Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jane Eyre

I saw the new Jane Eyre last evening. What a wonderful movie, the stark beauty of the moors, the immenseness of Thornfield, the ruggedness of Rochester, the superb rendering of the styles of that day filled my eyes with pleasure. Passion beat in the words, the laying bare of their souls, understanding the meaning underneath. The verbal play exposed the love. The kisses full of emotion only accentuated the growing action of the conversation.
I loved Orson Wells as Rochester,as well, but this movie depended so much on the words of the novel for the intimacy of the lovers. I was most impressed by the power, passion, meaning that lives in the words.
I read Jane Eyre when I was in eighth grade, leading me to bawl at the end of the book in my bed as I finished the last chapter. It is a story to emulate. After seeing this movie, Katie and I were both moved to read the book again. We have to dig it out and then uncover the secrets of this novel, again.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Well, It's Memorial Day

Yes, it is Memorial Day and a beautiful day today in western Pennsylvania. I remember when it was Decoration Day, on May 30th every year, no matter the day of the week. We did have the day off school. The parade started at the Post Office downtown and marched past our house. We had a front seat. Everyone came out. Then we joined it,as it rounded our corner, walking to the cemetery down the hill. The service with the white wooden crosses, and in the late 60's, Tex Yonika's name added to the list, our town's young man killed in the Vietnam War. He was a friend of my oldest sister. My parent's had an open house for him as he came home from being an exchange student in South Africa.
Always visited the WW1 soldier statue of Elliot fascinated by the granite image.
We visited the graves of relatives gone and then had a cold pop given away by the Vets, I suppose. I write this now as my youngest daughter is practicing The Star Spangled Banner in the alto part- how lovely and fitting.
Some years, Dad drove us to Pymatuning, a reservoir north of us in the next county. I spent the day swimming as Mom and Dad sat on a bench watching. I love Pymatuning, I feel it is in my blood. My dad knew all the back roads like the clichéd back of his hand. His father-in-law was amazed at how my dad could get around that area. One year we had Kentucky Fried Chicken picnic at the dam area with Grandpa. We really spent many weekend days there. My first camping trip when I was a few months old was in Andover, OH in a cabin. With the camper van, we spent the weekend on the Jamestown side.
As I got older and Memorial Day was the name, I think I was in 6th grade, we went to the service in the High School auditorium. A DJ, Johnny K from Youngstown, OH, spoke and we found out he was a Christian. I listened to him differently after that day, also developed a new love for Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken." as Johnny K pointed out that it was in the hymnal.
I grew up with Decoration Day/Memorial Day as more than just the kick off to summer, although that couldn't help but be a part of that day, especially when we are gifted with such a wonderful weather day as today. Today, I remembered in Hermitage Hillcrest Cemetery with it's 2000 veterans buried there, what a special holiday this is. America has fought evil- call it what you may, it is evil as the speaker today pointedly proclaimed. We need to remember the soldiers that carried that heavy toll and gave their lives for freedom. Thank you.

New Circumstances

I'm using my great nephew's laptop, as my adventure in blogging continues. I won't write much because of the instability of the wireless and every other problem that can occur when one is out of one's environment.
We are celebrating early my in-laws 65th wedding anniversary today. I had forgotten this morning that it is also our 29th wedding anniversary until my mother-in-law mentioned it in church. I was surprised I'd forgotten, but when the circumstances are totally topsy turvy I forget things I'd been remembering. So, I tossed the 29 years like no big deal in my realization that I had not even thought of it this morning. In fact, we had an argument about our poor communication as we rapidly departed his aunt's house on "the hill" I suppose it was strange to have slept in his grandmother's old bedroom. I kept thinking this is the room where Grandma died.
Family is growing and the in-law's house is not. It is alumni weekend in my husband's hometown, so forget staying in a motel room. 300 people were at the exclusive banquet last evening. I was looking forward to sitting on their porch, but everyone has developed a new hobby of killing flies, from 9 to 90. Yet the weather is beautiful and there is no rain.
We have tried to keep Mom from doing much this weekend. She always does her kitchen with ease, but this is their big weekend. The picnic is yet to come and the official celebration. I thank God for a new family I've had for 29 years today.
And somehow I created a new blog, but I'm going to try to get rid of it. Stay with the old.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bit All Over the Place

