Our Year in Photos – 2014

Candice and David celebrate their 32nd anniversary in Copenhagen, March 20, 2014As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I continue my tradition of posting family photographs from the past year on More to Come… This was certainly a year in which we had much for which to be thankful.

Both Claire and Andrew studied abroad in 2014, so all four of us had the chance to travel to new places for new experiences. Candice and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary (photo at the top of the post) while the family gathered in Copenhagen to visit Andrew during his studies abroad.  We continued to enjoy good health and marvel that the two of us could remain so young and yet see the twins reach their 21st birthday!  I’m not sure how that happened, but we loved celebrating with them last December as they came home for the Christmas break.

Andrew and Claire's 21st Birthday

Andrew and Claire completed their junior years in college in 2014 and are now almost halfway through their senior year. We have visited both campuses this fall and hope to make it back one more time before their graduations in May.  There is a lot to capture this year – from time with friends, to work and school activities, to family trips, and  more.  Because more and more folks are viewing this blog on smartphones, you can still see the captions by placing  the cursor over the photos, but I’m adding some commentary along the way.

As regular readers know, I love to listen to live music. One of the many musicians I saw this year was a January show with the incredibly talented Claire Lynch at one of the Institute of Musical Traditions Monday night concerts. Candice captured the two of us during the break.

Claire Lynch with DJB

Andrew left in late January for his study abroad semester in Copenhagen. Over the course of the next few months, he visited a variety of European cities, including Milan, Bratislava, and Krakow, where he sent back lots of pictures of architecture, food, and good times with friends.

Andrew in Milan

Andrew and his friend Gracie in Bratislava

Andrew visits Krakow

Andrew in Devin

In March, Claire, Candice and I made our way to Copenhagen for a two-week Scandinavian adventure, taking advantage of Andrew’s time abroad to visit this fascinating place.

Claire and Andrew do the Danish look

Candice and Claire with the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen

Andrew, Candice and David at St. Albans - in Copenhagen!

Our apartment was on the canal in Copenhagen

Claire stayed with us for the first week, but then took her first trip to England, where she saw the sites of London and more with college friends who were in the country.

Claire and Ella at London Bridge, March 2014

Stonehenge

Claire and Susan off to Hogwarts

Claire and Susan in London

While Claire and friends were exploring the English countryside, Andrew, Candice, and I made our way on to Stockholm, where we visited museums and cafes when not simply walking the streets of the old section of the city.

Andrew and Candice in Stockholm March 2014

Cathedral Bell Tower in Stockholm, March 2014

2014 wasn’t all travel and play! I am still working, but it just so happens that a great deal of what I do takes place on the road. I had a stretch in May when I found myself in Detroit, Texas, and Hawaii in the span of less than a week. In fact, from the middle of May to the middle of June I traveled to Detroit, Texas, Honolulu, Chicago and Plano (twice), Seattle, Louisville, New York City (twice), and Hot Springs, South Dakota. I am privileged to get to work on, and visit, incredible places. The opportunity to take a private tour of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor on Memorial Day Weekend was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. Of course, I occasionally do sillier things as well, such as take my first selfie at Mount Rushmore…which a colleague caught on camera.

DJB during an interview on Hawaii Public Radio

U.S.S. Arizona in Pearl Harbor on Memorial Day Weekend

Taking my first selfie at Mount Rushmore

In June, Claire left for six weeks study in Vienna.  She had a wonderful time studying Psychology and German and exploring central Europe.

Vienna, June 2014

Claire living large in a Vienna cafe

Andrew was home for an internship all summer and we loved having him with us. In June, he joined Candice and me at one of our favorite events, the Farm Dinner at Woodlawn to support Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture. It was a time of great food and fun for a very worthwhile cause.

Arcadia Farm Field Dinner June 2014

Arcadia Farm Dinner June 2014

Claire returned home on July 4th, so we celebrated with an appropriate patriotic meal. Candice and I then headed to West Virginia to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of our dear friends, Katherine and Madison Brown, which also coincided with Madison’s 80th birthday. Katherine is Claire’s godmother, and it was great to be in Parkersburg to celebrate with them.

