Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Susie, Mary and Mallory together one more time

It was just yesterday that Susie drove up to Westborough, MA, to spend a little quality time with her sister Mary before she heads off to a new life in Texas this summer. The smiles it all, eh?

(A friend of Mallory's, Mary's daughter stopped by and snapped this photo with Susie's camera.)

l-r: Mary, Mallory and Susie

So much time slips by and we have no idea why
Or where it goes
No one knows

Monday, June 20, 2011

Purgatory Chasm

Located in south Massachusetts, just west of Northbridge and near Manchaug ("come one come all, see tha half-man, half-chaug. . . "), this wonderful maze of rocks, boulders, and flora all welded together into grotesque and occasionally beautiful shapes that just cry out to climbed over, Purgatory Chasm is one fantastic park.

(Although it is a curiosity that the Devil seems to own so much here: the Devil's Coffin, the Devil's Pulpit, the Devil's Corncrib, the Devil's Toilet Paper Roll, the Devil's Handkercheif, the Devil's. . . )

Anyway, we just had to go back after all these years.

And so we did.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A perfect summer evening in Narragansett

It was a gorgeous Saturday afternoon,with a  perfect coolness to the air even in the warmth of the sun, as we plunged through downtown Newport from Sachuest Wildlife Refuge, heading west. Traffic was light, though, and we soon found ourselves crossing the bridge to Jamestown Island,and then  zipping across another bridge (named Verranzano rather like it's larger twin in New York) and at last south on Route 1 to Narragansett.

We soon pulled into Barbara's driveway, unloaded our cooler and kicked off a wondrful evening of musings about life with Andrea, Barbara, "cousin" Matt and his girlfriend Maggie, eating scrumptious shrimp and salad (finished off with a Susie dessert), all while sitting outside taking in the glories of a late spring evening at the beach.

Wish you could have been there.

Breton shortbread berry tart




Sachuest Wildlife Refuge

If you're coming south into Rhode Island, heading toward Newport and you come down Rte 138 to 138A scheming to come into the city from the backdoor, you're likely to turn right on 138A just before you hit the water and head straight west into Newport, past Eastons Beach and the Cliff Walk.

If, on the other hand, you turn left and drive east for about a mile or so, skipping the public beach, you'll find yourself in the tiny but very dramatic little world of Sachuest Wildlife Refuge, a finger of land pointing out to sea.

Looking toward Newport

Hmmm - what's that on my shoe?

Looking toward Newport and south

Looking south

You've been warned

Friday, June 17, 2011

Newport Cliff Walk

The weather here in the "Grit 'n Grime" State has been odd to say the least: one day in the 90s next in the 50s -- and lately the rain has been unending or so it seems. Anyway, about ten days ago we took advantage of a gorgeous afternoon to stroll a portion of the Newport Cliff Walk. Parking was, naturally, a bit of a challenge but it was a grand day for a walk so it mattered little that we had to walk a bit to, well, walk a bit.

So, we strolled for the better part of an hour and then cut up through the quiet of Salve Regina University and back to our car, just off of Bellevue Avenue.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lucas family comes to Rhode Island

My brother Greg Lucas and his wife Joyce and their two kids, Olga and Dimitri came to Rhode Island last weekend. (OK, Greg and I are half-brothers, but the good half.) They're touring the Northeast and had spent two nights in Niagara Falls before making a beeline for the Ocean State. The weather was pretty lousy the entire time they were here, keeping us all pretty much indoors together. As it turned out that wasn't a bad thing at all; it gave us plenty of time to catch up on all the news and stories that had happened since we last saw them in the wilds west of Chicago.

The highlight of our time together was undoubtedly a trip south to Narragansett for dinner with Andrea and her mother Barbara.

Delicious food, great conversation and plenty of time spent just laughing away the evening, while the wind howled and the gods churned the sea just a few meters away.
l-r: Susie, Andrea Barbara and Olga

Dimitri, Greg, Joyce and Olga

Dimitri, Greg, Joyce and Olga

Dimitri, Joyce,  Olga and Greg

These were taken by Andrea:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Watts Girls

Betty Ann on the left, Linda Sue on the right and their mother, Grace in the middle, taken sometime in the early 1960s somewhere in Illinois.

Grace was the kind of person who looked everyone straight in the eye and said exactly what she thought -- whether they wanted to hear it or not -- and she did it with a smile that you couldn't resist. It was that smile that carried her everywhere.

The story of the relationship between the Watts family and mine is a tale now lost at sea -- but the memories I have of spending countless hours watching our parents play bridge, or a summer working on the farm in Dallas City or curling up in sleeping bags in front of their fireplace during the ice storm of 1959 (or was it 1960) will always linger in the warm recesses of my mind's eye.

Thanks for everything Grace -- I'm sorry I didn't say it sooner.

But hey! I suspect you and Bill, Mom and Dad are all sitting around the card table, sipping Canadian Club (with water of course), playing bridge, and laughing at the follies of the world while Linda smiles on holding Heinz (as in Heinz 57) ever closer. . . .

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Michele De Luca-Verley and La Maison de Coco

We recently caught up with Michele at her new shop, La Maison de Coco, on Bellevue Avenue in Newport. Her specialities are tea-infused chocolates but she is also an incredible pastry chef and, like Susie, focuses on traditional French-style pastries such as Madeleines and tarts.