Hallowed Halls of Johns Hopkins

Leave a comment

The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. ~ M. Scott Peck, author of Gifts of the Journey, In Search of Stones and The Road Less Traveled

Happy Halloween, everyone. On October 3rd, my cousin Meg Heisse and I witnessed a little hocus-pocus when we attended An Evening of Victorian Magic at Evergreen Mansion and Library, which is a Johns Hopkins University Museum. Since my cousin is a member, we attended a pre-performance reception held in the Asian red room among Chinese and Japanese collectibles. The bartenders stirred up Victorian libations and we saw up close magic tricks by David London. Mind reader indeed, out of a 52 card deck, the magician asked me to select one card and show it to others.  No slight of hand involved, through telepathic transmission he correctly identified the card I had picked. But that was just the start of the delightful evening. The magician had many more magic tricks up his sleeve once the show started and he came to the stage.

There was no need to build a stage for the evening because there is already a Victorian era theatre in the Evergreen Museum. And although there were no upper level seats for celestials to sit as in many Victorian theatres, we were told apparitions are in or about the rooms of the mansion. The theatre, painted by Russian Artist Leon Bakst, was used regularly to entertain the three Garrett boys, who at one time lived there.

The Evergreen Museum and Library was built in 1850 and became home to railroad magnate, John Garrett and his family. He was President of Baltimore and Ohio “B & O” Railroad. A little over one hundred years later, in 1952, the Italianate home from the Guilded Era was donated to Johns Hopkins University and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also in the mansion is a 30,000  volume library with much of which is English Renaissance literature. Paintings by Picasso, DegasModigliani and stained glass by Tiffany, a 23 karat gold plated bathroom all are housed in the structure. In the Asian red room I spied several pieces of Chinoiserie furniture and as I snooped around in the museum gift shop at Evergreen, I saw several beautiful publications about stained glass.

Today, my Halloween treat to our readers is a recipe for soul cakes which traditionally was the offering to others on All Hallows Eve. And here are a few pictures of our evening at Evergreen Museum and Library, too. Look carefully you might see things that fool the eye!

Some time soon I do look forward to returning to the historic Evergreen Museum to take the full tour. This wonderful landmark is only one of the institutions of the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins. Check out the others on their website.

Thank you Meg for inviting me to accompany you for the evening.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.

 

Cultivating Interests

1 Comment

The only real fire to cultivate is the fire inside of you. Nothing external will cultivate it.

Sitting and reading a book of history has never been my cup of tea. But visiting the space where history took place is a different story. It brings an historical era alive.

This summer I revisited a place that I never tire of -Ladew Gardens in “hunt country” of Monkton, Maryland. Home to the first American to create garden rooms, Henry S. Ladew,( 1887 – 1976) his creative garden spirit is still alive. To read more about the life of Henry S Ladew and his stunning gardens, see this publication.

Beautiful topiaries, strategically-placed antique garden hardscape,beautiful ponds and fountains make the place a real sanctuary for gardeners and non-gardeners alike who have a fine appreciation of beautiful spaces in nature. New to the property since my last visit is a butterfly pavilion which is manned by volunteers who explain the process from caterpillar to  chrysalis to hatching of butterflies and their purpose in nature. To read more about this natural phenomenon, visit this article.

IMG_20150908_120524_462

 

The Garden Cafe, Ladew’s residence, art studio and library are open to the public. The spaces are where educational, scientific and cultural pursuits flourish for the public benefit. On Sept 27th at 10pm CNN will feature a story about these historic gardens on Mike Rowe’s show called “Dirty Jobs.”IMG_20150908_114020_578

As a garden enthusiast, my visit to Ladew was as fulfilling as the first time I walked the 22 acres of grounds.

IMG_20150908_113427_260This blog is brought to you by the EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Families in Shipping and Commerce

Leave a comment

“Great people have great values and great ethics.” ~ Jeffrey Gitomer

I recently revisited a National Historic site that I remember from my childhood.  It’s just a couple of miles from where I grew up in Towson, Maryland.

Hampton Mansion, tagged as a “Palace in the Wilderness,” at one time equaled half the area of present day Baltimore. The site tells a story of early settlers, the Ridgely family, prominent Marylander’s who were colonial merchants in iron production, shipping and commerce. Ridgely’s iron was said to be “the most profitable exports in the mid-Atlantic colonies.” Read more about this tale of an industrious family who helped fuel a new nation.

