Legacy Day begins today!

August 17, 2018

See post below for the description of Legacy Day. Activities throughout the day tomorrow, ending with the 5 PM parade and dancing in the streets downtown to the music of Motown!

A fine tribute to the memory of Aretha Franklin and to African American history in our country.

Coming up: Legacy Day – Aug 17-18

August 11, 2018

The anniversary of the Charlottesville tragedy will be the day after tomorrow. It’s been a year, and maybe you’re still wondering, “What can I do?” Each of us must find our own answers, but two things that we can do are to listen, and then to learn, two ways of offering support and respect to those who’ve been on the short end of that stick for hundreds of years. Another thing that we can do is to remember, asking ourselves, “How should this change me?” And finally, we can share with others the things that are important – their culture, heritage, history. Sumner Hall, in Chestertown, offers a place where these things can happen, and next weekend, during Legacy Day, is a time when things that are important can be experienced.

Maybe you’d like to spend a night or two, or maybe you’d like to do a day trip. Either way, try to fit this in. If you live far away, making this trip impossible, look around in your own area for a similar place where African American history has been preserved and valued. Then visit.

From the Legacy Day page on the Sumner Hall website:

Sumner Hall is proud to be the primary producer of the Fifth Annual Legacy Day festivities in Chestertown, Maryland, on August 18, 2018. Legacy Day started five years ago as an effort to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of African Americans in Kent County. We also wanted to encourage all residents of Kent County to recognize their shared history, and to have a good time doing it. The inaugural Legacy Day in 2014 was a huge success. Nearly 1500 people were dancing in Chestertown’s High Street to celebrate Charlie Graves and the Uptown Club, a place where many legendary soul artists performed. In 2015 we celebrated local rhythm and blues artists and local beer gardens. Our 2016 theme honored African-American businesses of the recent and more distant past. Last year Legacy Day saluted African American educators who taught or served as a principal in one of Kent County’s segregated schools. For 2018, we will carry that theme forward by featuring stories of how black and white students and teachers dealt with the early years of integration in Kent County schools. In addition to great music, food and drink, Legacy Day 2018 will include a parade and a seminar on genealogy.

*Live Music by Soulfied Village & DJ Lonnie Butcher* *Local Food & Drink Vendors* *Bring a lawn chair for when you need a break from dancing.*

2018 Schedule
Friday, August 17th 7:00 pm – Honoree Reception @ Sumner Hall
Saturday, August 18th 10:00am – Genealogy Workshop @ Chestertown Public Library
2:00pm – Gospel Concert @ Jane’s United Methodist Church
5:00pm – Parade down High Street 6:00pm – Block Party on High Street

17 African American Civil War Soldiers

August 3, 2018

I’ve decided I love small museums the very best.

As I’ve been traveling through my 60s, I’ve discovered something that seems to come with the territory – that having too many choices is not a good thing. Walking into a large department store with seemingly a million and one wardrobe items from which to choose can reduce me to wandering, wilting, and wondering, “Why?” quicker than anything else. Visiting a large museum, although exciting and amazing, can do the same thing: it’s like a cacaphony of stuff and I just don’t know where to begin or how to sort it all out. (I do enjoy these visits, however; I just have to tackle them differently, dividing them up into smaller units and being satisfied with seeing only a portion of the whole.) Going to a small one, though, is more manageable. As Maria sang, “You just start at the very beginning, a very good place to start,” and you can get the whole thing done decently, in order, and satisfactorily, brushing off one’s hands at the end, knowing that there has been a lovely thing accomplished. The experience can then be celebrated, enjoyed, and even savored; never forgotten, then shared with others.

Visiting the Harriet Tubman Museum, about an hour away from Chestertown, is one of these memorable visits, as is a visit to the Selma (AL) Interpretive Museum and the new Legacy Museum (a.k.a. the “Lynching Museum” in Montgomery, AL), which I just did a couple of weeks ago, but which are not just around the corner from here. However, another of these small museum treasures is right here in Chestertown, Sumner Hall, which is another African American history museum, a restored local G.A.R. Post built in 1908. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, it is also a treasure, and one of only 2 buildings like it in the entire world.

Sumner Hall, recently the site of a live broadcast of WYPR, the Baltimore NPR station, (just this past week!), is also currently the place where one can enjoy the beautiful exhibit of “17 Black Soldiers of the Civil War.” Opening tomorrow, it is a collection of colored pencil portraits taken from a pocket-sized album of locket-sized photographs (each the size of postage stamps!) dating back to the Civil War. The story behind the display and the stories behind each of the portraits are intriguing, exciting and enticing, drawing one in to imagine, to learn, to remember, and then, to be changed.

The Sumner Hall exhibit, made possible by the artist, Shayne Davidson, will only be here in Chestertown for this month of August 2018. So try to make plans today!

Green Grilled Cheese (vegetarian)

May 16, 2018

Green Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2 slices bread
2 – 3 tablespoons pesto
2 slices cheese
handful fresh baby spinach
¼ avocado, sliced
fresh asparagus, in season (and it’s in here in Chestertown right now!)
olive oil, butter
cracked, black pepper & salt

I was struck by the intensity and beauty of the sandwich as soon as I saw the green grilled cheese online. Yum!

