Monday, August 9, 2010


Perry Hall is a suburb of Baltimore, and we drove there yesterday to visit our son Matt, his wife Marylee, and their two-and-a-half year old, Ian.

At 8:30 a.m. I had played the piano for an early worship service at Market Square Presbyterian Church in downtown Harrisburg. I came home and goofed off a bit, and then we jumped into the Box and headed toward Ian, er, I mean Perry Hall.

As we drove past the Perry Hall welcome sign, I wondered where the name came from. Here's the skinny:

"In 1774, Baltimore businessman Harry Dorsey Gough purchased a 1,000-acres estate called The Adventure. This estate included much of northeastern Baltimore County, and Gough renamed it Perry Hall after his family's home near Birmingham, England. He completed a mansion that became known for its great gardens and distinctive architecture, rivaled only by Hampton House, [down the road] near Towson." (

When we arrived, Ian was waiting for us at the door. We enjoyed seeing him and Matt while Marylee was at a shower. Ian showed his trust in his dad by leaping off one of the steps in the house into his dad's arms. It was almost time for Ian's nap, so Meemaw read him a story, and then he fell fast asleep.

Matt, Susanne, and I retreated to the coolness of the basement and chewed the fat while watching the food channel. There was a Baltimore bent to the shows we watched. One was the Baltimore- based Ace of Cakes, and the other featured a visit to Baltimore's Broadway Diner by the diners, drive-ins, and dives guy.

Soon Marylee arrived home, and our conversation continued. It was determined that Ian had slept long enough so Matt went upstairs to wake him.

Earlier, I had constructed a little building from Lincoln Logs so that Ian could have the pleasure of knocking it over, which he seemed to enjoy doing. Susanne and Ian played with a railroad set, Ian tackled an inflated football player, and he built a fort with cushions from the couch.

Soon it was time to eat, so we ordered out and had some great dinner treats. The pictures tell all. Ian and his mom and dad wished each other "cheers!" as the meal commenced.

The after dinner show included Ian singing his version of "Ding, dong, the witch is dead," which he has heard being sung by the kids at his babysitter's house, and then did a turn on the cool wooden European bicycle that teaches kids to balance and prepares them for the big time.

As we left for home, Ian was preparing to ride his bike around the court with Mommy close at hand, and Matt was heading into the house for a well-deserved snooze.
 Ian gives my log building a good whack.

  Matt had a shrimp melt.

Marylee had a crab cake sandwich.

Ian had Ian food.

Susanne had a quesadilla.

  John had a panini.

 A future Tour de France winner
gets his start.
 Father and son.

 Matt looks on as Marylee and Ian wave goodbye.

  The Box prepares to pull out as Marylee and Ian
start their trek around the court and Matt heads inside.

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