Claire's American Homecoming July 4th, 2014

Brown's 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration - July 5, 2014

Claire’s summer on the road continued in July and August, as she first flew with Candice to Florida to see Grandmother Colando and the rest of Candice’s family. While there, they all enjoyed a Caribbean cruise.

Caribbean Cruise

Claire learns how to navigate a casino...from her grandmother

Claire enjoying the cruise

Claire and Candice returned home just in time for Claire to pack for the cross-country car trip with me that we dubbed the Not All Who Wander Are Lost Tour.

California or Bust

Bean Selfie Chicago

Claire with Aunt Susan and Zoe

Kyra and Claire in the Big Chair

Taliesin with Claire

With Liz and Dave at the Twins game 08 05 14

Twine Ball City Limits Sign

Twine Ball and Claire

North Dakota Sunflowers

Claire and DJB at Glacier

Claire by the St. Mary Waterfall

Wallace, Idaho and the Smokehouse Saloon

Bruce and Shari Shull with Claire and DJB

Designated photographer

With Willie at ATT Park

Lunch in Claremont with Claire

While Claire and I were traveling cross-country, Candice and Andrew were exploring Washington on their bicycles, including a fun ride one day down to the Navy Yard to check out a new restaurant.

Candice and Andrew at the Navy Yard

September, October, and November were months of baseball pennant races, more work travel for me (including a quick but enjoyable trip to Galicia, Spain), dinners with friends (and their dogs!) and trips to visit Andrew and Claire at college.

Galicia Meal with INTO Ex Comm

The dome over the pool at Mondariza

Section 313 Cheer

Office Bobble heads and Banner

Candice enjoys some puppy love

Brown University Chorus

Candice and Andrew at WaterFire

Claire won’t be with us this Thanksgiving, but you can see that she and her good friend Jason are in the…ahem…spirit.

Claire and Jason prepare the turkey

I can’t think of a nicer way to end our yearly review than with pictures of Candice and me with our two wonderful children from our recent campus visits – with Andrew at Providence’s WaterFire and with Claire during a night out with friends in the charming Claremont Village. We are so blessed.

Candice, Andrew and David at WaterFire in Providence October 25, 2014

Candice and DJB with Claire in Claremont, October 2014

As we enter this holiday season, Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours.

More to come…

DJB

They Can Do This With Their Eyes Closed

Mike Katz of the Battlefield BandMonday evening’s Institute of Musical Traditions concert featured the Scottish folk music institution Battlefield Band playing to an enthusiastic full house.  From the first notes from Mike Katz’s Highland pipes to the last notes of the encore, this thoroughly entertaining and professional group took the crowd on a delightful tour of traditional and contemporary Scottish folk music.

Battlefield Band has gone through a variety of personnel changes over the 40 years since the group was formed. Besides the bearded multi-instrumentalist Katz, the core of the current band features fiddler Alasdair White (who has been with the band since 2001, when he was 18 years old), and vocalist/guitarist Sean O’Donnell.

The band ripped through a strong first half which concluded with a “big set” of tunes featuring the pipes and twin fiddles. Then Katz came out solo to begin the second half, mesmerizing the crowd with the haunting sound of the pipes before being joined by his band mates.

Then, as O’Donnell began singing a song about bagpipes, everything went dark. As in, the power went out.  No lights (except for the church hall’s emergency lighting), no sound system, nothing. And we soon learned that the power was out all along Old Georgetown Pike.

The band missed a beat for about 15 seconds, then Katz begin playing the pipes from the stage (he never used the sound system in any event), and the other members of the band began wandering through the crowd.  Smartphone lights came on to provide lighting for the strolling musicians.  And the magic began, as first a fiddle would pass by, then perhaps the guitar, then a tenor guitar, and back again.  If you closed your eyes, you heard different lines rise and fall as the musicians walked past different sections of the hall.

This continued for at least 10 minutes, and then the lights returned. But the band stood at the front of the stage and played “acoustic music” for a while longer, perhaps captured by the magic they had just conjured up.

Battlefield Band

Live music is wonderful because of special, unexpected delights. This would have been a terrific concert without the power outage.  With it, the evening became magical.

Enjoy Eight Men of Moidart from a recent Battlefield Band concert.

