Friday, April 6, 2012

Red Chair Travels

The Red Chair Travels to Brewster Cape Cod for a two day adventure.

It has been really fun to take the chair to many of our favorite locations in Brewster and then to contemplate that location as if we were the chair.    As a photographer, I often get on the ground or look for a high vantage point to get a different sense of the picture before me and this type of engagement with the world was enhanced even more over the past two days while escorting the chair.  Who would realize that a chair would give back so much in such a short time, a reminder to all of us that given our busy and hectic lives there are simple lessons for us in all the objects around us.

You will be well rewarded for following this "too" long a post to the very end.  I found  something psychedelic to finish the post with that should bring a smile to almost every soul.  So stay with me on our travels through Brewster.  

We have additional photographs in a higher resolution scale at this photobucket site

The Chair's First stop in Brewster was at Brewster By The Sea, residence of the Spoiled Rotten Labradoodle Harrison.   The poodle side hates to be told what to do and the lab side wants to please you at any cost, hence the grimace.

Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast Labradoodle

As we go across New England, we see adirondack chairs on many lawns and decks and there is seldom anyone seen in them.    The Red chair brings us many lessons about chair design and purpose, for me the major thought is : we need to go back to building things to last.   Most of the Adirondack chairs are soft wood with so many joints, crevices, and angles that they do not withstand nature's assault for more than a few years.   The picture below is our tribute to the relative permanence of the red chair.    Of course, Billy Collins hits the right spot with a contemplation on chairs as well.

The Chairs That No One Sits In

By Billy Collins
You see them on porches and on lawns
down by the lakeside,
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple

who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
The trouble is you never see anyone

sitting in these forlorn chairs
though at one time it must have seemed   
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.

Sometimes there is a little table
between the chairs where no one   
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.

It might be none of my business,
but it might be a good idea one day
for everyone who placed those vacant chairs

on a veranda or a dock to sit down in them
for the sake of remembering
whatever it was they thought deserved

to be viewed from two chairs   
side by side with a table in between.
The clouds are high and massive that day.

The woman looks up from her book.
The man takes a sip of his drink.
Then there is nothing but the sound of their looking,

the lapping of lake water, and a call of one bird
then another, cries of joy or warning—
it passes the time to wonder which.


The most beautiful spot in Brewster and perhaps all of Cape Cod is Paine's Creek and Stony Brook Valley.  The first Western visitors to Brewster found a very large Indian settlement in this valley, by some accounts nearly as big as present day Brewster.    Fertile and protected with great fishing and hunting.  My Flickr account includes dozens of photographs of Paine's creek at various times during the year including sunsets.  This time of the year the herring are running and the sea gulls are never happier.   We will see the herring later on!!!

In the meantime, traveling back on 6a in Brewster we see flowers everywhere. 

One of the most popular spring time celebrations on Cape Cod is the annual Brewster in Bloom festival.  Over the years the festival organizers move the date to earlier or later in April with the hope of hitting the season correctly.   This years festival was set for late April and the early spring has helped set a positive mood all over town.  Our chair loves this field of dreams.

There are theatrical types all over the Cape and Brewster is no different.   Tucked way back in the woods is the Cape Rep Theatre.  Now playing, "Footlitght Fantasies" 

 Headed east on 6a and then north on Crosby Lane, to check out the  Crosby Mansion and what do I see?

 Brewster By The Sea Guests.  One good red deserves another good red.  Our guests were driving around Brewster checking out sites and they see me with the red Chair at the Crosby Mansion
  •  "Albert spared no expense for the three story, 35-room "summer home" overlooking Cape Cod Bay. Built in the grand style of Chicago's Gold Coast Mansions, the home featured a 60-foot tower with cupola (later destroyed in the 1938 hurricane), 17 fireplaces with imported tile, a French inspired salon, two-story billiard room, marble sinks and floors in the baths and gas lighting. "

The Crosby Landing beach has a beautiful board walk, currently 2 feet under the winter drifted sands, that I take all of our wedding couples to for part of their wedding photography album. 

Many of the weddings we have photographed and hosted are here at Crosby Landing.

Coming off the beach, the moon is rising in the east against a beautiful blue sky.  

Back to the center of town.   The old timers come and sit on the benches at 6 am every morning at the Brewster General Store and it is only later in the morning that they relinquish their seats to this lovely reminder of all that is good about spring.  Since 1866 the Brewster General store has had 5 owners (an average of nearly 30 years per owner).    When I was a kid still rings true to form in Brewster at the general store and the Red Chair fits in perfect with that notion.

Now we are talking,  Having fun with the bunnies of the Brewster General Store..

type rest of post here!! Right behind the Brewster General Store is our second inn, The Captain Freeman Inn
A wonderful 1860's Sea Captain's home that retains nearly all of the orignal architectural and detail.  A wrap around porch gives these chairs plenty of shelter and much usage, even in the cooler seasons.

 Heaven for a chair is a covered porch.

So I am minding my business and then Aphrodite wanders over. 

Now we are headed to the Brewster Grist Mill and  upper Stony Brook Valley. 

