Maryland doors

In a November landscape, this blue door just pops! I also like the cellar door right there, too.

On Thanksgiving Day it’s appropriate that my door collection is from historic sections of the East Coast – just down the coast from where the Pilgrims landed in what is today Massachusetts. I found the neatest doors in Annapolis and in Baltimore last week! Thank you, Norm, for giving me this platform to show them off! If you want to join the fun, post your Thursday doors at Norm’s page.

There is something about the feel of these old eastern towns that I am drawn to. I am not sure that I can describe it, but I recognize it when I see it. On my recent trip to Maryland I found doors that were extra special because they had that feeling.

We wanted to visit The Horse You Came In On Saloon, established 1775. At first it was closed, so we admired the door.
Eventually these doors of the Saloon opened, and we went in for breakfast.
Next to 1626 was this outstanding door! Look! What explains that crazy angle? I was mesmerized at three doors in a row on this street, angled like this.
This bright red door caught my eye, but as I stood looking, I found more to admire.
A rather modestly simple door…. except for that knocker!
The sky brightened a little, and the entrance to this church glowed with late autumn colour.
A small historic building kept alive though surrounded by glass and steel towers. Then I noticed the door.
Norm likes corner doors, and I thought of him immediately. This Balitmore Harbor door is for you, Norm.
And here’s another corner door, for good measure.
I don’t like how I cropped this photo of a door in Annapolis – sometimes it’s hard to stand where you need to stand to get the photo right. But I’ll throw it in anyway. I love the bricks, the black, and the stars.
I waited patiently for these two men to stop talking and move on. Then I realized it gives a great perspective of the massive doors of the Naval Academy Chapel.
At a different Holy House, the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this door was the opposite of massive. I wasn’t brave enough to try and open it.
Beneath the Basilica was the most astonishing upside-down arch, and easily the most interesting door of my post. Yes, it’s a door! See the step, and how the threshold is worn down? These inverted arches are below the nave chancel and help distribute weight. They carry the entire main dome of the Basilica. (I’ll show more photos of this in a future post.)

I’ll add a note in honor of today’s holiday.

Among American Indians, Thanksgiving Day can bring up inner conflicts. I was raised (long, long ago….ha ha) in a climate where no one talked about Thanksgiving holiday in the context of accurate history. Instead, it was all about pilgrims and Indians getting along, and being thankful for things, and getting together with family.

And yeah… it’s still all that. But thank the gods Americans are now talking about the rest of the story. No, not all whites and reds got along, and they still don’t. No, that mythical first thanksgiving meal was not a joyous expression of love for fellow human beings, but more like desperate people doing what they could to stay alive. Those Indians are my ancestors, and sometimes I bitterly grumble to myself that the Wampanoag tribe saved the Plymouth colonists by sharing their food and teaching them local husbandry, and as a thank you, got despised, or killed, or diseased, and anyone left 200 years later was marched off on the Trail of Tears. But it’s disingenuous to ignore the good stuff. The rest of the story also includes the fact that our country is the landing site for pilgrims from around the world, who built a beautiful country to be proud of, and those pale-skinned people are also my ancestors.

The source of the conflict of Thanksgiving Day for me is that those whites created a system that I am now benefiting from, while simultaneously suffering the consequences of.

I am fortunate to have thrived in our school system, I fought in our military, I was a public servant for our government, I have government health care, and I am retired on taxpayer dollars. The white system is protecting me right now. At the same time, I was raised out of generations of hidden disadvantage, from people who carried ancient anger, ignorance, and hegemonic oppression – so ancient that the people who raised me didn’t even know all this was inside of them and didn’t even know where it came from. I struggled like mad to succeed in a complex system designed to keep poor, uneducated, descendants of Indians down. As a country, we are doing a better job at trying to recognize the present-day consequences of all the suffering of enslaved people. But we are barely barely scratching the surface of recognizing this same generational suffering among indigenous American families.

No wonder we feel conflicted on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving is not a bad holiday. In my recollection of my childhood education, the aim of this holiday has been pure, and the lessons have applied to everyone: Be Thankful, Eat Together, Recognize the Greater Good Despite Our Differences. I think there is room for Thanksgiving Day to be a good holiday for everyone while we truthfully acknowledge the whole story. I’m not there yet. I don’t feel it. I’m confused and angry still, that I had to learn the awful truth about my country and this holiday so much later in my life. But I have faith that in time my country can grow into a better nation, a nation strong enough to speak the truth, apologize, respect and value each other, and stand proud together.

And eat together. Because until we learn to get along, that’s one thing we’ve got. Let’s eat!

7 thoughts on “Maryland doors

  1. The outer door to the saloon is awesome as are the few corner doors you found…yay!
    I get the mixed feelings about the historical significance of this holiday in the U.S. To a certain extent we have the same mixed feelings, for the same reasons, here. All the same I hope you’re able see it as a time to pause and reflect upon and give thanks for all of the good in life.
    Cheers and thanks for sharing this!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Norm. I’m glad you liked the corner doors I found. I always thought that Canada did a better job of relations with indigenous people. I guess occupying someone’s land is never going to go smoothly. But in answer to your question, yes, taking time to think of what I’m thankful for is the main thing I associate with Thanksgiving, and most Americans that I know do the same thing: focus on what we’re thankful for. That’s a very good outcome of a holiday.

    1. I’m so glad the red one caught your eye. I think it may be my favourite here. It has so much: the stained glass, the odd construction of steps (a pile of marble bricks), the decorative tile on the steps, the vine, the pottery sign…. it’s wonderful. Also, such a bold red. 🙂

      The 162 is the entrance to a church – I think in Annapolis. I was trying to decide whether to photograph the whole church, but right then the light came up and illuminated the door, under leafy branches. This one has a tiny stained glass window too. I’m glad you like it. 🙂

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