Here’s what I did. It was mostly not cold. The sun even came out for a few minutes when I was wandering Green Cemetery, and kindly lit up all the Glastonbury Lady Carver stones for me.

Maggie’s uppermost buds are so close to opening. The sky was really pretty overlooking Dondero’s, and their fruit trees are just beginning to flower. (The dug-up mud patch is going to be a new apple orchard.) This was the first time I’ve ever ordered Affogato, and it was good. I adore William Stanclift’s lettering, with all the thorns, nested Ls, cross-y Ws, reach-y legged Rs, and sand dollar-ish finial rosettes. The delicate little bluets were at the cemetery.

Oh: I also thought this was interesting and cool. The design on a piece of Redware pottery I saw at the Wadsworth today strongly resembles the design on a gravestone I saw at Eastbury Burying Ground yesterday. They are both stylized ferns, I think. (Sorry about the slightly blurry/grainy/reflection-y photo of the pottery… it was inside a glass case, so the lighting wasn’t very good.)

Also, I adore the “handwriting” on this stone. It’s so great. [Edit: Haha, as my Past Self noted, “There should be a Peter Buckland font.” Past Self, you have such good taste.] And I love the mauve in the background behind the orange dish.

MAN. Old Eastbury Cemetery is like THE SECRET GARDEN. I was looking for it this afternoon and drove right by it about seven times before I finally found it, even though I was using Google Maps on my phone, so the exact location was marked by a big red spot. AND I just went there last week!!! It’s like it has cloaking technology or something. (That’s pretty cool, actually.)

Speaking of hidden: here’s that stone that was hidden under the ice last time! It’s a cute Peter Buckland carving.

Oh, ALSO on the way home (for real), I took a picture of the dolls’ house on Hopewell Road!  The clouds had started to break up, so the sky was perfect.  If you look closely, you can see one of the members of the doll family who live there looking out of the window.

Oh, ALSO on the way home (for real), I took a picture of the dolls’ house on Hopewell Road! The clouds had started to break up, so the sky was perfect. If you look closely, you can see one of the members of the doll family who live there looking out of the window.

I stopped at the Connecticut River Ferry landing on the way home (well, it wasn’t really on the way home, but I stopped there) to see how flooded the river is.  Not too bad!  Too high for the ferry to run, though.

When I looked across the river and saw Hale’s on the other side, I remembered:  SHAD!!!! and I couldn’t wait for May.

I stopped at the Connecticut River Ferry landing on the way home (well, it wasn’t really on the way home, but I stopped there) to see how flooded the river is. Not too bad! Too high for the ferry to run, though.

When I looked across the river and saw Hale’s on the other side, I remembered: SHAD!!!! and I couldn’t wait for May.

Icy, soggy moss (and pine needle!) patterns at Old Eastbury! LOVE.

The Glastonbury Profile Carver’s most famous stone, carved for four of the Holmes boys.  James Slater called it “surely one of the greatest stones ever carved in Connecticut, with its haunting esthetic faces and superb composition.”  Note the tree with missing branches, in the center.  The branches represent the Holmes children.

The identity of the Glastonbury Profile Carver remains unknown. Stones in this style are only found in the Eastbury Burying Ground (in East Glastonbury) and the Still Hill Burying Ground (in South Glastonbury), and there are only ten of them.  This one (in Eastbury) is by far the largest and most magnificent.  The carver’s style—classical profiles with noble features and detailed hairdos—is very unusual.  Especially considering that it’s brownstone, we are very fortunate that this stone is still in such fine shape.  Some of the carver’s other stones haven’t fared so well.

The stone reads:

"This Monument is erected to the Memory of Four Lovely
and promising Sons of Mr. Appleton & Mrs. Lydia Holmes

Appleton died Feb. 24th AD 1795 in the 9th Year of his Age ~
Ozias died Feb. 24th AD 1795 in the 7th Year of his Age ~ 
Burridg died Dec. 20th AD 1794 in the 12th Year of his Age ~
Calvin died Feb 25th 1795 in the 12th Year of his Age ~

Ye living mortals see in earthly Bloom,
Four lovely offspring lie beneath this tomb.
The afflicted mother weeps from day to day
To see these lovely branches torn away.
But whilst you weep the Lamb on Calvary slain
Feeds the young branches which shall sprout again
Whilst God the FARTHER [sic] who all heaven supplies
Shall wipe the sorrows from the parents eyes”

The Glastonbury Profile Carver’s most famous stone, carved for four of the Holmes boys. James Slater called it “surely one of the greatest stones ever carved in Connecticut, with its haunting esthetic faces and superb composition.” Note the tree with missing branches, in the center. The branches represent the Holmes children.

The identity of the Glastonbury Profile Carver remains unknown. Stones in this style are only found in the Eastbury Burying Ground (in East Glastonbury) and the Still Hill Burying Ground (in South Glastonbury), and there are only ten of them. This one (in Eastbury) is by far the largest and most magnificent. The carver’s style—classical profiles with noble features and detailed hairdos—is very unusual. Especially considering that it’s brownstone, we are very fortunate that this stone is still in such fine shape. Some of the carver’s other stones haven’t fared so well.

