Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things I Learned on Vacation

1. No Twisting. I should know better by now than to twist and lift at the same time. First night out I hurt my back. It’s better now, but the soreness followed me from Ohio to Michigan and recurred a bit in Indiana.

2. Amish. The second day out, we drove through Amish country in Ohio, near Burton. Beautiful. We saw some children in a little pony cart being hauled by a Shetland pony. We also saw lots of kids walking alongside the road barefoot. Brings back memories to my childhood and walking barefoot on treated side streets. Our feet would be totally black. The most amazing thing we saw was an Amish girl on rollerblades.

3. Pods. Actually DH and I split one of these. So I guess that makes us POD people. Pods are actually what other places call Calzone. At the Pizza Plant in Williamsville, New York, they come in two sizes. Small (10 inches) and large (18 inches.) We split the small one. It was delicious. Also had a great stout there on tap. Ate at Teds Hot Dogs which is a Buffalo tradition. These are char-grilled hot dogs with emphasis on char. Kudos to DH’s cousin Dave for finding unique places for lunch, dinner and dessert. The dessert deli was great!

4. Buying coffee. As I’ve said before, DH and I are coffee snobs. Older daughter got us hooked on this Southern Pecan coffee her bookstore sold. We became so addicted, we needed to locate a vendor for it. That vendor is in Madison Heights, Michigan. Usually we get our stash mailed to us, but since we’re established customers, we saved the shipping fee on ten pounds of Southern Pecan cream coffee.

5. Cemetery visits. We made three cemetery stops on our trip. Two were planned. On our outing to Madison Heights to score our caffeine fix, we made an impromptu trip to Mount Olivet Cemetery in Detroit. Several family members are buried there including DH’s paternal grandparents, my maternal grandmother, my mother’s brother, sister-in-law and her parents, my mother’s uncle Elmer, and it turns out, my mother’s Uncle John and his first wife. Uncle John married mom’s Aunt Rose and they raised my mother during her mother’s illness with tuberculosis and after grandma’s death in 1931. All I knew about Uncle John’s death was that he died when my mom was pregnant with my older sister in 1948. Sure enough, that information was correct and we discovered that his last name was OCHSENFELD, not OCHENFELD as mom always said.

The first cemetery we actually visited was the Burroughs family cemetery near Burton, Ohio in Amish country. One of the Percival lines I am working on was married to a Burroughs and I found stones for them in this little cemetery.

The third cemetery we visited was Fort Custer National Cemetery where my parents are buried. DH and I had not made a visit there since mom died, so we took the quick side trip there on the way to Fort Wayne. No problems locating mom and dad’s grave, but there was also another Percival couple buried there and I swear they’re buried in a swamp. This couple was buried in section 10, which is right next to Section 11 where my aunt and uncle are buried and the skeeters are horrible there. My sibs were the recipients of a photo of the folks!

6. Libraries are no longer quiet areas. One of the goals of the return trip was a trip to the Allen County Public Library’s genealogical collection in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I sat in the room that houses the family histories collection and there was a woman there with a NOISY kid. Actually I think the kid did pretty well spending two days at the library with mom. He was about 9 or 10 and really belonged outside playing. This room has many tables and an elderly couple chose my table, ignoring the 8 other tables that were completely empty and spoke in normal voice tones. Not only was I battling the kid noise, I was trying to block it out with an audiobook and these people were drowning that out. I did ask them politely to keep their voices down and boy did I get nasty looks from her about it. Since she was the guiltier of the two I just stared her down. It’s a research library, I don’t go there to talk.

7. Driving in the rain. It sucks. Most of the drive back from Fort Wayne to Cookeville was spoiled by driving rain. Once south of Louisville, Kentucky, though the sky cleared and it was gorgeous.

8. Best time to have a shed built. We discovered that it is pain free to have a shed built while on vacation. It was completed the day before we got home. Kudos to Andy Turner of Turner Homes of Tennessee for a great job.

9. There’s no place like home. Although the trip was fun, relaxing, and rewarding, it was so great to pull up into our drive, unload our stuff and be at home again. Can’t wait till our next trip.

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