Happy Wednesday! Just one week left in August. Quick, jump on a plane, fly to Florida and make the most of this final week of summer. That’s exactly what we should do. Of course, it’ll be hot as blazes, but for us New Englanders, it will be bliss, well maybe not with Hurricane Irene on the horizon. We’re just not ready for autumn yet.
The Leaves They Are a-Fallin’
What were those things I saw lying on my deck yesterday? Leaves? Really!? Maple leaves?? Could they be falling already??? Say it isn’t so! The other day, though, as I strolled through , that’s exactly what I saw — the robust autumn colors of red, orange and gold — the first hint that the new season will be here soon enough.
Sadly, my son will miss the foliage this year. Well, I should say, he won’t be here for the foliage, as somehow I suspect he won’t miss it at all. We’re off to Florida! Yes, as I hinted above, while you are reading this column, my son and I are en route to the part of Florida Irene is supposed to miss. My son will attend the University of Tampa. The school came highly recommended by his friends, neighbors and mentors, Jake and Sydney LeVan, who also attended and now call Tampa home.
My parents also live in Florida, and for a long time, whenever the weather up north is cold and miserable, my father makes sure to call me while he’s floating in his pool to ask how the weather is in New England and to inform us how lovely the weather is where he is. He even called once during a blizzard here to tell me he was sitting at a street-side café in sunny Barcelona, enjoying a cup of coffee, watching a juggler, some tourists and even an artist paint a picture of the Mediterranean Sea. "You know, Maureen, I don't think I see a flake of snow anywhere."
I wonder if my son will start doing the same. “Hi, Mom, I’m glad I’m here where it’s nice and warm, and not there where I have to shovel snow.” Well, if he does, the bright side is that at least he’ll be calling. In the meantime, I will enjoy the forthcoming foliage while finding someone to shovel me out this winter.
Catch the MinuteMen This Weekend
It being midweek, you may already be wondering how to spend this weekend. Our friends at Minute Man National Historical Park have once again come to the rescue. This Saturday, Aug. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the park will host the Lexington MinuteMen. The day will be filled with historical reenactments, such as drills, demonstrations and muskets firing.
The exhibition also highlights a very significant event in our nation’s history. According to Lou Sideris, Chief of Planning and Communications at the park, “On the morning of April 19, 1775, Captain John Parker's Lexington militia company gathered on the Town Common upon receiving news that a British Army was approaching, and waited nervously. They would be remembered in history as the first militia company to exchange fire with the British Regulars, and to suffer the first casualties of the American Revolution. Since that time, the Town of Lexington and the nation have continued to honor the courage of those men. The Lexington MinuteMen carry on that tradition of public service and remembrance.”
These programs are always impressive, whether it is your first visit or your twentieth. I find it more impressive that the reenactors are volunteers and pay for their own props and costumes. Everything they wear and use at these re-enactments must meet the strict regulations of authenticity. For example, a volunteer must not wear Nike sneakers, just because they are comfortable. Instead, the shoes must be the style of the Colonial period, which can be purchased through specialty vendors.
The event takes place at the Hartwell Tavern Historic Area in Minute Man National Historical Park, just a short walk from the parking area on Route 2A in Lincoln. Admission is free. For more information, call 978-318-7825 or visit www.nps.gov/mima. I will still be in Florida, but I hope you are able to attend and have a wonderful time. Let’s hope the weather holds up.
River Guides Available at No Charge
Earlier this month, Patch editor Chris Tanguay posted news of the , a guide down the historic and scenic Concord River. The map, the first of its kind for the river, was produced with the support of the Rotary Clubs of Concord, Bedford and Billerica, as well as Rotary International, OARS, and the SuAsCo River Stewardship Council. The map is available online or in print. The good news is that the print version is now available at the Concord Visitor Center. Fortunately, one need not be a visitor to Concord to receive a free map. All you have to do is stop by and ask for one. Isn’t that great?!
The Concord Visitor Center, located at 58 Main St., is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of October. It is operated by the Chamber of Commerce, which always promotes the benefits of our fair city. I suggest you stop by and pick up a map. Even if you’re not one who rushes to go kayaking, who knows? Perhaps you will have some out-of-town guests, eager to paddle our waterways. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to hand them a map, so they can explore the area, and more importantly, find their way back?
Many thanks to Jim McGrath for filling me in on this map for a wonderful water tour of Concord.