I'm not sure what to write about today. So many things. I had planned on writing about community theater- it's back in the Shenango Valley with excellent production value.
I checked my email first. I didn't recognize the address at first and almost deleted it, but it was from my husband's cousin, her father passed away this morning, peacefully in hospice. Sure is a stark contrast to the original thought of the day. I "chatted" with friend about it, because being so early, I have no one else to tell.
I have been married into this family for 29 years tomorrow, so Uncle Clark is mine, too. His wife had a baby shower for Katie and I at their house, when they still lived in Emporium, PA. They stayed at our apartment when one of their cousin's daughter got married in Rhode Island.
It was said at one time that David looked like Clark. Tall and thin. Uncle Clark was quiet and as his daughter said in his e-mail lived a good Christian life. He was a peaceful man as far as I could see. We always got an Christmas letter and card.
My father-in-law adores him. Even went so far as to name a dog after Clark's nickname- "Tager" or Tiger for those not from the hills. In high school his nickname was Tiger Lyon.
He served also in WW2 as I believe an instructor in the Army. It's too early for me to check my info-
June 17th, he would have been 91. I remember just 4 years ago, he was visiting in Emporium with his only daughter, again for a wedding- his great niece, Heahter's and the next day he was being honored in 1st UM Church in Emporium for his birthday, but he also served this church for a long time. My father-in-law was very anxious we not be late for this important event, pounding on our door to get up for church.
He was active in the church in the Willow Street, PA area after he moved to live near his daughter with his wife. She passed away there 6 years ago in her kitchen.
We are celebrating my in-law's 65th wedding anniversary this weekend. I'm sure this news will change the course of the weekend. Yet, this is life, sadness and joys, we experience them all. Live each day and love wholly.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Goochland, VA

We stayed with Dad's army buddy, Deacon, after our first few days in Washington, D.C. on our trip to Perris Island. This was a great experience. I must say being Postmaster paid well, because their home was spacious. Each child had their own bathroom. The red brick house was built into the hill. A whole apartment was downstairs that my parents got to sleep in. I slept in the girl's room.
The bottom apartment went out to their lake. The boy and girl and I canoed in it. They also had a swimming pool, but we didn't see that as it still early in April to go swimming.
The children were taken out of their public schools because of "the blacks taking over" I couldn't understand that because in the morning, Pauline, a black woman, came, the girl gave her a big hug and Pauline short ordered cooked for us. Even at 9 years old I felt uncomfortable about this and wondered if they couldn't go to school with black children, why could they eat food fixed by a black woman? I was not a southerner.
I still had a great time there. And I enjoyed teasing the boy.(for the life of me, I can't remember their names) The girl was blond, blue eyed like me, just a year older than I. I remember we talked about ghosts being real, because there was the Holy Ghost. As kids you just talk about things, but I didn't ask about the black issue. I'm sure they really couldn't have answered me, anyways, except what their parents said, there were too many of them. They were on spring break anyways. What kid wants to talk about school on spring break?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Perris Island

