Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Look Back: Thanksgiving 1969

Thanksgiving 1969, 42 years ago. I was 20 years old. This is an excerpt of my diary that day:

And here is a very old faded picture of that dinner at Aunt Patty's house. Clockwise from the top: Uncle Fred, his mother, Aunt Patty, me, John Gause, Beth, Jean Ann, Dad and Mom. I believe there were other tables set up in the living room, and little Andrew was crawling around, 6 months old.

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Heartland Dulcimer Festival

Last weekend I took my two grandsons to their first dulcimer festival. G is 14 and E is 10, and I decided they were just the right age. The festival was in Elizabethtown, KY, and the festival is called The Heartland Dulcimer Festival. It was a one-day event that began in the morning and lasted until after the concert in the evening, or whenever we were ready to leave. There were four workshops of various musical instruments with various instructors. There was a special set of workshops for kids between the ages of 9 and 18. I knew most of the instructors and thought it would be a good experience for the boys. And it was.
We left on Friday evening after G’s wrestling practice and drove to E-town. We stayed at a Ramada Inn, ordered pizza, went swimming, and watched The World’s Funniest Videos. Then the boys had a major altercation over E’s DS, and it was time for bed. But we got up early, had breakfast and arrived at the festival.

The festival was in a beautifully renovated old theater called The Historic State Theater. The workshops were held in the green room, backstage, and in the theater’s museum. The boys were given their nametags and schedules, and off they went to their workshops. We met up at lunchtime – which was a lovely lunch of vegetable soup and submarine sandwiches and chips and drinks and cookies. Then the boys went to their afternoon workshops and I went to mine.
After the workshops we had a couple of hours to kill, so we drove to Hodgenville, KY, to the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. It was a beautiful drive through the autumn countryside. When we finally made it to Hodgenville, the park was closed for the day, but there were a couple of museums (also closed) on the town square and we looked in the windows. We also saw two great sculptures of Lincoln and took pictures.

As we left Hodgenville, G said he saw a Sherman tank and asked if we could stop, so we found it and stopped. I think this was the favorite thing they did. They climbed all over the WWII Sherman tank, which was part of a memorial to the soldiers lost from Hodgenville in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

There was another memorable moment as we were driving back to E-town for the concert. We were driving through the KY country roads as the sun was setting, the windows were rolled down, and I was playing Crosby, Stills and Nash’s album “So Far” on the stereo. G asked who was playing and I told him and it was just a really nice moment where I felt like we connected.

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner, and then went to the concert, where the boys really seemed to enjoy the music. We left before it was over because of the two-hour drive home. It was a memorable weekend for me, and I hope for them, too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Almost Hit A Deer

I almost hit a deer the other night. In all the years of many road trips, I have always thanked my lucky stars that I had not been the one to hit the deer lying dead in a bloody heap on the side of the road. The only near miss I’d had was driving home from Madison with my roommate in her yellow VW bug when I was 21. We were on a county road along the Ohio River, it was dark outside and we were rolling along when suddenly a huge buck – I know it was a buck because it had antlers – ran across the road right in front of us.
We had no time to brake, only to scream and look at each other in amazement afterwards. We didn’t hit the buck. It was a miracle.

The other night I was driving home from Elizabethtown, KY, on I65, at about 11:00 o’clock at night, with my two grandsons, who were asleep. I was approaching the exit for Columbus, when just all of a sudden there was a deer in the road right in front of me, a little to the left of the car. Oh my God. It was a very pale brown and looked up at me like, what are you doing here?

I slammed on the brakes and swerved to the right. My car did that zig-zag maneuver where you feel like you’re losing control, and my little Honda quickly righted itself. But my heart was racing and it took me a little longer to recover. There were no other cars around me, and the boys slept innocently on.

They say you’re not supposed to swerve, to just hit whatever animal that might stray in the road. I didn’t do that, and it turned out okay. But you just never know. It was scary.

P.S.: I did not take these pictures.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Gobble-uns 'll Git You

An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you

Ef you



Out! We are having a beautiful Fall season here in Indiana. The leaves have turned red, yellow and orange, and are falling from the trees in the breeze. It's really nice.

I went trick-or-treating with the kids on Halloween. But first, we had to get the princess ready! Both mommy and daddy put on the finishing touches. She turned out to be Belle, wearing her princess dress from Disney World. She loved her gloves.
Her mommy took great pains with her makeup, including lots of glitter!
The princess waves to her adoring audience.

It was so cute to see the princess and her little friends comparing their costumes.

This fellow was an Alien. He was very scary with his mask on. He said he guessed he didn't have to smile for the picture with his mask on.

Oh, look. The alien turned out to be a 10 year old boy! Still pretty scary!

The End.