There were herring and no sea gulls.    Most unusual. 

Our final stop is the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, Wing Island, and Cape Cod Bay.
John Wing has been the subject of quite a bit of history research .   As you walk out to the bay, through the salt marsh, the thought of how tough our ancestors had it comes first and foremost.  We would never think of walking to the island without the boardwalk and yet they would choose to live in the middle of the marsh on an island.  There are a man made canals throughout the marsh, evidence of the old saltworks that sustained Brewster for a short time.   

We were told that the osprey nest had been largely destroyed by the winter storms this year and they normally would not have to rebuild as much.   The Red Chair got to observe both mom and dad bringing choice bits of material back to the perch.

Wing Island,  This vista, coming off of Wing Island onto the bay is a really breathtaking overview.   

A few years ago a very large rock was rediscovered behind the Brewster Wind Mill in Drummer Boy Park.  It reminds me of the fun times as a child I had growing up in Wyoming.  We could run off at any time and play on the rocks / cliffs and our parents let us be kids.   We fear for our children at every step of the child hood now and I see very few children crawling over this big rock to get that magically unique look at the world around us.   Our chair however, has no such fears and I encourage all that read this to bring your children, your grandchildren and even your inner child to Brewster to climb on a Whale of a rock.


I have moved most of the posts form this blog to our new cape cod bed and breakfast blog. 

We will be still using this blog for weddings, photography, and some of Byron' side pursuits. 

To launch into this, I am pointing out two of  the people I have followed on flickr. 

David Rockwell is a talented artist in New York with a real day job.  His work is really wonderful and and does
several types of media.  This link takes you to his sketches on flickr, but I encourage everyone to look at all of his work.  This picture is a watercolor of a sketch he did while on Cape Cod. 

Fish Ladder, Cape Cod, MA

I know nothing about "primer" , but would love to be able to do this type of work. The black and whites and "mood" pictures, if I could do them, would be totally consuming.


Bill Vaughan
"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."
"A realist gets up on New Year's day grateful for that opportunity, knowing that there is much to do"

The past few years we have worked hard to put meaningful thoughts together for New Year's resolutions. It truly is amazing what level of personal growth this small business has allowed us to reach for. So follow us over the fold for our 2010 New Year's Resolution and visit us at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast

And; our wish for you and yours is a safe and fulfilling 2010.

We would love to share our New Year's resolution as it was a major point of discussion at our family dinner on Christmas day. We were blessed this year to have everyone home with a fun new twist since two of our children have moved back with us for the winter, planning to relocate to the east. We could not be more delighted!

I always love the end of a meal when everyone is so full and we just sit around the table talking. It's an extra special time for Byron and I since our kids are adults now and it's fun to have life discussions as a family. So this year one of the kids asked about everyones New Year's resolutions. I had been thinking about mine for weeks and was actually surprised at their reaction. For years, mine has always been the loose weight, get more exercise and to be healthy. I am proud to say that I finally have this one in order since I have been able in the last few years to finally balance my weight and actually have only one size of clothes in our closet. ( that actually was a must since as innkeepers we never have enough storage or private space) This year I wanted to have a new resolution and decided to add a concept that actually I had been aware of and discussing with my husband on a daily be cognizant of the power of words in our daily communication. Being a woman of 50+ (and hopefully wiser) I have stopped to think about what I say in my communication with my Mom (who is a stern New England lady and given her health complications this year has been slightly less than cheerful , our guests (the importance of always talking in the positive), our children (they are adults now and it's usually best to just listen then to give advise) and lastly our spouses ( I still do not have that one figured out).

Our children's reaction to my new resolution was precious....they all said whohhh Mom ...."that is deep!. I couldn't quite decide if that was a compliment or they thought the whole thing was silly. As for me it feels right and I have decided to move forward with this idea for the year.

As innkeepers, Donna and I continue to lovingly perfect that part of our nature that is gracious, giving, and hospitable. For this opportunity to touch people's lives we are sincerely grateful. My resolution last year was to focus on connecting with the past in meaningful ways, since my career had kept me on the move and I had left so many people and friends behind. I was able to jump onto the social networks such as Facebook, Linked In, and Classmates in order to connect with people from high school, through college and then onto various stages of my career. This was not in any way associated with the inn and inn keeping and that resolution worked out well and will continue. This year's resolution had its genesis in the photography I had been doing the last several years. I realized that my photographs are getting technically better and even once in a while are interesting in that they are not typical and have a uniqueness to them. This year's goal is to start learning how to see the world more through an artists eyes and I have several strategies for doing that; I want to explore and blog on the art galleries on Cape Cod, I want to do black and white photographs that have an expressionistic and / or surreal aspect to them that can tell a different story about Cape Cod,and finally I want to escape the corrosive nature of or current political environment by focusing on the beauty of nature here on Cape Cod. As with last year's resolution, this is meant to be a "forever" project.

