Saturday, June 28, 2008

Low Light Exposure

While we were at the Cape, DH experimented with long, low exposure photos. First, on the flats at night. It created kind of a fun effect, some of the images looked as if they were taken during the day, but the stars are showing.

Then, we decided to head over to the cemetery at night to take some pictures. Yes, that is a little spooky sounding. But, I didn't mind because I had my brave, strong dh with me and I really like cemeteries. I was just slightly nervous when he asked me to take the light meter halfway up this road on my own so he could get a reading.

But, what really got me was when the bats started swooping past our heads. Random swooshing past our ears. The feeling that at any moment one was about to roost on our heads. Aack! I'd rather have the dead bodies, thank you! We headed back to the beach after that.

Reflection of moon in the wet sand.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sandwich Glass Museum

Sandwich is one of the prettiest towns on the Cape and I've always wanted to visit the glass museum there. At one time Sandwich was the site of one of the most well known glass making manufacturers in the world. Innovators in the industry, they created the method of glass making called pressed glass. This method suddenly made glass making much more efficient and affordable. The Glass works is no longer in operation, but a museum is there to share its history and show off its beautiful glass creations. At the museum we were able to see a glass making demonstration. The girls got to help operate the press and were rewarded at the end with their own hand made glass swan each.

They had a temporary exhibit there of glass paperweight art. It was very beautiful.

We also witnessed the opening of a new exhibit that demonstrated a table set in colonial times with all the glassware laid out, complete with a talking "hologram" to explain it all.

It was created to help visualize how all of the special glass items we no longer use would have been used on a traditional table. Items like celery jars and salts. A light inside would light up each one as it was talked about. In addition, the creator of the exhibit was still there tweaking it and willingly answered our questions about how it was all done and showed us the control panel. He even told us that the cat that breathes on a chair in the corner was a purchase off of eBay.

After the museum we headed over to the pond and saw some geese. There were supposed to be swans, too. But, we didn't see any of them. The kids still thought the geese were fun.

Notice the girls keeping their feet up. The ground was quite goose poopy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cemeteries and Sailing Ladies

Over the weekend we got back from our vacation to Cape Cod. It was a fun trip and we did a lot of fun things, some traditional favorites, and some new adventures.

Cyrus is an early riser, often awakening at 5:30 am. So, to let the rest of the family sleep, I started taking him on morning walks, often with one or more of the girls along. We walked along the beach, of course, but also through one of my favorite places, the Brewster Cemetery. It is a huge cemetery full of mostly very old headstones, many of which belong to sailing captains and their families. I love to walk through them and read the names, dates and verses and imagine what they were like.

Last year, Grandpa Tony let me read his copy of "Sail Away Ladies" by Jim Coogan, a book about women who sailed during the great age of sail. It is a fun and fascinating read. A couple of the ladies in the book are laid to rest in the Brewster Cemetery and I was able to find their headstones. One was named Bethia Knowles Mayo Sears.

The daughter of a farmer, at the age of 19, Bethia married Elisha Freeman Sears of Brewster, MA, newly captain of the clipper "Wild Ranger". They set out a month later from Boston for her first sea voyage on a journey to San Francisco and India. The trip held the usual hardships common on sailing vessels at that time: sea sickness, toothaches, sunburn, storms, oppressive heat, frigid cold, hail, water rationing, doldrums (lack of wind)and a sailor going overboard. (He was saved, luckily, as most sailors could not swim.) In spite of the hardships they were a happily married couple and enjoyed pieces of their wedding cake at holiday celebrations, visiting exotic China and India and teaching each other. He taught her to navigate, and she taught him to knit and embroider. She made him molasses candy.

Unfortunately, she became ill as they neared India, and her weakened condition caused her to fall prey to a tropical illness while visiting there, possibly cholera. After languishing for nearly 2 months, she passed away in her husbands arms, just 20 days past their first anniversary. His words are so sad:

"My poor wifey is dead and gone. She laid her head on my shoulder like a child going to sleep and died. Oh, yes, she died. I would not have believed it, no not when they took her away from me cold and stiff in death. Oh, if a mother could have been with her to close her eyes, or a sister to have wept with me- What a comfort it would have been- but no, I was all alone...Oh why did she die- why has she been taken from me-Oh God have mercy."

He transported her body back to Brewster for burial, and he now lays to rest between her and his eventual second wife, with whom he would have 3 children, one of whom would die in infancy.

And we look for and visit her grave.

The idea of sailing on those ships is a romantic one and I've often thought it would have been fun to experience it. But, in reality it was a hard life and I probably wouldn't have liked living it as much as I like reading about it.

(P.S. I now have my own autographed copy of "Sail Away Ladies". Thank you, Tony!)