Sunday, July 25, 2010
35. Visit the Rokeby Museum
One of the many lessons I've learned from this year is that, when your plans don't work out, sometimes you just have to go to Plan B and be grateful for it. This weekend was supposed to be one of the hikes I've been looking forward to all year -- a moonlight/sunrise of Camel's Hump. I leave today for my last big trip of the summer -- this one to Europe -- and I was very pleased that I'd be fitting this in before heading out, and thrilled that a whole crew of past and current Saint Mike's students were on board to do it. But alas, the weather did not cooperate, and the hike is now being postponed till sometime in the second half of August.
Happily, though, my good friends, Siham and Leah, co-originators of the whole list idea, had come up for the hike and were staying for the weekend. So, we decided we'd better make the most of it. We tend to get together about every other month to go over our lists, and see what we've done, what new ideas we've come up with, and what joint plans we want to make for the future. So, we tackled some list revisions over some drinks on Friday night, and I'm going to do a separate post of my list update that came from that conversation.
On Saturday we did two New Things -- one from Leah's list and one from mine. Leah is a former student leader of various hiking and rock climbing expeditions with the SMC Wilderness Program. And yet, incredibly, she had never gone up Mt. Philo. We remedied that with a sunrise hike -- partly a consolation prize to me for having to postpone the Camel's Hump sunrise and partly so Leah could finally say she'd looked at Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks from the top.
In the afternoon we stayed with the south of Burlington theme, and went to the little town of Ferrisburgh to check out the Rokeby Museum. It's a historical house, and the exhibits are mainly a family history of the five generations of the Robinson Family who lived there. I think we all agreed that the most inspirational part was learning about the 3rd generation, Rowland and Rachel Robinson, who were devout Quakers and dedicated Abolitionists. They weren't merely reformists, but radicals, working for the immediate abolition of slavery, and living their principles in every facet of their lives. Their home was not only a stop on the Underground Railroad, they openly hired people who had made it there and decided not to go on to Canada (a flagrant violation of the Fugitive Slave Law). Rachel did not buy any products that had been produced by slave labor -- from cotton cloth to sugar and molasses to tobacco and rum (not that the last was much of a problem for them, since they were also part of the temperance movement). And both were active members (and in some cases founders) of local and state-wide abolition organizations. Their children and grandchildren were pioneers in their own ways -- especially some of the women of the family, several of whom became commercially successful artist/illustrators at a time when most women did not support themselves financially. The place is well worth a visit, and I'd certainly go again with anyone who wants to check it out (www.rokeby.org).
The pictures are a bit of hodgepodge from the day. There are two taken at the Rokeby Museum, one of Siham and Leah sitting outside one of the outbuildings of the farm, and another of one of those freaky oddities of by-gone years. It's called a hair wreath and it's made out of -- yes- human hair. And there's a diagram drawn by the maker showing which humans produced the hair of which parts of the wreath, just in case you're curious. I also put in a few pictures from our Mt. Philo dawn hike, one of Leah and Siham at the rock near the beginning, another of Siham and me at the top, and a third (taken by Leah, who grabbed my camera and did a far better job than I would have) of an adorable tiny salamander we met on the way down. And finally, in between Mt. Philo and the Rokeby we just had to be good Vermonters and hit the Saturday farmer's market. Here we are nearby on Church Street loving the idea of summer in Vermont.
52 Ways to Say I Love You
In Czech, with many thanks to Laura Brade, who I've never actually met. She's the girlfriend of the son of our family physician growing up, Keith Davis. And Dr. Davis definitely deserves a special shout-out as well. When I was going to junior high and high school in Twin Falls, Idaho, his practice was in Shoshone, about an hour's drive away. He was a great doctor, but he became a legend in the eyes of my family when he once drove down from Shoshone in the middle of winter to give me a shot of penicillin and stayed for an hour on top of it to make sure I didn't have an allergic reaction. That's what I call an awesome family doctor.
Hello" = "Ahoj" (as in, "Ahoy there maties!" Emphasize the AH part of the Ahoy. I think the Czech have a complex due to the fact that they are a land locked country) or "Dobrý den" Pronounced DOE-brie (the cheese) den.
Goodbye = Čau! Pronounced just as the Italians would pronounce Ciao! The more formal goodbye = Na shledanou (somewhat tricky to pronounce and I usually avoid it) But here goes: NAH SKHLE-da-noooo
I love you = Miluje tě (pronounced MI- lu-yi tye)
I would like two beers please (for a female speaker) = Chtěla bych dvě piva, prosím. (A male speaker would say Chtěl bych...). Pronounced: KHTYE-la beekh dveh PEA-vuh PRO-seem
I'm putting out a new, revised list on my next post, so that will get covered there. For now I'll just say that once this trip to Europe is over I'm going to have a little more than two weeks to make the most of summer in Vermont, so I hope lots of people are up for joining me!