Monday, September 21, 2015

Preserving History

our house
A local library received a grant to procure some video equipment and auxiliary lights for the purpose of recording the history of the town and its older residents. Several churches will be celebrating their 150th anniversaries next year, so this project ties in nicely with those historic events. To begin the process, the library director asked if they could interview me about the history of my house and its place in the town when it was built in 1902. Of course I said yes as talking about my pretty lady is one of my favorite things. They may be sorry they asked - ha! Since she has just been freshly painted, the centenarian is looking great for her age.

We recently had a meeting to discuss the project. I brought along my notebook filled with the documents I collected to prove the age of the house when I applied for the century home plaque, as well as the two old issues of The Ladies' Home Journal that contain the drawings of plans used to build the house. I also showed them the book I made about the history of the house. I think these would be some nice visual aids for the taping. Most of the actual interview will take place at the library, but they also want to come to the house and shoot some footage of the house as well. The director does have some concern that other residents will expect him to do a video of their homes as well, so his answer to that will be to ask them what interesting items they have found about the house. He doesn't think many will have the amount of stuff that I have collected. I don't have a timetable yet for when the project will begin, but it should be fun!

Sandy Creek Covered Bridge
Another piece of history that I have been wanting to see is the Sandy Creek Covered Bridge in Jefferson County. It is one of four remaining covered bridges in Missouri. On Saturday we loaded up some drinks and the dog and drove down Highway 21. The bridge is nicely preserved and on a such a beautiful day there were several groups shooting pictures at the site. We decided to continue on with a walk and ended up finding a field of grazing horses. They were not the least bit concerned about us, or all the cars flying past on Old Highway 21.

horses in the field

As luck would have it, Jim's business partner call while we were driving to say that he was at his lake house if we wanted to come by. As it is off of Highway 21, the timing could not have been better. We stopped and grabbed lunch for all of us, and enjoyed eating it on his deck overlooking the lake. Then we went out for a boat ride. Kirby loves to get on the boat, so he hopped right in. It was a great way to end the afternoon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Remembering September 11th

Each year on September 11th you can hear people discussing where they were when they first heard about the terrorist attacks on America. Just like when President Kennedy was shot, I will never forget what I was doing. As usual on a nice weather day, I had walked with my daughter to her elementary school and returned home. Sitting down at the table to eat breakfast, I turned on our 9" television set to catch the morning news. The Today Show interrupted their newscast to show a plane crashing into the first tower in New York. Like most people, I assumed there was a problem with the plane or that pilot error was involved. When the live footage of the second plane hitting the other tower appeared, I knew that no errors had been made. I immediately called my husband, and followed that with a call to my sister. She was staying in Cincinnati caring for my dad at the time. After they viewed the initial coverage of the planes, my dad ordered her to turn off the television. She was not allowed to watch any more of the events if he was present. Did that bring back memories of WWII for him? I never asked him about it.

On the tenth anniversary (which seems an odd choice of words for a tragedy like this), volunteers in St. Louis placed 2,977 flags on Art Hill in Forest Park - one flag for every person who died in the attacks. On each flagpole was the name and photo of the deceased. It was a sobering and moving sight, a visual representation of how many lives were taken that day.

September 11, 2011
This year at Kirkwood Park local boy scouts installed flags around Walker Lake, one for each first responder who died on 9/11. There were 388 flags. My friend and I headed to the park to take some pictures. Like in Forest Park, each flagpole had the name and photo of the person who died, along with the unit he or she served in and the location of death. Standing in the parking lot as we first arrived, both of us were overcome with emotion at the sense of loss and total injustice of lives cut short. As we walked through the forest of flags, we talked with others along the way about the symbolism of the flags and the display of America's strength and unity. I hope that it brings their families some comfort to know that we haven't forgotten their loved ones, and what they sacrificed for others. Never forget.

September 11, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Laboring Day

Women in Focus show
We had a very busy Labor Day weekend, beginning with the opening of the new Women in Focus photography exhibit on Friday night. I have three photos in the latest show, which is being held at Tavern of Fine Arts in St. Louis. Jim and I arrived around 5:15, needing to get there early as we had another commitment that night. There was already a nice crowd in place, so we grabbed a drink and walked around admiring the photos. Neither of us had been to the Tavern before, and it seems like a fun place to have dinner and then enjoy live music. We definitely want to go back when we have time to do that. The show will be up until the end of November, so perhaps we can make it before then.

Alpha Sigma Phi brothers
From the Tavern we headed back west to Kirkwood to the home of one of Jim's fraternity brothers. Several of the guys and their wives were in town for the holiday weekend, so they invited us to join them for a barbecue on Friday night. I was contributing a dessert, so I had to think of something I could make that would be okay in the trunk of my car for a couple of hours in 90 plus degree heat. I settled on making lemon bars, adding the dusting of powder sugar to the top once we got to our destination. There ended up being six of the fraternity brothers there (three of whom are brothers by blood as well, along with their younger sister who was also a Little Sister in the fraternity just like me and one of the other wives.) The fourteen of us enjoyed reminiscing about our time at Iowa State and some of the shenanigans that went on while we were there. It always amazes me that you can go 30 plus years without seeing classmates, whether college or high school, and still pick right back up where you left off. We had a great time!

On Saturday Jim's mom & dad along with his sister and her husband arrived from Iowa for the weekend to celebrate the occasion of his mom's 85th birthday (a few weeks early, but this is the only weekend that worked for everyone.) My other sister-in-law was also due to arrive from Kansas City, but unfortunately she became ill and was unable to make the drive. After church on Sunday, my sister and her husband and my niece came by to join us for dinner and cake. They all have known Jim's mom for over 30 years, so it was fun to have them celebrate with us. My mother-in-law's favorite cake is angel food, so I found a recipe where you add chopped maraschino cherries to the cake mix prior to baking. I just wanted to make the cake a little special. It rose nicely and looked beautiful when I took it out of the oven and flipped it over to cool while we were at church. When we returned home, it had flattened to half of its size! I have never had an angel food cake do that, so I don't know if the added cherries caused it or what. But of all the times for that to happen...The good news is that the cake was still tasty, and we all had a good laugh about it.

birthday cake
lighting the candles
After the house emptied on Monday morning, I cleaned up the kitchen from breakfast and then did the linens from five beds and all the towels. Labor Day brought much laboring for me. The Wolterman B & B turns over again on Thursday when my cousin and her husband arrive from Cincinnati for a wedding. They have never been here before, so I am eager to show them the house. After I get it all back in order...