Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 2017

Yesterday Jim turned 71, same age  as Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, David Suchet, Tommy Lee Jones, Ed O'Neill, Danny Glover, Dolly Parton and.... Had we stayed in Anchorageđź’— All Saints Episcopal Church would begin the search process for a new  rector anticipating Jim's mandatory retirement at 72.   The division at All Saints between Anglican and Episcopal would escalate. I guess the good news is that God had a different time schedule. The division occurred and both churches are healthy and faithful.
And we live in Loudoun County, Virginia in a Cottage Rectory next to an amazing new church building and amazing congregation.
And it is July and wineberry season on the farm.

The weather has not been too hot so far and there has been enough rain. Every time I walk outside I am greeted with 3 rabbits, 100 spiders, a chipmunk, groundhog, 3 squirrels, and a deer...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

6th Place ITI

 Congratulations Peter on placing 6th in a difficult race year.
33 of the 75  plus racers have scratched this year on the Iditarod Invitational (the highest number to scratch this far into the race). Peter said the difficult conditions made it especially interesting and he is glad he did the race.

2017 ITI collage 2.jpg

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

-50 - Go Peter!

We spoke to son Peter on the phone tonight. 
At the end of the week he travels from
Moab, Utah to Anchorage, Alaska to race, once again, on the Iditarod Trail. He will bike from Knik to McGrath, through the Alaska Range. The race begins Sunday Feb 26 at 2pm.
A few years ago Mark Devries flew Jim and I over the trail to McGrath, a village of 400. where 
Peter was teaching high school. This is a photo I took from the plane - looking down on the 
Iditarod Trail.

The latest news on the race website  says it was MINUS 50 in McGrath and snow is coming. Peter had spinal fusion on his back two years ago. He raced and won many times before the surgery. We will follow the race here


Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas 2016

Exciting in many ways. We are in our new beautiful building and there is a 
comfortable unity of purpose. 

And for the first time in almost 40 years we are not hosting Christmas. Charles hosted us at his home in Birmingham and I loved it! He had a beautiful live tree and bought all the food at Costco.

Will our Marriage Survive. . . ?

So I said YES when a marketing person for Hilton Grand Vacations asked if I would like a 'free' vacation at a lovely resort. First mistake.

Second Mistake. I did not tell Jim....but he would have to come with me.

Well, there were some rough spots on the 'free vacation' but quite a few sweet spots as well.

Rough Spots:

  • The real cost once we got our flights, rental car.....for Orlando. 
  • And the grueling 3 hour sales pitch!

Sweet Spots:

  • Carol Sheridan's family planned a Sheridan Family Reunion at Disney World the first week in December. Becky Sheridan knows all things Disney. We had a day with them at Epcot that was amazing, thanks to Becky's knowledge of Epcot. 
  • We also went to St. Augustine for a night with Jim, Becky, Carol, and granddaughter Rebecca
  • We visited the Rev. Joe & Helen McDowell in Cocoa Beach - dear friends from our time in Chaptico, MD
  • We resisted the sales pitch.
  • Our marriage survived.

We took Charles and Peter to Disney World and Epcot in 1983!

Peter was 3 and had a difficult time with the dark tunnels and mildly scary encounters that accompanied every ride and exhibit.  He needed a few more years. He did like Donald Duck so we bribed him when he cried in every line, "No, don't make me go in there....! We said 'You can see Donald Duck!" That helped a little.

Then at Epcot we pushed him in the stroller into the China Exhibit. . .  and the lights dimmed. I don't know what possessed us to use the Donald Duck line again, but we did and Peter  got quiet.

The beautiful film on a 180 degree screen took us to the Forbidden City. . .  then through the giant doors  in the wall of the city to the dramatic climax. It was perfectly quiet until Peter shouted,"But where is Donald Duck?"

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Take Me Home, Country Roads . . .

When I lived and taught  in Warrenton, Virginia 1972-1973 I bought John Denver's 'album' on cassette. 

My battery operated cassette player sat on the passenger seat of my stick shift Chevy II red station wagon so I could listen as I drove the bucolic country roads of Fauquier County AND the mountainous roads of West Virginia.

Last week Happy Hikers Virginia spent three nights in Canaan Valley, West Virginia. Notice the flaming huckleberry bushes on Bear Mountain, Dolly Sods.

 I am standing on the Eastern Continental Divide at Dolly Sods, West Virginia

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Why are people sitting in folding chairs along Rt. 15?

At the moment Jim, Hope, Jacquie, and I are driving south on Route 15 to the Potomac River. This is our annual Reunion weekend and both the CLYMER and WEIR Reunions occurred in Laceyville, PA  at Jerry and Dottie Weir's lovely rural home. A first-time venue for both Reunions. We are now on our four hour drive home to Virginia.

As we followed the Susquehanna River through small river towns for almost 100 miles we observed a curious phenomenon.

First we noticed the population of a nursing home lined up in wheelchairs facing the four lane highway.

Further along the highway, every front porch was crowded with rocking chairs and people staring at the highway. 

Yes, it was a perfect summer evening to sit outside, but why face the highway?

(Yesterday we saw a similar phenomena in the little town of Tunkhannock . . . but then fire trucks, and riding lawn mowers led a parade through town to the annual carnival.)

Was a parade coming down a four lane major interstate highway? 

A major shopping area, with large box stores on both sides of the highway, offered another odd sight. Only a few patches of grass exist between turn lanes and traffic lights. But 20 people crammed their lawn chairs or blankets on every tiny island of grass. They too faced the highway.

Then to a rural area of farms and vegetable stands. A crowd sat around tables in front of a country church. It could have been a pot luck fellowship dinner, except all chairs faced the highway.

Was a regatta floating down the Susquehanna? No. Some spectators had their backs to the river so they could stare at the highway

A group of  Amish teenagers stood next to bicycles, with wicker baskets attached to the handelbars, staring at the highway. 

More people on blankets faced the highway, some with picnic baskets and baby strollers.

I phoned my cousin Rob who was an hour behind us on Route 15 and acquainted with the route  and Central Pennsylvania. Rob did not have an answer,

We stopped at a Quick Mart. A man exited the building and I asked if he lived around here. "Not really. What do you need?"

"Have you noticed all the people sitting on the side of the highway?" I asked. "What are they expecting?"

"Nascar," was his answer. 

The bewildered expression on my face prodded him to add:

"The NASCAR haulers are on their way down the highway after last night's races in Watkins Glen, NY ."

The bewildered expression remained.

"NASCAR is popular along the Susquehanna."