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A Wake-Up Call: The Re-Enactment of the Battle of Lexington

April 29, 2009 by · Comments Off on A Wake-Up Call: The Re-Enactment of the Battle of Lexington 

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Redcoats fire their muskets

One lantern in Old North Church meant that the British were marching on land.  Paul Revere galloped on horseback from Boston to Lexington. He spread the alarm, awakening every house along the road.

I was warned to awaken by the alarm on my cell phone. I knew, “The British were coming, get down to the town green.”  And by the time I arrived at 5:00 AM, a huge crowd had gathered.

In Massachusetts, The Battle of Lexington is re-enacted yearly on Patriot’s Day, on the very ground were it first took place in 1775. From the actions on that field the Revolutionary War began.

Today locals participate in costume, some taking on the role of  anarchists or members of the British regiment.  Many children also dress in colonial garb. They stay with their mothers, running onto the battle field after the conflict to tend the wounded, while other young lads beat drums in the corps.

The battle has been staged for 38 years to honor those who fought for our freedom. The scene is solemn, the crowd is hushed and the participants act with pride. The pre-dawn ceremonies begin with an announcer recounting the story of April 19, 1775, the fateful day of “the shot heard round the world .”

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The British Regiment

The actual fight was very brief; the colonists were confused and lacked leadership. The British regiment marched in unison, their lobster red coats piercing the early morning fog.

No one knows who fired the first shot, but after it was heard, mayhem broke out on the green and the local militia retreated. They were defeated in the skirmish, fell back and regrouped.

In 1775, many colonists traveled to nearby Concord to join other rebels. There they surprised and over powered the British. All day, they attacked the troops along what is now called Battle Road .

As I watched from the back of the crowd, the young children around me gasped at the face to face combat and rifle smoke. The teens were drawn into eye witnessing living history.  But, I was awestruck by the bravery of the fighting men.  The courage and bravado these first Americans showed was immense; they truly were passionate in their beliefs.

The crowd of thousands, present at the early hour, bespoke of their reverence for the day. I viewed the event as a wake up call, one that left me with a clearer understanding of Patriot’s Day and the debt we owe our forefathers.

The Boston area offers a variety of activities on this holiday weekend:  the annual Boston marathon, Red Sox games, the re-enactment of Paul Revere’s ride and the battles at Lexington and Concord. However, the small town of Lexington (population 30,000) deserves to be especially proud of the dignity preserved during their event. The re-enactment at dawn runs on time, remaining faithful to history. I was humbled and honored to stand on sacred ground.

Meeting the volunteer actors

Meeting the volunteer actors after the battle


Boston on Dwellable

A New Grandson brings Mimi Back to the Future

April 23, 2009 by · 4 Comments 

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Little Jonah

I  wasn’t traveling the full 1.21 jigga-watt speed required to jettison me Back to the Future, but fast enough to lose a season.

Florida was warm and sunny, in full-foliage springtime bloom when I left.  I landed in Boston ‘s cold, bleak and leafless-tree winter. However, I grasped the future in my arms, picking up my newborn grandson, his script yet to be written.

I focused on my grown daughter Abby, a new Mom, beaming with love at her first baby. Thirty years replayed in my mind; the entire generation gone at mach speed.

In the movie, Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox ‘s character arrives in the past, surrounded by people wearing vintage clothing; retro hair styles, eating 50’s food and speaking outdated slang.

Mimi finds herself befuddled by new and improved objects-at least those for baby care: musical vibrating bassinets, diaper genies, crib video monitors and car seats that cleverly snap into strollers .  There must be twenty styles of binkies and bottles.

Luckily, infants remain unchanged. They still need midnight and three A.M. feedings, stacks of diapers, doll-sized outfits and baby shampoo, the kind that smells powdery sweet. But, oh my, nothing beats the bliss of cuddling a new babe.

Forget sending me back to the future, blast me forward.  I’d like to stick around (in good health) to see my grandchildren grow.

Little Jonah, welcome to your world.  May you wander through life under sunny, non-turbulent skies, at whatever travel speed you desire.

Debi loves her Ultra-Light 4-Wheeled Luggage

April 15, 2009 by · Comments Off on Debi loves her Ultra-Light 4-Wheeled Luggage 

Heys Luggage

The Heys Ultra-Light 4-Wheeled Spinner Luggage

I wanted a new suitcase with spinner wheels; a bag with four wheels that can slide sideways, as well as be pushed or pulled.  I also wanted one as lightweight as possible.

Lo and behold, when I popped into T.J. Maxx one day (not looking for luggage), I found this amazing silver bag.   The piece lifted like a feather, much lighter than the others on display.  The exterior was sleek, made from polycarbonate; a hard sided plastic but somewhat flexible.  And the thing was even expandable with a divider and straps on the inside to keep your stuff from falling out.  Best of all, the price was low, only $70.

So, even though I didn’t recognize the manufacturer, I bought the Heys .  I figured I could search the Internet and compare quality, prices and ratings.  I could even return it, if necessary.

Here is what I discovered:

“The World’s Lightest Spinner Luggage” The HEYS USA 4WD is a 4-wheel Spinner luggage that is made from a Polycarbonate composite and uses Japanese made wheels. Polycarbonate is the same material used in the making of Bullet-proof glass. It is both durable and flexible so that when under stress, it flexes to absorb the impact and then afterwards flexes back to its original shape. Another great feature …is its expandability, one of the few hard-sided luggage that can expand for up to 25% more space.”

After reading that and other reviews, I kept the valise and have used it five times.  My conclusion: “Best luggage I’ve ever had, I’m crazy about it.”  The piece rolls easily; even my grandson can slide it sideways.  Max, as I named it, came through baggage claim unharmed and being silver colored, was easy to pick out, compared to those searching through the black suitcases.

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Heys Ultra-Lite Luggage

Target, Costco, JC Penny, E-bags and many other online stores carry the Heys line.  The ultra-lights also come in black, blue and red.

Debi gives her new luggage a max 5-star over-all rating at a mini 3 star price.

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