Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tropical Storms, Hurricanes and all that Stuff

In 1948, had to be September, we were in the midst of a storm. My dad rarely took a day off from his job by history, but he must have taken one that fateful day. He drove an old black pickup truck (that normally transported all 5 of us there, there and yon), and came to school to round up my brother and me. That had never happened to us before.

When we arrived home it was through deep water. The canal that ran in front of our house was wide and probably 6 feed deep in a dry spell was full to overflowing. Our road was a dirt path, maybe a little wider was under water too. How Daddy knew the real road and the exact spot to turn into our drive was is beyond my little girl rememberance, but he did it. (At that time of our lives daddys were smart and knew how to do things and were there in the home every day and night because that was the way it was supposed to be.) He pulled in the driveway and up to the huge oak tree that stood just a few feet from our back porch. He lifted us one by one from the truck and carried us to the dry concrete because the water was too deep for us little ones to get through on our own. The water was lapping up over the top of the steps and to the edge of the porch~~the house was built on a three block tier because of the area they were built in and the style of the day for wood framed homes.

It ws an exciting time for us. Little did we know of the danger that hovered over and around us, but again we felt safe and secure becausde Daddy and Mother were there, we could cook on the porch on the new fangled grill we'd bought or if necessary in the fireplace. Yes, it was an option to cook in the fireplace. Still is as a matter of fact if push gets to shove.

As the years went by, we spent many times together with no power for days, no phone and goodness sakes, no cell phones, and sometimes took a good pounding from those tropical storms and hurricanes. After the winds and rains had passed, Daddy and my brothers would get out in the community with chain saws and a truck to move the trees that blocked the roads and helped people tht couldn't help themselves~~ and that's how I remember it....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Green,Green Grass~~the Sheep,Cattle and the Horses of England and Scotland

Buzzing around London was damp and cool. Edinborough was cool and damp as well. The winds blew in the highlands of Scotland, but oh my were those mountains beautiful. When the rains eased, we could see that the mountains were covered with heather--that lovely purple-blue flower that smells so good, just almost glowed. It wasn't just on the roadsides and up the hills bit. It was all the way up the mountain! When there were spots where the heather let up , the green, green grass grew. As it was in Ireland, in each little stone divided plot, the grass was a different hue of green. The weather in upper England and all of Scotland must not have been so bad according to the sheep, cows and horses. (It felt the same to me .)In Ireland, the sheep would all be lying down in the fields--very few of them up grazing. That didn't seem too odd, I don't know much from sheep tho. The cows in the field--alot of them were lying down too, some up grazing also. As we moved on down the way, lo and behold the horses were flat out supine in the field. I thought they were all dying. Horses don't lay down unless they are sick here in the south. I was told, when I sought a smarter answer than I had (I know that's hard for me to admit. ), I was told that they wanted to keep their beds warm and dry. That caused a chuckle and I still don't believe it. No one really noticed very much what they were doing this trip.

It was a great trip. It can be trying to get so many seniors together of varying ages from 55-187 for 16 days and keep everyone all happy, in one mind and accord. For the most part we did it. I've learned that one woman can order 1 bowl of soup, share 1/2 of my sandwich , and drink 1 and 1/2 cups of tea and do it in 1 hour flat. Me--eating the same meal was 15 minutes and done. I guess it makes a difference if you've been retired 30 years and I still work and scarff my lunch in 10-15 minutes~~most of the time thinking I've had a leisurely meal.

That was just one of the many wonderful things that I learned while I was away~~but that's all for another time...and that's how I will remember it.