Well, I must admit, the past 8 days have been some of the busiest, most social, and most fun days of my life these past 5 years, and at a minimum I must share today’s adventure – something that can be done only once a year in VACATIONLAND (sorry Maine) NEW HAMPSHIRE.
It started last Saturday when I attended the Walpole Historical Society’s Vintage Golf Outing as a spectator. But, I won best costume wearing my grandfather’s Abercrombie and Fitch golfing knicker suit. Five decades ago when I wore it I only got a second prize – wrong shoes the judge said! At the dinner, Tara introduced me to her friend Lucille, leading to today’s adventure. Then Debbie visited for a long while on Tuesday when she helped me plan the cushion for my new porch chaise lounge. Wednesday Carolyn and I saw LITTLE WOMEN, the Opera, at Opera North in Lebanon. Jim invited a group of us earlier in the year to a dinner there, and whetted out appetite. Friday night a van load of us went to the original play celebrating the founding of Alstead 250 years ago. Then on Saturday I was saw the parade in Alstead. Arriving home there was on message on my machine from Carolyn saying, “join Herb, Gretchen and me at the Alstead dinner.” I returned her call, “I’m in!” It was so special. Fantastic ham and beans dinner, and then Herb toured us through Acworth (Gretchen’s homestead turf) on back roads with 50 mile views into New York State (I told BLACK BEAUTY – she cannot wait to go). Involved with one of the largest Maple Sugar producers in the country (yes in the hills of Acworth), I learned so much from Herb and had one of the most enjoyable evenings (topped off with wine on their patio) that I can remember.
And, then there was today. How lucky can you be to have two wonderful dates at once for an eleven hour
journey to The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH for the presentation of the 54th presentation of the Edward MacDowell Medal to Stephen Sondheim for his Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theater. (Tara – my partner with A CHRISTMAS CAROL – is married, but her husband knew we were touring together)
The MacDowell Colony , founded in 1907, is the oldest artists’ colony in the United States. On the exquisite grounds are 40 unique cottages where aspiring artists apply for the opportunity to spend time to work on their art. Instead of expounding upon what is here, I encourage you to visit their website.
Tara and I knew of the colony, but had never visited. Lucille had, but visits are only allowed on Medal Day, when the award is given. Otherwise the grounds are “off limits” so the artists can create and work on their arts. Having been there before, Lucille “knew the ropes” and we arrived early with our picnic baskets to secure a coveted table, and then reserved our chairs for the ceremony. What an education listening to the speeches, and, yes, Stephen Sondheim.
Just before the ceremony started the Governor of New Hampshire, Maggie Hassam, entered (strictly as an attendee as we were) but stopped and gave Tara (sitting next to me) a hug and kiss – I travel in the right company !!! I have now been inches from every governor of New Hampshire since living here – how many states can you live in and say that? But stay away, we want NH to stay this way!
After our lunch, I took our picnic baskets back to the car, but on the way saw Stephen Sondheim in a car leaving. Again, inches away, through the window I said to him, “thank you for coming.” “Thank you for having me,” he replied to me. So, instead of continuing with words, let me share some images from today’s pleasurable experience at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, and encourage you to learn more.
If you have followed my posts, you know I am working on a “study of rocking chairs.”
And, then on the way home, how can you beat picnic desert and wine on the bank overlooking a lake in Hancock. Oh, please pinch me so I know it is real. I am in “heaven on earth.” And, then there is this coming week. As always, yours, RAY