April & Nathan
It was precious to move around the table and to hear everyone's resolutions for the year. Our children felt comfortable with setting meaningful thought. Our precious son Nathan who has been through some tough times in life has asked us for help in starting anew and has set a long term goal to acquire a medical degree. His actions, attitude are now congruent with his capabilities and this is exciting. Our daughter, April, just graduated from architectural school in May and left Houston with a contract to design a green environment for the architectural firm she worked for. Her goal is to get a new job in Boston and continue to pursue additional levels of LEED (green architecture) certification. Our comments about and to her are that her future is very green.


Everyone dreaming of Cape Cod thinks of magnificent beaches and picturesque lighthouses. Many of our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast guests ask about the history and location of the lighthouses that grace the National Seashore and a short history is at this link.

Two recent pictures of the Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse in Truro and the Provincetown Wood End lighthouse are shown at the top of this post.

Cape Cod has had over twenty lighthouses operating along its shores over the past 200 years and today seven still operate and several other decommissioned lights stand along the coastline.

We recently had a darling young German couple stay with us and by the end of their week long stay they had decided that they wanted to get married on Cape Cod and envisioned their elopement in front of a lighthouse.We have many elopements at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast but this was the first request to have the ceremony near a lighthouse. They decided upon the Highland Light in North Truro We planned a picnic lunch complete with chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, french bread, cheeses and fruit. What a wonderful surprise when the custodian of the lighthouse offered the couple an inside peek and the photographer was able to get a great shot of the newly married couple atop the lighthouse.

During the 19th century heydey of lighthouses, keepers were needed to tend the kerosene in the lamps.After the Cape Cod Canal opened in 1914, ships traveling from Europe to Boston were able to bypass the Cape's outer shore. The number of shipwrecks declined dramatically and that coupled with 20 century technology made many light houses obsolete. By 1960s most of the remaining lighthouses were automated and no longer needed keepers.

Today, many of the lighthouses that remain are open during the summer for tourists to see. Each has it's own unique character and is well worth a visit:

Race Point Light House, Provincetown

Wood End Light, Provincetown

Long Point Light, Provincetown

Highland Light, North Truro

Nauset Light, Eastham

Three Sisters Light, Eastham

We love to visit the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham which is a great place to plan your adventures on Cape Cod

Chatham Light

Monomy Point Light, Chatham

Nobska Light, Woods Hole

We love to visit the Salt Pond Visitor Center which is a great place to plan your Cape Cod adventure. Happy exploring!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Visual Thesaurus

Donna and I really appreciate the diversity of our guests and we are always amazed at how well spoken they are. I still run to the dictionary and sometimes to the thesaurus after a morning conversation.

With Donna in Houston, I started looking at a few words; recalcitrant, curmudgeon, etc. that, in a strange way, might be a reflection of my missing her. At any rate I hope you enjoy using this online thesaurus tool

This should be a great way for kids to learn new words. Imagine this tool expanded so a student could use the words in the nodes in sentences, including verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc.

type rest of post here!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Winter getaway to Wyoming

This year we were planning an adventuresome getaway to Costa Rica for our winter vacation. After much discussion and family issues, we felt obligated to change our plans and go to Cody Wyoming to visit my mother in-law who was just moved into a long term living facility. We decided to tweak our getaway and stay at a nice hotel.

Since we own a Cape Cod bed and breakfast we were able to do a trade with a lovely boutique hotel in Cody called the Chamberlin Inn. We not only had a fantastic stay but made new friends with the innkeepers, Ev and Susan. They have beautifully restored this property with intricate metal and brick on the exterior and tastefully decorated rooms inside.

We spent most of our time packing up the family home and visiting my mother in law, but on the last day we decided to take most of the day for ourselves and what a special afternoon we had. Upon our innkeepers suggestion we headed up to Shell, Wyoming where a recent archeological find included some dinosaur tracks. The weather was absolutely perfect with full sunshine and temperatures in the 60's. We did some hiking, had a picnic lunch, took some great pictures and had some great laughs on a nearby hill.Our day concluded with a relaxing dinner at Trapper Creek Mountain Lodge.

We drove back to our beautiful room in Cody knowing that this was an absolutely perfect vacation. We not only had a relaxing but busy stay in Cody, but we were able to spend some quality time with my mother-in-law, put a smile on her face each day, made some new friends and have fond memories of our afternoon in Shell, Wyoming.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast Internet Marketing

Charlie Heller just put on a website internet marketing seminar here in Brewster at the Brewster Ladies Library. Although this was suppose to be for people just starting with internet marketing, I always find that it gives me more knowledge and more specifically that it gives me energy and motivation to do a little more for our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast website marketing.

The biggest thing I learned (relearned) this time was to increase both the number and the quality of our inbound links. I will post code below that I would want people to use in putting a link to us on their Cape Cod Activities page or on their

The bit below is what I would like to offer as our link (with the picture from this blogpost) for links. Contact me for the HTML (use view source on your browser).

Brewster Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast/

Brewster By The Sea is an upscale Cape Cod Inn and Spa with beautiful walks to the beach through the Museum of Natural Histories’ nature trails and to Paine’s Creek Beach. It features an onsite spa, heated pool and outdoor Jacuzzi, elegant breakfasts and luxurious accommodations.