Last Saturday we took a half day off and drove into Havre De Grace, Maryland, to take part in what they called the “attack on Havre De Grace commemoration weekend”. The commemoration celebrated the 200th anniversary of the British attacking and pillaging the town, and included reenactments and free tours of two tall ships and a free concert. The concert was some orchestra–the Columbia orchestra or something like that, I can’t quite recall because we were stumbling around in an exhausted stupor by the time we made it to the lighthouse park to listen. They played a lot of popular classical things, the kind of things a populace largely unexposed to classical music would enjoy and recognize. Things like John Williams soundtracks and a medley from My fair Lady, and one or two other much overplayed pieces. But they were a good symphony, they played well on a chilly and windy night in the open air, and, they ended with one of my very favorite pieces of music, the 1812 Overture. They couldn’t use real cannons for whatever reason, so they had percussion mortars, and it was really fun. Everyone jumped every time they went off (some people screamed the first time), and they were very well timed to match the music. I have heard them done off beat before, but they weren’t this time. Then there was an incredibly long and well done fireworks show over the water of the Bay, which was not enough excitement to keep poor Chub awake. It was, nevertheless, the best firework show either of us had ever seen.
The costumes were lovely. WHY don’t men dress so well anymore?! Or women for that matter. You can do way more in a long dress than you can in high heels or while trying to keep your butt from falling out of your shorts or your boobs from popping out of a tight shirt. Why, people, why?! I think our culture’s taste in clothing is a sign that The End is near. Maybe not. I am almost serious though 😉
The girls got to take part in a ceremonial unrolling of the life size replica of the flag which Havre De Grace flew before being attacked. It was sort of a giant F**** you to the British, who had very “generously” announced to the coast that they would not harm any town that surrendered immediately. So Havre De Grace made a ginormous American flag and flew it over the town. Pretty spunky.
Everyone sang the national anthem while the kids held the flag, and I (certainly effected by prego hormones as well) teared up a little. I was thinking in my pessimistic little mind, ‘how much longer will our country last? We stand for nothing now. All that unites us is our disunity.’ It is astounding to have crossed the country and seen first hand the divide between rural and urban America. It is almost a set up for a second civil war except without a clear north/south divide. Rural America is conservative and generally impoverished, and unfairly stereotyped as backwards and uneducated by Urban America–which Rural America looks at as perverse, snobby, and out of touch with real life. Both sides have their positive aspects, but the way Urban America acts as though it is morally superior to Rural America, a myth perpetuated by the media, sort of puts people’s hackles up. That being said, there are a lot of people who do not fit neatly into either category, and maybe there is a little hope that they can build bridges of trust between the two communities.
The tall ships were awesome, and we lingered longingly on the Pride of Baltimore recalling our once-upon-a-time plans to live on a sailboat. Pre-kid kind of plans. The smell of salt water was intoxicating, and the breeze felt just right. The girls enjoyed poking around while we attempted desperately to enjoy ourselves and simultaneously keep them from falling into one of the open hatches. The smell of delicious food wafted up from the galley, and a potted herb garden peaked out from below into the sun–we wished we could sneak down for dinner! When we left it was with some vague idea that after farming and raising our kids maybe we could rent our farm out for a couple years, and try that whole sailboat life that we had once planned for. Maybe on a little something like this.
We’ll see. you just never, ever know what will happen.
Back on the farm things are going well–more soon!