Sunday, June 29, 2008

George's Birthday

Yup, I had a birthday, too, on the 26th. No need to say how old, but I caught up to Nancy. Dessert was strawberry shortcake with fresh strawberries, warm biscuits and real whipped cream. It was delicious!

Presents included a GPS for the car, framed photos of Vermont for my office, a cup for brewing tea, clothing, The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil (coming out as a movie in 2009), and Those Calloways.

Those Calloways was a 1965 Disney movie filmed in Vermont, much of it in Smugglers Notch. Many scenes in the movie show familiar locations. The dreaded "Jack Pine" in the movie is the Brewster River Gorge, about a mile from our home.

The Vermont photos were cool. Laura collected various photos that she and I had taken, used Snapfish to put them into a poster, and then had it framed.

Three of the photos in the poster are on this blog (here, here and here).

Thank you to everyone for a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sightseeing with Camila's Family

On Monday, June 16, when Brian was starting his new job, the rest of the family was having fun sightseeing with Camila, Flor and Gustavo. First we went on a luncheon cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen III:

One of Laura's and Camila's classmates, Alexander Stein, was on the same cruise with his parents and grandparents. After enjoying lunch we went up on the deck to enjoy the views:

In the photo above, the Vermont flag is limp. But we have other photos where it is right out straight! Next we toured the Vermont Teddy Bear factory:

Camila had toured the factory last fall with her group of Rotary exchange students, and both Laura and Camila worked at the factory one Saturday last winter as a fundraising event for Project Graduation.

After the Teddy Bear factory, we drove up Mt. Philo. The views were good and we had the top to ourselves. Perhaps we were alone on top because there was a thunderstorm approaching from the south!

Somehow we stayed ahead of the storms all day until the drive home, when it didn't matter. Our next stop was wine tasting in the new facility at Shelburne Vineyard:

Gustavo liked the Lake View White and the Merlot. I liked the New World Red. We met one of the owners, Ken Albert, and Nancy persuaded him to let Camila sit on the tractor that was in the yard. One of Camila's brothers had told her that in Vermont she would be riding a tractor to school, so we thought we should at least get her to sit on a tractor before she left!

Our last sightseeing stop was Bill's sugarhouse, where Laura gave a tour. Pager had left Laura's graduation party before the Sanchezes arrived, so he had not met Camila's parents, and he came down to the sugarhouse to meet them:

We completed the day with dinner at the Lunds. Paulette served a wonderful meal. After dinner there were tearful goodbyes, as we would not see Camila and her parents again before they left on Wednesday for New York, to spend time with Camila's sister and her children, before returning to Chile.

Gustavo and Flor—It was wonderful meeting you. Thank you for sharing your daughter with us and the Lunds. Camila—We greatly enjoyed getting to know you this past year. You are one of the family now, you know! We will miss you. Please stay in touch.

We hope to see all of you again in the not too distant future. Our door is always open. Whenever you are visiting Isabel and Nicolas and Sofia in New York, I hope you will consider a trip to Vermont, too. And we do hope to visit you in Chile someday.

A special thank you to both Camila and Marion: It was because each of you kept a blog during your year in Vermont that I was inspired to start this blog some nine months ago. It's been fun!

Brian Goes to Boston

On Sunday, June 15, we put Brian on a bus for Boston:

Brian started work on Monday, June 16 at his first job after college. He is working for The Healthcare Management Council in Needham, Mass. See the first comment in this post for a description of his job.

Why the bus? Brian's current apartment does not have a place to park a car. For the summer, he is going to use mass transit and leave his car in Vermont.

Brian, this is a big step in your life. We'll be thinking of you. It's an adventure!

Whenever one of the children leaves the house, Nancy always says "Drive safely!" and I always say "Have fun!" It's somewheres between a family tradition and a family joke. Well, Brian, since you took the bus, I guess the only thing to say is: Have fun!

Spirit of Lamoille Union

At Awards Night Laura won the "Spirit of Lamoille Union" award. This award is given to the graduating senior who most exemplifies the spirit of the school. It is a prestigious award, and is the last award to be given at Awards Night.

Two of Pager's grandchildren have won this award: Jenn (1991) and Laura — the oldest and youngest grandchildren. Both Jenn and Laura were salutatorians of their class. And Laura is going to Colorado College just like Jenn! Last year's winner of this award was Eliza Giroux, Laura's hiking partner when they hiked the Long Trail end-to-end in 2006.

Here are Jenn, Laura and Eliza:

The trophy is a rotating trophy, and Laura will have to give it back before next year's graduation, as Jenn and Eliza did when they won it. Each recipient is also given a plaque which they can keep.

