And climb the stairs to the beach...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Morning Folks 07 18 07

Morning one and all. Just sitting here on my deck looking out at my backyard. Here is a live picture of the view I have.

Yesterday I saw a hummingbird perched on a branch. I have never seen that before. I have seen them in the past but in flight hovering around the honeysuckle or the hanging fuschia on my porch.
He was only a silhouette so I couldn't see what type he was. But I will be watching for him to return.

It is really pretty here this morning. A little overcast, about 77 degrees and the only sounds are the cicadas and crickets and lots of birdsongs. An occasional distant bark from a dog can be heard once in a while. Our neighbor dogs are quiet and probably napping.

It's going to be warm today. Shorts seemed to be the way to go in the wardrobe department. I put on a pair of navy blue shorts and a white shirt. Whenever I wear that combination it brings me right back to my Camp Kiwanee days. That was what we had to wear everyday and I remember the packing list: 5 white blouses and 5 pairs of navy blue shorts, two bathing suits, towel etc. Everything labeled with sewn in labels bearing my name written in permanent ink.

Camp Kiwanee was a Campfire Girl Camp in Hanson MA. I googled it and find that it is still there, almost 50 years after I first went there. It was opened in 1923 but sold to the Town of Hanson in 1974. Available to the public for private functions, they invite you to go for a tour of the whole facility. I might do that someday, just for fun.
In its time it was an overnight camp with all the things one would expect to find. There was a place called the Bluebird Lodge where the littlest girls stayed. That was a large old wood building set up like a dormitory. I stayed there when I was 7. I was homesick the entire time. The older girls stayed in cabins that housed about 8 girls. I stayed there when I was about 11. I remember that during that stay the big news story that broke was that first lady Jackie Kennedy had lost her 3rd baby named Patrick. That gives you a perspective on the era.

During my stay as an eleven year old, we did the typical camp crafts like making things out of gimp. But I also made this really cool silver bracelet that I wish I could find today. And I remember doing bead work on a loom. The gimp we wove into long useless ropes, but it was fun to do. I also learned how to make chains from folded gum wrappers there from a fellow camper. We had archery, which I loved because I was good at it. And swimming lessons and open swim were memorable. One day we were required to jump off the high dive. That was terrifying. Why do you suppose the swimming lessons were always first thing in the morning in the coldest lake water I have ever been in? I think the swim staff were all masochists.

We had campfire singalongs most nights which I really loved and remember many of the songs, still. The Camp Kiwanee song was to the tune of Wonderful Copenhagen. It went "Wonderful, wonderful Camp Kiwanee, Campfire is always the key"... Dorky, but I still remember it. We also sang rounds like White Coral Bells and "Why Couldn't my Goose Sing as well as Thy goose when I paid for my goose twice as much as thou". And Oh, How Lovely is the Evening. That was a favorite. I still have the songbook somewhere. We prayed the Lord's Prayer and had Sunday Service there, too. We couldn't start our day without the Pledge of Allegiance as we gathered in the clearing to raise the flag each morning before breakfast. The evening ritual is less memorable for me, but I am sure it involved lowering the "colors" and taps.

The dining hall is still vivid in my memory with its long tables and benches covered in red oil cloth. We sat at the same table for every meal with our cabinmates. We had rotating assignments. One girl set the table, one person filled the breadbaskets and set them on the table. Two got the drinks and two more cleaned up afterwards. They had really good cornbread sometimes. The food was good, especially on spagetti nights. And we always said grace before we ate.

I remember going to the general store and getting mail and being so excited when there was a letter there for me. Dad and Mom had deposited the recommended spending money, probably $10, into my camp account. We didn't actually ever see the money. It paid for stamps and the occasional ice cream sandwich and of course packs of gum, primarily for the wrappers. I think I was there for 2 weeks but in that short period of time I remember that almost every day there was letter for me. I sent post cards and letters home every day, too. We did a lot of writing back then, and on into my college years. We didn't mind the delayed gratification from snail mail like we do now. The anticipation just added to the excitement of it all. I still have some of those letters sent to me at Camp Kiwanee. Messages from my younger sisters inserted in the envelope were really sweet. It's fun to look at them now and then.

I don't know where this nostalgia came from. Oh yeah, my blue and white outfit. There is something else about my Campfire Experience I remember well. The first thing we had to memorize as Bluebirds at the age of 7 was the Bluebird Wish. Here it is:

To have fun.
To learn to make beautiful things.
To remember to finish what I begin.
To want to keep my temper in.
And to go to every interesting place.
To learn about the beautiful trees, the flowers, the birds and things like these.
And make friends.

That is a pretty realistic wish for anyone's life, don't you think? And the Campfire Law, memorized at age 9, picks up where that left off.

Worship God

Seek Beauty

Give Service

Pursue Knowledge

Be Trustworthy

Hold on to Health

Glorify Work

Be Happy.

These are still great guidelines, I think. My Grandmother was one of the original Campfire Girls in 1910.

She exemplified these laws better than anyone I have known. As a grown woman I don't always follow them, but thinking about it now, I think it would be a good idea to start. Don't you agree?

Have a great day everyone! WoHeLo.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Morning Folks 07 15 07

A Day in Chattanooga

Ed and I spent Friday night and Saturday with Zeppelin and Arabella. This visit we decided to see some of the downtown Chattanooga area that I was curious to learn about. We started out with a Duck Tour. (all of these pictures were posted in a small format. But you should be able to see them better if you click on them.)

The term "duck", used to describe this amphibious vehicle is actually spelled DUKW.

