At the beginning of September we got to meet up with most of Jeff’s family for a Shumway reunion in the Berkshires. Clarissa (Jeff’s brothers new wife) is an amazing Opera singer and was performing at Tanglewood. True to Ron and Nedra form, it was a high class act. Everything so perfectly planned, and comfortable and beautiful. The house we stayed in was a very short walk from the entrance to Tanglewood. We could hear the music from the deck while sitting in luxury, surrounded by the stunning views. I enjoyed it immensely.
There was a lot of relaxing and talking and good food and beautiful music. Our kids were thrilled with every minute of it – there was always something exciting going on, plenty of adoring adults to get them attention (especially because the other grand kids couldn’t make it) and lots of bacon and Grandpa food (that’s the mark of a good party for Hazel). They soaked in all that attention like nobody’s business and were happy as little clams.
Grandma Shumway is queen of providing fun games and crafts for my kids. I know Hazel wishes that I would figure out how to do that like Grandma. I’m so thankful that Hazel has Grandma Shumway. Uncle John and Grandpa thrilled the kids with their rubber gun shooting and other shenanigans. Grandma brought some butcher paper and markers for the kids to make life-sized self portraits. We put together this family puzzle, everyone taking little squares and then fitting them all together. It was some serious teamwork. Emmeline was especially delighted by it. Grandma and aunt Kiecoo made a treasure hunt for the kids to help them explore their new surroundings. Do you think they were delighted? Especially with the treasures they found in the master bathtub? Aunt Kiecoo brought all kinds of nail polish to do the girls nails. This was a real highlight. I love fun aunts.I think the highlight for me was the music we got to hear live at Tangle wood. Jeff and I got to go and hear Appalachian Spring by Copland with John and Clarissa the first night. It was magical listening to it surrounded by the Berkshire night air. The BSO also played Beethoven's symphony no 7 which is a new favorite. As I sat there listening I felt all this joy welling up inside me and wondered how it got planted there and how I can help my kids feel the thrill of good live classic music. I’m so thankful that my mother planted that seed in us and felt recommitted to nourish that in my kids.
It helped that we got to go and hear the dress rehearsal for the big John Williams birthday celebration the next morning. We sat on the lawn for a lot of it, but got to go sit right up in front when they played Star Wars and when Yo Yo Ma played. It was thrilling, and I could see that they were feeling the thrill too.
And then we got to go and hear Clarissa sing (the beauty in purple below). She was fantastic and the kids were so proud that their aunt is “famous.” I could almost see the swell start within them. Any idea out there for nourishing a love of good music in kids?
This is the view at Tanglewood. Music and nature should go together like this more often. The kids got exposure to other forms of culture while we were there too. They played a lot of whiffle ball with Jeff and Grandpa Shumway and of course, Grandpa Shumway showed them a lot of quirky videos on the internet. Jeff and I had a wonderful time hanging out with all these spectacular adults.
Thanks Ron and Nedra for a spectacular reunion.