Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving At Bentley And Abroad 2012

This year when the special day to give thanks (although, I think we should be grateful everyday) came about, we were joined by Uncle Sam and Aunt Jeanne's family, our friend Clarence, as well as Hannah and Eric all the way from Indiana, Isaac and Allie and Isabella, and our cousin Benjamin. Thanksgiving day was wonderful, a early Turkey Trot to Clarence's farm, followed by a phenomenal and delicious meal made by my mother, a walk around the autumn landscape and forests of Bentley Farm, afterwards a momentous serving of deserts and goodies, topped off with a time to reflect and show gratitude. The next day we left for a touristic visit to quaint Stockbridge, MA, the one-time home of intellectual and Princeton University president, Jonathan Edwards. After enjoying the sights and history of Stockbridge we adjourned to Springfield, MA where we had the privilege to attend an breathtaking Christmas light show along with a delectable dinner at the Italian pizzeria restaurant. We really do have so much to thankful for. 

A special thanks to Aunt Jeanne for taking these photos.

Congratulations To The Future Mr. And Mrs. Angell!

On Saturday night after dining at the restaurant that they visited on their first date, Luke asked the girl of his dreams to marry him inside of a black limo in Washington D.C. Abby said yes, and they spent the rest of the night at a beautiful light show and cruising the brightly lit streets and monuments of our nation's capitol.   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Excavation And Restoration

When Bentley had previously been owned by developers many ditches and ponds were dug out to make way for wiring as well as to meet zoning requirements. Now several years later a team of a bulldozer and an excavator labored away for several days filling in ditches, tearing down topsoil hills, and filling in ponds. 


This reminds me of a great Bible verse,"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace removed," says the Lord, who still had compassion on you." -Isaiah 54:10

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Frost Is On The Punkin

My father has always, at the eve of winter, read the following poem to the assembled family. It has always been a tradition and now that the first few weeks of cold, crisp weather of late autumn have passed, along with the first snowfall of the winter season, it seemed fitting to share this delightful poem with others. 

This is a synopsis of the origin of the poem, written by one of James Whitcomb Riley's friends, "Riley, as a young Greenfield man, had had a hard time finding a niche in the world since he did not care to follow his father in the practice of law.  He sold Bibles, painted signs, entertained in a medicine show, always coming to a dead end.  His mother died in 1870 and he felt he could not bear to stay in Greenfield so he went here and there seeking newspaper employment.  He ran into E.B. Martindale of "The Indianapolis Journal" whom he later called, “my first literary patron,” who added him to the staff of the paper to write poetry.  Some of these poems appeared on the first page of the Journal under the nom de plume “Benjamin F. Johnson of Boone,” supposedly an old farmer.  As they were well received, Riley emerged from under his disguise, writing poems such as “When the Frost is on the Punkin.

     In a short while after Riley joined the paper, a gentleman named Halford was appointed manager of the Journal.  One of his first ideas was to cut down on expenses of the paper, and he was considering Riley as his first victim to get the ax.  It so happened that a political convention was held in Indianapolis at this very time.  One of the candidates nominated for office was a big burly fellow who had never made a speech in his life
     When he got up to accept his nomination, his mind went blank and he could not utter a word.  The pounding and cheering went on until in desperation he blurted out, “The ticket you have nominated here is going to win “when the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.”  This Riley poem had just been published a few days before. in the newspaper.
     The applause that greeted these words showed that most of these prominent men had read Riley’s work and approved of it.  Halford kept him on, and he became an established poet. Riley saved his job by a landscape!"
"When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!
Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! ...
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me—
I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!"

-James Whitcomb Riley 

This is a great recitation of the poem itself by a old timer, and is really worth listening to.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

A Blast From The Past

Today, while attempting to download some pictures off of my camera's removable memory disc, I accidentally downloaded some from the camera's independent memory, and they just happened to be some adorable pictures of the two infant cousins, that I took in August.  I was happy at least some of the pictures turned out, there was about 20 pictures in the cameras' memory, and if Eliana wasn't moving, Isabella was, and if Isabella wasn't moving, Eliana was!