The stone reads:

"This Monument is erected to the Memory of Four Lovely
and promising Sons of Mr. Appleton & Mrs. Lydia Holmes

Appleton died Feb. 24th AD 1795 in the 9th Year of his Age ~
Ozias died Feb. 24th AD 1795 in the 7th Year of his Age ~
Burridg died Dec. 20th AD 1794 in the 12th Year of his Age ~
Calvin died Feb 25th 1795 in the 12th Year of his Age ~

Ye living mortals see in earthly Bloom,
Four lovely offspring lie beneath this tomb.
The afflicted mother weeps from day to day
To see these lovely branches torn away.
But whilst you weep the Lamb on Calvary slain
Feeds the young branches which shall sprout again
Whilst God the FARTHER [sic] who all heaven supplies
Shall wipe the sorrows from the parents eyes”

It was a grey & gloomy day, and my first-time-ever visit to the new UConn Co-op Bookstore was unsatisfying, but I turned my mood around by stopping at the Old Eastbury Cemetery on the way home!

I kept getting cemetery-teased, because I drove past the Mansfield Center Cemetery on the way to Storrs, then was very close to Pink Ravine (and was thinking about it, longing for it), then went right by Silver Street in Coventry (*whimper*… I wanted to stop so much) and Quarryville in Bolton. But I knew it was way too overcast to look at stones. Still, by the time I got to Glastonbury, I couldn’t take it anymore, and looked on my iPhone to find the location of Old Eastbury, because I knew it was nearby. It turned out that it was very near by, and in fact I was about to pass it in a minute or two.

It’s so bizarre, I didn’t realize that I drive right by it every time I go to Manchester, even though I have been there before. It’s right on the side of Manchester Road in East Glastonbury, but it’s very inconspicuous and slightly hidden by a thin row of trees. It’s a weird little burying ground… not very well kept, but sweet and charming. It actually reminds me of Christian Lane a little, although it’s in a much nicer location. It’s kind of sad how Glastonbury ignores it and devotes all its attentions to the big beautiful Green Cemetery, when this burying ground in fact holds a rarer treasure: the Glastonbury Profile Carver's masterpieces.

Although most of the snow and ice in town is melted, the low points at Old Eastbury Burying Ground are still crusted in ice, and one of the fallen stones is submerged, peering up through the whiteness like a drowned skater, its lichen the ghostly green clue that gave it away. So cool.

As I noted when I visited in October, 2011, there is so much wonderful lush cushiony moss there, of many varieties. Right now much of it is saturated like a sponge, drinking in the spring rains and melts. (I’ll post some icy mossy pictures separately!) As I expected, the lighting wasn’t the best, but it was still nice to wander and say hello to some of my carver friends. I’ve missed them. And I got a pretty good photo of the Holmes boys’ stone in the back, because it wasn’t shadowed by trees the way it usually is! I really need to go back to Eastbury while the leaves are off the trees, and devote more attention to it.

P.S. Sorry (?) some of the gravestone photos’ colors are slightly over the top. I used an intense camera setting, but I rather like it. The gray day needed a little extra saturation. :-)

I went down to the ferry landing to look at the river, but it wasn’t that exciting looking there, unlike the super cool views I saw out the window when I was driving to East Windsor yesterday. I think the water is more flowy and a little warmer here, so it was less frozen.  There were some cool jagged bits, like in this picture, but most of it was either smooth or unfrozen.

After that I went to So. G., and my farmer neighbor pal was there.  When I walked in, he commented, “You always look so cute.” Do I? Haha! I guess.  (Probably all the orange I wear.)  Then he thought I was insane because I complained that it feels too hot today (it was 42 degrees), and when I cringed away from the sun in my eyes, he remarked, “You’re like a vampire.” Me: “Hm, that’s kind of true.”

I finally remembered to ask him about the dolls’ house on Hopewell Road. As I expected, he knew all about it (he knows everything about South Glastonbury), and told me that it’s about 100 years old and used to be a store, and all the Italians used to hang out there, and further back on the same property is a place called Flat Rock that was the old swimming hole. He wasn’t aware that a family of living dolls lives there, looks out the windows all the time, and decorates their house for holidays (including a Christmas tree that they still have up), though, and seemed to think my questions about them were pretty amusing. How can he not know the doll family? I guess they keep to themselves, but they look so friendly. I always want to write them a letter, but I’m not sure if they have a mailbox. I wonder if the doll family is Italian, since that was the old Italian store/gathering place?

I went down to the ferry landing to look at the river, but it wasn’t that exciting looking there, unlike the super cool views I saw out the window when I was driving to East Windsor yesterday. I think the water is more flowy and a little warmer here, so it was less frozen. There were some cool jagged bits, like in this picture, but most of it was either smooth or unfrozen.

