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Posts Tagged ‘celebration’

We live in what used to be a distinct small town outside of Baltimore. In the 18th century Richard Caton, the son-in-law of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the longest-living signer of the Declaration of Independence, was commissioned to develop a tract of land along an old Indian trail that became a major road to the West, to the town of Frederick. At first, this Frederick Road offered only a rest stop for travelers, but the rest stop attracted other businesses and became known as Catonsville.

The location was a beautiful hilly, wooded area near the Patapsco River that attracted wealthy Baltimore families who built large, handsome summer homes to escape the city heat. As transportation between Catonsville and Baltimore improved, with a train, then trolley cars, and so on, the summer homes became year-round homes. More businesses were created to serve these new permanent residents and the workers they employed. For a mile or so, Frederick Road became the Main Street of Catonsville, and Catonsville, with its variety of residents, businesses, churches, fire department, and schools, became a small town in the 19th century.

Today Catonsville is indistinguishable from Baltimore City. It has been absorbed into the city. But the small town quality remains, with many stately homes on large properties still occupied and a thriving Main Street along Frederick Road.

For 61 years Catonsville has held a Fourth of July celebration–a day full of family activities, a major parade in the afternoon, and fireworks in the evening. This event draws large crowds. More than a week before the parade, people who live along Frederick Road, the parade route, stake their claims to viewing sites. For a mile or more along the road, in the residential section just beyond the commercial area, people put out lawn chairs as place-holders. Sometimes there are a dozen or more plastic chairs in a row. Some people stretch ropes between poles to indicate their claim, and others put out trash cans or spread plastic tarpaulins and other articles to hold their area. Those items sit along Frederick Road until after the parade, and apparently there are no thefts!

As we rode home from the restaurant at 8:00 last night, I shot this view of one family’s reserved viewing site for the big parade a week from now, next Friday.

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Last night Ernie and I celebrated my birthday by going out to dinner, a rare event for us. But first I opened my gift–two courses from The Teaching Company: Particle Physics for the the Non-Physicist and String Theory, The DNA of Reality.

Ernie and me, ready to go.

At 71

We went to a Greek restaurant and began our meal with a mezze–spinach pie, hummus, taramasalata, stuffed grape leaves, feta cheese, tzatziki, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and peperoncini, with Greek wine, of course.

A real treat!

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As I wait for delivery of the gold supplies I’ve ordered, I’ve been using materials at hand to try stitching the gold S correctly on a practice cloth. First, I used gold sadi. This purl is slightly larger than the gilt purl I plan to use.

This is better, but still not good enough. I haven’t yet worked out how to finish the ends. I wish I could show you how springy this metal thread is. It won’t lie straight so cutting equal lengths is, well, FRUSTRATING.

Next I tried stitching it with rough (matte) purl in the same size I want to use for the finished piece–very fine. It is even springier than sadi. Although threading purls on the needle is fiddly and slow, stitching them is no problem; it is cutting pieces the right length that is the challenge.

You can see that the lengths of purl are not all the right length and I still haven’t found the right way to stitch the ends.

I’ve been considering other materials, rather than gold purls, for stitching this S; but I really would like to get the effect of the real purls over padding. I don’t know whether I will succeed. Here’s how these two efforts look side-by-side. Better, but not good enough. Five hours of work.

I’ve also redesigned the S, as another possibility. When the new supplies arrive, I may know what I want to try with them.

As I’m writing, I’ve been hearing voices from our courtyard. Unable to resist my curiosity, I got up to take a look at what was going on. It’s the Mini-triathlon! Residents and staff have teamed up to compete in walking, swimming, and stationary biking. The swimming event is going on just below our windows in the Aquatic Center.

A loudspeaker and lots of cheering going on.

If you click on the image, you may be able to see that there are spectators around the pool, and on the patio a table is set with treats and perhaps trophies? Can’t tell from here.

It’s a windy day and the tablecloth is flapping. And lots of cheering.

Every day this week there have been special events celebrating Charlestown’s 25th anniversary. On Friday evening there was big-band dancing and entertainment under a tent, followed by fireworks. Spectacular, I’ve heard. (See, Jenna, we can do it, too.)

I enjoy living in such a lively, active community, even though I can’t participate.

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Leaving the Medical Center where I’d had an appointment with my doctor, I took some pictures. This cafe is just a short way down the hall from the Medical Center.

Besides the old-fashioned jars of candy, it features a soda fountain and an old Coke machine. I’ll bet you’ve never seen a soda fountain. At age 13, with a worker’s permit, I worked the soda fountain at our neighborhood drug store (that’s what they were called then). You can have sandwiches, salads, and other light stuff made to order. Ice cream soda anyone?

Here’s the General Store adjacent to the Fountain Hill Cafe.

At the opposite side of the soda fountain is a grab-and-go refrigerated case filled with sandwiches, salads, fruit, desserts, beverages, and snacks–ready to eat.

Across the hall, just a few steps from the soda fountain is a seating area.

With a juke box loaded with Golden Oldies.

Does this look like an old folks’ home to you? I wouldn’t be surprised if, in a few years, they convert one of the dining rooms to a food court.

It’s a great place to live. More about our 25th anniversary celebration to follow. Come back soon, won’t you?

Oh, by the way, Ernie and I are celebrating 10 years at Charlestown this week, and 22 years since we made our illicit relationship “licit” at the Courthouse. But that’s another story. We’ve been together 37 years.

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