Here are the names on the trophy:

Congratulations, Laura!

Laura's Graduation Display

Emily put together a nice display of Laura's art work, awards, and memorabilia for her graduation party:

Below is a close up the bulletin board. The shoes at the bottom are because Laura's salutatory speech was about shoes.

Nancy put together a nice display of all of the cousins—4 Coles, 2 Putnams, 2 O'Briens and our 3 children. Included are the high school graduation pictures for all 11 cousins:

Laura's Graduation Party

Nancy organized a terrific graduation party for Laura:

The grandfathers and Haylee:

Donna and Haylee:

Below are Pager, five of his grandchildren, and Haylee. (Do you think Haylee was popular??) All of Pager's nine grandchildren graduated from Lamoille Union High School (Laura was the last), and four were salutatorians. Pager was valedictorian of his class 77 years ago—Cambridge High School, Class of 1931. But the class size was different—16, I think. Someone said there were 165 students in Laura's class; I counted 145 in the graduation program.

Laura, you are one of the youngest in your class at 17. Pager was only 16 when he graduated from high school.

Here is Laura with her grandparents:

Susan and Kelly drove over from Maine and back the same day. Kelly is a Spanish teacher and I think Camila's parents enjoyed finding someone who could converse with them in Spanish. (Fortunately for the rest of us, their English is very good.)

Anna and Jackson came, too. Laura babysits them often. Here they are climbing in our maple tree in the backyard:

The cake says it all!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Laura's Graduation

Laura graduated from Lamoille Union High School on Saturday, June 14. Here is Laura giving her salutatory speech:

Also on stage were Steve Reber, representing the school board; Sharon Fortune, former LUHS principal and the commencement speaker; Brian Schaffer, current LUHS principal; and Dr. Terry Bailey, superintendent of Lamoille North Supervisory Union.

Valedictorian Danielle Carrier and Sour Boy treated us to a rousing performance of "Come Sail Away" by Styx:

Sour Boy is a local band that includes Devry Langlois ('08), Sean Kehoe ('08) and Kevin Kehoe ('06, not in the picture).

Below is Laura after receiving her diploma:

Below is Camila walking out after the ceremony was over:

The Sanchez and Lund families:

The Putnam family:

(Brian's T-shirt is from Hatchland Farm in North Haverhill, NH, the home of "Wicked Good!" milk.)

Congratulations, Laura, to you and all your friends and classmates!

P.S. The first class graduated from Lamoille Union High School in 1968 (Bill's class), and so the school has been celebrating its 40th anniversary this school year. See also LUHS Homecoming.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Emily's 20th Birthday

Emily's 20th birthday was Friday the 13th. By request, Grandma Carpenter made a strawberry-rhubarb pie:

Brian gave Emily a Colby T-shirt with a moose on the back:

I don't remember all the presents, but there were quite a few, including luggage for the New Zealand trip.

I gave Emily a copy of Wuthering Heights. I am presently listening to a series of lectures titled History of World Literature. When Emily came home from college a few weeks ago, she brought some of her textbooks, including one that she liked but wasn't sure if anyone else would also like: the Epic of Gilgamesh. It happened that this was the first piece of world literature discussed in my course, and so I was interested in it. It is not long, and I read it on the trip to Brian's graduation. Good story. I had not read it before, or even heard of it before listening to this course.

At Brian's graduation, a young girl was sitting in the row in front of us reading another classic of world literature: Wuthering Heights. And shortly after that weekend, I got to the lecture in my course on that book. It seemed like a good book for Emily, to return the favor of lending me the Epic of Gilgamesh. And perhaps Nancy and I will have a chance to read it, too.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

LUHS Awards Night

The Awards Night ceremony at Lamoille Union High School was tonight. Here is Camila walking in:

I didn't get any good pictures of people on stage, but Camila got a teddy bear with an LUHS jacket. Laura and her friends won lots of awards. Laura walking out with all her loot:

Among other things, Laura won the "Spirit of Lamoille Union" award. This is the big trophy Laura is carrying. More on that later.

Congratulations, Laura!

Welcome Gustavo and Flor!

Camila's parents, Gustavo and Flor, arrived late last night. They came over to our house for hors d'oeuvres this afternoon before the Awards Night ceremony at Lamoille Union High School:

To the left of Flor is Paulette Lund, and to the right of Gustavo is Paulette's sister Linda. The girls (Camila, Margaret and Laura) had already left for Awards Night, so they weren't available for the picture. Emily took the photo.