My brother walked into the principal's office in February of his senior year, fed up with a teacher, knowing he was going to fail her class. He was already 18, so he dropped out of school. The principal called my dad, afterwards, when Dan had left the building. Nothing then, my dad could do. He was angry and felt he could have talked Dan out of quitting. Dan enlisted in the USMC.
Several weeks later, loaded up the car and traveled south. Washington, DC, Goochland, VA to visit Dad's old army buddy- another story,- working our way to the land of Spanish moss and South of the Border! This little girl was very excited to see her big brother.
Dan had a tan, wore a khaki uniform and immediately took off his cap upon entering a building, showing off a white shaved head. He had that shy grin, that maybe underneath the toughness of being a Marine making it through boot camp, he was happy to see his mom and dad grinning with a little sister jumping.
Dan pointed out on a tour of the base, the fat camp and the skinny camp. Those recruits would take longer to graduate from boot camp. He showed us a hut they used for tropical training. I experienced the PX. My mom and dad were beaming.
The next day was the ceremony. Hundreds of young men in formation, the ones with glasses of the same style, stood in the field. We thought we were looking at Dan the whole time, but it was someone else wearing those standard glasses.
Then time for pictures. We always teased that Mom couldn't take a picture and as you can tell, she didn't get a good one of Dad, Dan and me. Dan was leaving the next day for Camp Lejune, I think. All I know the time was short to be with him and I felt sad. He was the last sibling to leave the home and I missed him. Who would introduce me to Vanilla cokes from Erickson's(anyone can get a cherry coke) or tell me stories or drive Mom and me to open houses, so the teacher could remember when she had him in 3rd grade, and he could stand in the distance.
About now if Dan read this it would be time to go. He never liked when my mom talked about his childhood. I'm sure my memory has made a few mistakes, as I was only 9, well,the day before my 9th birthday.
I know we were all sad, the long trip to SC and then the visit was over. Dad still had a lot planned after this. But seeing Dan was the highlight of this trip. It was always that way. We loved all we did, but seeing my sisters or my brother was the purpose of the trip.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Yes, this whole Rapture talk had me looking to the clouds frequently the last few days. Yet, I love clouds and look to the sky often. The majestic towers of those white puffiness fascinate me. Nothing is better than as a child laying back on the soft grass and gazing at those formations and making up stories.
Learning the science of them, the facts, makes the gazing even more interesting. I think how far they are from me and how tall they are. I am amazed. You add color at sunset making the beauty overwhelm me.
So this ties in with the travel stories. The best cloud watching I ever did was in Missouri. Dad found a campground, we had made and ate supper, the redding up was done(I've been dying to use redding up). Mom and I sat at the picnic table on a hill with all the numerous characters in the clouds before us. They just seemed to roll past us, waiting for our story about each one, then another would come along. The colors, and shapes were so vivid. The evening delightful.
Years later in a card, my mother wrote about this evening, "Remember those clouds in Missouri?" Such a bonding evening that the memory lasted for years.
I loved too seeing the clouds' shadows on the prairies. On the forest hills, those shadows aren't as noticeable. The flat green expanse with the dark mark of clouds on it again opened my eyes to something new. With the wind those shadows rolled right over the green and I thought that was remarkable. The land and sky seemed to go on forever to this little girl.
I guess I keep that wonder deep inside me. I marvel at the sky and I love the Creator of it all. I keep that close to me as I continue to watch the sky.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

OK, I CAN'T Leave it Alone

Another post from three years ago:
 So, I don't want to give credence anymore to Harold Camping, but the
Rapture is our blessed hope(Titus 2:13) and it saddens me to see it being tarnished this way. Christians should live each day as it is our last, in fact, everyone should. The Rapture is real, it is going to happen and everyday brings us closer to the Glorious Day(Casting Crowns popular song at present).
I've heard the argument that Paul thought it was going to happen in his day, before he died and of course it didn't. I still think if you had been to the "Third Heaven", (2 Corinthians 12) you would want this world to end.
I think our best answer to the end of the world topic is 2 Peter 3. And really the whole Bible. We need to live each day ready for being called home, whether by the last trump or our individual death. Someday, our world is going to end.
I do wonder that like the first coming of Jesus, when so many were looking for a savior, a deliverer, even outside the Jewish culture, and it came to a head. Like it had to be within that time frame, so are the prophecies, predictions of the end of the world at present. Back then they were searching everywhere for the Messiah, except in the lowly manager. In the last days, there will be no missing the second coming, but some will miss the Rapture, excusing it for something else. Why? Because Christ is not coming then, He is calling us home.
Christians be ready. Speak boldly of our Jesus and His love for all. He wants none to perish, but acceptance of Him is what is necessary. Yeah, seems intolerant, but let the Holy Spirit lead to those who are ready to accept this message.
My favorite Chris Rice song says it all for me,"Run the Earth, Watch the Sky."

