Friday Roundup


Another swift week!

Puppy Love

Sam and Arrow

Sunday is the beginning of a new year. Everything inside me tells me this is going to be a good year. I hope for you, too.

Read my post of Dec 29 on navigating my recent separation: We Walked the dogs at Wagon Hill

I wanted to share that I’ve been working with Eastman graduate Mary Baron, soprano, to enhance this blog (Thank you Jacob Stebly of ESM’s archives for connecting us!).  I’m so excited to keep adding features. Soon to come: more audio and video clips, a sidebar with Things Dawn Likes, including what I’m reading now,  what my friends are publishing now, what resources I’ve read about Jan, and links I love. Stay tuned.

I wanted to tell you about my recent travels. First stop after Sam picks me up at Logan: Gus’s Bike Shop for some last minute shopping. Jeff and Leslie Latimer bought this shop nearly 10 years ago. They are revolutionizing women’s riding in the Seacoast, building community, continuing this shop’s legacy of nearly 40 years. Thank you Jeff and Les!

Gus' Bike Shop, Hampton, NH

Jeff Latimer and Sam at Gus’s Bike Shop in Hampton, NH.

On to Dover where we celebrated Solstice with our dear family friends and neighbors the Kerr-Paulsens. I think we’ve joined this celebratory circle around a fire, candles in hand, for more than ten years now. After two years away in Raleigh, it was quite sweet to join again.

And of course, a Donut Sunday on Saturday morning, Christmas Eve. Brian has perfected the homemade donut. Today’s: yeast dough.  Yummy! dinner

Homemade Donuts

Meg Kerr might like these donuts!

Back in DC, I spent the afternoon at the newly opened National Museum of African American History.  NMAAHC.  It was a last-minute decision to get downtown by 12:30 in order to stand in line for a same-day afternoon pass. The museum is free, but you have to have a pass in hand to enter. I waited more than an hour to 1. get one of the afternoon passes, 2. get into the front door, and then, 3. another hour in the cafe line (because I hadn’t eaten since 7 am breakfast.) Note to self [and you]: reserve free pass months in advance (starting now in April) to avoid this. Eat hearty breakfast and lunch before entering. Understand you will spend more time in lines than in the actual exhibits for probably a year to come.


National Museum of African American History and Culture

After lunch, I stood in line again for another 45 minutes to take the elevator down three floors to the beginning of the history galleries: Slavery and Freedom. I last a mere 90 minutes, quickly taking in the breadth of the exhibits on all three floors–a massive amount of visual and text materials–and stopping to read a few moments in detail. This museum is historic and you must give yourself, I recommend, several days to really inhabit it and see it. I’d had three hours sleep the night before, and I was toast. I couldn’t take it in. But I can’t wait to. I know what’s there now, and I know how to return and experience it. What moved me most this day: the hundreds and hundreds of people patiently waiting in line–people of multiple races and ages–for HOURS–to experience this narrative. Do you want to feel “part of”, united during this strange strange time in our American history?  Stand in line.

Washington Monument

Washington Monument in front of NMAAHC at sunset









About dhaines54

Dawn Denham (formerly Haines) lives in the hill country of North Central Mississippi where she's writing a book about her mentor at the Eastman School of Music mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani and teaching writing at Oxford High School. Her work has been published in Poets and Writers magazine, Brevity, Zone 3, Literary Mama, and WILLA. Her book with authors Jacqueline Raphael and Susan Newcomer Writing Together: Transforming Your Writing in a Writing Group was the first book of its kind published in the US. Her essay Aleatorik about her mother’s death won the 2012 Solstice magazine Creative Nonfiction prize chosen by Jerald Walker and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She received an MFA in Nonfiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MA in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Arizona, and a BM in Voice from Eastman School of Music.
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