Monday, September 27, 2010

family homestead

I so love old and historic buildings -- for me just to spend an hour or so wandering around in an old house is to get lost in time and imagination, and is the perfect refuge from the busy world.

It's doubly enjoyable when the old house has family connections.  This weekend I had the opportunity to take photographs at the Benjamin Nye Homestead in Sandwich, Massachusetts.  Who knew, when I visited the homestead as a child  that one day I would live just a few miles away here on Cape Cod, and would be a member of the Nye Family Association Board?  I'm descended from Benjamin Nye -- my great-great grandmother Mary Purrington Nye was Benjamin Nye's great-great-great granddaughter.  That's a mouthful, right?  You can see a picture of Mary Purrington Nye and read more about her and her parents here.

Here are a few images of the homestead and grounds.

Nye cup plates in the window, of course

A chamber pot under every bed

An essential undergarment

School supplies

A reflection in a wavy mirror


And a great piece of a larger sampler.  I like her attitude.

A bonnet at the ready, in case of an outing

And a roaring fire in the bake oven

The house, circa 1680s

 The mill, built later

And the marshes, turning gold just as fall arrives

You can see all my Nye House photos in a slideshow here, or by visiting my flickr page.

And of course, there's more information on the Nye homestead on the Nye Family of America's website.

Friday, September 24, 2010

the tale of the treasure

I've been so blessed and amazed to have found new friends and kindred spirits among the women who are part of the Mortal Muses blog.  There are 9 of us who embarked on this blogging adventure over the summer from across the country and around the world.  And now I've got 8 pen pals, 8 fellow photography addicts, 8 partners in silliness, and 8 collectors to share some treasures with.

So here's the tale of the treasure.  A few weeks back, Tammy posted some photos of lovely Florida shells:

Treasure from the Sea

It's okay to be different

When I spotted them on her flickr page, I left a comment saying that I'd love to do a "treasure exchange."  In exchange for a few Florida treasures, I would send her a box of items I've collected on the beaches and in the woods here on Cape Cod.

We wrote back and forth, and she even blogged about it on the Mortal Muses blog.

She got her box ready to send:

16/i365 - For Lucy via iphone

I packed up my little box, too,  and popped it in the mail.   I threw in a few little mini-prints for good measure, and  my Cape Cod  treasures arrived safely in Florida last week (you can read her family's reaction here):

19/i365 - treasures from lucy

And today, my Florida treasures arrived:

Aren't they gorgeous?  I will cherish them.  Thank you Tammy, fellow Muse, new friend.  xo

Saturday, September 11, 2010

the hurricane that wasn't

Last week's hurricane scare had people on Cape Cod scurrying to fill their pantries with food, stock up on batteries, and buy bottled water. They stopped by the library to load up on books and videos.

This seagull didn't seem too concerned as he waited for the storm.

Neither did this little shore bird.  The beach was covered with these guys, fighting over little microscopic gourmet treats along the tideline.

Then the storm fizzled, we got a lot of rain, and the next day dawned bright and sunny.

At Coastguard Beach on the outer Cape, the wind was brisk.

The waves were higher than usual for here on Cape Cod.  The sign at the beach entrance said "wading only."  No one paid much attention.

The life guards were on high alert.

One young boy got pummeled by the rough sea.  The paramedics were called, and after some medical attention it seemed he was OK.

The surfers were the only ones who didn't seem to be able to catch a decent wave.

And thus endeth Hurricane Earl, leaving us none the worse for wear.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

gorey story

Have you been to the Gorey House in Yarmouth Port?  I decided it was the perfect thing to do while waiting for Not-A-Hurricane Earl to arrive.  You know Edward Gorey, author and illustrator of such books as Amphigorey, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and of Masterpiece Mystery Fame?  Or for you American Idol fans, you might know him from the tattoo that Cape Cod's own Siobhan Magnus sported on her arm (you can see a video about it here.)

I suddenly remembered, as I was touring the house, that I went to see Gorey Stories when it was playing off-Broadway in 1978.  Wow -- instant flashback!

But those books and the play are just the tip of the iceberg -- he wrote and illustrated hundreds of books and other works,  and was a collector of all manner of wonderful things. Here are just a few.

Gorey died in 2000, and this is his last remaining cat -- perhaps the fattest cat I've ever seen.

X is for Xerxes devoured by mice.

Z is for Zillah who drank too much gin.

B is for Basil assaulted by bears.

J is for James who took lye by mistake.
G is for George smothered under a rug.

There's so much more incredible stuff to see here, but I'll let you discover the rest of it on your own. 

You can read the whole Gashlycrumb Tinies alphabet here.  You can also see more photos of the house in the beautifully photographed book The Elephant House with photographs by Kevin McDermott and an introduction by John Updike.  You can learn more about Edward Gorey and his house at the Gorey House website.