Yankee Doodle

We jetted up to New England a few weekends ago to pay tribute to Grandmother Feary, who left us to ponder her eternal destination in January.   We like to think she’s quirking a subtle smile out behind her piercing blue eyes gazing upon all of us.  She was one hundred and one years of age and the last in a long line of proud New Englanders whose lineage dates back to the early 1600’s Massachusetts colony and beyond.

We had a little time for fun.  Mostly we visited with family.  It’s been some time since a posting here at LAN.  So tonight I thought I would share some pics (from the Blackberry) just in case you missed them through the Twitter, and some comments on our travels…

cape airAt Boston Logan, I transferred over to Cape Air. They fly 8-seater Cesna aircraft all over New England.  What a blast!  I have never flown on a plane so small and now desire to do more of it.  The view from the plane is astounding, almost a 360 degree aerial view of everything.  We took off over the harbor and turned right over the downtown area.  And we had an amazing view of the Green Mountains all the way into New Hampshire.  Can’t wait for my next flight!  (Service was just as amazing too)

Yankee Strawberry ShortcakeDuring the last conversation with my Grandmother in December she told me about Strawberry Shortcake.  “Now Tommy,” she said.  “In New York they make their shortcake over some kind of cake, sponge or white cake.  I’m sure your [maternal] Grandmother made shortcake in a similar fashion in the tradition of the southern way.  But us New Englanders make and prefer ‘Yankee’ strawberry shortcake.  We take fresh hot biscuits, cut them in half.  Spread butter so that it melts and goes into the biscuits,” she continued as she waved her frail hands demonstrating the spreading technique.  “Then we would slice fresh strawberries, pour those over the hot biscuit and top with fresh whipped cream”, finishing with a pinch of her index and middle fingers.  She had transported me back to her past and I could taste her desert.  We ate lots of Yankee Strawberry Shortcake through the weekend.  I can tell you not any of it was as good as Grandmother’s, although I never got to taste her creation in my lifetime.

Trinity Church, Cornish, New HampshireGrandmother’s remains were laid to rest at Trinity Church in Cornish, New Hampshire.  The church was less than a mile from her home of 55+ years along the Connecticut River.  Built in 1808, the church cemetery is home to Revolutionaries and founders of the community.  The blackberry camera doesn’t do the church justice, but I think you get the general idea of the feel.

headstoneThe cemetery at Trinity is small, perhaps 50 grave sites, most being from the late 1700’s through mid-1800’s.  The ornate carvings on the headstones was impressive.  We’re not sure of the type of stone used but whatever it is, it has stood the test of time and the innate detail is as prevalent today as it must have been then.

Jonathan Chase markerChase is a big surname in Cornish New Hampshire as many a Chase, founders of Cornish and New Hampshire are buried there.  The above photo is the top of the marker for Jonathan Chase, a Revolutionary leader of New Hampshire militia that served under Horatio Gates.  As you can see from the marker, he was a Mason.  Fitting that Grandmother, an old Yankee whose Grandfathers were Revolutionaries and founders of Massachusetts would be resting in close proximity to others of her kind and caliber!  Grandmother’s home in Cornish by the way (not pictured) was a colonial home that hosted the first town council meeting in Cornish in the mid 1700’s.

Harpoon Brewery SamplerI had never had a beer with my Aunt until this trip.  My father’s sister was such a good sport and demonstrated the Feary value of adventure when I suggested we stop.  Panovec had mentioned and got me to try a Harpoon a while back so I was curious.  We ended up having a blast sampling some suds and remembering Grandmother and Dad.  We even schemed up another reason to get back to Windsor and Cornish in the coming months.  More to come on that one at a later date…

Old State House BostonI had a little travel snafu on the return leg to Virginia which left me with five hours in Boston to kill.  This is why I love Logan airport.  It’s only 20 minutes from downtown.  I took the train into State Street which pops you right out under the Old State House.  The Boston Massacre occurred just right around the corner.  Best part about getting off the train here was close proximity to good beer and seafood.  We spent the entire time consuming…

cherrystonesCherry-stone and Little-neck Clams.  Not to forget oysters.  But the fresh clams is what I seek out first when coming to New England.  They are incredible.  So clean with the hint of sea salt that I can’t get enough.  Yum yum.

sunny setting from aboveAfter several hours of fresh,on-tap Harpoon, too many shell-fishes to count, more fish at the airport waiting for a delayed evening flight, and good people watchin’ we boarded the jet back to Virginia.  As I watched the sky change in the air, I couldn’t help but think of the uncanny Revolutionary feel of the trip.  Here I was remembering Grandmother, surrounded by history, and then returning to another colony of the crown where there is just as much pre-1776 heritage as there is in New England.  It was kind of like our ancestors calling out, asking to be remembered… And then there was July 4.

We hope all are having a great summer…

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