Because I have Commencement guests arriving tomorrow, because asparagus is in season, and because my guests are not egg eaters, I needed to go in a different direction than normal. I usually do vegetarian breakfasts, but eggs are a staple. I can use one go-to for one breakfast, the mashed potato/cheese/fried Vadalia onion crepe, and waffles on another day, but I needed another fun menu – which was when I saw the picture. Perfect!

Fairly easy (if you have the pesto made ahead of time) and delicious. Combined with the offerings of fresh fruit – (strawberries are also in), yogurt, homemade granola, and a few cinnamon buns thrown into the mix, my menus will be complete. Yes. Just right.

Hope your spring is bouncing about nicely, too!

Spring has sprung!

April 24, 2018

Sweeny Todd opens at the Garfield downtown this weekend!

Beginning tomorrow, Plein Air artists will be everywhere around town!

Next Friday night there’s Piyo in the Park – a great chance to try a new exercise class in the fresh air!

The next day will bring an entire day of visiting local museums, beginning with Sumner Hall, which is one of only 2 buildings like it in the whole country!

Annual Museums of Kent Driving Tour
Saturday , May 5, 2018 | 10am – 3:00pm
Location: Sumner Hall – 206 S. Queen St.
Contact: Kent Museums
The tour begins at Sumner Hall, then continues around the county at other local museums. Enjoy refreshments and guided tours. Free.

Trees have budded, flowers are blooming, people are out and about, the Farmer’s Market is alive on Saturdays – it’s a great time to visit Chestertown!

Sharing

February 13, 2018

My mind is full, just now, of two back to back events from the past 2 days: the first, a weekly community dinner where I volunteer, and the second, our monthly visit to the neighborhood public elementary school for our ukulele program. I love both events, look forward to each, and have a ton of fun at the two different places. Last night: the same. Great. Today, with the 45 little ones, though, I bombed. I’d been so excited during my preparation that I’d planned way too many things and the kids were wild. Sheesh. For an early childhood educator like myself, that’s not a good thing. I knew better. So although last night’s dinner put me on a high, today’s became a low. Aw, it’ll be fine and next month will be better – I”ll just reign things in and be more careful, and the results will be different. This is not the end of the world. Most have waaay more things to deal with than some tiny, poor-baby-feelings, but still, for me, my normally intact armor has a bit of a crack in it. I was reminded of the words below. (And I don’t know what you call a sort of 3rd-hand quote (one who quoted another who’d quoted another), but this is one, originally from Thomas Merton):

We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I’d always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human,….the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion.
We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing…the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and ….deny our own humanity….
…each of us is better than the worst thing we’ve ever done….I am more than broken. In fact, there is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise….You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.
–Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy, pp.289 – 290.

Anyway, maybe you, too, just need a small break in a hectic day; maybe you even could use a quick get-away! (This is a B&B blog, after all.) Or maybe just a reminder of what’s best and right in this time of history in which we live. Whatever. Hopefully, your day just got a little brighter. And now maybe you can pass it on. You are not alone.

Just January

January 6, 2018

Need a post-holiday get-away? Need some quiet? Need some healthy options for breakfast? No need to be afraid of going to a B&B b/c of fattening foods – (although that’s certainly an option, too, although we’d prefer the euphemism of “fab favorites”)! I love fixing what our guests prefer, so don’t let that fear stop you!

We’re open and we promise to be a place of respite. Come stay, if you’d like.

“…get close.” – Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

December 3, 2017

From p 14, Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

My grandmother was the daughter of people who were enslaved in Caroline County, VA. She was born in the 1880s, her parents in the 1840s. Her father talked to her all the time about growing up in slavery and how he learned to read and write but kept it a secret. He hid the things he knew–until Emancipation. The legacy of slavery very much shaped my grandmother and the way she raised her nine children. It influenced the way she talked to me, the way she constantly told me to “Keep close.”

When I visited her, she would hug me so tightly I could barely breathe. After a little while, she would ask me, ‘Bryan, do you still feel me hugging you?’ If I said yes, she’d let me be; if I said no, she would assault me again. I said no a lot because it made me happy to be wrapped in her formidable arms. She never tired of pulling me to her.

‘You can’t understand most of the important things from a distance, Bryan. You have to get close,’ she told me all the time.

A Dickens of a Christmas – in town THIS WEEKEND!

November 28, 2017

This Friday is First Friday in our little town, but it’s a very special First Friday….Miracle on 34th Street opens at the Garfield Center for the Arts. If you decide to catch opening night there, you can still go to hear the Chester River Chorale concert on Saturday afternoon. In between, you can stroll the streets and see Dickens-era costumes all around and also stop in to see the Festival of Trees. On 1 PM on Sunday, there’s the 2nd Annual Ukulele Christmas concert…. and these are just a few highlights!

Don’t miss this! There’s still room in the inn!

Fall is here!

October 12, 2017

The temperatures are finally cool, so it feels like autumn! Yay!

And oh yes, speaking of “cool,” I’m going to brag about the new, cool award that is now visible on our “reviews” page! Check it out!

(And while you’re “at it,” you might even want to book a stay to soak in some of these cool temperatures while you’re doing some cool things around Chestertown!) We’d love to have you!

Next Page »

Location, Location, Location.

You might notice the WAC Administration Building cupola out of the corner of your eye as you walk onto Simply Bed & Bread's brick path, since our house is just a stone's throw away from the college. Or it might be the ...
Continue reading »