Monday, March 25, 2013

Biking with Grandma, Veteran's Memorial

Last Saturday my two oldest youngest siblings and went riding our bikes. We started out at 10:15 with my brother running beside us as we rode. He is training for a half marathon this November. We spent an hour and a half and only went about three miles. He will get better the more he practises... still he is way faster than me! We stopped at a bridge an looked at the small river below. We saw a big fish! About a foot long and pretty fat.

When we got back to the house we packed a lunch. Sandwiches, tangerines, carrots, and there were supposed to be pretzels but I forgot. We brought some more water and then headed back out at twelve o'clock or so.

It was a quick ride to town, probably about thirty minutes. We zipped through downtown and headed for the docks. There we had our lunch as we dangled our feet over the edge.

I called Dad and told him we were eating lunch. Grandma was coming today and I said that if she was anywhere nearby that Dad could send her to the docks.

Impressive I know...

Does it look like a flower to you? I thought so. My brother's peel was more like a boat. He said this one, mine, was a lame boat. Well.... it's not a boat. It's a flower! So there.

After lunch we spent some time looking at the monuments in the Veteran's Memorial that was just to our right off of the docks.

Fallen, Not Forgotten
Behind the monuments, in the back, engraved on each one of those is a brief overview of every war America has fought.

Here are the two that I know the most about.

The War of Independence - This one I am proud of.
The War of Northern Aggression - Of this one I am ashamed. It was a shameful thing, and the history of it is surrounded with lies. We Confederates are not as bad as we are made out to be. And y'all in the Union aren't as perfect as you believe either. I won't get into detail about all that. But, if you are interested here is a book that I recommend reading. Actually two. "The South was Right!" (don't be offended by the bold title, read it first) and "Myths of American Slavery" Both by the same author but I can't remember his name.
These marble stones went around almost the entire plaza. There were four blank ones ready to fill in. That made me sad.

WW II Pacific Theatre Battle of Iwo Jima - 1945 In Honour of Those who Served "Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue"
Freedom - I pray our country will learn to identify our true enemies both far and near. We have done valiantly in the past, let us do so now.

Going through the memorial made me feel awed and sad. I was glad to turn my attention to other things when we left.

Next we went to the local history museum. Last Saturday when we came it was closed. We tried this time and the doors were open. Also there were cars in the parking lot.
This building was the opera house then the theatre and now the museum.
We went through the middle doors and went up some stairs. We could hear voices. When we got to the top a lady in a purple dress, short brown hair, angular nose, dark eyes, looked at us surprised. We were in jeans and T-shirts and I was wearing a scruffy grey backpack. "Are y'all here for the wedding?" A man in a suit coat stood with a camera near by. "Oh, no. We were looking for the museum." "That's downstairs but it's closed today for the wedding." Oh. well, we went back outside and as we were unlocking our bikes from the fence we saw the man taking pictures. People were posing in front of the windows. Flash!

We rode our bikes on the brick side walk. A sign pointed and read - Wedding Parking. I ducked a branch from a small tree and rode past the dry fountain.

Next we headed for the library. That was back on the bike trail. We were getting close when with a rush of wind and cold it started to pour. "Hurry! We're almost there!" My brother raced ahead and we saw him pull up underneath the library awning. My sister and I followed as fast as we could. It was cold. We considered weather to ride in the rain or not. We decided not to. But then it stopped. Now should we go? We called Dad and asked for him to come pick us up. It started raining again.

The library was closed so we just waited. Our brother found an old Pepsi can and poured the drink out keeping the can to save up for scrap. I convinced Levi to take some pictures of my sister and I.

It was still drizzling when we saw a man on a red bike riding by. Then a red car drove through. It stopped by the bike and then I heard the man talking about stop signs and going back. He waved his arms around.

"Alright thank you!" loudly

The car turned around and I saw a well dressed arm gripping the steering wheel as the vehicle raced roughly over the big speed bump. He must be late for the wedding.

When Dad pulled up I was surprised to see the trailer we had borrowed hooked up and the lawn mower as well. Dad said he was taking it back to lenders. The guys loaded up the bikes and my sister and I sat in the warm truck. Dad told us that Grandma was waiting and we would go there to get her so she could follow behind us in her van. We met her in the grocery store parking lot. Dad had me drive the van and he and my siblings left to drop off the mower. I drove through down town, not the way I was trying to go, but it still worked. I am still getting to know the area, I really don't know how I ended up there.

Eventually everyone else got back. We all milled around inside spending time with Grandma. We were glad when the rain stopped. Grandma had brought her bike and wanted to go on the trail. As soon as it brightened up we set off.
A historic moment in the H----- family history.
I may have talked about this before but I'll say it again - My Grandpa who died two years ago was a cyclist. He went all over the country. He taught my Dad to love biking. Whenever Grandma and Grandpa came to visit we would always go biking with him. He was interviewed for an article in the paper and he mentioned Black Water Heritage Trail, the one out our back gate! He drove by our house when it was roughly fifteen years old. He recommended the trail and said it was a real pretty area. It is very special for us to be following his recommendation, we're even living here! Now his wife and three of his grandchildren all set off on a bike ride together.

We didn't go far, Grandma's knee was hurting, but we had fun and I didn't mind going slow. It was very pretty right after the rain. The plants were brighter and the animals were livelier. We saw four rabbits! Normally they hop away before we get close but this time we were able to get almost right up to them.

Grandma spent the night with us that night and went to church with us the next day. That was yesterday. We said our vows and became members of Providence Church, in Pensacola Florida. I will write a post about that later.

Sunday afternoon we did some more biking. This time everyone came. Two-year-old J---- rode on a little battery powered four-wheeler. Mom and Dad walked all three dogs Grandma walked and we rode our bikes. There was also a big yellow wagon. The three of us stayed with the bunch for a while then went on ahead to the river again. When we came back Mom and Dad took two of the bikes and went ahead. The rest of us turned around and headed for home. The toddler of course was painfully slow, but I didn't mind that much. ;) By the time got back home Dad had called and wanted me to come pick them up in town. They had ridden all the way.

Here are a few choice photos from that little trip.

Getting his truck un-stuck. That reminds me of a book.... Yuck! Stuck in the Muck!  hehe ;)

Rest stop.

Over the river .... (and through the woods, away from Grandmother we go)

There is a fun pine tree growing off the side of the path.

Mom and Dad saw this while they were in town.

Grandma spent one more night with us and she left somewhere around eleven o'clock today. I was very glad Grandma got to visit, and that it is such an easy arrangement to make. She is only and hour and fifteen minutes away. Of course for her, taking the scenic route and driving slower, it takes two and a half hours.... We will visit her at her house more often.

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