Sunday, September 23, 2018

Living the dash

     The sexton of our cemetery has gotten to know a lot of people who now reside beneath the remembering stones.  He's written some books about them, devoting countless hours to making sure we remember them.   Yesterday, the Lowell Museum held a cemetery walk, a tour of some of the resting places of the people who settled Lowell so we could become acquainted with them and know a little about what their lives were like when they lived their dash.  On remembering stones there is a date of birth and a date of death separated by a dash, 1882-1940.  He calls our time here now as our time of living the dash.
     It was a picture perfect fall day.  Blue skies, sunshine, cool enough for a sweater and a nice walk.  There were six stations throughout two sections of the cemetery with someone ready to introduce us to the people resting there.

People were lining up 30 minutes before we were to begin and in two hours we had 85 people come to listen, ask questions, maybe find where their ancestors now rest. This wasn't about the iconography on tombs, it was about remembering the people who worked hard to settle Lowell, hearing stories from their dash years.
 There was even a black cat who wandered amongst us, wrapping around our legs, settling on our feet if we stood still long enough, played on the stones and we thought it so appropriate that the cemetery was a playground for a black cat! 
I heard somewhere that 100 years after we are gone, no one will remember who we were.    Poof!
But a day like today, and through the work of our sexton, the people who call Lowell's city cemetery home ARE remembered and talked about.  Lucky them.

Friday, September 21, 2018

What's been happening

    Today is the first day since July 28 that shows an empty square on the calendar.  It's good to be busy, out with friends, doing and going, but after awhile it's sensory overload!  We are lucky, PH and I, we have friends who like our company and want to be with us.  Grandkids who are active and healthy.  We've spent a week at the old neighborhood at the beach, and back a few times to meet with friends for dinner,  there were concerts and lunches and the AQS show with Dodie and it's all been good.     
     We are always happy that we moved to this town and even though it's small there is always something happening and we are lucky to be able help our daughter at museum events.  We cook and pop popcorn during the summer concerts, set up chairs and tables for the big fundraiser and later attend that event, help with school tours, bake cookies for events, I joined the Friends of the Library, and then school started and I spend one day reading to and with kids.
     That doesn't leave much time for dusting and vacuuming, sewing or reading.  All of that slows down. Especially the sewing.  IF we are home in the evening I'm often too tired to think of straight stitches. I do wish the elves would come in the night and take some of my ideas out of my head and do them for me.  We often find ourselves curled up in a chair watching episodes of Longmire or Death in Paradise or Sherlock. My marathon late night reading sessions sometimes have to go by the wayside if I have an early morning the next day.
   We tried having a plot in the Lowell community garden this summer but won't do that again. The cost wasn't horrible if we actually got some produce.  It was a hot summer - very hot - and thus dry and if you weren't out there everyday watering the plants just didn't produce. It wasn't just us with a poor showing, none of the plots had what one would expect and a friend of mine who planted 65 tomato plants in her home garden harvested just one and a half bushels. She planted two long rows of squash and got ONE. Who ever gets just one squash!  The most we got was sweet potatoes and they look good but we've finally given up and come to the realization we will be supporting farm stands.  We found one that sells wonderful things for really cheap prices. 
   But again, I'm not complaining, PH and I tell each other all the time that we could be sitting in the house waiting for someone to notice us. 
    So, that's where it's been this summer.  It's come and gone and the leaves are beginning to turn a little, the breeze today is bringing cooler temperatures, it will soon be socks on.  Fall quilt retreat is soon and I look forward to seeing my quilting friends again. 

 We've seen our friends from the old neighborhood in South Haven a few times.

Bob and Carolyn got married in a beautiful ceremony on a boat. 

 What little stitching I've been doing.  This is a map of Lowell from 1952 and I'm going to make the border setting up as I go along. Not sure how long this will take but the project is a good take along.  I have SO many things I want to work on.
    Today I've opened the windows wide to let in the cool air, I won't leave the house for a minute, and am making Adelaide's birthday treat for school - whoopie pies.  Her momma is swamped busy and this is an easy way to help out.
     OH! and the worst part of all??? The computer died.  The hard drive with ALL of my pictures, ALL of our documents, ALL of our life that they tell us to live via a  computer is gone.  There was a HUGE hissy fit on my part when PH came home with THAT news.  New hard drive is bare naked.  I have to remember (isn't that such a  funny word?) everything we had on it and in my techie ignorance try to put things back on.  I did have the foresight a couple of years ago to back up the pictures on a flash drive and I did that, but they aren't all there.  I lost all of my book reviews.
   When we got the new hard driven computer home it still didn't work and after two more trips back to the store and one to the library for techie help and several phone calls and hissy fits where I was throwing everything from cupcakes to anything with a knife edge around the room  (poor PH) and hours more with remote help, the computer and monitor are now talking. In my defense, it took the techies a long time to admit that what was wrong could actually happen.  That's another reason why I haven't posted anything after the yo-yos.Girls, forget marrying a plumber or electrician.  Velcro yourself to a techie and your life will run smooth.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Boredom buster

I am easily bored.  PH and I just returned home from a week long 1,400 mile road trip over, under, around and through the Upper Peninsula.  PH was working, I was along for the ride, to feed him apple slices, nuts, water and keep the audio books going. 1,400 miles is a lot of sitting so I took along the circles I had cut years ago for yo-yos, determined to make them all up. 385 yo-yos later I was gathering the last one as we drove down our Main street.  I yelled my happy so loud PH swerved the car.
   There are two sizes so after I sort them I'll see what inspires me.  But the most important thing, this part is D O N E.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird

     Cathy Williams was born a slave but her mother taught her never to use that word.  She was a captive. The women in her family were royal in Africa and being caught and sent to America to work as a slave didn’t change that. She was taught to be strong, to think, to see past her bondage.  These skills helped her recognize the crack in the system when one presented itself.
     Cathy’s chance, the crack in the system, presented itself in the form of Union general Sheridan who recognized Cathy’s abilities to think and took her into his service. And she recognized the chances she would have when she was free.  Not if, but when.
     At the end of the war Cathy refused to return to a life of service and disguised herself as a man, something some women did during the war, and entered the Army as a Buffalo Soldier.  She struggled  to hide as a woman among men for years to eventually earn her Army pension and be truly free, able to support her life.
     Using her wits and strength, Cathy was the only woman to ever be a Buffalo Soldier, but it’s not hard to see Cathy’s struggles with identity and acceptance and fairness reflected still in our time. Her story was almost lost to history but for the author.