After a hearty breakfast and playing with the resident B&B dogs we walked into town and browsed in the seaside shops and contemplated the views and philosophized with an artist that thought my divine feminine girls were as “beautiful as the pom poms on my hat were happy.” It was so very quaint, quiet and cold, though the sun was shining with welcome.
There is a travel book series (Quick Escapes) that I have used since the girls were little to enhance our yearly road trips. The edition for Boston is no longer available but I bought a used copy on amazon.com for fifteen cents, and my expectations for it were high as we have found many sweet locations and adventures thanks to those books. We were not disappointed. One of the recommended places to go was Hammond Castle, the medieval-style home of inventor John Hammond Jr. It’s quite the place and we set out to explore it to our hearts content.
Relatively new by castle standards, it was built in 1926 overlooking the beautiful shoreline in Gloucester, MA. There happened to be a tour guide in attendance to lead a knighting ceremony for kids on their school vacation. We watched his demonstration for a while, he was quite endearing and entertaining. He chose a young red-headed queen to preside and do the knighting, setting an Austrian crystal crown on her head and giving her a sword to wield.
He has been a guide there for some 25 years and had stories emanating from his pores. We encountered him later after his tour was over and he took quite a liking to our female foursome. He set the crown on all of our heads, brought out the castle rat to take a picture with the girls, shared the location of the 5 secret passageways, and creeped us out with his realistic impression of Hannibal Lector.
The castle was just dreamy, full of turrets, stained glass, tiny stairways, hidden nooks, worth a visit if you are ever anywhere near the Massachusetts coast. Continuing in the dreamy fashion we went to Dreamaway Lodge that evening. This is a little gem of a spot in the Berkshires, located up winding, remote roadways that give you the feeling you are lost, until you finally glimpse a little oasis surrounded with sparkling lights. It is a darling house with an eclectic atmosphere, scrumptious food and drink, and a casually sweet music room with live music most evenings. In the warmer months there is a nightly outdoor bonfire and a lantern-lit labyrinth in the woods. It is a secret hideaway and a special place to share with my daughters.
After an amazing dinner we sat in the music room and Alicia played guitar for us and sang a beautiful song she had written. My girls continually amaze me with their creativity and courage to explore artistic outlets new to them. Alicia just recently picked up the guitar and started playing, singing and writing songs. This is the same gal who is also a masterful modern dancer and recently added hip-hop to her repertoire. Audrey was constantly painting and making a beautiful series of scaly fish watercolors. Susanna has a wit with words and helped create a word game akin to bingo, and had us playing Contact everywhere we went and kept us in stitches with her exuberant personality.
I took them to the airport Sunday morning and all I want to do is book a flight and follow them as soon as possible. I am lonely for my home, which is not a physical space but one in my heart. And now that they are gone there’s a barren landscape to deal with while I work, plan and help the people around me. I realize that they are home to me. No matter where I am, what I do, they will be my anchors. I can relate to Josh Kelley who sings…
It’s like a pain that never goes away
And it always starts today
Cause you are home to me, Cause you are home to me.