Kent Falls 2008

Once again we picked Jenn up from overnight camp at Silver Lake and stopped at Kent Falls for a picnic. This was the most crowded I’d ever seen it, but it was a nice day – mid-80s and not too humid. The falls we lower than I would have expected, considering the rain we’ve had last month, but the water was cold and fairly clean.

Kent Falls 2008

As usual, click the picture to see the album.

Out of my gourd

Could there be any more quintessential cultural experience of a New England autumn than leaf peeping? That’s the colloquialism for taking a long, slow drive on back roads to look at the changing scenery. It’s long and slow because you’re behind a couple of dozen lost New Yorkers who managed to find their way out of the city and can’t get back until they see a sign for a parkway.

The answer, of course, is to get together with a bunch of friends, bring some hot casseroles and cold beer, and give the little kids some sharp, serrated tools and some permanent markers, and have a pumpkin carving party. Some family friends have one every year, and each year it seems that there are more and more little children. I’m pretty sure that most of them manage not to get lost in the woods or fall into the deep part of the stream.

Pumpkin Party 2007

Here’s a few shots from this year’s party. Some of the adults revert to childhood and vie to carve the most grotesque visages that can be imagined. Despite the abundant amount of alcohol, injuries are rare.

They also fire up the Farm-All tractor and a couple of dozen people at a time will pile into the hay wagon for a three hour tour twenty minute trip around the farm. You’d think that the hay bales are merely for ambiance, but really they’re an excellent shock absorber for when that wagon is bouncing around the tractor ruts and over rocks. This is a real New England farm, and not one of those tourist attractions; and be sure to watch your boots after walking through the horse fields.

Naturally, a good time was had by all, and we’ll remember this for the next couple of months, until we have the next New England tradition: the wreath-making party.

Anniversary afterthoughts

I knew that I would be expected to say a few words at the anniversary party. I spent some time thinking about what to say; should I be funny? Pithy? Should I look for quotes from famous people like Bacall and Bogart? Read a poem? Present a Powerpoint slide show?

While I was thinking about it, I happened to be talking to a young man who did some landscaping and handyman work around their house. We were chatting and out of the blue he mentioned “Your mom and dad must really be in love… I hope that I’m that lucky when I’m their age.” He went on to describe how one day he was working in the yard and my mother drove in from shopping. She carried a few items from the local flea market, remarking that she knew my father would appreciate them. Anyone who know my father knows that he practically lives at the flea market in Woodbury; and in fact, has been known to do his Christmas and birthday shopping from there.

I thought about this for a while and it occurred to me that perhaps the secret to a long marriage is not big houses, vacations, cars, or New York shopping sprees; rather, it’s about those little things that we do every day to show our partners how much we appreciate them. Sprinkling a little cinnamon in their coffee, picking up dinner on the way home, tossing in a load of laundry or doing the dishes, or doing any other of those dozens of little things that help to lubricate a relationship.

Anyone can buy a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day or take you out to a fancy restaurant for a birthday dinner. But once a year expressions aren’t enough to sustain; it takes a more serious commitment to get up twenty minutes before your partner six or seven days a week to make coffee or turn up the thermostat so the bathroom is warm when they head for the shower, or pick up a package of their favorite items (be it food, tools, or underwear) when you notice that something needs replacing.

Maybe the secret to any good relationship isn’t about the big things at all, but about the little, everyday things, because that’s where most of us live – not in the dozen or so holidays, but in the other 350-odd days, year in and year out.

Anniversary Aftermath

The remaining surviving members of the Accuosti anniversary reunion party attacking an unsuspecting herd of Belgian waffles at brunch the next morning. The traditional method of silently surrounding the waffles and then ritually drenching them in fruit syrup and whipped cream has taken many Belgian waffles out of the gene pool over the years.

Nature – red in tooth and claw. No, it’s not pretty, but life must go on.

50th Anniversary

This is the historic Longwood Country Inn at the edge of scenic Woodbury, Connecticut. Quite literally on the edge, in fact, as fifty feet to the left of this picture on Rte 67 is the border of Southbury.

We’re having a family reunion of sorts as my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Clicking the picture will take you to the Picasa online photo album.

We can’t recommend the Longwood Inn highly enough. The staff was fantastic to work with, and they were very accommodating, considering all of the last minutes changes we made. The food was excellent, both at dinner and at brunch the next day. Woodbury is full of old, historic buildings; the Longwood Inn is on Rte 67, and is only a few miles from the center of Woodbury – the antiques capital of Connecticut. The leaves were just starting to fall, so the out of state guests managed to get a little taste of New England scenery.

It was nice to see so many of the relatives that we normally only see at weddings and funerals. My parents had a great time, of course – probably because pretty much all they had to do was show up. We’re going to have a difficult time topping this at their next 50th anniversary.

Family Renunion

3 generations of the Accuosti family gather for breakfast at the crack of, er, nine. Most of us got here last night, and some more family will be coming in later on today before the party starts at 6:00 pm here at the Longwood Inn. Signs posted on the doors informed us that breakfast would be served between the un-Godly hours of 8:00 and 9:15 am. About 9:10 most of the family started sauntering downstairs.