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Topic. Many Years

In view of the recent buzz of the Rapture occurring tomorrow(May 21, 2011) 6pm, I thought I'd blog on the churches we visited on vacation. So if the Rapture doesn't happen tomorrow, and you don't usually go to church, this may inspire you to go to a church of your choice on Sunday. That is another area Harold Camping is not biblical, he discourages his audience from going to church, because he feels it is being headed by the devil. But enough time on Harold Camping, been wrong before and I don't think he'll get it right this time, since even Jesus said no one knows the day or hour.
We did not always make it to church when we were traveling, but often we were found in church. One church I remember was an old red brick Presbyterian church in Evansville, Indiana.(Summer 1972). It was on the Ohio River and no air conditioning. Just like at home, we used the funeral home fans. The ceilings soared above us. Hymns were sung and I liked being a visitor there. My dad was friendly as a visitor, too.
The first air conditioned church I went to was in Tennessee, my cousin's Baptist church. The temperatures with the humidity higher than in Pennsylvania made this a marvel. We sat in that comfort and needed no funeral home fans.
I went to a Roman Catholic church with my dad's cousin's daughter in Aurora, Illinois. I did everything she did, from using the holy water and saying the responses. I'm not sure why just the two of us went, but I idolized her at the time.
We always went to my sister's church in Newark, New Jersey and she was/still is friends with the pastor- thanks to Facebook. I remember it as a large stone, I believe Gothic edifice. I was amazed at the size of the building, exclaiming, "What a big church!" Yet, congregation size, it was a dwindling city church and my sister hushed me immediately. Later in years, it became an Hispanic congregation church.
One weekend, I was invited to go with my friend and her parents to her father's hunting cabin in Marienville, Pennsylvania. A converted caboose with an added on room in early November, probably before hunting season, served as our get away and Sunday morning, we had a church service in the cabin. I remember we read from the gospel of John, about John the Baptist.
Even if we didn't get to a church service, we didn't forget God while we were traveling. I cherish the experiences of visiting different churches. One thing I look forward when I go away.
See ya in church on Sunday!
My cousin and I on our way to church in Aurora, Illinois

Thursday, May 19, 2011

One Story at a Time

I felt the last post was too broad. That is my problem, I want to tell the story all at once plus everything else. Sometimes that is why writing is so hard. I want it all out instantaneously.
I'm not one to read ahead in a book, to find out the end, but sometimes I do. I look at the chapter names, I count pages. I want to know the story. Where is the joy in the journey?
As I was thinking of all the travel, there are many years and I tend to summarize, instead of tell an individual story. The New Jersey should have been just my first trip there through the eyes of a 7 year old. Or I should have stuck with the 13 weeks vacation. Yet as I said at the start of this blog, these are my musings. I remember the timing from the old slides. My hair started getting wavy when I was 10. Debbie Gravitt, a foster girl who lived with us when I was 11, in pictures gives me the reference there. So many stories. I don't need to give it all away immediately.
So relax, enjoy and I'll try to tell one story at a time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Let's Not Forget New Jersey

