Saturday, June 21, 2014

I am able to blog again!

After not having internet service for what seems forever we are finally connected. There has been so much going on and I will try to get caught up.

The cold weather has cleared out and it is such a pleasure to enjoy the cool summer temperatures of the northern plains. Everything has turned green and I truly believe this is God's favorite color. The fields are plowed and growing, the trees are fully leafed out and grass and wildflowers are in abundance. The only downside is this has also brought mosquitos. You learn quickly not to walk in the fields without long pants, sock and shoes. Also evenings, which last much longer with daylight savings time, are the times to avoid much outdoor activity.

I was saddened at the loss of a very dear friend. Her passing was magnified by the distance, her being in Tucson, and that it was so unexpected for me. Eileen was such a fun and great companion at work. Chuck and I enjoyed many enjoyable gatherings with Eileen and her husband Robert, good food and better wine. It will be a loss when I next visit Tucson.

Chuck and I have been discussing the future and what the next steps will be for us. There is the chance that I may be able to obtain a position at the same place he works although our schedules would be very different, yet the paycheck will be a bonus.

My nephew Kris has been taking care of our place in Catalina and it is a great comfort to know it is being well cared for. He gives us regular up dates and is very reliable.

I do miss my children-but I hope to have a visit from Melissa in July/August which will be a great pleasure and a chance to show off Tioga. I have explained to people that Tioga is as far from Canada as Tucson is from Mexico. We are adapting.

We did have a close call with a tornado that hit about an hour south of here.

Because of two large lakes, one just south of us in North Dakota and one about two hours east of us in Montana affecting the dynamics of the storms, they tend to go around us. But we have set up between us our tornado strategy for getting what we need quickly and escaping should we have to clear out of this tornado magnet we live in - a trailer! We will get what we would need to establish our identity and survive. Not something I have ever thought about.

We carry on.


DC lessons in photographs

The one thing I learned during our time in Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Mount Vernon was that being adept at farming and hunting kept the family going. The people of those times were clever and adaptable at their hard work. The simple elegance of the time was offset by the idea that slavery and indenture were an accepted part of life.

Day four:
Welcome to Williamsburg


We visited the armory, a tin smith and the blacksmith. The tin smith and blacksmith are working and producing authentic items used in Colonial Williamsburg.

We held court in the capital building and were immersed in the sounds, smells and authenticity of the jail and our guide made sure we understood the harshness of all aspects of life in the 18th century.

The kids learned how to play without technology and they dug it!

 I found that green was a very popular room color in colonial times. That works for me!
Jamestown-the first English settlement in America:
This obelisk marks the actual location of the settlement near the river and at the top is an osprey nest. It was a profound thought that people, having no idea what to expect and how they would survive had the tenacity to persist and persevere.

I am grateful to them for their efforts in the beginning of our country. From here the world would know of the USA and democracy.
 We had a very enlightening tour about this fine vessel, which is absolutely sea worthy having just returned from a coastal voyage a few days before. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to travel for weeks in this or one similar from England to establish a colony in this strange and unknown country.

We also had the chance to see how a musket was loaded and fired. It was so loud I cannot imagine how anyone could hear after engaging in a battle with these weapons. It really served to bring home how very different this time was and how amazingly anyone could have survived.
 Mount Vernon:
I loved this the best. I was so delighted to be where George and Martha Washington lived their lives and to experience the beauty of this magnificent home. Although the examples of the use of slaves was distressing, the fact that Mr. Washington took care of them and provided for many of them when they no longer were able to perform their duties due to age or infirmity was reassuring.
This is the beautiful home of our first president. It is as grand and beautiful as it appears and to view it for myself first hand after seeing many photos was a thrill. George Washington lived here, loved this home and it reflects his design and desires as a country gentleman.

 Melissa and I are pictured at the entrance of Mount Vernon, and were two of many who had a photo of this type taken. What a joy to be there with my daughter and enjoy a brilliant day in the Virginia countryside.

Yes it is Martha Washington greeting visitors and sitting on the veranda which faces the Potomac River. As we sat in the row of chairs lining the rear of the house the view is unparalleled as you can see from the photo below. The lawn slopes down to the river and in the distance is Maryland. It is no wonder that the Washington's loved this locale and desired to be no where else.
 We wandered beside the groves and vineyards as we walked to the tomb of our first president. He and Martha are buried in a beautiful red brick mausoleum that daily has ceremonies of wreath laying. I was honored.

Following this stop we ventured to the Slave burial grounds where there is a stone marker erected in honor of those who died there and are buried on the grounds. It was moving.

We took a boat trip up the Potomac to Alexandria, where we had dinner in a most delightful and remarkably decorated restaurant called King Street Blues. Then back to the hotel.

More to come. Mr. Lincoln is waiting.