D designates 1942-the year these were put into use

U is for amphibious UTILITY

K means Front Wheel Drive

W means Rear Wheel Drive

Captain Bill of the General Eisenhauer DUKW explained this to us as we headed through downtown Chattanooga toward the Tennessee River.

Grandma made the serious mistake of buying "quackers" for Zeppelin and Arabella.

Here we go heading into the river down the Duck ramp.

It was a beautiful day and the slow pace of the Duck as it floated down the river was very spite of all the quacking.

Here is a view of the Aquarium behind the "Passage" a large monument built to commemorate the Trail of Tears and the Native Americans' relocation to reservations in 1837. (Notice the water canon and see more on this memorial further down the page.)

The Hunter Museum of Art sits on a bluff overlooking the river. There is a Grandma Moses exhibit there now that Ed and I are planning to see in the next couple of weeks.
The Southern Belle went by us on the river. This is a dinner boat that is lots of fun. Ed and I spent a New Year's Eve on this boat one year.This is a view of a couple of old homes on the river. The one on the left is the McLellan house and by TN standards at 108 years old, is ancient! These Tennesseeans haven't been to the home of my friends Kitty and Rick up in Franklin, MA. Now that is old! 200+.
Another view of the Riverfront that hosts many events, including a huge weeklong music festival in June. Here they are getting ready for the Ironman competition tomorrow. I am not sure what that building is in the background, but I will find out!

Captain Bill turned over the wheel to Zeppelin.

Then Arabella took a turn. That was lots of fun.

Arabella helped Captain Bill navigate the River while Grandma looked on.

Arabella, Grandma, Grampa and Zeppelin all had a great time on this Ducktour. (We just had to buy the picture.)

After the Duck Tour, we walked around the downtown area. Here is one of the sculptures that is found along the way. It is really a lovely downtown. Not even close to the traffic you find in Boston and the streets are nice and clean.

Arabella takes a snooze.

The Passage is a beautiful "artspace" area on the river. It is a tribute to the Native Americans of the area, designed by Cherokee artists. It is made of steps leading to the river, with water flowing down the walls and down the stairs, like tears, into the river where the area's Indians began their march along the trail of tears to relocation to reservations in Oklahoma.

Along the wall are beautiful medallions, depicting the 7 tribes from the Chattanooga area that were relocated.

Grmpa and Arabella in front of one of the medallions.

Water canon at the bottom of the memorial that you can see in the picture above taken from the Duckboat.

This is a moving tribute and I hope to go back to read all of the information provided there, written in English and in the native language of the Cherokee and other tribes. It is beautiful and I really haven't done it justice. For more info, go to

But it is also a place of energy as the kids all splash on the stairs and in the wading pool at the bottom of the stairs. It was a cool and refreshing spot on a hot summer day.
Grampa and Arabella take the stairs at Grampa's pace.

Arabella ascends at her pace!

Arabella and Zeppeln enjoy the cool water. One of the medallions is on the wall in the background.

We had a great day with the kids and I was so happy to be seeing some of the sights. There are lots more things to do and see here, too. I hope this might interest some of you in a trip down to see us. Y'all are welcome any time!

Have a great day.



Sunday, July 01, 2007

Morning Folks 07 01 07 Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

Morning Folks! It has been a while since I have posted anything. Don't know why, really. The inspiration wasn't there, or the timing wasn't right or some such thing. Whatever the reason, I have missed ye and I am back. And I feel like just rambling a little this morning. So get a cup a joe, sit back and relax a spell.

Today is July 1. Can you believe that? Well down here in TN they say this is just the beginning of the summer and that we have to go all the way through September before it ends. We have had 90+ temps since I got back from the Cape almost 2 weeks ago and it looks like more of the same in the foreseeable future. And it is humid and very sticky.

We had been having drought conditions since May, but lately every afternoon about three o'clock a monster thunderstorm that lasts about a half an hour appears, leaving lots of greenery where just a couple of weeks ago there were brown and dry lawns. Have you ever heard of Chirt before? That's what they call the soil down here. It isn't really soil but a mixture of dirt and chert, which is rock of some type. So the ground is pretty hard and when it is dry it might just as well be all rock. As a result, I haven't done much gardening. I would need a backhoe to create a bed. Although Ed said he would help me turn over a spot and spread some topsoil when he gets a chance.

But it is so hot, who wants to get out there anyway?

 >Ed has been really busy, though, working long overtime hours some nights and usually 6 days a week. Because he is on the 3-11:30 PM shift, when they give him overtime he doesn't get home until almost 4AM. That is not good for either of us, especially Ed.

But it looks like he may be switching to day shift any time now. He works hard for the USPS, if you didn't know that already. And thanks for the extra 2 cents, by the way.

It will be nice to have Ed home with me in the evenings. Although I will probably be watching a lot more Law and Order and the History channel.
At least it isn't football season yet. Down here they live and breathe football. Oh boy, can't wait.

Go Pats

I suppose it sounds like I am complaining about Tennessee. It is hot and humid and it took me a while to find a hairdresser, but I finally got my hair did the way I like it. And I cain't hardly unnerstand anythang they says down har, but I am gittin' used to it, I reckon. But I must honestly say that after returning from 2 weeks on the Cape in June, for the first time I felt like I was coming home when I got back to Ooltewah. They say home is where the heart is.

Well, my heart is in at least two places now. Hmmm. That happened when I wasn't looking some how. So it's all good.

I promised more cruise pictures, and I will get those up soon, promise. I have them on my screensaver and have been enjoying them myself. So, stay tuned and I will see what I can do about sharing them with you.

For now, have a wonderful day. Hope all is well with all y'all.



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