More to come…

DJB

Exploring Savannah’s Gem of a Cathedral

Lafayette Square in SavannahA week would generally be enough time to explore large sections of a city the size of Savannah, Georgia. Time to linger among the live oaks and Spanish moss in the historic squares, eat at the growing list of restaurants, visit the museums, and share stories with friends and strangers in the coffee shops and bars scattered throughout the downtown.

Plenty of time…unless one has a conference to run.

Well, run is actually much too strong a word.  While technically responsible for ensuring that last week’s PastForward 2014 – the National Preservation Conference went off without a hitch, there are many staff members who carry a far heavier load as we worked to reach that goal.  Much of my oversight actually took place over the past 18 months.  Once the week of the conference comes, I just “enjoy the field trip” as Candice – the former elementary school teacher – says at times like these.  At the conference, I often have my day structured by others: be here to welcome this group, then go there to say thank you to the folks who made it all possible, to be followed by a pre-arranged dinner with colleagues and partners.

But it all means that I had  precious little time to really explore Savannah.  That is just the nature of my job, and I am not complaining, as I get to see and experience so many wonderful places.  Candice – who was traveling with me to the conference – took a half-day bicycle tour of the city among other jaunts and still had time for 6-7 of the conference presentations.  Me? I was able to catch glimpses of the city while traveling between sessions and meetings.

So when I found myself with 90 minutes on Friday afternoon, between the closing luncheon and a scheduled tour of historic homes, I decided to stretch my legs and visit the church whose two spires were visible every time I opened the drapes in our hotel room.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The Spires of St. John the Baptist Cathedral

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a gem of a building in the historic district and the mother church of the Savannah Roman Catholic Diocese.  It sits on Lafayette Square, and the outside of the building dates from the late 19th century.

The inside was rebuilt following an 1898 fire, and the results are beautiful.

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Interior

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist - Organ

I’ve visited Savannah on multiple occasions since the 1980s, but have somehow missed seeing the interior of this gem of a cathedral.  Earlier in the day, I had the chance to listen to my colleague and friend Tom Mayes speak to a full house about the place of beauty in preservation.  His blog post on the topic is a highly recommended and wonderful read that includes the following:

President Kennedy said, “I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty, which will protect the beauty of our natural environment, which will preserve the great old American houses and squares and parks of our National past, and which will build handsome and balanced cities for our future.”

I’ll take it as a bit of grace that 90 minutes popped open on a very busy schedule during this trip to allow for reflection about the beauty of this space and the beauty of the world I get to work in every day.

More to come.

DJB

Family, Friends, Food (Or How Candice and I Spent a Wonderful Weekend With Our Daughter)

Candice and DJB with ClaireFor the second weekend in a row, we’ve enjoyed time at college with one of the twins and are the richer for the experience.

I had appointments that took me to Los Angeles for two days late last week. Candice joined me so that as work wrapped up, we could take the short drive east to Claremont for a visit with Claire and her friends.

Claire’s friends are much like her – sharp, inquisitive, interested in others, outgoing, and easy to be around. When we arrived on Friday evening, we stopped by Claire’s senior dorm suite and then headed to The Junction for an evening of small plates, laughter, and conversation with her suite-mates.

These three young women all come from the west coast (California and Oregon) and have bonded over swimming, academics, and their shared optimism for life. We have known two of these young ladies for three years now, and have enjoyed getting to know the third over the course of this year. They all seem to be taking in everything the college experience has to offer.

Calire and her suitemates

The Pomona-Pitzer Swim & Dive team hosted a relay invitational on Saturday afternoon…which arrived with some of the first meaningful rain in Southern California in ages and cool temperatures that felt much more like Providence – where we were last week – than a typical fall weekend in Claremont.

PP Swim MeetBut Claire and the rest of the Sagehens took it all in stride. This was their season opening swim meet and we had a blast watching the team, which has grown progressively stronger during Claire’s four years. Like most of her teammates, she swam in multiple relays – even competing in her first breaststroke in some time. We may not be able to see another of Claire’s college swim meets live before she graduates, so even in the dampness and cold, we savored every minute.

Claire with friends at Bardot

Later that evening we joined Claire and three friends who bonded early in their freshman year for a time of family updates, laughter, post-graduate plans, and good food. All four had been away from Pomona during portions of their junior year, and it was clear they were enjoying being back together on a regular basis.