Welcome, Gustavo and Flor!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Trip to Newport

The afternoon before Jason and Reve's wedding, we met Bill and Donna at Harry Records' farm in Exeter, Rhode Island, just north of Newport. Bill buys flint corn from Harry (more on this below). We loaded up Bill's truck and left it there. Then the five of us went to Newport in our car to do some sightseeing. (Beth and Jerry didn't come to Newport until the day of the wedding.)

We walked and drove around Newport. Here we are at the bottom of the Forty Steps on the Cliff Walk near Salve Regina University:

We walked around The Breakers, a Vanderbilt mansion on the Cliff Walk. And we drove by many other mansions on Bellevue Avenue. We also drove the 10 mile Ocean Drive loop. The Cliff Walk is on Newport's eastern shore. The wedding was at the OceanCliff Hotel, on Ocean Drive southwest of Newport.

We ate dinner that evening at the LaForge Casino Restaurant in Newport, overlooking a grass court at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Both are located in the Newport Casino complex. A wedding reception was going on nearby.

I was puzzled by an item on the menu—a cheeseburger featuring Crowley Cheese. Why would a restaurant in Rhode Island feature cheese from a small Vermont cheesemaker? On the way out I learned the answer. The restaurant has been owned for many years by the Crowley family.

After the wedding the following day we returned to Harry Records' farm, called Harry Here Farm. Harry and Bill:

Bill picked up over a half ton of white, red and yellow flint corn on this trip. Flint corn is not common in the U.S. anymore, but Pager remembered growing it when he was young. Some years ago he obtained seed, and Bill started growing it on his farm. Pager ground it into corn meal. We called it Pager's Grist Mill. Now Bill and Jason grind the corn, instead of Pager. And Bill now buys his flint corn from Harry Records, instead of growing it. It makes good corn meal!

Jason and Reve's Wedding

On June 8th we attended the wedding of Jason Shields and Reve Purisima. Jason and Reve live in Rhode Island, and the wedding was at the OceanCliff Hotel in Newport, RI. The wedding was outside, in beautiful weather, overlooking Narragansett Bay:

Below the parents of the groom are leaving the ceremony: Florence and Jerry; Ken and Debbie. Florence is Jason's mother. Ken is Jason's father. (Florence is first cousin to Beth, Bill and me; our mothers were sisters.)

Jason and Reve were a beautiful couple, well photographed! They looked very happy.

Eric Shields was best man. Paul Shields was also in the wedding party:

The Vermont contingent at the reception inside (l to r: Laura, Nancy, Donna, Bill, Beth, Jerry):

It was a fun time! We were pleased to be able to share this special day with Jason and Reve, and their families and friends.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Laura's Prom

Laura's prom was May 31. The pre-prom party was at our house. Doing nails:

There was volleyball, football and croquet. Then Nancy fed everyone dinner:

Dressed and ready to go!

Standing: Stephanie, Camila, Phil, Jessica, Ryan, Laura, Becca, Craig, Matt, Kaylee. Front: Margaret, Krysti, Danielle, Allie.

The prom was in the newly renovated barn at the Boyden Farm. This prom was only the third event in the barn since the renovation was completed this spring. The first event was an open house concert and dance, the second was the prom for Peoples Academy. The Boydens hope that the barn will be used many different types of events, including weddings.

The photo below is the inside of the barn the next day. (We got a private tour.) Left to right: Jerry, Mark Boyden, Brian and Bill.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Laura's Senior Lacrosse Game

Laura's last home lacrosse game was on May 27. They played Montpelier. It was the "senior game." Seniors on both teams were given roses before the game which they could run across the field with, and give to a parent or other spectator:

Alas, Lamoille lost 8-13, although they played well. Laura, #13, is the team captain. She scored three goals and two assists.

While this was the last home game, it was not the last game. Their last game was on May 31 against Rice, which Lamoille won 10-8! Laura had two goals and one assist.

Laura has played lacrosse since 8th grade. It is her favorite sport.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

At the O'Brien's

Susan and Paul O'Brien had a party for Brian after his graduation (same day). We think it is the first time that all five Carpenter grandchildren have gotten together in several years. It was a great party, and great to get together. Thanks, Susan and Paul!

Here is the crew on the O'Brien's new deck:

Grandchildren are in front: Corey, Kelly, Emily, Laura, Brian.
Back: Susan, Elaine, Paul, George, Walter, Nancy.

Corey's friend and business partner Alex Wickin was also present briefly, but left before the picture was taken. Nancy thought he was a charming and amusing young man. Apparently he is famous for his "Wickinisms."