Today started out as a typical morning...The girls woke up, came downstairs to eat breakfast, and went back up to get ready for the day. I was a little frazzled as I was trying to get things ready for the impending field trip of which I was going to be in charge. I was standing at the bottom of the stairs, and looking up, saw Matt in one of the bedrooms talking to a couple girls. He said, " It smells smoky in here!" And the next instant- the fire alarm went off...and, as Daddy would say, all Bethlehem broke loose. I turned and herded my downstairs charges out of the front door to the front lawn. Unfortunately, no less than two girls had been in the bathrooms and had to be rousted out, shrouded in blankets. One still had a large amount of very visible shampoo in her hair. Many were still in their pajamas. It was a bizarre and hilarious sight. You have to understand that the Shelter is right on the main drag through Antrim...and there was construction taking place on the road right in front of the house...So there were construction workers, machinery clogging the road, crawling traffic, a policeman to direct the traffic...and a horde of twelve, bedraggled looking girls, a bunch of staff, and a dog all standing around in front of the house swatting at mosquitos.
We regularly receive donations of day old doughnuts from Mrs. Murphy's Bakery and the nice doughnut delivery people chose this time to drive up and deliver their goods. Join the chaos!
I was sort of reminded of the scene in Pollyanna when the orphanage burns down. Except our house wasn't really on fire...and the residents weren't swarming all over the fire engines. So, I guess that analogy doesn't really fit after all.
The fire department arrived and toddled into the house. They toddled out again shortly thereafter. The conclusion was that a hair-straightener had been the cause of all the bedlam. Apparently, it had gotten too hot and when one of the girls was using it to straighten her hair, it got a bit smoky...This was what Matt was referring to seconds before the alarm went off. The poor girl was quite embarrassed. We all trooped back into the house and resumed the regularly scheduled chaos.
I left with four girls soon after that and we headed north to Saint Gauden's National Park. A WONDERFUL PLACE. This is my third time taking girls up there and it was the best weather yet. I HIGHLY recommend this beautiful place. It was a bit of a drive - an hour and a half- to get there, but it's so worth it.
Augustus Saint Gaudens was an accomplished sculptor who lived at the end of the nineteenth century- and a bit into the twentieth. He may be most well known for the Shaw Memorial of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment- the first all black regiment in the Civil War, immortalized in the film "Glory." The original is in Boston, but the one at this park was actually a later edition, with a few changes.
It's a gorgeous site- his home, the grounds, the studios...We had a picnic and then had a guided tour. I was a little nervous as to how the girls would respond. I hoped they wouldn't be bored. I was so relieved and thrilled to see how they soaked up all the beauty and appreciated it. The tour guide was a little drony, but they loved looking at all the sculptures, reliefs, freizes, coins, etc. Many of the pieces were outdoors and of course, the setting was stunningly beautiful... Mt. Ascutney in the background, green grass and trees, blue skies overhead, warm breezes...These few gorgeous days of summer are what make living in New Hampshire worthwhile.
Let's just leave it at that and not go into the wrong turns I took on the way home and how we wandered in the wilderness known as Weare ( pronounced "Where") for a few minutes before I figured out where we had gone wrong...Oh, but I guess I just spilled the beans.