Sunday – with the extra hour of sleep – was just what we needed.  The weather was perfect – more like we expect when we travel to California. After a slow rise and some exercise, we met Claire downtown at the wonderful Claremont Farmers Market, where we filled up bags with cheese, nuts, and fruits for her suite.  Then we met another group of friends for brunch in the dining hall, with yet another set of lively conversations.

As we dropped Claire off tonight after a tapas dinner in the village, I thought of the last time we parted in front of Pomona Hall. This time there were no tears, just hugs, kisses and thankfulness for time spent with such a wonderful group of friends.

Thank you, Sweetheart, for the terrific weekend.

More to come…

DJB

The “Not All Who Wander Are Lost Tour” Lives On!

Claire and DJB with MapRegular readers will recall those intrepid travelers – Claire and David – making their way cross-country in August on what I dubbed the “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” tour. For twenty days, father and daughter crossed this great land, all the while keeping readers of More to Come… updated on our travels with daily posts, photos, and stories. It was a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list adventure for both of us.

So you can imagine my delight when Claire told us a few weeks ago that she had placed a map of the US on the wall in her dorm room, with the route outlined and photos from the trip displayed along the way.

Old school wall posting.  Oh my…do I love that daughter of mine!

The first thing I did when Candice and I walked into Claire’s dorm room on this late October/early November “she’s not coming home for Thanksgiving so we’re going out to see her” visit, was to go and see THE MAP.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

Tour Map Overview

Just look at that beauty.  Twenty days of memories captured in one place, with the route marked and pictures pointing to the places we had visited along the way.

As Andrew and Claire were growing up, we had a map of the world on our downstairs wall.  We encouraged friends who were traveling to send us postcards from far away places. When the postcards arrived, we would post them on the wall and attach yarn to the back, which then stretched to a pin located in the appropriate city or country.  It was a great way to learn world geography (we have a lot of friends who travel extensively) and it stayed up until we painted the house sometime in high school.

Eastern portion of the tour

Claire used that map as her inspiration.  She shows us at the beginning of the trip – with the picture by the rental car outside our house on the morning of August 1st – and then heading up to Cleveland (first of three baseball stadium pictures) and Chicago. Our You Want Nutrition, Eat Carrots! day in Madison is captured as well, with that delicious ice cream cone photo.  (That was the top-rated post from the trip, BTW.)

Central Time edition map

Here you can see Claire’s part of the map I dubbed the Central Time Edition in one of several Observations from the Road.  Seeing the world’s largest ball of twine rolled by one person, our second baseball stadium (Target Field in Minneapolis), and fields of sunflowers were among the highlights.

Western tour

End of the road map

The last two portions highlight the western and coastal route of the trip, along with our arrival in Claremont.  I’m not going to say much about these photos or I’ll start crying again, but you can get a sense of my gratefulness for this trip in The Thankfulness Edition of Observations From the Road.  Candice, Claire, and I are going out to dinner on Sunday evening at the same restaurant where I wrote that final post…and had to put on sunglasses so that the waitress wouldn’t call the manager because of my tears. Sunday should be much more joyful!

What father wouldn’t want to come into his daughter’s dorm room and see their special time together posted in such a wonderful way on the wall.

She is one in a million.

More to come…

DJB

Music of Water + Fire

College Hill in Providence, October 2014Saturday evening’s WaterFire Providence – an award-winning sculpture installation featuring 100 blazing bonfires floating atop the water of Providence’s rivers – was capped with a terrific Brown University Chorus concert of Water and Fire-theme music. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful fall Saturday of activities during the university’s family weekend.

After a late-night Friday dinner at Gracie’s (if you go to Providence you must eat at Gracie’s, and then have breakfast at Ellie’s, the restaurant’s partner bakery), we slept in a bit on Saturday but made it up in time for a fascinating lecture as part of the Family Weekend Forums.  Professor of Medicine Richard Besdine spoke on Fit at 50, Sexy at 70, Nimble at 90:  The Fundamentals of Healthy Aging to a room full of parents who looked a great deal like us!  (He added the “Nimble at 90″ part of the title on the fly, and noted that our children’s granddaughters – Andrew and Claire’s granddaughters – would have a life expectancy of 100.) While there wasn’t anything we hadn’t heard before, Dr. Besdine did present some sobering data about health care and healthy living in the U.S.

