May 10-18 Andover, Massachusetts

Here are some highlights of the trip home to Massachusetts in May. First, Dan Murphy graduated from Gordon-Conwell Seminary, receiving a Masters Degree in Divinity! He is now definitely one of the most educated people that I know, with three post graduate college degrees! It was a lovely graduation ceremony, despite the rain in the morning and the unexpected fire alarm at the start of the ceremony.

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Dan Murphy and Sharon Yen pose together after Dan’s graduation from Gordon-Conwell

Jeff wanted to stop by Revere Beach to get some of their amazing fried calms when he flew into Boston. They are one of the signature beach food snacks in Massachusetts!

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Jeff is eating clams at Revere Beach, MA

It was a beautiful, sunny day at Revere Beach.

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Jeff is standing on the beach at Revere Beach, MA

We went to the Fancy Dinner at North Parish Church that evening. The meal was delicious and the company was excellent!

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Jeff and Ann at the Fancy Dinner at North Parish Church in North Andover, MA

North Parish Church looked beautiful with all of the spring flowers blooming in the roundabout in front of the church.

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North Parish Church in North Andover, MA

There is a statue of Samuel Phillips on the North Andover Common. I have wondered why his statue was there, and I remember someone telling me once that he was the founder of Phillips Academy in Andover. So I looked him up on Wikipedia. The two paragraphs below are a brief history of Samuel Phillips, from the Wikipedia page.

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Statue of Samuel Phillips on the North andover Common, surrounded by spring blooming trees and bushes

Samuel Phillips Jr. was born in Andover, Massachusetts, in a part that is now North Andover. A graduate of Governor Dummer Academy in 1767, and Harvard College in 1771, Phillips was a very active and able member of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress from 1775 to 1780. He served as a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1779 and 1780, and was a state senator from 1780 to 1802, holding the office of President of the Massachusetts Senate from 1785 until his death. For a short period before his death, Phillips also served as the fifth Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts


Beginning in 1775, Phillips aided the revolutionary cause by producing gunpowder for Washington’s troops at a mill on the Shawsheen River in Andover. Though plagued by difficulties, the powder mill remained active into the 1790s. During this period, Phillips also ran a paper mill in Andover. In the midst of the Revolution, and with financial backing from his father and his uncle, Dr. John Phillips, Samuel Phillips Jr. founded Phillips Academy in Andover. It opened April 21, 1778.

Jeff and I went to the Sheep Shearing Festival on the North Andover Common after church service on Sunday.This is a one day event held by the town of North Andover on the third Sunday in May every year. I think that this annual event was originally started to celebrate the town’s agricultural heritage.Now, it is just a fun time every spring to see friends and hopefully enjoy a nice spring day outside on the town common. In addition to sheep shearing and herding demonstrations, there are crafts for sale and local organizations have booths to promote.themselves.

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“Sheep” cupcake sold by a vendor at the Sheep Shearing Festival

This year, the border collies were also practising their skills by herding ducks.

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Border collie herding ducks in a demonstration at the Sheep Shearing festival

The ducks seemed rather calm, in spite of the presence of the border collies. I expected them to panic and try to fly away when the dog got close to them, but they did not. Maybe they are used to being “herded.”

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Ducks at the Sheep Shearing Festival

The border collies were also herding sheep.

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Sheep being herded by a border collie at the Sheep Shearing Festival

My friend Ellen Mosier was there with her cute dog, selling I heart North andover t-shirts to raise money for the North Andover High School SOS senior graduation party.

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Ann and Ellen at a booth at the Sheep Shearing Festival

Jeff also took advantage of the nice spring weather to go out on his first golf outing of the year with Dan Murphy.

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Jeff is getting ready to go golfing with Dan

It was wonderful to be home enjoying the beautiful spring weather in Massachusetts!









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