After that I went to So. G., and my farmer neighbor pal was there. When I walked in, he commented, “You always look so cute.” Do I? Haha! I guess. (Probably all the orange I wear.) Then he thought I was insane because I complained that it feels too hot today (it was 42 degrees), and when I cringed away from the sun in my eyes, he remarked, “You’re like a vampire.” Me: “Hm, that’s kind of true.”

I finally remembered to ask him about the dolls’ house on Hopewell Road. As I expected, he knew all about it (he knows everything about South Glastonbury), and told me that it’s about 100 years old and used to be a store, and all the Italians used to hang out there, and further back on the same property is a place called Flat Rock that was the old swimming hole. He wasn’t aware that a family of living dolls lives there, looks out the windows all the time, and decorates their house for holidays (including a Christmas tree that they still have up), though, and seemed to think my questions about them were pretty amusing. How can he not know the doll family? I guess they keep to themselves, but they look so friendly. I always want to write them a letter, but I’m not sure if they have a mailbox. I wonder if the doll family is Italian, since that was the old Italian store/gathering place?

This morning when I was reading Posy Gets Cozy I suddenly realized that the cover of my Ethan Frome book is a Grandma Moses painting. I never knew her work but I really like it! Then when I was driving around, I realized why it appeals to me: my neighborhood looks like a Grandmas Moses. (The pic above is just an example that I happened to snap today; it’s lots more hilly in other spots, like over near Belltown.) Also, I have a thing for art with lots and lots of little houses and trees and hills—for example, one of my favorite fabric designs, “Morgantown” by Phillip de Leon for Alexander Henry.

I got a HUUUUUUUGE Grandma Moses book at the library. It’s 13” x 12” and I can barely lift it! I like the snowy ones best. I don’t know if that’s because I like the aesthetic of snow in general (like in Danish movies) or because it’s winter right now and I like to experience the seasons as they are happening.

Note: the little houses and sleighs and stone walls and fences in the paintings are very important. I wouldn’t like them if they were just pure landscapes with trees and hills and ponds but no signs of people or animals. I am not sure why that is, but I know it to be true!

I think I want to go to the Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vermont. But I will wait for spring. Maybe I can visit some good Massachusetts burying grounds on the way?? (Deerfield, Northampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Amherst? Must research more to choose!) It’s about two and half hours away, so not a short trip. Maybe I could stay overnight and explore the area or something. It just seems like it would be fun!

[Edit: I figured out that the Ethan Frome cover painting is part of “Father’s Home,” from 1952. It’s in my library book, but not in color. The whole piece is 18” x 24”… the book cover only shows the far right side.]

The view from Belltown Hill Orchards today when my parents and I stopped by to get cider and donuts. It’s about a mile and a half from my house. All the blueberry bushes have turned red for the fall and are so pretty!

We found out from the cashier that the cider they sell is pressed and pasteurized by Buell’s Orchard (in Eastford near where my parents used to live) but it’s made out of Belltown’s apples. The label just says Buell’s!  They should add their own Belltown sticker or something.  Or at least have a sign.

We all quite enjoyed cups of Kona coffee brewed in my Aeropress (my parents wanted extra water in theirs; apparently I like my coffee strong) along with the donuts (heated slightly in the microwave so they were delectably warm and soft), followed by cold cider.

The view from Belltown Hill Orchards today when my parents and I stopped by to get cider and donuts. It’s about a mile and a half from my house. All the blueberry bushes have turned red for the fall and are so pretty!

We found out from the cashier that the cider they sell is pressed and pasteurized by Buell’s Orchard (in Eastford near where my parents used to live) but it’s made out of Belltown’s apples. The label just says Buell’s! They should add their own Belltown sticker or something. Or at least have a sign.

We all quite enjoyed cups of Kona coffee brewed in my Aeropress (my parents wanted extra water in theirs; apparently I like my coffee strong) along with the donuts (heated slightly in the microwave so they were delectably warm and soft), followed by cold cider.

Wow. I’ve never seen this many cars in the hills of South Glastonbury! I guess a beautiful sunny blue-sky blazing-trees Columbus Day is everyone’s idea of the perfect day to pick apples!

!!! The lead article in this week’s Glastonbury Citizen newspaper is about a black bear that was recently seen in South Glastonbury—on Tryon Street and on Main Street near Draghi’s farm stand. Naturally, my first thought was “AGD was right!”

She was last seen meandering off through Portland and Marlborough, so I guess she was too lazy to climb up the hills to my house.

It’s so beautiful out.

It’s a good day for pick-your-own blueberries at Carini’s Berry Farm! The bushes were laden with big, fat, ripe berries. Filling up the whole pail was easy! It was heavy when I’d finished. 2 quarts?

(The third picture’s all grainy because I used the front-facing camera on my iPhone, but I still like it. I was trying to show the big pail of berries hanging around my neck! :-)