Setting the Pace for Tommy

Tommy with big brother David.

Tommy with big brother David.

David and Christopher and I have been viewing the Chance Christmas blogs.  They’ve decided they want to post one about their baby brother, Tommy.

David says to let you know that Tommy wants to go to school.  Tommy will go when he’s four, in three years, David explains, just like David does now.  When Tommy gets there, he will play.  David is sure he’ll be helpful, too.

Sometimes David’s teacher needs David to do things, like make things for his mom and dad. Sometimes the teacher sends homework. Other days, she sends a project home for him to do, like the Easter gift they made for his mom.

Most of the homework, David says, has been fun!

Fabulous Four

I’ve adored baby David since the moment I heard he was on the way.

Now that he’s four years old, young David is one of the kindest people I know.  He’s a genuinely sweet kid who loves being a big brother.  He tries to help out around the house and be a good example to the two younger kids in the family.

He enjoys learning new things and receiving interesting gifts from afar, like foreign currency and the skeleton keys Uncle Dave and I brought him from France last summer.

Terrific Twos

My nephew Christopher became tons of fun while I was away.  He’s snuggly and chipper and he has developed an impressive vocabulary in his 28 months.

I expected to find someone in his “terrible twos” but am delighted that his twos are down right terrific.  I feel so blessed to have a few days here in Maryland to get to know this little guy better.

A Great Daddy

Lucy worked at the hospital all day yesterday.  Matt, Dave, and I spent the day with the kids.  I’ve developed a world of respect for Matt, who has shaped up to be a fantastic dad.  He’s also a great cook and serves up meal after tasty meal.

Hanging Out at Mom Mom’s

Tommy headed for Mom Mom's house.

Tommy headed for Mom Mom’s house.

We all look forward to visiting Dave’s Mom, Christina, who the family calls Mom Mom.  We headed to Mom Mom’s for dinner last night, and baby Tommy was clearly excited about the trip.

In these photos, you see much of last night’s merry crew:

Dave, his Mom, and his brothers Matthew, Michael, Andrew, and Adam. You’ll also see Matt’s wife Lucy and their three boys (David, Christopher, and Tommy), Michael’s wife Julia and their two boys (Connor and Evan).

Dinner with my Dear in Chesapeake City

Dramatic bridge that spans the C&D Canal at Chesapeake City, Maryland.  This image is from Wikipedia.

Headed to the eastern shore of Maryland by auto last night, Dave and I enjoyed spectacular evening sky.  The vibrant pink and purple Pennsylvania sunset melted into a jacquard pattern of clouds illuminated by a bright, shiny, and very-full moon.  Unfortunately, my iPhone didn’t do the sky justice from the window of Dave’s truck.

Along the way we stopped for dinner at the Bayard House along the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in Chesapeake City, Maryland.

The picturesque town is fully decked in Christmas cheer.

While we ate, we had the thrill of seeing a large cargo ship — the type that delivers new cars to the Philadelphia area — pass under the bridge spanning high above the historic city and the wide canal.  This canal “is one of the few fully sea-level shipping canals in the world. The original C & D Canal was built privately in the 1820s, and it opened for business in 1829” according to the PennWays website.

Sparkling Star

The Star Barn in panorama.

The Star Barn in panorama.

Waving goodbye to Mom, Leslie, and Heather yesterday, we made a quick last visit to our favorite barn near Highspire, PA.  The sun shown gloriously in the sky; it brought this stately barn to life for us once again.

Dave and I are thrilled an organization stepped forward a few years back to save this barn and to get it recognized as a National Historic Landmark.  Other beautiful old buildings we love in this area are not faring nearly as well.  It’s likely a number of them will be demolished for strip-mall “development” before we return.

Outbuildings beside the Star Barn.

Outbuildings beside the Star Barn.

Canadian Christmas

In 2008, Mom was a Fulbright scholar to Canada, hosted by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.  Heather, Leslie, Dave, and I went there to spend Christmas with her.  Here are a couple of photos Mom took during our holiday outings.

News from Kevin Donleavy

C-Ville Weekly published a fascinating article about the Blue Ridge Tunnel project.  Also, please don’t forget Kevin Donleavy’s radio show this Saturday:

A chairde and pals,

Time for another program of Irish traditional music on-line.  The date is this Saturday, Dec. 29, and the show is ATLANTIC WEEKLY PART TWO.  It will air, as usual, from 10 am till 12 noon in the States, and 3 to 5 pm in Ireland.
What can you expect to hear on this show? Great instrumental music from Andrew MacNamara and The Lahawns will open the show. Other groups you will hear are Skylark, Flashpoint, the Chieftains, and Flash Company. Singers include Brian Moore, Terry O’Neill, Grainne Holland, and Ron Kavana. There will be “Spancill Hill” especially for the memory of Robbie McMahon of Co. Clare, and “The Mad Goat” (Poc ar Buile) for Paidi O’ Se of Kerry. And a lot more….
Here are the easy steps for listening on-line :
On your computer, go to  Next, select Listen Live on the right side bar.  Then, choose between Ogg and MP3.
I hope you will have a wee listen this Saturday, and also the following Saturday (Jan. 5) when I’ll bring you another ATLANTIC WEEKLY program at the same time.  What more could you ask to begin a new year ?


Awesome Gift

I neglected to mention that one of the best gifts I received came by email on December 24.  Our editors extended our deadline from January 7 to January 21!  Yippie!