Father’s Day Tall Ships

Seagulls strut along the dock.  A ship’s horn scares them and they scatter to the heavens.

Boston Ferry 6.18.2017

Boston Ferry 6.18.2017

Seagull 6.18.2017

Origami Seagull 6.18.2017

Our ferry passes Tall Ships.  We gape at the size of their masts.

We are informed of each vessel’s country and specifics of the complex rigging.

Schooners and smaller craft sail by.

More than 40 Tall Ships, decorated with a multitude of colorful flags, were on parade yesterday.   Today, the Tall Ships are at rest, sails folded.

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It’s Father’s Day and I am now fatherless.  My dad, Errol, died over ten years ago.

Errol was larger than life…bigger than these Tall Ships in my eyes.  Brilliance and hard work led to a full life in Academia.

With my mother, he brought me and my siblings to North America via the Caribbean, Africa and England.

In New England, we would have opportunities not available to us in the British West Indies.

“You’ve had your father your whole adult life,” a friend consoled me at his memorial service.

I did not realize it at the time but she was right.  I am grateful for his life.

 

 

 

Goat and Milk 6.17.2017

A Goat Story

An email arrived yesterday describing a new Origami Goat YouTube tutorial.  The lovely design, by Peterpaul Forcher, captured my interest immediately.

Goat 6.17.2017

Goat 6.17.2017

The goat made me think of dear Uncle Rudy who passed a few years ago.

When Uncle Rudy was a youngster, growing up in Trinidad & Tobago, he had an incredible business idea.

He saved money from odd jobs until he could buy a goat.  Then, he sold the goat’s milk which was far more nutritious than cow’s milk and highly desired.

Every morning before school, he would milk the goat and sell it in the village.   Soon he had enough money to buy multiple goats and expand his business thereby helping to provide for his family.

Goat and Milk 6.17.2017

Goat and Milk 6.17.2017

Uncle Rudy finished high school and won a scholarship to study Pharmacy in Canada.  He saved just enough funds to pay for passage on a freighter and with one small suitcase set out for the interior of Canada.

Catching rides overland, Uncle Rudy made his way to the university.  He worked at night to support himself, and studied during the day – often falling asleep in class due to exhaustion.  His fellow students pitched in to provide him with Winter clothing.

Eventually, Uncle Rudy earned his pharmaceutical degree.  He would go on to become a doctor and then a much beloved orthopedic surgeon in Ottawa, Ontario.

The Origami Goat took me over an hour to fold.  While the instruction video is excellent, be forewarned;  the folding is quite extensive.

Seashells 6.14.2017

Summer Visitor

Annoying noise on the table.  Abbreviated gyrations.  Receipt of a text message.

Pleasantries from New York City followed by a request and an invitation.

Seahorse 6.4.2017

Seahorse 6.4.2017

A friend needs a place to stay overnight.

She will miss the last ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.  Plans to open her island house for the summer.  Why don’t I join her for the weekend?   Is it June already?

I love the Vineyard and the sea.  But, I’m exhausted from work and the last weekend activities.

Affirmative response to the request and negative one for the invitation.

That night, my dreams are filled with the sound of waves, silvery fish, seahorses, the warmth of the sun, a beach and seashells.

It’s late when she arrives on Friday evening.  Gift of lovely white roses.

White Roses 6.4.2017

White Roses 6.4.2017

We chat: her son’s graduation, relationship with her husband and his Indian family, the Martha’s Vineyard house, her new job.  I complain about the usual.

We’re up early the next morning, she to catch the ferry at Woods Hole, me for my weekly swim at the Y.

I navigate as she hastily drives through Harvard Square then on to Central Square.

“How pretty Cambridge is,” she remarks.

She drops me off at the YMCA and I watch the back of her car disappear down Massachusetts Avenue.

Graduation Day – whoo!

My niece graduated from college this weekend!

This is an exciting time for all these young people as they make their way in the world.

Money Mortarboard 5.30.2017

Money Mortarboard 5.30.2017

Thank goodness she has a job waiting for her on the West Coast.

I found this Money Mortarboard Origami design and thought it most appropriate for the occasion.

It was cool and somewhat overcast when I left for Providence on the Amtrak train.

