Boldt Castle on Heart Island

We live in what is called the "Thousand Islands Region" which  covers the Canadian and Northen New York Border.  As you are crossing over the bridge that connects New York to Canada, you can see all of these islands along the St. Lawrence Seaway…truly for the rich and famous.  Each of the grand homes are on their own little island accessible only by boat.  One of the homes is the "House of Seven Gables", however the highlight of them all is on Heart Island where you will find the famous Boldt Castle.  We have been there several times as it is only a 1/2 hour drive.  We have gone by private boat as well as the boat tour and spent many hours both outside and inside the castle.  It is truly breathtaking and the story of the castle is heartbreaking and tragic.  I thought some of you might enjoy the history and photos and if you are ever in the Thousand Islands Region, this is a stop worth making.

Brief History. . .

At the turn-of-the-century, George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a full size rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay, on picturesque Heart Island.  The grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise.

Beginning in 1900, Boldt’s family shared four glorious summers on the island in the Alster Tower while 300 workers including stonemasons, carpenters, and artists fashioned the six story, 120 room castle, complete with tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge, and a dove cote. Not a single detail or expense was spared.

In 1904, tragedy struck. Boldt telegraphed the island and commanded the workers to immediately "stop all construction." Louise had died suddenly. A broken hearted Boldt could not imagine his dream castle without his beloved. Boldt never returned to the island, leaving behind the structure as a monument of his love.

For 73 years, the castle and various stone structures were left to the mercy of the wind, rain, ice, snow and vandals. When the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property in 1977, it was decided that through the use of all net revenues from the castle operation it would be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.



Quotes about Mothers/Fathers and Children

I love these quotes and many of them make you realize just how the intricate relationship of parent and child molds our lives.
A child is a precious gift entrusted to our care.
  • Robert A. Heinlein: Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.
  • Jesse Torrey: If you wish to study men you must not neglect to mix with the society of children.
  • Ann Landers: In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.
  • Garrison Keillor: Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.
  • Walt Disney: Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes: Pretty much all the honest truthtelling there is in the world is done by children.
  • Thomas G. Halliburton: The suspicious parent makes an artful child.
  • Goethe: Too many parents make life hard for their children by trying, too zealously, to make it easy for them.
  • B. C. Forbes: Upon our children – how they are taught – rests the fate – or fortune – of tomorrow’s world.
There is probably no relationship as pure as the relationship of a mother and child.
  • Honore de Balzac
    The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.
  • Zora Neale Hurston
    Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.
  • Tenneva Jordan
    A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
  • Sophia Loren
    When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.
  • Irish Proverb
    A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.
  • Rebecca West
    Motherhood is the strangest thing; it can be like being one’s own Trojan horse.
  • Barbara Ehrenreich
    Take motherhood: nobody ever thought of putting it on a moral pedestal until some brash feminists pointed out, about a century ago, that the pay is lousy and the career ladder nonexistent.
  • Honore de Balzac
    A mother who is really a mother is never free.
  • Marguerite Duras
    For that’s what a woman, a mother wants – to teach her children to take an interest in life. She knows it’s safer for them to be interested in other people’s happiness than to believe in their own. 
  • Jewish Proverb
    A mother understands what a child does not say. 
  • Spanish Proverb
    An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.
  • Leon Blum
    When a woman is twenty, a child deforms her; when she is thirty, he preserves her; and when forty, he makes her young again.
  • Pearl S. Buck
    Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same; and most mothers kiss and scold together.
  • John Keble
    The watchful mother tarries nigh, though sleep has closed her infant’s eyes.
  • Phyllis Mcginley
    The Enemy, who wears her mother’s usual face and confidential tone, has access; doubtless stares into her writing case and listens on the phone.
  • Amos Bronson Alcott
    Where there is a mother in the home, matters go well.
  • Marion C. Garretty
    Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.
  • Oprah Winfrey
    Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.
  • Strickland Gillilan
    You may have tangible wealth untold;/Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold./Richer than I you can never be -/I had a mother who read to me.
I am moved by these quotes; they make me think about the virtues of fathers. 
 1. William Shakespeare
It is a wise father that knows his own child.
 2.  J. August Strindberg
That is the thankless position of the father in the family-the provider for all, and the enemy of all.
 3. Ruth E. Renkel
Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.

4. George Washington

Father I cannot tell a lie. I did it with my little hatchet.

