Wolf Hollow

Well, I finished my #43 birthday list with a week to spare. #44 commences on December 1. I still have to report on eight items from #43, one of which is: Wolf Hollow.

Wolf Hollow is a wolf sanctuary north of Boston. I’ve been wanting to visit it for years, so I’m glad to have finally made it there. Visitors sit on benches and listen to a one-hour presentation about wolves while watching about six wolves wander around and interact with other staff. I was hoping to be closer to the wolves, but I understand that the several layers of fencing between visitors and the wolves is there to protect both parties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wolves were so comfortable with the staff that they acted like dogs! The staff rubbed their bellies and stroked their backs. The presenter said that if you found yourself facing a wolf, it would not attack you. (Unless you provoked it.) I also learned that there are no wolves in the Northeast. (Unless they visit from Canada or other parts of the U.S.) Wolf populations were decimated by humans over the years and many types of wolves have been on the endangered species list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the presentation ended, visitors could visit two other wolf “packs” in separate enclosures. This allowed us to get a closer look at the beautiful creatures. Thanks to Wolf Hollow for educating the public and taking good care of the wolves!

 

 

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Is It Spring Yet?

I’ve lived through 42 winters and I’m none too happy about it. I guess most people are none too happy about winter, unless they love to ski, snowboard, sled, or make snowpeople.

As I prepare for a Thanksgiving/National Day of Mourning with a high of 22 degrees, I’m all too happy to remember a trip to a beach I had never been to before: Singing Beach.

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A couple of friends and I took the train north of Boston to Manchester-by-the-Sea in August. The weather was great, which meant a crowded beach. But we found a nice spot and spent a few lovely hours there. There is a cute ice cream shop on the walk between the train station and the beach, and I got one of my favorites, peppermint stick.

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I’m also all too happy to recall a fall trip to Lost Pond Sanctuary. Guess what, my boyfriend and I got lost trying to find it. Well, we found the sanctuary but we didn’t find the pond.

We rambled alongside a road that led to some municipal plant, crossed the road, and followed a path that eventually led us to a map of the sanctuary. We couldn’t figure out the map so we gave up. Maybe we’ll try again someday.

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Stride Toward Freedom

After seeing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice speak a few months ago, I decided it was time to start reading MLK’s books. I have always loved his famous quotes, so I knew I would love any of his books.

I started with Strive Toward Freedom, his account of the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 and 1956. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to. I didn’t think it was possible for me to revere him more than I did…well, I do now, after reading in detail what he and his colleagues accomplished and lived through during the boycott.

Courtesy of wikipedia.org

He and his wife, Coretta, met while they were both studying in Boston. He had job offers in the North after graduation, but he and Coretta decided they would be of more service in their native South. He became pastor of a church in Montgomery, Alabama, and immediately got involved in several civic groups to tackle segregation.

The arrest of Rosa Parks sparked the bus boycott. MLK and his colleagues decided it was time “to refuse to cooperate with an evil system.” First they convinced black taxi drivers to charge the bus fare on their routes. When they were told about a law that limited taxis to a minimum fare, they mobilized 300 volunteer drivers and set up an entire system of pick-up and drop-off points around the city.

They hired staff to oversee the car pool and had community meetings regularly to keep people informed. At these meetings, MLK and his colleagues stressed the importance of non-violent resistance. He and his colleagues met with city officials to talk about their demands: courteous service, seating first come, first served, and hiring of black drivers for routes in black neighborhoods.

The city wasn’t having any of it, so it started arresting people, including MLK, and declared boycotting to be illegal. MLK and his colleagues received threatening phone calls and letters day and night. MLK’s house was bombed.

I won’t explain any further because I want you to have some surprises when you read the book. But, in short, it was an uphill battle for blacks but they prevailed. As November 6 approaches, I will leave you with some quotes from the book’s conclusion:

“In short, this crisis has the potential for democracy’s fulfillment or fascism’s triumph; for social progress or retrogression.”

“This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for rigorous and positive action.”

Love in New England and Berlin

After reading an article about Ali McGraw recently, I decided that I should watch the film Love Story. As the opening credits rolled with music in the background, I immediately saw myself standing in my parents’ bedroom, maybe 30 years ago, playing a music box of my mother’s that had the words “Love Story” on the bottom of it.

I loved that song. And now I knew that it was the theme of the movie by the same name. So, anyway, the movie. It was fine, a classic rich person/poor person romantic relationship. Living in New England myself, I appreciated the cliched New England-ishness. Spoiler alert:

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I found the ending too abrupt. It seemed like all of a sudden, Jenny was in a hospital bed dying. She didn’t look sick, and I believe the audience doesn’t even know what she is dying OF. And I don’t necessarily agree with their “romantic” phrase “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

 

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A few weeks after I watched Love Story, I was reading an article about Liza Minnelli, and I decided I should watch Cabaret. I’ve never seen it or the musical or the remakes. Now this movie has a lot more going on. It was hedonistic, romantic, sad, and dark, set in 1930s Berlin. Spoiler alert:

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The two main characters fall in love, but they realize they are too different and end up parting ways.

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These are two very different ’70s films that are worth a watch sometime.

 

Democracy Brewing

A brewpub opened near my office over the summer. Fittingly, Democracy Brewing opened on July 4. A friend and I checked it out a few weeks after it opened. The beer and the food were good. Not amazing level but solid level.

I was so busy enjoying the beer that I forgot to take a photo before drinking it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The space is cozy and hip and the prices are reasonable. What a score for downtown Boston. And even better, it’s a worker-owned company. Worth a visit, Bostonians!

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BirthdayJune 1st, 2015

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