But he did it all with a dry sense of humor…as typified in cartoon caption that read,

What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?

But I’m here to talk about music…not successful aging.

Brown University Chorus

The Brown University Chorus is a group of highly talented musicians under the able direction of Frederick Jodry. Andrew is one of the tenors, and we’ve enjoyed getting to know Fred a bit and hearing the chorus whenever possible. Saturday evening, the program consisted of five Songs of Water along with six Firesongs based on Italian Renaissance texts by the contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen, all wrapped up with Thomas Morley’s Fyer, Fyer.   Among the water songs, the Robert Pearsall Full fathom five and Victoria’s Super flumina Babylonis (Psalm 137 – By the waters of Babylon) were wonderful. Candice was over-the-top excited to see that the chorus was singing one of her  favorite pieces, The Water is Wide (in the John Rutter arrangement entitled O, waly, waly.)

The firesong madrigals were terrific, as the fire that was featured was that wonderful Italian fire of love.

Eyes bright and clear,

You set me on fire, you, but my heart feels

Delight in the blazing fire, not pain.

Following the concert, Andrew, Candice, and I strolled along the riverside for more than hour, enjoying the sights, sounds, and people of WaterFire.

Candice, Andrew and David at WaterFire in Providence October 25, 2014

Candice and David at WaterFire

WaterFire in Providence

Candice and Andrew at WaterFire

Not content with two evenings of wonderful music (having attended the Brown Madrigals concert on Friday evening…more on that later), we made the decision to attend Central Congregational Church on Sunday morning in order to hear the Gloria by French composer Francis  Poulenc. It was wonderful – ranging from “exuberant to haunting and introspective” as described in the program notes.  The final Amen was such a delicious ending that the soloist (a Brown voice teacher) and choir sang it at the end of the Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris and then again – as a final coda – following the Benediction.

Amen!

More to come…

DJB

Beer and Bluegrass

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen

Beer and bluegrass.  Betcha never thought of that combination before.

Yeah, right.

At a festival that took “parking lot picking” to its logical conclusion (i.e., it was held in a parking lot next to the Clarendon Courthouse Metro Station), Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen rode to the rescue when the organizers of the Clarendon Arts & Crafts Beer Festival’s Acoustic Music tent were struggling with a bad sound system and horrible logistics (the sets were almost an hour late in starting). When the Dirty Kitchen band finally began their set  in the tent’s lengthening shadows, we were only ten minutes away from the festival’s posted closing hour.

Somehow, with six Virginia Craft Brewers and about a dozen local food trucks to choose from, it didn’t seem to matter!

Christie LeneeThe artist who was really shortchanged in the logistical and sound mess was Christie Lenee.

This finger-style guitar tapper was new to me, but she has obviously been making waves in the acoustic music world for a while. Her inventive sound reminded me of Michael Hedges, but she clearly has taken a range of influences and made them her own.

She began with the beautiful Breath of Spring from a new all-instrumental CD entitled Chasing Infinity.  Four tunes later, she had to call it a night to make way for the headliners.  It was much too short, but enough to whet the appetite for more.

Take the time to listen to her studio version of Breath of Spring:

After Lenee’s too-brief set, mandolinist Solivan and his band – fresh from winning the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Instrumental Band of the Year award – tore into those bluegrass standards The Letter and Ain’t No Sunshine. Banjoist Mike Mumford’s Line Drive gave him room to stretch out, and the entire band showed their considerable chops on a tune I requested of Frank before the show – Tony Rice’s Is That So. Chris Luquette on guitar led the way, followed by Solivan on fiddle, Mumford on banjo, and Danny Booth on bass.  Dirty Kitchen didn’t hit too many songs from the new album Cold Spell, but they did showcase She Said She Will. The band played their full hour set and may have kept going, except that the cops were shutting us down.

At the end of the evening, it was a satisfying festival and a very satisfying show by FS&DK.  We’ll go out with the video of She Said She Will (and don’t try and say that three times fast, as WAMU’s Katy Daley finds out at the front of the clip).

Enjoy!

More to come…

DJB

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