Friday, July 15, 2011

Poem for Friday, Chatham Manor, HP Day

on escaping your toils
By Nic Sebastian

of all things
I would be a church bell

I would be cast in bronze
and copper and tuned

for tenor I would be hung high
inside a church tower

and the seasons would march
over the land

under my indifferent eye
and I would not notice the fuss

of nesting swallows in the belfry
or lovers and murderers

enacting old stories
in my ringing chamber

I would hang high and be tuned for tenor
to ring birth death danger

and love
quite indifferently


From Sebastian's blog Dark and Like a Web (to which I was led by The Velveteen Rabbi).

I had to take my kids to the dermatologist again in the morning for second treatments on their feet, which needless to say they were not thrilled about. Then I dragged them to Kohl's, which is having a sale on bedding and had a comforter set that fit son's requirement for a dorm room, namely: mostly black (Bed, Bath & Beyond has several lovely rainbow colored sets that made him roll his eyes and Macy's didn't have extra long sheets in stock). When we came home, I watched the animated Star Trek episode "The Slaver Weapon" and wrote 9/10 of my review since I have a very busy day on Friday. I knew Larry Niven had written it and couldn't remember why I hadn't watched it in, oh, 30 years. Now that I have been reminded that Kzinti consider women sub-sapient and kill girl babies who show signs of intelligence, I remember. Ugh.

Paul decided that we needed to celebrate Bastille Day in style, so he made ratatouille and coq au vin (actually tofu au vin, I'm sure the Parisians at that on the eve of the Revolution too). Then we watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which doesn't have nearly enough Snape in it -- okay, I feel that way about all the movies -- but makes up for that by changing some things I really hate in the book, like Dumbledore freezing Harry in place on the Astronomy Tower and Tonks turning from an Auror into a lox over Remus -- actually, I feel that way about all the movies too. I am seeing The Grand Finale on Friday with Gblvr, then again in IMAX 3-D on Sunday with my family and Dementordelta, and I am really looking forward to both these events...perhaps later I will be overwhelmed by grief and nostalgia, but I'm not one of those people falling apart because it's over. If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that there's always another fandom, and often I imagine the grand finale better than it turns out to be.

This is Chatham Manor in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

It was built within sight of Fredericksburg by William Fitzhugh, named for William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham...

...and had a dairy, a fish hatchery, a race track for horses, and more than a hundred slaves working on the property.

After a slave revolt, the house was sold.

This tree was standing during the Civil War, when the Union captured the property and used it as a hospital and communications center.

This chair belonged to the Lacy family, which owned the mansion during the Civil War.

Later owners put in extensive English gardens.

Here is Adam sitting on the wall overlooking the river and, across it, the city of Fredericksburg.

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