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Posts Tagged ‘cemeteries’

Robbie loves old cemeteries, and he loves playgrounds.  So little could be better than finding both in the same place.  Slides, climbing walls, bouncing bridges, and Revolutionary War soldiers – very nice!

jacksons with cemetery

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  • Researching Paper Mario “flopside pit of 100 trials” online to see what happens when you get through to the end
  • Tetris, Pokemon Rumble, Mario Kart Wii
  • Star Wars battles with figures and toy ships
  • Reading more Mysterious Benedict Society
  • Drawing line-designs on posterboard and a panda with SF (small feet) on the dry erase board
  • Looking through catalogs of decorations to plan for “super spooky Halloween decorating”
  • Trip to town library to get Haunted Hikes of New Hampshire book
  • Reading some of the Haunted Hikes book led to talking about aliens and UFOs (per Chapter 4) and whether aliens really exist (Robbie says “no they don’t!!!”) and the International Space Station and whether Mars might be able to support life.  Then we looked up the UFO abduction story of the NH couple who said they were abducted in the 1960s, and we discovered that there’s a Historical Marker at the abduction site – so we added that to our list of things to go see.  Robbie said “Will the aliens be waiting for us when we get there?  I don’t THINK so!!
  • Out to New Castle Commons to walk on the rocks at low tide
  • Stop by Portsmouth North Cemetery, where we saw the grave of someone who signed the Declaration of Independence (William Whipple)
  • We use the IMDb website to help decide which movies sound fun to watch and which are move violent or gorey than Robbie might enjoy (we look at the site together, and he uses the information there to decide for himself what he’s comfortable with).  While reading about the Star Trek movie we got from Netflix, to see if we wanted to watch it this evening, I came across some information I thought Robbie might want to know.

Me:  “There’s a scene where a creature eats another creature.”

Rb: “Why is that at all disturbing?  Life cycle – hello??”

  • Watching Star Trek (2009): “I’m not sure if that’s the best Star Trek movie ever or the worst… but I think I liked it!”

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Today we traveled out to Concord, NH to look for Franklin Pierce’s gravesite.  Before we left home Robbie said excitedly “”If we can find Pierce then I would have seen two Presidents – one of which dead, one of which not!”

When we got to the Old North Cemetery, Robbie led the way thru the maze of gravestones and over into a fenced enclosure, where he thought Pierce’s grave might be.  Sure enough he was right – and he asked right away that we take his photo with the grave “to show forever that I was here!”

We stayed for a long time exploring the cemetery, and we were happy to find the grave of a Revolutionary War soldier, a triple-headstone, a stone with a face similar to the ones we saw at the Chester cemetery yesterday, and the grave of someone with the last name Coffin.  As Robbie said while we were walking around looking at all the headstones, “This cemetery stuff is really REALLY cool!!”

We then drove by the Franklin Pierce Manse (also in Concord) – the home Franklin Pierce owned before he became President.  It wasn’t open for tours today, but it was still fun to see from the outside!

On the way home from Concord, Robbie asked why there are so many old gravesites around where we live. I started saying that the Pilgrims landed in New England when they came over this way – and before I could say any more he stopped me and said with great excitement “Wait a minute – NEW England – England… they came from England and now we live in NEW England… HOW did I not match this up before??? How did I miss this??? NEW England – England – of course!!!”

It was awesome to see him make the connection in such an energetic and happy way – but my favorite was how he used the phrase “match this up” to describe his connecting-process. He matched it up! And now it’s his forever, that little piece of connection-knowledge!

We played for a while when we got home, and enjoyed

  • Pokemon Conquest, Pokemon Black, My Sims Sky Heroes
  • Playing with words –

Mom: “Do we have any more of that roll paper?”

Rb: “I think we do… well, if we’re on the same PAGE with what we’re thinking about for paper…”

  • Battling with Hot Wheels cars
  • Watching the Power Puff Girls and then the Wild Kratts on TV, upon which Robbie said, “Hey you know those beetles with the orange heads we’ve been finding outside and sometimes inside??  They’re fireflies!!!”
  • Playing Minecraft on the iPad

Then Robbie said he’d really like to go see another, “hopefully haunted” New Hampshire cemetery where we might see a gravestone from the 1600s.  I looked online and saw mention of Point of Graves in Portsmouth and we decided to go out that way after dinner “when it’s closer to dark and maybe more ghosts would be there…”

Point of Graves is home to the oldest marked headstones in NH from what we read, and Robbie was delighted to find a gravestone from 1682.  He was less delighted that no ghostly hands grabbed at us, and no apparitions were spotted <grin> but he said happily “maybe next time!!”

All in all, it was a most wonderful day of grave-hunting and cemetery-exploring and other fun as well!!

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Today we decided to go to Derry, New Hampshire to visit the Robert Frost Farm and the Taylor Up and Down Saw Mill.  Robbie asked who Robert Frost was, so I pulled up The Road Not Taken online and read it to him.  He thought about it for a minute, and then said excitedly “Oh I get it – he was not sheeple!  He did not go where all the sheeple-people went!”  Although I am not personal fan of the word sheeple <grin> I think his interpretation of the poem is spot on!

Next, I read him Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, and I mentioned that in school, I’d had to memorize that poem and recite it in front of the class (as did everyone else in my grade).  Robert said he had to memorize and recite the Preamble to the US Constitution, and I remembered I’d had to recite the Gettysburg Address.  This led to questions about who Lincoln was, and why even though he was President a long time ago, we still remember his speeches (Robbie said giggling, “Especially Mom since most speeches I’ve heard are too boring to want to remember for more than an hour or two…”).  So we talked a little about some of the good things Lincoln did for the country, like freeing the slaves, which Robbie remembered he’d heard about before – and leading the Union during the Civil War, with which he is also already familiar from a previous conversation.  We had seen a pick-up truck driving around our town with a giant Confederate flag flying in the bed of the truck, and Robbie had asked, “What flag is that?” – and he found it amazing to think the US was at one point trying to split in two “like Korea with its North and South!!”  So after we remembered Lincoln, and after he questioned a few more times why teachers in school made Robert and I (and our classmates) memorize things that are already written down anyway <grin> we read through the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address together.  When Robbie heard the word “endure” in the Gettysburg Address, he got all excited and said “hey that’s a Pokemon move – endure!!!”

So we headed out to Derry, and we visited the Farm and the Sawmill, and took lots of photos – then we decided to stop at an old cemetery in Chester, NH on the way home.  The cemetery has graves from 1750 forward, and has stones that were carved by famous stone-workers of the day.  We had read that we could find both happy and sad faces on the stones in cemetery.  The second we got out of our car, Robbie was thrilled – he walked among the gravestones looking at each one for dates, interesting names, and interesting carved faces.  He was very excited, talking about who the people might have been, and wondering how old the oldest graves we’d find would be.  He asked if we could go to other cemeteries “very soon” to look for other carvings, and to see what else we could find for old and interesting graves.  When we left the cemetery and went for pizza for dinner, Robert mentioned that he’d seen George Washington’s gravesite when he was younger.  Right away, Robbie wanted to know if any presidents are buried in or near New Hampshire.  We found a website that lists “Presidential Places” by president name or state, and learned that Franklin Pierce is buried in New Hampshire, Calvin Coolidge in Vermont, and John Adams and John Quincy Adams are in Massachusetts.  We promised to visit their gravesites as soon as we could!

Photos from today:

Robert Frost Farm, NH

Reading a poem…

Taylor Up and Down Saw Mill, NH

awesome water wheel at the Mill

Chester Village Cemetery, NH

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