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Boston: Logan Airport

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On July 2, 1999, Boston's Logan Airport sustained a lightning strike that temporarily disrupted radar and communication ability.  At least that was the story that I was told in Pittsburgh, PA as my flight to Massachusetts was canceled.  My brother and I were on a trip from Houston, TX to join a three-week European concert tour consisting of approximately 150 high school musicians from across America.  After being forced to stay in Pennsylvania for an unplanned night, we made contact with five other kids and one adult who were also stranded on our way to the same location, and our so-called "Pittsburgh Seven" finally made it to Logan Airport.  That was my very first experience with the subject this week's post. In 1923, less than two decades after the Wright brothers made their historic flight at Kitty Hawk, the first airplane arrived at a new landing strip in the middle of what used to be Boston Harbor.  As we discovered very early in our study of Boston, the city has

Boston: The Castle (Fort Independence)

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One of the most recognizable landmarks in Boston that does not fall along any of the city's historical trails is Fort Independence, which is known as The Castle.  The earliest fortification to stand on what is today Castle Island, just to the southeast of the city, was constructed in 1634 to provide a point of defense for the city against any attacks by sea.  The original earthworks were soon bolstered by a wooden structure, due in part to concern over a French warship which had approached the city, and that fort was enhanced or replaced multiple times during the following decades.  By the dawn of the 18th century a fifth version of the fort was constructed, which was named "Castle William" in honor of the English monarch who had taken the throne during the so-called Glorious Revolution of 1688. Castle Island was an important location in the time leading up to the American Revolution, with its garrison serving as a secure shelter for British loyalists while unrest swept t

Boston: African Meeting House

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Welcome back to the Cradle of American Liberty!  If this is your first time seeing a post about Boston, I would encourage you to go back and look at some of the other information I've written about the historic city.  It seemed important to go back and finish looking into a few of the important sites before taking the blog in a new direction, and with that in mind I'd like to complete our review of Boston's Black Heritage Trail with the final site, the African Meeting House. As the 19th century began the legal freedom that many black residents of Boston enjoyed did not guarantee them equal rights.  Although they were permitted to attend the same churches as white Christians, they were not given membership voting rights or permitted to sit on first-floor pews.  A preacher named Thomas Paul had led a group that worshipped and Faneuil Hall, and by 1805 they organized as the First African Baptist Church.  By the end of the following year, land had been purchased and a building

Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 41

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The school year has drawn to a close, and with it my official time as a homeschool dad is ending.  Let's take a look at how the final week went down. Sunday - When you live on the opposite side of a major city from your church, sometimes you're not inclined to travel back and forth multiple times in a day.  We didn't have much of a choice this time, however, as our activities at church required us to spend the majority of the day on campus.  After spending the morning having the usual service and Bible study, we stuck around for lunch and a Nerf war with our 5th graders, including Curly.  The rain that soaked town all week forced us inside, but these soon-to-be middle school kids didn't let that dampen their enthusiasm as they took over the hallways of the west tower.  Girly was supposed to have training in the evening to prepare her for the summer's Vacation Bible School, but the children's resident did us a huge favor and took the time to work with her individ

Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 40

We're racing ahead towards the school year finish line!  For some reason I didn't take many pictures of anything this week, so it's going to be a fairly text-heavy post this week.  Sunday - Mother's Day at church is always nice, and I was fortunate enough to have mine and my children's with me.  We waited too long to nail down details, unfortunately, so we were stuck going to a restaurant without a reservation.  I was actually glad to see the wait, however, because I've been told this is one of two days where food service will make or break their years (think of it like a culinary Black Friday).  So many good eateries have gone away during the past year.  No evening church activities meant we were free to wrap up our day without the extra trip across town, which I'm sure the car would have appreciated if it had thoughts or feelings about such things.  Monday - Each of the girls has been gradually wrapping up some of their school subjects for 2020-21.  This w

Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 39

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In the midst of several pages being turned this week we saw the answers to many prayers, and for each one of them I'm exceedingly thankful!  Sunday - It was a nice day to have my mom alongside us on the pew for church, although she didn't stick around long enough afterwards to join us for lunch.  After the service she made her way over to the medical center to be with my dad while we all went to Bible study.  The afternoon only offered a brief amount of time for rest, however, as we had to return for a big children's choir presentation alongside our church orchestra.  The kids hadn't sung for us since Thanksgiving 2019, so it was a pretty special event.  All of my girls were on stage, with Curly taking her last turn in elementary before graduating up to the youth choir, Whirly singing with her current group one more time, and both Mrs. Geographist and Girly helping teach some of the younger grades.  It was a great show, and after all was said and done we also found out

Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 38

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I don't think I ever thank each of you enough for taking the time to read through what I write.  Whether it's the Biblical, historical, or general day-to-day topics, I always try to put interesting content on the website so it's gratifying to see the number of hits on the site continue to rise.  April broke my own personal monthly record, and I'm hopeful that May can maintain that heat.  If you haven't checked out the devotional I wrote on this blog, Our Story With God (which is now published and available at many retail outlets), or my series on the history of Boston, I would welcome you to browse around those pages as well.  Back to the dad diary, however...the end-of-year activities are heating up, and for several of these they represent the first events of their kind in a very long time.  Let's make our way through the week together! Sunday - Our 5th grade classroom got a makeover this week, as we are once again allowed to have large group time before breaki

Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 37

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Early on in the quarantine, we started hearing about the phrase "new normal" and certain things have definitely changed.  Some of them will be hard habits to break by the time the next school year rolls around and I finally return to my office.  But either way, we're going to try to enjoy each step along the journey! Sunday - The pews continue to get filled up more each week at church, and now there are no more ropes closing off every second row.  I'm glad to see more folks getting comfortable as they start getting back to being around others.  After church we snagged some Mongolian BBQ for lunch on the way home.  Girly had youth choir in the evening, so Curly and I had an hour to kill before Bible Drill began - Daddy/daughter date night at the Greek restaurant!  Once the kids finished up their final practice before the upcoming state competition, we headed back home where my mom was arriving to spend a few nights.  She opted to stay in our guest room for a little whi

Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 36

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Another week is in the books, and this one made it feel like we're starting to wind down the school year activities as the kids start preparing for their final events.  Oh, and we had lots of birthdays! Sunday - One week after Easter Sunday, and while the crowd was a bit smaller than on the "big day" it's quite obvious that more and more folks are feeling comfortable coming around.  After grabbing Italian food for lunch we all decided it was a perfect time for a gelato dessert.  During the evening, Curly participated in the Association level of Bible Drill, which was still held on our church campus.  I was really proud of all the kids that competed, and all of them scored well enough to advance on to the State level in a few weeks.  To celebrate, we all headed outside for some ice cream - hooray for two frozen dairy desserts in a single day!        Monday - It was back to school for everyone except Girly, who hadn't been feeling quite up to par.  She spent the bet

Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 35

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I find it hard to believe that we've been at this for 35 weeks already, but here we are with just six weeks of school left.  There are no more holidays, however, so from here on out it's a push all the way to the finish line.  Whether it turns into a race or a grind remains to be seen! Sunday - What an amazing Resurrection Day at church!  For the first time in over a year, our worship service felt like the congregation we used to know every week.  We're definitely thankful for all the progress that has been made in order to bring the church back together in the building.  Even our 5th grade Bible study was closer to normal, with the kids being able to move around our room more freely during activities.  After church we headed up to my in-laws' house for a family lunch, after which we ran around watching the kids collect all of those brightly-colored, candy-filled eggs.   Monday - The adults were back to work, but none of the kids were back in school.  So while Mrs. Geog

Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 34

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Lots of changes during this update, which was truly a red-letter week! Sunday - Palm Sunday at church was a little different this year, as the children typically usher us all into worship waving palm branches and singing.  But you know what?  At least we were in church this time, unlike last year, and that was a very good thing.  During the evening, we were all back at church so that we could watch Curly and Whirly participate in their Bible Drill church competition.  Both had improvements over their practice round from the week before Spring Break, and every one of the kids did a great job!  It was definitely a tough semester to handle, but all of our 4th and 5th graders will be advancing to their next round - the association level.  After all the kids wrapped up, Mrs. Geographist got to hang out with several of her friends that make up a discipleship group, so it was just a great day all around.       Monday - Back to school, back to work.  Whirly continued to focus on her math skill

Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 33

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This week certainly was a one that deserved a gold star on the calendar!  With so much going on, I decided our family motto should now be "Making the most of a good situation"!  Maybe I should find someone willing to stencil that onto the wall by our front door, what do you think? Sunday - We were back at church to start the week after being out of town for Spring Break, and it was good to see our 5th grade crew again.  One thing we've noticed is that, in addition to the general population continuing to rise at places like our church, the traffic situation is also starting to appear decidedly pre-pandemic.  Suffice it to say that we were all hungry for lunch by the time it took us to travel back through town after services were over!  In the evening the Bible Drill kids had their final dress rehearsal for next week's competition, which gave them a good sense of where they stand.  In an exceptionally bizarre semester full of unexpected closures and weather events, the