The 2018 Road, Day 11: The Essenhaus Kerfuffle

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June 6, 2018, Ridgetown, ON-

On the 36th anniversary of my wedding, I sat on the edge of the bed in Ridgetown Inn, pondering the power of one word.  Not seeing the word, tomorrow, on a friend’s post, cost me a fine dining experience, at Essenhaus, an amazing resort property in Middlebury, IN.

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All the comforts of the homey Midwest are captured here, and thousands of visitors flock to Essenhaus, each year.  I waited for my friends, in the foyer, for twenty minutes, re-read the message that had been sent early this morning, and, yes- as another friend said, not long ago, “It’s the reading comprehension, stupid.”

Not feeling right about dining alone, in the midst of so many happy parties of seven and eight, I headed up the road, found the delightful Hilltop Restaurant, and enjoyed a fish fry/salad bar.  I still stood out, being one of the few “English” patrons, in what is a favourite of local Mennonites and Amish, but folks were no more inclined to leer, than in any other small town establishment. I found Hilltop a delight.

 

Having had the Elantra serviced, earlier today, in Elkhart, I felt confident heading northeast, through Michigan, and across the Ambassador Bridge, the older of the two large commuter thoroughfares between Detroit and Windsor. I wanted to get as close as possible to Toronto, this late night, in the event I was able to meet with two friends there, tomorrow.  Their minds, and schedules, change as often as their clothes, though, so I remain open to doing Toronto solo, this time.  I love my friends, though, just so we’re clear and we do have a plan to get together, when I make a Trans-Canada trek, in summer of 2020.

Anyway, Ridgetown is a pleasant little burg, in west-central Ontario, so this is where I settled, for what was left of the night.

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NEXT:  Ontario’s London

 

And Now…..

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January 20, 2017, Prescott-

The snow came, in the afternoon.  Then, it turned to rain, for a while, this evening.  Now,snow is back, is falling lightly, here, and heavier, in higher parts of Prescott.  The snow discombobulates our students, but we were able to get everyone in an orderly line and to the bus, without incident.  I hope they get a lot of activity and enjoyment of the snow, this weekend, just as I did as a child.

The bluster was tame, in Washington, this morning. I caught the new President’s Inaugural Address, on my laptop, when I got off work, this evening.  It was neither among the best, nor was it the worst, speech I’ve heard, from a sitting President.  Mr. Trump gave us, basically, what he felt necessary to say.  I do want to see a better shake for the nation’s long left-behind towns and cities, of the Midwest and Northeast- the Eries, Dubuques, Zanesvilles, Wheelings and Tauntons of our collective back-burner memory.  I also do NOT want to see a back-slide, with regard to the rights and well-treatment of people of colour, of gender transversal or of either gender.  I don’t see any need for a dichotomy between the two; no cause for an either-or mentality.

So, there has been a changing of the guard.  It’s not how I would have wanted things, but as the now-former President said, on Wednesday, this is our system and we each need to do what we can, to make it work.  I will be very vigilant, watching closely so that no one in power misleads the blue-collar people, with whom I grew up, and that no one mistreats the people on the margins, whose safety and well-being have been close to my heart, for at least the past fifty years.  My prayer is that we all hold our leaders accountable and guard those we love.

Tales from the 2016 Road: Christmas in July

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July 3, 2016, Avilla, MO- There was a span of 38 years, since I last saw Lisa, one of my younger cousins.  In our family, last has never been least.  Each member of the brood has an essential place.  Lisa followed in the footsteps of her mother, who served as a WAVE during World War II, by becoming a member of the Women’s Army Corps, for several years.  When that was finished, she became a teacher, like her father.   She’s still a teacher- and a farm wife, in this little slice of heaven, in southwest Missouri, between Joplin and Springfield.

I was invited to join their family’s Christmas in July celebration, with attendant fireworks.  People in the Midwest set off their own fireworks, as befits a farm culture.  There was a marvelous spread, to get things started, and as we recalled from our childhood days, such gatherings involve sitting around ad spinning yarns, as well as discussing the topics of the day, in a civil fashion.

It was a lovely day and evening, so here are a few scenes from down on the farm, in Avilla.

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The farm property at Avilla

Lisa and family were busy, setting up the festivities.

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Here are some scenes of the gang sitting around, and of the fireworks.

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Grandkids getting ready for the display.

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Solving the world’s ills

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Fire away!

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Sky lit up!

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Light show!

We then exchanged gifts, in White Elephant fashion.So went a fine re-connection with a bright and loving member of my extended family, which is now extended even further, with her husband, kids and grandkids.