After a lovely ride, I arrived at my destination.

The train station is quite close to the college so I only had to walk across the canal bridge and up some very steep hills.

Canal, Providence, Rhode Island 5.28.2017

Canal, Providence, Rhode Island 5.28.2017

Huffing and puffing, I climbed to the College Green.

I surveyed the empty seats waiting for the graduation crowds and selected some for the rest of my family.

We were coming from mainly the North East, the exception being my dear Aunt who traveled from Barbados for this happy event.

 

Cog Train on Mount Washington 5.27.2017

To the Top: Mt. Washington Cog Railway

Mount Washington, N.H., is 6,288 feet above sea level.  It is the highest peak in North Eastern United States.

The top of the mountain has the worst and most erratic weather due to the confluence of storms from the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Northwest regions.

NH Mountain Fog 5.27.2017

NH Mountain Fog 5.27.2017

Our bus climbed through the drizzle towards the Mt. Washington Cog Railway’s base camp.  I wondered whether we would see anything at the summit through the rain clouds.

Cog Trains at Base Camp 5.27.2017

Cog Trains at Base Camp 5.27.2017

The four-hour trip from Boston, arranged by Mystic Valley Railroad Society, promised fabulous views if the weather cooperated.  The rain did stop eventually.  The sun struggled to come out from behind heavy clouds in the morning.

We disembarked from the bus, ate a delicious hot lunch in the visitor’s center then, viewed the Cog train exhibits.

Excitedly, we watched the colorful trains ascend and descend along the steep railway tracks up the mountain while waiting for our scheduled boarding time.

The Boston group boarded at 3 pm.  We were delighted with the train conductor’s announcement that the clouds had disappeared at the summit.

Cog Train Climbing Mount Washington 5.27.2017

Cog Train Climbing Mount Washington 5.27.2017

Spectacular views awaited us when the Cog arrived at the top an hour later.

As the train climbed higher and higher, the track angle increased substantially.  Tall pine trees gave way to smaller ones, then low brushes and a rocky, alpine landscape.

Finally, the train arrived at the summit and we were surrounded by magnificent mountain and valley vistas!

Mount Washington Summit 5.27.2017

Mount Washington Summit 5.27.2017

Thinking about an Origami design related to mountain tops, I decided to fold a Spinning Top.

Here is the colorful modular action Origami model which is quite easy to fold.

Use different colored papers to give the spinning top a really cool appearance.

Origami Spinning Top 5.27.2017

Origami Spinning Top 5.27.2017

 

The purple and white paper provide the base of the model and the blue paper, the central ring.

Then, the green paper is folded into a point at the top and slides into the blue paper.

Grasp the top, give it a twirl and watch the colors spin around.

Dahlia 5.27.2017

Flowers, flowers everywhere!

Hurrah, summer is around the corner and flowers are blooming everywhere in Cambridge and Boston!  Spring was so brief…a few sunny days and lots of rain.

Dahlia 5.27.2017

Dahlia 5.27.2017

This Origami Dahlia required a lot of squash folds and even cutting of the paper to round out the design at the beginning.

Origami serves as a mood elevator, just like music.  But, I have neglected it for the past couple of weeks.

Every time I fold, I have better concentration, become more focused and aware.  Shapes and colors pop out all around me.   It is truly amazing.

Here are some lovely flowers seen on my way to work.  I promise myself to return to folding on a more regular basis.

Praying Mantis 5.13.2017

Praying Mantis – an Odd Looking Insect

I remember seeing a Praying Mantis in my mother’s garden in Barbados, West Indies, when I was a child.

The long slender insects with bulging eyes and front legs as if in prayer ate nuisance insects so adults told us to leave them alone.

Praying Mantis 5.13.2017

Praying Mantis 5.13.2017

Were they green, like this Origami Mantis, or light brown?  I’m not sure.

As children, we were fascinated by stories of how the female Praying Mantis would bite off the head of the male after mating.

The Origami model here is made from two sheets of paper.

The two models are folded independently but exactly the same.  Then, each model was modified; one to form the upper body and the other, the lower body.

It is quite neat how the bottom half of the insect slips under the folds of the upper half.  You can see this fold above the lower legs.