This year is the fifth anniversary of this blog. For the first year I was unsure about how many photos I could actually upload because of the free WordPress.com blogging account has a space limit. So I kept photo uploads limited to just my arts and crafts along with any photographs that I actually exhibited in a show. Over time I learned such things as graphic optimization so I was able to upload more photos that way than I thought I could. So for the rest of the year I’m going to devote Throwback Thursday to photos from previous blog entries (along with links to the original posts) that I should’ve uploaded five years earlier but I didn’t.

My mother-in-law died suddenly from a stroke just two months after I started this blog. My then-husband and I flew out to Phoenix (where she lived for the last 17 or 18 years of her life with her second husband) for her funeral. Prior to her moving to Phoenix for her remarriage, she had spent the bulk of her adult life in the New York City metropolitan area, where she lived with my father-in-law and raised three children. She kept in contact with many of her friends from her New York years and she and her second husband would fly to the East Coast once a year to visit them. Unfortunately many of her friends couldn’t fly to Phoenix for the funeral because many of them were either on fixed incomes or they weren’t healthy enough to do an extensive cross-country travel, or both.

So my then-husband and his sister came up with the idea of holding an East Coast memorial service later that year for those friends who couldn’t make it to Phoenix. I assumed that it would be held somewhere in the New York area since she lived there and the majority of her friends still lived there.

Among those who couldn’t be there for the Phoenix funeral was one of my mother-in-law’s closest friends, who had recently decided to retire to Western Massachusetts so she could be closer to her daughter’s family in Williamstown. My sister-in-law suddenly had this idea of holding the memorial service there even though my mother-in-law had never lived in Western Massachusetts and, well, she got her way. There were hassles with getting reservations for restaurants and hotels because it was the height of the New England Fall Foliage Season. On top of it, many of my mother-in-law’s friends couldn’t make the trip from New York to Western Massachusetts for the same reasons as why they couldn’t make it to Phoenix earlier in the year: they were either on fixed incomes, they didn’t feel healthy enough to travel, or both. I think around 10 people were able to make it to the East Coast memorial service.

I’ve been to Massachusetts before but my previous trips have all been in Boston. This was the first time I had been on the western end of the state. On top of it, my husband and I were able to make a brief side trip to Connecticut to briefly visit his nephew and his new wife in the Groton-New London area. (The nephew was—and still is—in the Navy. Even though he was in Phoenix for his grandmother’s funeral earlier that year, he couldn’t get leave to attend the East Coast memorial service.) As we rode the Amtrak back to Maryland from Connecticut, we ran into a friend of ours who had boarded the same train when it arrived in New York City. The three of us went out to a local restaurant once the train arrived back in Maryland.

Here are just a few of the photos I took during that trip along with links to the original blog posts.

October 7, 2010: I announced the details of my upcoming trip. Basically we took Amtrak to New London, Connecticut. Then we took a taxicab over to a nearby car rental place where we rented a car. We drove the rest of the way to Williamstown, Massachusetts.

October 10, 2010: I wrote about my first impressions of Williamstown the day before along with some of the places my husband and I visited. October 10 was also the day of the actual memorial service so I wrote about that as well while taking these photographs.

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Much of the action took place at Williams College, which is such as visual delight with its mix of fall foliage, historical buildings, and visual art strewn throughout the campus.

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The church where the memorial service was held, First Congregational Church, is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and is actually located on campus.

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October 11, 2010: I documented how sick I got in the wee hours after a full day of sightseeing, going to my mother-in-law’s memorial service, and doing too much eating and drinking.

October 12, 2010: I documented the leisurely car trip we went through Western Massachusetts back to New London, Connecticut where we visited a variety of places along the way. By nightfall we were at an Olive Garden in New London where we ate dinner with our nephew and his wife then we saw their home. Here are just some of the photos we took during the trip back.

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October 12, 2010: I wrote about our unsuccessful attempt to visit the U.S.S. Nautilus during our time in New London.

October 13, 2010: I wrote about how my husband and I ran into a friend of ours on Amtrak when he boarded that same train in New York City.

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