get your head bobbing and toe tapping!

Sunday, May 28 at 5 PM – 6:30 PM
Church of Our Saviour, Brookline
25 Monmouth St
Brookline, MA 02446

General: $20, Student/Senior: $15
Children 12 and under:  $10, 2 for $15, 3 for $20
Children 3 and under:  Free

Featuring:
Barbara Allen Hill
Teri Kowiak
Jaya Lakshminarayanan
Clare McNamara
Dan Meyers
Ari Nieh
Josh Schreiber Shalem
Catherine Stein

Additional Performances (of the usual quiet, adult variety):
May 20, 2017 8pm
Church of the Good Shepherd
9 Russel Ave
Watertown, MA

May 27, 2017 8pm
Church of the Good Shepherd
9 Russel Ave
Watertown, MA

Enjoy the weekend, we hope to see you tomorrow!

~Kelly

Oh #Portugal, I love you SO MUCH

As anyone who knows me well already knows, I am half Portuguese on my father’s side.  His family came from the Azores, and as it turns out we also have converted Portuguese Sephardic Jews on his mother’s side of the family.  Anyway, I have always loved Portuguese cuisine, and as I have gotten older I have come to appreciate Portuguese culture and history a lot more.  Kelly and I originally planned to visit Portugal and France (my mother’s family is French-Canadian) on our honeymoon, but circumstances and finances prevented it.  Perhaps one day we will get to go.  I hope so.

Anyway, recently the Netherlands released a tourism promotional video that poked a lot of fun at our new President.  It’s easier if you see it rather than me try to explain what they did.  But it is hilarious. See the original below.

Continue reading “Oh #Portugal, I love you SO MUCH”

Trans Scripts – The A.R.T. Celebrates the Transgender Community

As we are about to watch these United States pass into the hands of a fascist demagogue who will likely attempt to roll back historic gains for minorities of every kind, let us take a moment and celebrate the, “… rich and diverse experiences within the transgender community.”

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