The projects are adding up and the weeks flying by.
The second Open House of the year took place on Sunday July 10, 2011. Aided by Peter and Barbara Whitfield and Dick Egan, Julie and I welcomed about 160 guests through the Cottage and the Tower between 1:00 and 4:00. It was our first effort without Haley who had a prior commitment and against the odds we managed.
Family came by on Thursday the 14th with a visit from the Hills. Nadine, Annie, Sophie and Clark caught some beach time. We can't get enough of the cousins. And because I was working, Clark broke tradition and did not fall asleep on my lap.
Peter and Barbara returned later in the week with the Arizona contingent of their family. Scott and Lisa arrived with four of their eight children and the pleasure was all ours. There were stories of the old Satuit Playhouse where Scott worked as did my sister Christine. There were stories of the Old Golden Rooster where Scott may have crossed paths with my old friend the Roches. Good Scituate in the late seventies stuff. There was also an education in vocabulary as the Arizona kids had to be introduced to terms like "chop" for waves or "breakwater" for jetty. None of those phrases are in use in the land of the cactus.
Last Saturday Haley and I took to the seas with the Historical Society on a cruise to the Cape Cod Canal. The narration by Doug Bingham was a perfect complement to a beautiful day on the water. I was glad to have my cousin Susan on board with her husband Mike and got to chat with different groups all through the afternoon. Haley was in charge of the raffle and was at her most entertaining. Thanks to Dick and Margaret Egan for their help with that game.
The highlight for me was the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. It was an incredible campus to see from the water, inspirational, in fact. I thought of the many friends who are graduates of the Academy and was reminded of their justified pride in that place. If there was one surprise in the day, it was that we saw so few day tripping fishermen. I expected to see boat after boat with an anchor down and a line in the water. They were not out there last Saturday.
Work on the shed continued Monday and was wrapped up on Thursday afternoon. I have returned most of what will be stored there permanently to its new place. It is as tight as a drum and as solid as a Marine's belly. Thanks once again to Chuck, Rodney, Jay and Pete. They will be back in August to work on the utility room and put the fence back in place.
Tuesday saw two school groups arrive just around 1:00pm. The first was a group of French students from the Sister City program. David Givens and Patricia Jacquart were taking the group around and despite the language barrier they seemed to enjoy their time here. All of them went home with Lighthouse T shirts to help remember the visit.
The second group was from a camp in Cambridge MA. 28 kids between 15 and 6 were split into two groups with Haley handling the Tower and me sharing the history in the Cottage. We swapped sets after 20 minutes or so and everyone got the full ride. Having these groups here is a treat. There are conversations you would never have otherwise. There are insights into just how much people are the same and just how much kids want to strike that balance between fitting in and standing out. The people watcher in me does not have to go far. The crowd comes to me.
One of the more interesting stories I was told over the two weeks happened in the middle of the Open House. I was discussing the grounding of Etrusco and a gentleman who had been in the room popped back in. He shared that he was from Paris and that he summered in Portugal. While on vacation outside of Lisbon a freighter of similar size to Etrusco ended up on the beach of his little town. It was full of corn though and the hull breached spreading this corn up and down the coast. One of the solutions suggested was that the corn be fed to fatten up the chickens. The chickens would not cooperate though and the beach was a mealy mess for a while.
I can't imagine another setting where anecdotes like that would fall into my life so readily. The days are full and it isn't all work. And that's not chicken feed.