The trip to New Jersey shortly after my sister married when I was 7 was the first big trip that I remember. I know we went to Chicago when I was 3 or 4 and I stayed with a former preacher while my family went to another wedding- I believe Sam and Virgina's daughter, but I was very young and don't recall the ride at all. Vaguely can see the church where this preacher was performing the wedding. I sat in the back with the preacher's wife.
I know we took trips to Niagara Falls, Canada plus taking my sister to Jumonville, PA for camp that I thought for sure we were going to Kentucky,because it was so long and I was told when you climb the hill to the big white cross, you're supposed to be able to see 3 states. I'm not sure, but when a person is 3, any ride can seem forever. Those trips were around 3 hours long or maybe longer, given traveling styles then.
When we took this trip to New Jersey, I-80 was not open, yet. The PA turnpike provided the route. How exciting- tunnels, another favorite of this small girl. I had my beige color monkey with movable limbs due to wires under the stuffing. His name was Toto from "Daktari," a TV show set in South Africa. He had sunglasses on and I was just tickled that he didn't take them off when we went through the tunnel.
This ride was an incredibly long ride for a 7 year-old. Now that I know where these areas are- I still think the turnpike is an incredibly long drive- I chuckle that I thought we should be done when we were just south of Pittsburgh. Oh, baby, long way to go.
My first trip to New Jersey was full of such new sites, such as a giant Dixie cup, a boat shaped restaurant, the Atlantic Ocean! My sister's in-laws had an in ground pool- I love to swim. My little eyes were opened causing knowledge expansion.
Gerri Lee was the first to leave the nest permanently. Even to my young mind, I knew marriage meant forever and I cried myself to sleep the night she married. Yet, her moving away was a gift and for 22 years, 2 apartments, 2 houses and a great daughter- my only niece for almost 9 years- I had numerous experiences spending summers in New Jersey, going into New York City and just living in a city for a few weeks. I had never heard of a deli before I flew out there alone when I was 10. I asked if we could get yellow delicious apples at the deli. Later in the evening, 3 year old Debbie, fighting sleep, decided to yell out from her crib, "Mommy, no orange apples!" Gerri Lee and I laughed so hard, I think it made Debbie mad.
We walked a lot, since driving is difficult in the city. My brother-in-law worked in NYC for 10 years. At least once, we commuted in with him to see "Mary Poppins" at Radio City Music Hall. Debbie became tired and just sat down while we were walking. My sister became very mad. I know she was scared!
The train was behind their house and Thom didn't have far to go to the station. But this is why we watched the Macy Parade on TV, even though we were only 13 miles from NYC. Again, as an adult, I can really understand this, but I always thought, we're so close, why can't we go in?
New Jersey expanded my horizons with the many trips we made there, the camping with my parents, sleeping on my sister's in-law's boat at Sea Side Heights, the boardwalk, playing stick ball in Bloomfield. I'm grateful for these experiences and so much more.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Travel Memories- Part 2

"Who Will Buy?" from Oliver, the musical, burst forth from my mouth, when I awoke in the pop-up of this camper in Kansas, or was it "Food, Glorious, Food"? Well, one of them, because we had recently seen the movie, after I had listened to album for 6 years, at least, before our trip to out west. The sky was incredibly spring time blue and I sang my joy.
My dad had parked the camper in my sister's college friend's driveway on a ranch in Pratt,KS. Being a 9 year-old girl, saddled up on one of their horses, I was in heaven.
My favorite part of the trip to KS was passing through Kansas City, MO and KS with its overlapping spaghetti bridges. "Wake me up when we get to Kansas!" my plea to my parents and they did. I marveled at the bridges speeding past, we were just carried along. The flatness of Kansas with the oil wells pumping filled this little girl's eyes, for I had never seen anything like that before. Even flatter than Ohio.
My mother taught me geography- Ohio was flat, Indiana was rolling, Illinois started the prairie. We caught the glimmer of Notre Dame gold dome. One time, Dad's army buddy, Sam and his wife Virginia, took us into Chicago. The journey to Kansas contained many delights the several times we went. But Kansas was where my sister lived, holding the most excitement.
The summer before my sister married and left Kansas, she encouraged my parents to take us to the Ozarks, the land of "The Shepherd of the Hills" and Silver Dollar City. Even though that trip was in July, I still find myself reading that novel in the spring. I reread it every so often and am doing so now. I treasure my signed copy by the descendent's of Uncle Ike, the postmaster, more each time I read it. I'm reading it now, truly enjoying the style this time. My family rode the big jeeps in the summer evening to the outdoor theater to take in the play. I liked one character was Aunt Mollie and the insanity of Pete, the young boy, filled my child mind with wonder. This was before After School Specials.
I loved the spring time the most, but summer held that old time America feeling to me when we were in Kansas. The thermometer going to 103! Escaping with the host's grandchildren to a matinée movie, with Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller. Little League games under big lights at night. A real little playhouse in the yard that Sharon and I could actually sit in. It was built, I believe for her mother, in the style of the main house.
I think the best part of these trips out west was not only seeing all the sights and there were many, but meeting new people and sharing it with my family. I loved the quiet talk between my parents at night when we traveled that I could hear from the back seat. Dad told my mom secrets about driving and his experiences. It was comforting, knowing they loved each other and me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Great Uncle Dave

