Winter in Marblehead

We left Leander in Smögen on Sweden’s west coast for the winter season, and came back to the Boston area to live for the winter.  We rented a home in Marblehead, arriving at Thanksgiving and staying until the start of April, enjoying the snowiest winter ever recorded on Boston’s north shore.  It snowed and snowed and snowed.  And then, it snowed some more.

Here are some pictures of our stay.

Out for a family walk in the snow.

The first snow was a true novelty, with our Marblehead neighbors turning out en masse to walk in the white and socialize. There would be a lot more to come.

 

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Sima and Aylin made snow angels.

Making snowmen in the back yard.

Making snowmen in the back yard.

The snow-family mostly complete.

The snow-family mostly complete.

Alexander shows mom how he wants his snowboy's face to look.

Alexander shows mom how he wants his snowboy’s face to look.

Sima and Aylin

Sima and Aylin

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Aylin surveys the snow goblins marching toward the back window on a snowy night.

Alexander never met a snow bank that he didn't want to eat.

Alexander never met a snow bank that he didn’t want to eat.

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Aylin, asleep on the toboggan, with her arms tucked into her scarf to keep them from dragging on the ground as we moved through town.

Alexander works to clear a path to the door.

Alexander works to clear a path to the door.

Alexander in his snow fort.

In his snow fort.

 

Alexander and dad after finishing a snow monkey.

Alexander and dad after finishing a snow monkey.  (Why wait to eat snow banks when you can snatch it right out of the air?!)

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This is the aftermath of one of the snows, but not the biggest. We’d clean out after one, and the next would hit. It became such that Paul could not throw the snow high enough to reach the top of the snow banks, and the drifts reached half-way up our first story windows.  

Cleaned up after one storm.

Clean up after one storm.

Ice crystals on the window.

Ice crystals on an attic window at dusk.

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Snow gathering in the back yard. Remember that snowman family from the first snow fall? They’re buried under an ocean of snow, and won’t see the sun again until late April.

Gramps reads to Aylin.

We were able to spend a good amount of time with Paul’s family in Lynn.  Here, gramps reads to Aylin.

Alexander celebrates his fourth birtday.

Alexander celebrated his fourth birthday.

And Paul his 51st.

And Paul his 51st.

Christmas at the Robertsons.

Christmas at the Robertsons. We got the kids more presents than they needed. After they’d opened half, we stuck the remainder, unopened, in a closet, to save for a rainy day.  They were having trouble figuring out what to do with so many toys. It was a good lesson for us.

Aylin at play on Christmas Day.

Aylin at play on Christmas Day.

Aylin and Scarlett opening presents on Christmas Day.

Aylin and Scarlett opening presents at the home of Paul’s parents.

Alexander attends to a present on Christmas Day.  He can become engrossed.

Alexander attends to a present on Christmas Day. He can become engrossed.

Alexander and Aylin asleep.

Alexander and Aylin asleep.

Aylin.

Aylin in a contemplative moment.

The kids help dad stretch out before a run.

The kids help dad stretch out before a run.

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Some time ago, Paul had come across a stamp issued by the tiny island of Tristan da Cunha, where his great-, great-, great-grandfather, Alexander Robertson had died. The stamp commemorated a visit to the island of the HMS Julia, the ship on which Alexander had sailed. The stamp was beautiful, and Paul contacted Tristan da Cunha to inquire about getting a copy of the print. The trail led to England, and eventually to the artist, John Batchelor, one of the most acclaimed illustrators in England.  On hearing our interest in the print, he gave the original art work to us. Here is Alexander holding the painting of ship on which his namesake sailed.

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If you know just where and when to look, you can find the very last of the waning crescent moon, the night before the new moon.

Alexander for a walk at the beach with Gramps.

Alexander for a walk at the beach with Gramps.

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Alexander performed in his first school concert in December with his Devereaux School classmates. That’s him tucked in the second row, middle, looking particularly serious.  Or nervous.

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Alexander also performed in a holiday play with his First Meeting House classmates, here playing the badger in a reading of the children’s book, “The Mitten.”

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Aylin, in turn, attended day care at the Jewish Community Center (the “JCC”). She enjoyed it, and would sometimes charge out of the kitchen to get her lunch box, ready to go to “Soool” at the “ABCD.”

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Sima also found an outdoor school for Alexander, the Forest Kindergarden located in Newbury. It was a long drive for us each Wednesday, but well worth it. Alexander loved his time in the snow.

Ready to go home after a day at "school."

Alexander pulling a sled back to base camp.

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Alexander with his teachers (including “Ducky Debby,” standing) and classmates from Forest Kindergarten.

Alexander looking all the part of an outdoorsman.

Alexander looking all the part of an outdoorsman.

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Alexander with one of his teachers, Lauren Bertdone, at the Forest Kindergarten.

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Alexander with Lead Naturalist Debbie (“Duckie Debby”) Lyons.

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Alexander’s last day of school at the First Meeting House.  Hr loved it there.

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At the Devereux School, Alexander talks guitars with one of his teachers, Eric Russell.

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We set up a feeder outside of our window, and had lots of visitors, much to the delight of Alexander and Aylin.  And mom and dad, too.

Mommy cardinal in a snow storm.

Mommy cardinal came often in the snow storms, and would linger leisurely at at the feeder.

Daddy cardinal in the sun.

Dad came in the sun, usually. His visits were quick and furtive.  Perhaps the males are worried about the conspicuousness of their plumage.  The colorful males were so much more anxious than the more drab females.

Mr. Blue Jay.

Mr. Blue Jay came late in the season, and he used to hide in the bushes until he was sure the coast was clear.  A neighborhood cat would sometimes visit the area.

 

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