The artifacts, beautiful gardens, parterres and vistas, the Georgian mansion, stables and workers quarters for the indentured servants are all evidence of a powerful businessman, who was said to be “genteel” kept “the best table in America” and was “very kind to his servants”. Written entries in journals evidence the care that was taken make Christmas gift lists for all the domestic help of the estate.

Continue Reading »

A Real Peach of a Community

Leave a comment

We can never get a re-creation of community and heal our society without giving our citizens a sense of belonging.Patch Adams

What makes a great community? As an outsider, I’ve noticed things the 2014 Winner of the Coolest Small Town in America, Berlin, Maryland has in common with Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the town I’ve called home for the past seven years.These elements are what, in my opinion, helps a community to thrive.

  • Cohesion between a strong Main Street Association and the local Council on the Arts
  • People who are forward-thinkers, not afraid of change but respect the past.
  • A strong volunteer base who want to contribute to building a town that others will envy.
  • Leaders who understand the history behind the community and what makes it unique.

Berlin, Maryland “Historically Charming & Artistically Alive & Eternally Young” has been the location site of two movies, which no doubt has helped bring notariety to the community. Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere was filmed there in 1998 and contributed 27.5 million dollars to the local economy. In 2001 Berlin was transformed into a town at the turn of the century with dirt roads, period costumes and horses and carriages for the film Tuck Everlasting. Actors Sissy Spacek, Ben Kingsley and William Hurt starred in the fictional film.

Movie producers as well as the audiences were captivated by the Victorian town center, the tree-lined streets and historic homes and museums in this small town in “Chesapeake Country.”

Want to know more about what makes a great community? Read this article,  and visit the Berlin, Maryland website. Also scroll back to the two previous day’s blogs to see more pictures. Every business in Berlin is worthy of mention on All Things Fulfilling. Due to lack of space, only a small number are featured. Each makes this community a fulfilling destination that reminds us of what it was like to live in charming small town America.

If you are a baby boomer, you’ll appreciate the lyrics of this 1972 song which you’ll probably remember from the crossroads of your life. Listen in as you scroll through these images!

 

Berlin Peach grocery signed

IMG_20150728_094059_091

storefront signed

Berlin house with fan window signed

berlin grey house withflowers signed

Atlantic hotel dining room signed

store door in Berlin autogr

Street &Trees in Berlin signed

old delivery van signed

20150808_112127 Yarn shop 2 Jans signed

 Thanks to my twin sister Jan for the photo contributions to this blog. It was wonderful to have an early celebration of our birthday by painting the town together.

Yarn shop looking out Jans signed

 

Yarn shop 3 inside Jan signed

 

 

Globe Theatre signed

Join me tomorrow as I celebrate a special segment of local artists in the place I’ve resided for the past seven years. They make up in part what is unique about the town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

The Art of Antiquity

Leave a comment

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. ~ Lionel Hampton

Today we will continue our trip down Main Street in Berlin Maryland through images. The biggest treasures you will find in visiting each of the well-organized and well-displayed antiquities stores in the Antiques Capitol of the Eastern Shore on the Chesapeake will be your own recollections and reflections that will be stirred up. Most likely flashbacks will be associated with your childhood if you are a baby boomer.

Besides being The Coolest Small Town in America, Berlin has been the location for several movies. More about that in tomorrow’s blog along with information about why the town has earned a great reputation. We will be discussing some common elements between Berlin, Maryland and the town that I’ve called home for the past seven years, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. These characteristics help a community’s vitality and a community becomes notable for it’s uniqueness.

If you really want to step back in time, listen to the You Tube video as you scroll through these images. Thanks to all the businesses in Berlin who allowed me to take interior photographs. These pictures were captured at the following antique shops: Town Center Antiques, Uptown Antiques, Culver’s Antiques, Stuarts Antiques or Pitts Street Antiques.

IMG_20150728_095842_941 typewriter autogr

IMG_20150728_095523_236 statue pirategirl autog

IMG_20150728_095935_388 antique toys autog

IMG_20150728_095850_861 Gum ball autog

IMG_20150728_100446_025 pin curler autog

IMG_20150728_101438_936 telephone signed

 

antique globes lights signed

 

IMG_20150728_100632_832 ladies with hats autog

 

Amusement ride signed

Rest on Sunday

Hope you had a grand time, and we will see you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling when we finish up this three -part blog series on the community of  Berlin, Maryland.