I was on one of my favorite pastimes, walking my dog in Bulh Farm Park, near my house.
As I enjoyed the wildflowers, I observed one I didn't know. I thought of how to find out. Look up wildflowers on the internet, get a book on wildflowers. We have one downstairs on Your Backyard.
I wished I had been older before my great uncle left this life. Uncle Dave showed up on my parents doorstep one morning and lived with my family for 14 years. I was only 3 when he died after being hit by a car early one morning walking to work. He filled vending machines at a factory in town, twice a day, for being 80 and lame as they called it back then, that was an important job for him. He told my mom, "I have to make sure those men have their snacks."
I remember more the stories my mom told me than actually my experience with him. I had a carnival cane and I followed him using it, because he walked with a cane. This story from my dad's cousin, Becky Ahern's information in the genealogy:
" While Uncle Dave was working as a foreman for one of the furnaces in West Middlesex, Pa, he climbed up a scaffold to do some work and the scaffold broke leaving him fall quite a distance. The result of this accident was a life time of broken bones wired together. The wires would become infected and he would be off work for months at a time. After the accident and about 2 years in the hospital he found a job as a watchman at the Pennsylvania Crossing in West Middlesex, Pa. As a child, I only knew my uncle Dave with a limp and problems with his health for the rest of his life. The accident did not keep him from being a super uncle to all the nieces and nephews. He would take them camping, hunting, trapping and fishing every season of the year. He would take me swimming, one day when I went with him, he thought I was following him, but I was coming up for the third time when he got to me in the swimming pool. He would never take me swimming again. I have thought this must have been very difficult for him as he was the one that retrieved my Uncle John from the Shenago River when he drown."
Every time I go the cemetery, I look at the ancestors and think I knew someone who was born in 1884. Uncle Dave was a bachelor. He had a garden in every unclaimed lot in town. He rose early bringing his harvest in for my mom to can, while she had 3 little ones to care for, dresses to iron(because you did that then), meals to prepare and order to maintain. But the vegetables were to take precedence overall.
I thought today, I bet Uncle Dave would have known what that flower was.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Surreal Worship Service

Worshiping God with song, a great one about how wonderful God is, that you close your eyes and focus on Him. Except, today, we had received conflicting news that one of our pastors had a heart attack on the platform earlier this morning. The ushers used the AED and shocked him once. He came back, first shouted, "Thank God." then I heard he apologized for interrupting the service. Wives of two of the other pastors, who had gone to the hospital with this pastor's wife, returned to this service with forcefulness in their walk. The first one was whispering in her husband's ear and the other was conferring with a deacon. Then the four of them gathered in the front, the main pastor with concern all over his face.
As the congregation is singing, I look at them and wonder how often, we have our crisis that no one can see while we're praising the Lord. This one played out in the front of the sanctuary, but most of our troubles and problems are hidden in our hearts and minds. And like Pastor Fred, who seemed to be the picture of health, trim, active and watched his diet, has 2 blocked arteries, according to his granddaughter, what is hiding underneath our smiling faces. It may not be a health problem, but a deep hurt or unforgiveness. While we are worshiping God, let us remember the great commandment and the second- To love the LORD your God with all our heart, soul, mind and body and our neighbor as ourselves. You never know the whole story.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Travel Memories- Part 1