5. T. S. Eliot

Those who trust us educate us.

6. Mark Twain

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

7. Bartrand Hubbard

I’ve had a hard life, but my hardships are nothing against the hardships that my father went through in order to get me to where I started.

8. Charles Wadsworth

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.

9. Enid Bagnold

A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again.

10. Sigmund Freud

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.

Diary of a Snow Shoveler

As many of you know by the information on my space, we moved to the North County a year ago.  In Virginia Beach, snow in Winter is a rare event and Earl and I were looking forward to the "winter wonderland" that this region is known for.  We are 20 miles from the Canadian border and on the border of Lake Ontario so the term "lake effect snow" is well known around here.
I absolutely loved our 1st winter and there were not many days without snow on the ground.  My husband, however enjoyed the first few snowfalls but by the end of winter had traded in his snow shovel for a hefty snow blower.  A friend of mine sent me the following story (author unknown) and I couldn’t stop laughing as it was as if they had written it just for Earl.  I hope it makes you laugh and I’m sure that those of you who live in snow country will find it just as amusing as I did.
Diary of a Snow Shoveler

December 8:    6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season
  and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window
  watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a
  Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again.
  I love snow!

  December 9:     We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow
  covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can
  there  be a more lovely place in the Whole World?
  Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had.
  Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again.
  I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the
  snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the
  driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!

  December 12:     The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a
  disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we’ll definitely
  have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! 
  Bob says  we’ll   have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll 
  never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible.
  Bob is such a nice man.  I’m glad he’s our neighbor.

  December 14:     Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped
  to  -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath
  away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the
  life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything
  again.  I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but
  I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish l wouldn’t huff and puff so.

  December 15:     20 inches forecasted. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer.
  Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the
  freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out.
  I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska, after all.

  December 16:     Ice storm this morning. Fell on my rear end on the ice in
  the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like you cant believe. The wife
  laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

  December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go
  anywhere.  Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay
  warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her.
  Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her.
  God, I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my
  own living room.

  December 20:     Electricity’s back on, but had another 14" of the stuff
  last night. More shoveling. Took all day. That dumb snowplow came by
  twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re
  too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying.

  December 21:     Called the only hardware store around to see about buying
  a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I
  think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done 
  and bill me.  I think he’s lying.

  December 22:    Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more
  inches of the white crud fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t

 melt  till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out  
 to shovel and then I had to use the bathroom. By the time I got  
 undressed, went, and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel.
Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter;
but he says he’s too busy. I’m sure he is lying.

  December 23:     Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife
  wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she
  nuts?!! Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she
  did but I think she’s lying.

 December 24:     6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel.
  Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a gun
  who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow by his ears.
  I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling
  and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow
  all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing
  Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for that snowplow.

  December 25: Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the miserable slop
  tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God I
  hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation
  and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad
  attitude. I think she’s an idiot. If I have to watch "It’s a Wonderful
  Life" one more time, I’m going to scream!

  December 26:    Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was all HER
  idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

  December 27:    Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze.

  December 28:     Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in.
THAT WOMAN  is driving me crazy!!!!!

  December 29:  10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it
  could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard.
  How dumb does he think I am?

  December 30:     Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a
  million dollars. The wife went home to her mother. Nine more inches of
  snow predicted.

  December 31:    Set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling.

  January 8: I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they
  keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?


A Son Leaves a Trail of Memories

As a mother of two grown sons (ages 22 and 26) and a daughter (18 months), I spend time reflecting on how raising my boys 20 years ago has left their mark in my heart.  Christopher and Jonathon…this is for you.
A little mud tracked in…
some grass stains on his knees…
his handprints on the walls and windows,
well-worn memories.
Some pictures that he drew
way back when he was small…
the marks that measured years of growth spurts
climbing up the wall.
A few small dents and dings
from "accidents" remain…
each tells its tale, but no one here
is likely to complain.
Those boyhood souvenirs together play a part
in how a son can leave his mark
so clearly on the heart.

A Hopeless Romantic

What Is a Kiss?
The private language between two hearts.
A dance to the stars.
An ocean of sensations.
A whisper light invitation.
The knowledge of belonging.
The mystery of timeless enchantment.
The joy of homecoming.
A tantalizing glimpse into another’s soul.
A wild, deep fall into ecstasy.
The gentle flowering of emotion.
A shared journey of discovery.
The promise of things to come.