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Berlin. Maryland, that is.

Leave a comment

Happy Monday! Glad you are with us!

Today, we are taking an on-line road trip to  Berlin, Maryland. Join me over the next few days as we take our journey down memory lane on All Things Fulfilling. America’s Coolest Small Town is indeed “historically charming & artistically alive & eternally young.”  I love this community which is only seven miles from the natural beauty of Assateague National Seashore.

Don’t forget to turn on the modern-day record player by listening to the music from this You Tube audio as you scroll through these images. 

 

IMG_20150728_094713_565 autograph

IMG_20150728_093438_332 bike autogr

 

cupcakes berlin signed

IMG_20150728_094128_471 TaDa autog

IMG_20150728_094502_559 Atlanti 2 autogr

IMG_20150728_110116_608 Church mouse thrift

IMG_20150728_094430_245 Atlanti autogr

IMG_20150728_094913_918 enhanted tearoom autogr

 

IMG_20150728_110523_398 methodit autogr

IMG_20150728_102249_009 hore and buggy autog little

IMG_20150728_094943_369 Bungalow Love autogra

IMG_20150728_102859_380 bakery autogr

IMG_20150728_103155_647 dumpling bakery autog

IMG_20150728_104721_491 interior off main autog

IMG_20150728_110058_836 Bank autogr

 

 

 

blacksmith restaurant signed

 

IMG_20150728_110050_772 red door autog

IMG_20150728_095015_118

IMG_20150728_093536_742

IMG_20150728_093835_289

IMG_20150728_094017_526

 

IMG_20150728_094106_894

IMG_20150728_093958_690

IMG_20150728_093730_149

I wish I could feature an individual story on every business in Berlin because they all contribute to the overall good feelings that I got when I walked the charming streets. Do return tomorrow there will be a myriad of images that will illicit memories from the past. Hopefully the pictures will stir up thoughts of only the good times in your life.

Thi blog is brought to you by the author of the three time award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Salt of the Earth People

Leave a comment

Take note of all the good and beautiful. It is there. Sometimes in the smallest crevices and sometimes boldly standing there.” ~ Lisa Desatnik  http://www.GoodThingsGoingAround.com.

Last week my husband and I were granted what I considered to be a great priviledge. We were given permission to look in on the daily operations of a business that reaps the beauteous bounty of the sea. Nothing goes to waste from the harvest. What does not get processed to feed people, goes toward’s growing crops. The crustacean shells are used for fertilizer.

Lindy’s Seafood, a Mary Ellen Brand, in Woolford, Maryland allowed us to see their business first hand and take photos and video. What an eye-opening and educational experience. We arrived in the wee hours of the morning because the work day takes place from 1am to 9 am on Hooper’s Island a remote place on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake.

Grace, the plant supervisor, described to me what this line of very tedious work means to her 36 crab pickers, who come to the U.S.A. to find a job to support their families in Mexico. Typically women are crab pickers but for the first time ever, this harvest season, there were approximately four or five men among the workers at Lindy’s.

It was evident from my observations, these employees mean business! Picking crabs is treated like an art and the craft is taught to the younger generation when they bring their family members into the fold of working in the seafood industry. Crab picking is very tedious and detail-oriented labor and not for everyone. Grace mentioned the Mexican’s wonderful work ethic and the fact that they are as reliable as the change of seasons. She said they WILL NOT go home until the catch of the day is processed and will work as many hours as need be. She said she nearly has to herd them out the door to take a lunch break, which comes at 6:oo in the morning! They don’t want to stop what they are doing. From I what I gathered from our conversation, finding that kind of dedication and attention to detail from American workers is very difficult.

As they labored, not a word was uttered but Spanish music played in the background, and the fast paced rhythm kept their hands briskly moving.

From my observation, economy of movement in the workers and efficiency of the operation allows the plant to process many bushel baskets of seafood daily. It was a very fulfilling morning observing this group of people who depend on the fruit of the sea for their fulfilling livelihood.

More photos:

IMG_20150730_061154_377 RESIZED and signed

IMG_20150730_060612_801 RESIZED and signed

IMG_20150730_060332_994 RESIZED and sized

My husband and I would like to personally thank Terry Vincent, President of Lindy’s Seafood and his sidekick, his daughter Aubrey for allowing us to see the business operations first hand. And thank you to Grace for providing us with answers to our questions.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her books Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart and Soul.