My father worked for a steel mill and after so many years he earned 13 weeks paid vacation.  That was 1970 and we took 3 major vacations for important events in his children's lives.  The first one was the trip south for my brother's graduation from Marine boot camp.  We were there to support Dan.  My father wrote him a letter every single day to encourage my brother through the toughest time in his life so far.  He told my mom, that is the hardest thing a young man can go through.
The second trip was out to Kansas to see my sister graduate from Sterling College.  I think we were hardly home from the April trip and we were back in the car for that adventure in May.  I'm racking my brains if that was our first trip to Kansas and I don't think it was.  So, I may get my stories mixed up in time.  Yet they are so vivid.
June saw us in Wildwood, NJ with my other sister and her daughter.  After the SC trip and before the Kansas trip, my parents purchased a VW campmobile.  We camped in Wildwood and I met a French Canadian girl, named Josie, who spoke no English and I no French, but her father knew English and helped with communication. We had a great time.  We also found a turtle along the road that we kept in the pot we were going to use for peeing in the middle of the night.
The next I don't know how many blogs I'll be recalling these trips, hope to add some pictures and hope to have some fun!

Friday, May 6, 2011


Spring of the year when old women remember travels of their youth.  Ok, not poetry and I'm not thinking of war, just battlefields of wars gone by.  Gettysburg, PA.  1970- Returning from our 2 week trip to Perris Island, SC to witness my brother graduating from Marine boot camp, we arrive in Gettysburg on a rainy, foggy morning.  In a little country restaurant, place mats with blessings from different religions are printed, which I read while we wait.  Praying before meals was common then, even in public places and this encouraged those who didn't know what to pray, I guess.
I had the back seat to myself, always a boon to traveling with children.  Sometimes lonely, but I could look out the windows without hindrance. My mind soaked up the fruit orchards in gray rain and mist.  I remember it was deemed too wet with poor visibility to view the battlefields. I also learned about Presidents retiring and not living in Washington, DC from Ike's home.
Last Sunday, I drove through the rain in Gettysburg and also got to see the countryside as we inched along a "blue detour."  An emergency scene forced us off the beautiful 4 lane highway.
Yesterday, my daughter had a field trip to Gettysburg in bright sunshine.  With sun exposure on her nose and cheeks she could only say it was lame.   She wants to return to dig deeper.  A promise is made to explore more.  Maybe in the rain.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Music and Memories

Disney at the Movies was the concert band title.  They had just returned from Disney World, where they were not allowed to play any Disney music, so marched to Hot, Hot, Hot.  I so look forward to these band concerts, as to my untrained, band ear, I think they sound fabulous.
Two of the students put together clips of films to coincide with the music.  I sat back in the auditorium chair and went back in time as the images played on the big screen.  I thought I haven't seen so many of them that large, larger than life, for so long, since we have first videos and then DVD's and only new releases are shown in movie theaters.
Most were seen in the old Columbia, that was ruined by a fire in 1981.  Song of the South, Zip-pity Do Dah, the first song and I thought, yes, I remember seeing that on the big screen and now we'll never see it anywhere!  Then, I remember my dad driving my mother and I to see Cinderella.  The huge red velvet curtains in the Columbia matched the ones in the movie, as after the show, we went out the back way to look for my grandpa in his tan Oldsmobile.  Peter Pan I watched with my father on a sunny summer afternoon, as we then crossed the humming bridge over the Shenango River to the Army-Navy store to buy a pup tent, that I then played in all summer- any lost boys?
I'm sure Mary Poppins graced the Basil screen and I went with my sister and her friends.  The prom theme that year had something to do with a carousel, and any Mary Poppins books were for the purpose of copying the pictures of the horses, but don't tell a 5 year old that!  For weeks after seeing that movie, I sauntered on the sidewalk with an umbrella, trying to jump into it!
After Jungle Book, we visited my aunt and uncle in Sharon and I couldn't stop talking about Mowgli and Baloo.  Probably drove them crazy.  I loved the wolves and pretended I was the little Indian girl at the end, capturing Mowgli's heart.
Thank you, Mr. Garary for directing such a great group of kids to produce such sounds and cooperation.  Music creates mood, memories and feeling that the Hickory High School band brought together beautifully.
  Looking forward to the jazz band concert in a few weeks.