Sunday, September 30, 2007

Birthday Party with 19th Century Boston Writers

Today's my birthday, but we celebrated yesterday by taking the Literary Landmarks Walking Tour with Boston By Foot. We met our guide, Tim, in front of Borders, which faces the Old Corner Bookstore, where William D. Ticknor and James T. Fields had the publishing house that launched American Literature in the mid 19th Century. From this bookstore, Boston became known as "The Hub of the Universe."

Naturally, I can't write about every point on the tour, but I was fascinated by the Boston Athenaeum, one of the first independent libraries in the United States. In the 19th Century, it also served as an art museum, so it combines three of my great passions--Literature, History and Art. My heart definitely went pitty-pat!

But the heart of the tour settled in the Pinckney Street side of Louisburg Square, which is decidedly not wheelchair friendly. I managed it so well, however, that I can't wait to tell my neurologist how wonderfully my new dosage of Baclofen works!

First, we stopped by the home in which Henry David Thoreau spent his first two years of life. It's a far cry from Walden Pond, I suspect, making Concord another spot on my "places to visit" list. I also need to read some works by Thoreau, Whitman and Emerson this winter, since the "evil white stuff" will keep me and John out of Boston.

Following Thoreau's house, Tim nervously warned me not to get too excited. We approached the home at which, during her early twenties, Louisa May Alcott lived. The marker on the side of the house erroneously claims she lived there as a small child, which isn't so. I'm currently reading Little Women (again), so I thrilled to hear that, because it was the first book to portray the life of 19th Century American women, it has a significant place in American Literature.

I also enjoyed seeing Nathaniel Hawthorne's Boston home, and will close with that pretty image.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Summer was gloriously busy with more trips to Boston than I could possibly chronicle on my blog. I had some days at home when typing was effortless, so I did my best to write individual emails to friends and relatives when I could. Alas, I can't find a comfortable position for my keyboard. I've pretty much concluded that Spaulding Rehab did a poor job in the ergonomics of my wheelchair's seating system, causing my increased difficulties in both typing and driving.

But...I'll work with what God gives me, and be thankful for His provision. In studying Matthew 25:14-30 (the parable of the talents) this week, I've been challenged to capitalize on the abilities He gives me, but also comforted by the assurance that He's now giving me less typing abilities than He did when I was younger (and had wheelchairs that held my back upright). Not that my increased limitations excuse me from serving the Lord altogether! I just need to do so differently than I have in the past.

I'm not sure what my vehicle of serving Christ is, other than being the wife He wants me to be for John, but the Holy Spirit will be faithful to present opportunities. My prayer is that He'll help me recognize those opportunities.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Artist as Subject Matter

Almost a month ago, we celebrated John's birthday by wheeling from the Fenway area (of Boston) to Back Bay. In the process, we stumbled upon the Richard D Parker Memorial Victory Gardens. At the beginning of the gardens, we saw an artist painting pictures of the flowers, so we chatted a bit with him and John photographed him. I've been experimenting with the photo in my Paint Shop Pro program, so here are three treatments of the subject matter. Hope you'll enjoy the results!


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