Friday, October 21: Was an easy driving day, from Conway, South Carolina up to Richmond, Virginia. My level parking space in the driveway had been cleared out, I joined the family for supper – and then did not watch The Hobbit, as I was more intent on knitting!
Saturday, October 22: My wonderful nephew met me at my cousin’s place in Baltimore, and we went out to lunch at the Mount Washington Tavern. The food and service were excellent; above is what was left of my very large shrimp sandwich when I thought to take a photo – mostly of what they used as water pitchers, though – the Jose Cuervo bottle!
I’d had on my list for a while to check out more closely some murals I’d only seen from a distance. It’s in an area of Baltimore known for being a draw for artists, and there are a couple of art collectives/exhibit/work spaces in the area. Nephew had figured out how to get there, and we went –
This weekend was the memorial service in Baltimore for my uncle (who died just after Thanksgiving at 101!) and his wife who died shortly after. Yesterday had intermittent rain and drizzle, but it never rained hard while I was walking from place to place, and it kept things cool. These tulips were in front of the church, adding a bit of cheer to a dreary day. Then we walked a couple of blocks – even my 96 year old aunt! – to the Maryland Club for the reception; lots of family visiting, with cousins coming in from the northeast, southwest, and west coast, and his wife’s family from North Carolina, and maybe other places. And there is still family in the Baltimore/Washington DC area. The food was amazing – there was one station with crab cakes, and I did my share; there also was a Middle Eastern table with roasted veggies, a couple of kinds of hummus, a few kinds of pita bread, stuffed grape leaves, etc. Waitstaff also circulated with trays of small munchies – mini beef Wellington, cheesy little bites, spanikopita, etc. There was also an open bar, but mostly I stuck with ice water. Their idea of a glass of wine was a large glass, filled to the rim – fine for those not driving, but I didn’t need it!
Today was the burial for them in the family plot in Prince Frederick, at the church across the street from the ancestral homes, where my grandparents and great grands raised their families.
The reception that followed was at Linden, which was purchased by my great-grandfather in 1888, and where my grandfather and his siblings were raised. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, and more spiffed up every time I visit. Two of my great aunts lived there until their deaths, roughly 100 years later, and at that time my grandfather gifted it to St. Paul’s; about 10 years after that the county acquired it for the use of the historical society and they manage it today. And they roll out the red carpet when the family wants to host events there – the director had brought out binders of clippings and photos of our family and Linden through the decades.
It has been great to spend time with the extended family, of several generations, telling stories, comparing memories of our grandparents and great aunts. I was able to hand off the green sweater (https://kayak2016blog.wordpress.com/2022/04/23/another-completed-sweater/) to my cousin; talk to the next cousin in line for a sweater about style, trace one he brought that fits him well, and have him choose yarn; discuss with his daughter what she wants, and she has chosen yarn. So I have more knitting projects lined up from the yarn my aunt passed on to me!
Betty Cooke is a native of Baltimore, in her late 90s, and still creating artworks in the form of jewelry. There is a retrospective of her work now at the Walters Art Museum in downtown Baltimore, and most of the family went to see it today – as well as the panel discussion and question/answer opportunities with the artist. Several of the family have pieces by her – and those present wore them. Looking around the people in the gallery and in the lecture hall, there was a good representation of her work on living breathing people, not just in display cases and on walls!
Actually, my favorite piece wasn’t jewelry at all, but a drawing of a yak, maybe?
The photo of jewelry I like best is this one of a unicorn, maybe, with bent horn – although it’s abstract enough, I could be wrong! But I also like how the shadows work in the photo.
And here’s Betty, answering questions. She’s a little sprite of a woman, with an engaging presence. She wore a piece made of thin tubes of silver, strung on something invisible, and draped artistically a few times around her torso and under one arm.
Across the street from where we parked, there was one of Baltimore’s excellent murals, entitled “My Sister’s Garden” –
That wasn’t all we did today – four of us went to visit my 101 year old uncle; we went out to dinner to further celebrate my local cousin’s birthday, and I started the next knitting project.
Thursday, 9/16: Time to move on – after breakfast (Julie has discovered microwave scrambled eggs, and Genne got to lick out what remained.) The geese watched me load up and move out.
My destination wasn’t far, as roadtrips go – the area on the north side of Baltimore. My cousin is in the Mt. Washington neighborhood, and aunt in Towson. Between them, in Mt. Washington, is this beautifully carved guardian:
It’s a little disconcerting to see all the pansies that seem to bloom all year here, knowing that home in Vermont is covered in snow! Forsythia is starting to bloom here, as well – but all the ones I’ve seen have been pruned to within an inch of their life, and I prefer the grace of the more natural ones, so I’ve not taken a photo. Yet.