Friday, June 9, 2017

The Beginning of Summer . . .

I think everyone has landmarks that note the changing of the seasons – Memorial Day, Labor Day, Christmas, Easter.  For me, Memorial Day Weekend is way too hectic to mark the beginning of Summer – instead, for the past 20 years it has been the Massachusetts show the first weekend in June.  For the first two years we went there, it was in the Boston suburb of Marlborough.  The past 18 years have been spent at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E) in West Springfield.

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It was so pretty last Friday that I arrived at the fairgrounds early and gave myself time to walk around the property.  Apparently there are replicas of several of the capitol buildings in surrounding states – I was told later that the one that caught my eye is Massachusetts.

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It caught my eye because these two figures were shining in the morning sunlight – in all the years I have driven through this place, I had never noticed them.

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After setup, I made my annual peppermint ice cream pilgrimage to Dairy Cream out by the Hartford airport.  A couple of years ago, one of my classmates was going to fly into Hartford for a conference, so I told her about this place.  She stopped there – agreed with me – and when I sent her these pictures last weekend, was unhappy that I wasn’t bringing some home for her packed in dry ice.

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Lots of benches for the “pack mules” to rest (some of them now tell me they prefer to be referred to as “bag men”) – or in this case for my friend Cal Ruger to read his tablet while Dee shops and visits.  This time, Dee even got to park her scooter and walk around a bit.

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Why do we love New England?  These pictures were all taken five minutes after the show opened on Saturday . . .

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Our friends Susan LeClerc and Sally Lynn MacDonald dazzled a steady stream of customers at their demo tables . . .

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I am noticing more and more young folks taking an interest in crafting – which may keep all of us employed for the foreseeable future.  I took the pic on the right because I noticed that Sally Lynn’s demo table kept creeping forward as she stood up and sat down over and over during the day.

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This lady is carrying a plastic bag because it is serving as her purse . . . someone fell in love with the purse she brought with her to the show, so she emptied it and sold it on the spot.

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I am grateful to the nice folks who love my dog and bring treats for her – and I always try to get a picture of Zoe while she is tasting her gift for the first time.  Yum . . .

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Went to a driving range to hit balls with a friend about an hour after I got home – we had to wait out a quick cloudburst, but got a nice rainbow for our trouble.

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The next day, I got to see the first blooms on the Bracken’s Brown Beauty Magnolia in my front yard.  This thing was about five feet tall when I lifted it out of my truck and planted it in 2006 – it is well over twenty feet tall now.  Those blooms smell as fresh as they look . . .