midsummer night’s catch-up

photo (74)

We haven’t made a post in so long, we have contemplated putting the B Bus on hiatus — the blog, that is, not the actual B Bus, which is still rolling on, taking us to camp, to the beach, to softball games and street fairs.  Summer is in full swing. The girls have graduated from 5th grade, said goodbye to our neighborhood elementary school, and embraced the middle school reading list along with their new cell phones.

photo (70) photo (69)

While at overnight camp at beautiful Ferry Beach in southern Maine, they made these stunning fairy houses. Perfect for teeny tiny magical woodland beings on a midsummer eve.

photo (72)

photo (73)

And I’ve been puttering around in the garden a lot. Last summer’s epic road trip was so incredible. But in some ways it’s a relief to be staying close to home this year. I can never truly keep up with the weeds, but at least this year I have a fighting chance.

photo (76)

photo (75)

 

We did lose some plants to the bitter winter, but it truly astounds me every single year when we see what has survived to push forth into the sun and heat and steamy green of summer.

– PHB

 

Advertisements

dreaming of summer: let’s go for a RIDE

100_1315

above: Hershey Park / Hershey, PA

2013 Summer Roadtrip Recap: Picturing Thrills and Chills

We didn’t end up blogging from the road as much as we thought we might. This was partly because we had to rely on inconsistent wi fi access at various stops along the way, and partly because we typically spent our evenings finding a local eatery, swimming in a hotel pool, and trying to get to sleep early so we could get an early start in the morning!  Days were spent driving (of course!), and cramming in as much scenic wonder, historic sites, and fun pit stops as we could manage. Months have gone by and summer seems both a distant memory and a longed-for mirage on the other side of this bitterly cold winter. We thought it’d be fun to do some more roadtrip recaps, to capture more of the highlights from our amazing 3,600-mile journey, and other images from Summer 2013. 

Before and during our big road trip the girls and I enjoyed rides that are faster, louder, steeper, twistier, and a heck of a lot more thrilling than driving around in the B Bus!

IMG_1043

Last summer we spent more time than we usually do at amusement parks. I took lots of pictures while they went on LOTS of rides! These are some of our favorite old-time carnival-inspired amusement park photos, from Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire, Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, and a few other tourist spots.IMG_0988

Our favorite ride at Canobie Lake Park: Da Vinci’s Dream. Always best at sunset.IMG_0987 IMG_0991

IMG_0366

IMG_1045

IMG_1042

IMG_1044

IMG_1039

Old-timey Over the Rainbow.IMG_4663

IMG_1040

PHB, GHB, & LHB all contributed to this post

frozen february

TOO MUCH SNOW!! The house is growing icebergs. Well, today it was finally warm enough to start melting some of the ice, but this month has been a challenge, with snow on top of snow, and too many days below freezing for us to get outdoors very much.

A strangely attired penguin did appear in the yard today to brighten things up.

Image

And the girls have been very successful selling lots of Girl Scout cookies, especially to hungry homebound commuters.

Image

It’s been a pretty quiet February staycation. Sleepovers, ice skating, tubing @ Nashoba, cookie booths, and SNOW.

– PHB

Image

winter coat

20140127-184747.jpg

Everyone’s talking about the cold. We’ve had some snow this winter but the weather headline is the freezing temps. After a temporary thaw and some rain, we are headed back into the deep freeze tonight. I took this photo of the creek at Whipple Hill yesterday.

It’s not the super extreme school-canceling Midwestern freeze, but it’s bitter and sharp, especially without pretty blankets of snow. What’s left is actually pretty gray. The girls and I have really noticed how hoary and ancient the B bus is looking, in its winter coat of salty grime.

20140127-185431.jpg

20140127-185527.jpg

Definitely looking less spiffy than on the summer road trip! But the B bus is hardy, as are we.

– PHB

happy new year from the intrepid explorers

IMG_2141

Last night it was below zero in Arlington and the snow had been blowing all day. With two extra vacation days brought to us courtesy of this new year nor’easter, it was prime time for sleepovers, so we walked GHB down Summer Street and around the corner to a pal’s house. LHB and her pal sherpa’ed, and the snow was as dry and diamond bright as I have ever seen it.

IMG_2143

There was talk of exploring the Yukon, even though we waited for the walk signal at the intersection. It just felt that fun and adventurous.

This morning we shoveled and did some makeshift yard-sledding. It’s really still too cold (it’s 9, I think) to head over to the windy sledding hill at McLennen. Fortunately, the whole weekend still lies ahead!

Happy New Year from the frozen north.

IMG_2142

IMG_2137

IMG_2154

– PHB

LHB brings you a brand new sister blog for The B Bus

photo (7)

Like books? LHB is excited to invite B Bus fans over to The Reading Penguin, her new book blog. (Click the blue words linking directly to other blog content).

