Monday, August 18, 2008

Tanglewood Tradition

As this long, hot, stormy summer has rolled by, we have been waiting for an opportunity to head out to Tanglewood. Yesterday was the first good Sunday, so we packed up and made the trek out to the Berkshires. Our trip last summer should give you a clear idea of what an afternoon picnicking on “The Lawn” listening to classical music spilling out from “The Shed” is like.

It was a lovely afternoon. Mostly sunny, with a enough of a breeze to keep one cool in dappled shade. These trips are an annual event for us; a rite of summer if you will. The family tradition goes back on Chuck’s side to his parents. Milton and Betty would drive up from their home in Westchester County, New York and various branches of the clan would meet under one of the trees on The Lawn for a communal picnic. That was in the years before Mom and Dad relocated to Washington State and before the entire right side of The Lawn was created; the side where Chuck and I now go.

Naturally, we reminisced about those previous trips and larger gatherings yesterday. But those memories only sharpened the poignancy of the call from Chuck’s sister Carol last night. She let us know that one month shy of his 94th birthday, Dad’s health has declined such that he will now begin receiving hospice care. We are grateful that he will continue to live in the wonderful home he has been in for many months. We are especially grateful for all the times he is still chipper and funny on the phone with Chuck. Mostly, we’re grateful for Dad and Mom and the great job they did as parents and all the memories we share as a family. Some of the most relaxed and peaceful were spent on sunny Sunday afternoons, at Tanglewood.


dancingmorganmouse said...

what a magnificent lawn, I've not seen one like that - in the flesh as it were - for years and years.

Lailaa said...

Lovely pic! Tanglewood seems like a nice place and I like the traditions that you and Chuck honour... Hugs, xx

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
It really is stunning. The area shown in that photo is the most recently expanded part. Because it has fewer and smaller trees, it doesn't get picnicked on as much. On the center part of the lawn, right in front of The Shed, everyone is very close together, trying to stay cool in the deeper shade.
- Lee

Hi Lailaa -
Tanglewood really is a great place to spend a summer afternoon. The seats in The Shed aren't all that comfortable, but it's quite delightful to read a book or do a crossword puzzle while lounging on the lawn!
We both appreciate your kind words.
- Lee

Sue said...

Hi Lee,
Haven't had much time to read blogs the last few days, so I'm just catching up again now. So sorry to hear that Chuck's dad's health has declined. 93's quite a feat and it seems that both he and Chuck's mom did a great job as parents; you always speak so highly of them. Still, there's never a good time to lose those we love so much - thinking of him and you all through this difficult time.

On a happier note, Tanglewood seems like a gorgeous spot! We have 2 gorgeous spots we go to over Christmas time here (it's our summer time then). And we have plenty of wonderful memories of long lazy evenings spent listening to good music with friends over too much food (also picnics) and wine!!

Pink Granite said...

Hi Sue -
Thank you for your kind words about Chuck's Dad. We both appreciate your thoughtfulness. We remain grateful for how content Dad is and that he is still so communicative.

That's great that you have a couple of lovely places to enjoy music, family, friends and food. It's so funny for me to think of picnics at Christmastime! But it certainly sounds very relaxing!
- Lee