Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Poem for Wednesday and Riversdale Restoration

Spring Storm
By William Carlos Williams

The sky has given over
its bitterness.
Out of the dark change
all day long
rain falls and falls
as if it would never end.
Still the snow keeps
its hold on the ground.
But water, water
from a thousand runnels!
It collects swiftly,
dappled with black
cuts a way for itself
through green ice in the gutters.
Drop after drop it falls
from the withered grass-stems
of the overhanging embankment.


My kids both had lunch dates -- Daniel with my father, Adam with a friend -- so after a morning where I got lots done while they both slept very late, I called my mother to see whether she wanted to meet me at the mall for frozen yogurt (which she bought me with chocolate covered raisins and almonds, mmm). I had to buy some cards at the Hallmark store (belated anniversary for relatives, congrats on new baby for Adam's girlfriend's parents) but otherwise my biggest point of amusement at the mall was overhearing a conversation in which a girl accused her mother of always going for the jungular, then, when her mother said she hoped the daughter meant jugular, complained that her mother always treats her like she's stupid. I know I should feel badly about these sad family dynamics, but I kept thinking "jungular" and bursting out laughing.

I got home before both kids -- Daniel went to play Wii Bowling with my father and Adam went out to take photos with his new lens -- so I started folding laundry and put on Mr. Popper's Penguins, which is now on HBO though my attempt to record it failed, as our recorder is now destroying more discs than it closes successfully. It's quite silly but I can't imagine how terrible a movie with penguins would have to be for me to dislike it. We had homemade pizza for dinner and watched a PBS special on the War of 1812, which helpfully had quite a bit about the British desire to sack Baltimore since we are going to Baltimore at the end of the week for the Star Spangled Sailabration. Here are some more photos from Riversdale:

This is the nursery classroom at Riversdale; the very literate Rosalie Stier Calvert fired several tutors whose education of her children she felt to be insufficient.

We know that one of her sons was not a great student, for among George Calvert's papers was a letter from a schoolmaster relating their child's poor performance.

Here are two of Calvert's relatives, both titled Lord Baltimore, including the one on the left holding the charter for what became the colony of Maryland.

Cards and decorative items are on display in their daughter's onetime bedroom.

Hattie Carraway, the first woman elected to serve a full term as a United States Senator after she inherited the seat from her husband the term before, lived for a while at Riversdale.

The decorations in the master bedroom are largely reproductions, not originals, but the cover on the armchair in the corner disguises the fact that it was constructed as a chair of ease.

The Calverts had an extensive wine cellar and bottled their own from the barrels her father sent them from Europe.

This stove is in the detached kitchen building with slave quarters above.

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