Her first post tells a little bit about what kinds of books she likes, and she’s got a new review up today!

craftfair5

LHB has been very busy this fall; she made and sold PUFFLES at the school craft fair, and she had a great soccer season, playing well in all positions, especially goalkeeper!

goalie

Plus she is tap dancing, rehearsing for our dance studio’s spectacular Nutcracker show, singing with the Arlington Treble Chorus, and having fun with her Girl Scout troop (ack! cookie sales are coming….).

soccer girls in treeAfter the final game of the season, in which LHB had a big goal, GHB showed the team her treetop vantage point where she’d been watching the game from afar.

– PHB & LHB

champions

B pumpkin

Well, they did it. People often say that Red Sox & New England fans are sort of “scary” fanatical, when we talk about growing up here and growing up as citizens of Red Sox Nation.  There’s no two ways about it — if you are like GHB and LHB and you grow up here, the Sox are an integral part of the infrastructure of your everyday world.  Here’s yet another B pumpkin — this one we spotted while trick or treating on Mt. Gilboa on the night after the big win, and two days before we’d see the World Series trophy placed in homage on the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

On Monday I stopped by GHB’s classroom at the end of the day and noticed this corner for the first time:

classroom

That’s the front page of the Globe from the 2004 World Series win, along with the front page of the sports section from the same edition and a mini shrine of Fenway memorabilia and ephemera. We have that same front page stashed somewhere in a file cabinet in the basement, and we’ve got a fridge magnet of it, too.You can tell the newspapers have been up there for a decade – they’re yellow and faded and tired looking (our magnet’s pretty faded too). But the corner is not dusty and a lot of the items are new.  It’s an active, living, continually curated permanent collection that is equal parts tribute and inspiration and fun for the kids who sit in this classroom every day.  I don’t really think they are blase’ about a third World Series championship in their 10- or 11-year-old lifetimes. I think they see this kind of thing, and the way parents and teachers talk about the Sox, and they know they are part of an epic tradition, rooting for a worst-to-first kind of legendary baseball team.

– PHB

“a magical unicorn, flown by david ortiz…”

We keep thinking we’ve read the best, funniest, most hyperbolic column or blog post on the subject of the Sox in the 2013 series. Worst to first. On the brink of the biggest win at Fenway since 1918. Etc.

As we await Game 6, I ran across this piece of epic sportswriting in today’s old-school hard-copy Wall Street Journal over lunch in the conference room at my office. Where, needless to say, most of my co-workers are more than a little distracted by looking out the window and assessing the rain clouds. (Said clouds, of course, scheduled to depart on cue in time for tonight’s game at Fenway.)

Posting Jason Gay’s wonderful piece, via wsj.com, in new-school online form – but just as much fun to read. I mean really, didn’t I start talking about Red Sox history in light of the 10-year-old fans, sometime last week? 😉

IMG_1222

Also this incredibly cute photo of my nephew, GHB and LHB’s cousin Ollie (age 6), from 2005, when he played for a Little League team called the Red Sox. At least I think that was why he’s wearing red socks. He’s 14 now, and a starting pitcher. Time flies. But I hear he’s rooting for our Sox!

– PHB

chilly / spooky

oct9

A non-Red Sox post, as we await Game 3 in St. Louis tonight. Last year heading into Halloween was so warm, SUNNY / SPOOKY was our theme. This year we are feeling the bite of the first hard frost, and breaking out the hats and mittens for night hikes at Science Camp (GHB & LHB) and sitting sideline at weekend soccer games (PHB).

And our favorite iconic town center tree is bare, wearing its winter guise already. We documented the change by snapping pics when we could from the windows of the B Bus on our way by every day, starting in late September:

trees3 tree2

tree1 tree5

tree4 tree6

We’ve got costumes to finish and treats to bake. The girls are rehearsing with their friends for the dance place Nutcracker show, and with the arrival of Halloween week I feel the year ebbing and dimming as we flow steadily towards the bright loud blare of holiday season. Living in New England makes these juxtapositions acute and compelling.

cemetery light star

the Center from under the 1st Parish tree

(our tree seen from underneath, wore more yellow, less orange, last fall)

– PHB

growing up red sox

IMG_2048

Watching Game 6 of the ALCS after a busy Saturday here of soccer, dance, and assembling gear for Science Camp next week. The girls are intensely focused on the game, calling out the pitch count to each other if someone has to leave the room for a minute. Maybe it’s GHB’s softball experience, maybe just growing up, but they can really follow the game now, and it’s much more fun to watch with them! We dug around to find some “historic” photos of LHB and GHB showing their colors as Red Sox believers.

DSC_0004

GHB first game @ Fenway 2009

DSC_0005

LHB first game @ Fenway, 2009

IMG_6632

Welcoming cousins O & P to Boston, ca. 2007.

IMG_6631

Grade 3 with special guest

Grade 3 with special guest Tim Wakefield, 2012

GO SOX!

– PHB, GHB, LHB