November 16, 2010

What’s Up? The Story to go w/the Pictures

This past few months, my family has been very busy. Some of it has been “busy being bored” or doing a lot of “nothing in particular.” At other times, we have worked hard; bringing to our remembrance the existence of muscles we had forgotten we had. Mostly by “we” I mean the rest of my family- I hurt my back just before we left the East Coast. It has been very slow to heal…

While in Texas, the boys and Dad cut trees, tore down an old chicken coop, cleaned out a shed full of junk, and other various odd-jobs. I spent a full day splitting and repotting plants for my grandparents. Several days were spent going through linens and dishes and other stuff with Grandma, some of which we brought home with us. We were given about six double-thick quilts (2 were already completed, the other 4 Grammy let me quilt!), 50 yds. of unbleached Muslin to use for curtains, quite a few yards of upholstering material, and the fruit and supplies necessary to can *lots* of plums and peppers. Who knows how much Plum Jelly, Jalapeño Jelly, Candied Peppers, and F.R.O.G. Jam (Fig, Raspberry, Orange, and Grape) Mom made!

Dad was given a goose-neck trailer hitch, which Grandpa custom-made and installed for him, an older riding lawn-mower *with implements*, quite a few tools of various sorts, and a gas stove. Dad was able to inexpensively convert the natural gas stove to propane, so that we can use it in our new home. All of these acquisitions, among other things, were hauled home in a two horse stock trailer which we were given to borrow.

Towards the beginning of our visit, we went to Fort Richardson, one of my favorite places to go and just walk around. It seems like every time we’ve gone, I see something else that I hadn’t noticed before. The hospital is the main interest/feature, since it is the largest of only a few original buildings which remain from the Fort. The Fort hospital treated many soldiers from the War Between the States, shipped by train to Texas because it was a (relatively) “safe” distance from the main battle fronts. The museum inside the building replicates the living quarters and conditions, etc. within the hospital; including lifelike plastic replications of the rotting, molded food served to the soldiers (Yuck!).

The Fort also has a plaque out front honoring the members of the Lost Battalion of WWII, which served in the Pacific arena, and were held POW for 4 years or something like that. All or most of the men which were a part of this battalion were from North-East Texas, mainly the 3-4 counties surrounding Fort Richardson. The sole remaining Jack County survivor of the Lost Battalion is named Luther Prunty, a man who will soon be 99 years old. One of my brothers had the privilege of an interview with him right before we left Texas. Luther Prunty spent two hours or more telling my brother stories of his experiences during the war, and would have told much more, had time permitted. My brother came home with a beaming face and lots of information, having thoroughly enjoyed his visit.

Shortly after our visit to the Fort, we went to the Creation Museum in Glen-rose. It is small, but well worth the trip. We learned lots of neat information. We were also able to meet the scientist who founded the museum. He had a 6’2” friend demonstrate the immense size of the “giant” who’s suit-coat was on display (the giant being 8-9 feet tall, if I remember correctly). I don’t remember the giant’s name, but before his death he had been a close friend of the founder, - -. It was really neat to be able to listen to - - explain things around the museum.

Underneath the display of Scripture scrolls, the first feature you see upon walking into the museum, are two rocks with footprints on them. One of these is the fossil of a man’s footprint overlapping that of a dinosaur. The other rock shows where a dinosaur stepped in the footprint of a man. I think that was my favorite part of the museum, seeing a set of footprints visibly proving the recent co-existence of man and beast.

When we left the Creation Museum, we drove to Dallas/Ft.Worth, to the Central Market there. Our family loves to go to the Central Market stores. They’ve got, probably literally, some of everything. The pictures that I took don’t begin to cover their selection of buying options. Personally though, my favorite part of the store, not surprisingly, was the row of chocolates and other chocolaty candies. There are several rows of canisters devoted to “candies” but there is one aisle which is nothing but chocolate. It is that one which is my favorite.

You would be proud of me. I only got one bar of chocolate, after carefully considering which *one* I really wanted. See, chocolate is a weakness of mine. So to prevent over-indulgence on my part, I specifically planned only to get one bar of it, and after I had chosen, to quickly leave the area so that I wouldn’t have second-thoughts on the matter. Well, I didn’t leave the aisle quite as soon as I had planned, but I did succeed in only buying one bar of chocolate; so I guess my plan worked… sigh… Anyway-

After we came back to Missouri, we took a “field trip” to Fantastic Caverns in Springfield. I think Dad decided to take the back roads or something. Either that or I’m just not used to roller coaster roads yet. I mean, this *is* the Ozarks. Once we got out of the van, I joked that “It’s pretty bad when you get your sea-legs back after riding in the car.” We were all wobbly after that ride.

All of us enjoyed the ride through the Caverns. The little girls liked it because the “train-driver” asked their “permission” to stop and start on the tour. He did a good job at keeping the younger kids interested and involved in the tour. At one point the driver/tour guide told us that after electricity was installed in the Caverns, the main reason why people came to the Caverns was to look at the light bulbs. At that point in time the Caverns became the secondary attraction- most people had never seen a light bulb before. 

Among other things, the driver told us that the Caverns, at one time or another, had been used as a recreational attraction, a meeting place for the KKK and similar groups, a speak-easy, a concert hall, and again, a tourist attraction. He said that for a concert, the owners had been able to comfortably seat 600+ people, and had been able to fit 1000+ people standing. No sound system was needed for any of the concerts because of the way the cavern was shaped; even in the very back of the “auditorium room” the people on the stage could be heard clearly.

The tour guide also told us that at no time had any bathroom facilities been installed; so if you had to go, either head to the very back of the cavern (which may or may not be full of people) or walk all the way out of the Cavern (which is 130+ feet underground). Can you imagine bringing your family to an event like that? I can’t imagine that little ones (or their parents) would find it a very fun trip if they had to constantly keep running in and out of the Caverns all the time…

And finally, last week I went on a walk through the back of the pasture, taking Fall pictures and experimenting with different angles and such. Some of the pictures turned out satisfactorily, others not so much. But that’s the point I guess, is that some won’t… Oh, well.

The weather here is getting nice and crisp. Sweater weather- boy I’ve missed this! I am thoroughly enjoying it, at least for now. The past few days it has been dreary and raining. That’s good I guess, the raining part. I just wish raining didn’t equal dark grey clouds and a depressing color added to the landscape. It doesn’t seem to make for very good pictures.

Update: On Shabbat- our “temporary landlord” was hunting and shot a deer. We woke up to a wonderful surprise. He came to the door asking for Dad’s help to load the doe into his Kubota, so that they could get it to the barn to hang. He said that if Dad would gut and cut it, we could have the meat! So now we have a whole deer’s worth of meat in the freezer. Thank you Father! Smile

1 comment:

  1. Nice to hear an update. =) I'm not great on making awesome comments or anything no matter how much I want to, so this is just to let you know I am reading. xD =)

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