Saturday, December 3, 2016

Basking in Art and A Baptism in Boston

We adore Boston and our Boston Family is about to move to Northern California for at least six month, which makes us glad for them and sad for us! We have had kids studying or working or living in Boston for about 30 years. In fact Richard and I started our marriage there 47 years ago when he attended the Harvard Business School and I taught music in nearby Junior High School.

Saydi is an outstanding cook and we were treated to homemade pizza before the children entertained us with their renditions of the songs from the broadway play Hamilton. Most of the songs, which are largely rap, came out of their mouths effortlessly right down to little five-year old Peter!



Pretty amazing!


We’ve found that the richness of history and education never stops in Boston and this visit was no exception! The next morning Saydi let 12 year-old-Hazel stay home from school (she has been routinely doing with her children one at a time to take them to one of the fabulous art museums in Boston (usually the MFA). We have a saying in our family which everyone memorized and it goes like this: “Don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education,” and education is certainly what happens on those mommy dates with those lucky kids. Not only do they get a great art education, they also get precious mommy time which is priceless!

Thus, Hazel with her inherent love of art knows more about art than most art history majors! On this day we were lucky enough to go to the Fogg Museum on the Harvard campus. Creative Hazel couldn’t resist making something beautiful out of the fallen brilliant yellow leaves that had fallen on the ground as we walked in.


The museum was stunning! The scope and breadth of famous artists in this relatively small museum was really astounding! I resisted taking pictures of the most famous ones and went for the unique ones that we had never seen!

I love this picture of Baby Moses in his little basket:


Let’s take a look at that little cherub (since we have a Moses ourselves).


I was dazzled by this one and you will see why when you read the description below:


Sorry we can’t see those bubbles but a tear popped out when I thought of the significance os this one! What a beautiful idea! Let’s take a closer look at the Triumph ( and those sweet round bottoms) of those Innocents!



This one took our breath away!


I would go on but I must go on!  We were lucky enough to hear a few Harvard students with their mentors presenting a concert showcasing ancient instruments!  It was a delight!  I wish I knew how to post video on a blog (have I said that before?). 


And we were off. Having gotten salads at Sweet Greens we drove to the fabulous Mt. Auburn Cemetery, one of our favorite places in Cambridge! It was a gorgeous fall day with a spectacular view of Boston….


These three climbed this great old tower while I saved my knee and studied grave markers, which I think is always fascinating!


Interestingly we ran onto a flock of turkeys, checking out the graves markers too!


That night Jeff’s parents flew in from California and we were delighted to be able to go together to an art show at a beautiful home in Belmont with was literally plastered with paintings by Brian Kirschisnick!  Many of you will recognize this most (probably) famous of his paintings below:


I think the majority of his paintings have these angels who are watching over someone or something. Having never met him, we just happened to be standing right next to him in the kitchen before he began his remarks about the works he had brought which included several that were six foot panels and many larger than that. We chatted with him for a few minutes and in our conversation we asked him about the angels!  He said, “You know, I prefer to call them “witnesses”.  We like that because so often they seem to be witnesses to someone who needs help or guidance. It was a fascinating evening and we were lucky enough to buy a small painting that we love!

The next morning Jeff picked the Shumways up at their hotel and we enjoyed a gourmet breakfast together before we started on our “ help projects” for this family who are moving to California on January 1st.  They are renting their house and going to be caretakers on a huge ranch for six months while Jeff sets up an office for his company near Palo Alto. More on that later.

Jeff and his dad took off for Home Depot to get necessary items for repairs around the house, Nedra and I retired to the basement to help Saydi sort out a lot of stuff that need to be packed and stored and Grandfather got the really hard job Smile. which was to get the kids out of the house so we could work. They went on an action-packed adventure called “The Duck Tour”!  They came home with a “boatload” of historical facts about Boston and some shining faces because a couple of them got to drive that crazy World War II amphibious vehicle when it morphed into a boat. 


By five o”clock Saydi (and I went along for the ride) had successfully shopped for food at Costco for refreshments for after the Baptism service the next day, taken Charlie to a birthday party and picked up  Hazel at a pre-EFY (youth activity) at the Cambridge Chapel.  We also had stuffed, stamped and sealed about 300 of their annual Thanksgiving Cards and dropped them in at the Post Office and made four brownie cakes for tomorrow’s festivities.

After that Saydi somehow pulled together an easy meal for everyone and we were off to the movies: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!  To say the least, it was an action packed day (and I must add an action packed movie too)!

Sunday morning we enjoyed one of the last five church services that will occur with Jeff as the Bishop of the Ward. It was a bitter sweet day, realizing that wil may never see some of those dear people in that ward that we have grown to love. Once again Saydi pulled together an astounding meal of roast pork, fabulous roasted potatoes and cauliflower, just to mention a few things on the menu! 

The baptism that evening, which was the main reason for our visit was a stellar spiritual experience with Emmeline being baptized by her dad in the same little outfit that her Grandfather had been baptized in when he was eight years old (as were many of our children and grandchildren have done).
What a joy to see about 60-70 people there who love Emmeline and adore the Shumway family!

Emmeline adores her dad:


And her family (sorry about those eyes Jeff)!

And her grandparents:


And the Shumways dear friend and her “surrogate grandmother” when we’re not there…Joyce:


And all of us who love her:

It was an occasion forever emblazoned in our memories!

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