Monday, August 10, 2009

It's blueberry time in New Hampshire. A group of us went to Aqua Tree farm in Danbury. I have been going there for many years, and this is one of the highlights of my year. In this photo are  Brita, Anneke and Heide Johnson, Jacquie Morrison, Cope, Brynne, Paige, Nelsona nd Amy Makechnie, and Samantha Burris, with her daughers Grace, Rayanna and Alana. We picked pounds and pounds of the grape-sized berries. We ate a lot, too. Then we all went to Wellington State Park on Newfound Lake in Alexandria. It's a wonder we didn't all sink to the bottom and stay there. The trip was topped off with a visit to Audrey Pellegrino's Health Food Bakery in Bristol. What a beautiful time we all had. This is Mrs. Brownell weighing out the blue gold. $2.00 a pound.  Brynne takes very good care of her sister Paige. Samantha styles herself an official taste-tester. She prefers the ones without the spiders. Alana is a picky picker. She roams around looking for the perfect berry, then carefully places it in her bucket. Grace, on the other hand, likes to count her berries. If there are more than five, she carefully eats one to make sure she isn't overcount. Nelson is so busy thinking about becoming the "New" Indiana Jones, that he is momentarily side-tracked. 
"Can I be Indiana Jones' girlfriend? Asked Brita. 
"No. No I won't be having ANY girlfriends." 
"Yes he will," insists Brynne. "Everybody has to get married." 
"Nuh-ah, I won't," retorts Nelson. Mom has a one-handed style that is amazingly efficient, all things considered. Brynne is so particular, that she actually gives her berries names.  Later in the day, Alana and Grace and Rayanna got to go to the Proctor Dining Hall to visit with their Grampa Art. There they got into some real work, helping with the banana bread.  It was hard work, but someone had to do it. Here Grace adds some eye of newt. Grampa says, "The best way to mix it all up is to get your hairy arm right into it." We invited Gregor and his family to come to the house and share an "Obama Pajama Dinner," as it was the President's birthday. Wilson the wonder cake made an appearance. There were some Ukranian tourists who dropped by. Paige came dressed as a circus doggie. President Obama came dressed as himself. Gregor came dressed as a chef. Cope came as a Greek diplomat. Cope is growing up so fast. Here she does her patented look of disdain. Nelson entertained his cousin Alana by stuffing a whole hamburger into his mouth. Cool trick few can do with dignity. While the girls were visiting we got to go swimming a couple of times, and it turns out they are intrepid fresh water mermaids. Both Grace and Alana got all the way under the water. Rayanna and Samantha, on the other hand, were very good at providing shade for a piece of the sandy beach. These four women are SOOOOOOOO cool and special. It was just a wonderful time for me to have them in Andover. I hope we can do it again. This is actually what we do best. Tanger Mall in Tilton, NH. Got some killer deals. 75 cents can buy a lot of pleasure. Rayanna will be starting HIGH SCHOOL for Pete's sake!  Alana is practicing her Hannah Montana impersonation. She would ask strangers, "Do you think I am wearing a wig?" She seemed surprised when many replied, "Yes." Grace is aptly named. She walks and talks with Grace, and she has a gracious personality.  She knows how to ride a two-wheeler, and she is only four. This is Nelson on the job. He is sitting on a two-seater at the Messer Farm in New London. We are researching indoor privies for an article he is doing for the Andover Beacon.  This is the Papa Bear and Baby Bear set-up. The farm is actually for sale, and one of their selling points is this privie. This one is in Salisbury, on the Andover line. It is a three-holer.  There are two large seats, and then a smaller one to the right at a lower level. In other words, this one can seat the entire bear family at the same time.  Here is little Grace Makechnie. She has suddenly turned into a "people." She actually tries to pump the swing by herself. Another two or three months and this little one is going to be running the show at her house. Jill has four fantastic daughters, and her mother-in-law is in awe of her parenting. 

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