I left you last week with a promise to share a recap of great-grandma Elizabeth Mayhew Flanders Carroll’s 89th birthday party. Ready? Here we go. We celebrated in traditional sing-along style led by none other than Merrily Fenner and her superb accompanist, Janis Syslo. There were no songs by John Lennon, the Mamas and the Papas or Neil Diamond. In fact, I am not sure who composed Amazing Grace or Red Wing.
Much to Bette’s delight, we had all the age groups present from toddler to nearly 90 belting out all the classics that would have been sung in the Tavern many years ago or around a campfire on a warm summer’s night. Despite the fact that it was a school night for some, we had just shy of 50 people present to watch Bette blow out her candles sprinkled among four cakes. Dinner was potluck style.
Niece Deb Hancock shared her classic chocolate marshmallow. A Chilmark favorite, tar paper cake, created for the first time ever by niece Robin Smith was pure heaven. And, not only a spice cake but a chocolate one too, along with four loaves of homemade bread from the oven of grandson Tim Carroll. Everything from Julie Flanders’s huge ham dripping with brown sugar glaze, to Chris and Kendra’s piping-hot calzone, to Margaret Maida’s homemade potato salad. A wide assortment of appetizers to suit nearly everyone’s taste buds rounded out the table.
Great granddaughters Emme and Oona Carroll, Emmet Taylor, Olive and Violet MacPhail, Bella Thorpe and great grandson Brooks Carroll spread themselves between video games, singing, cake eating and a rousing game of hide and seek. The adults sang, chatted, shared stories, and discussed how we should get together more often. Yes, indeed, that is a goal.
My week was filled with a lengthy trip to the dentist for Brooks, who loosened a front tooth on a classmate’s head while playing at recess. It is one of those teeth we fondly refer to as a chomper since those new front teeth appear so big in a head that hasn’t grown to full size yet. It should firm back up, but nonetheless he is avoiding carrots and apples for the time being. Yes, fortunately, according to his mother Alicia, Adam Knight’s head is just fine.
Two days later I got a call from not only the High School but the Chilmark School as well. Both, yes both, of my kids were sick. It’s been a long weekend at the Carroll home. I thought we had managed to evade that infamous stomach bug. Nope, not so lucky. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is celebrating ten years. There was a rather large birthday party at, can you believe it, Gillette Stadium. Brigida Larsen traveled to enjoy the festivities with her mother Susan. Both will, once again, be participating in the Boston walk this May. Over the course of two days, Susan will walk the 39.3 miles from Boston to Canton. Currently she is in training and fundraising mode. Go to www.avonwalk.org/goto/susan.larsen if you are able to show financial support. If you cannot make a monetary contribution, consider dropping a note of encouragement in the mail or leave her some words of wisdom on her answering machine. This is a truly huge task to take on. I, for one, am so proud of her. Brigida will spend another year as part of the Youth Crew. She will be cheering her mother and all of the other walkers on, helping at rest stops and assisting in any way possible so that the walkers may all reach their final destination in full stride. Go Team Larsen! Tomorrow night is Free Friday Movie at the Library. At 7 pm you can see the 1963 hit, “A New Kind of Love” starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Maurice Chevalier. Free popcorn and drinks is sure to entice you.