Monday, February 12, 2018

Happy Birthday President Abraham Lincoln

 President Lincoln was born February 12, 1809,  died April 15,1865.


Gerry and I grew up in Illinois just south of Springfield and remember celebrating his birthday every year.  Our history lessons featured him and President Washington as leading figures in our history.  I hope that schools have continued to teach about him and all his accomplishments.


Top 10 Abraham Lincoln facts

1. He was the only president to have a patent: Lincoln invented a device to free steamboats that ran aground.

2. He practiced law without a degree. Lincoln had about 18 months of formal schooling.

3. He wanted women to have the vote in 1836. The future president was a suffragette before it became fashionable.

4. He was a big animal lover, but he wouldn’t hunt or fish. If he were alive today, Lincoln would be running an animal shelter.

5. He really was a wrestler. Lincoln was documented as taking part in wrestling bouts. We don’t think he wore a mask or had a manager.

6. He lost in his first bid for a presidential ticket. The unknown Lincoln was an unsuccessful vice presidential candidate in 1856 at the Republican convention.

7. He never belonged to an organized church. Lincoln read the Bible daily, but he never joined an organized church in his lifetime.

8. He didn’t drink, smoke, or chew. Lincoln was a simple man of tastes, and he never drank in the White House.

9. He didn’t have a middle name. Lincoln went through his life with two names.

10. He hated being called Abe. Apparently, he preferred being called by his last name.

40 more Lincoln facts

11. Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

12. He was the first president born outside of the 13 original states.

13. Lincoln loved to eat oysters.

14. Lincoln’s cat ate at the White House dinner table.

15. His dog was named Fido.

16. His cat was named Tabby.

17. His favorite food was fruit.

18. He was also a big fan of chicken casserole.

19. Lincoln was the first president to use the telegraph.

20. He used the telegraph like email to communicate with generals.

21. Lincoln’s mother was killed by poisoned milk.

22. Lincoln’s life was saved twice when he was young.

23. Grave robbers were foiled in 1876 when they tried to steal Lincoln’s body.

24. He was the first president with a beard.

25. Lincoln argued a case before the Supreme Court in 1849 and lost.

26. Lincoln failed in his first business.

27. Lincoln’s shoe size was between 12 and 14.

28. His coffin has been opened five times.

29. Lincoln was estranged from his father and didn’t attend his funeral.

30. Lincoln didn’t play musical instruments.

31. Lincoln served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

32. He ran for the U.S. Senate twice and lost.

33. Lincoln won the popular vote in Senate campaign against Douglas but lost the election.

34. Lincoln was shot on Good Friday.

35. Lincoln was photographed with John Wilkes Booth at his second inauguration.

36. There are no direct living descendants of Abraham Lincoln.

37. Booth’s brother saved the life of Lincoln’s son on a New Jersey train platform.

38. Lincoln was part of séances after his son died in the White House.

39. Lincoln’s animals also died in a White House stable fire.

40. Someone shot at Lincoln in 1864 and put a hole in his stovepipe hat.

41. Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated.

42. He was a judge on the circuit court in Illinois.

43. Lincoln defended the son of his most famous wrestling opponent from murder charges.

44. Lincoln battled depression for much of his life.

45. Lincoln was seemingly obsessed with cats.

46. He was set to take part in a duel, but it was cancelled at the last second.

47. Lincoln kept his important documents inside his hat.

48. Lincoln’s dog Fido was killed by a drunken assailant a year after Lincoln died.

49. Lincoln’s suit was made by Brooks Brothers.

50. Lincoln’s guest at Ford’s Theater was Ulysses S. Grant, who cancelled at the last second.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hanging Around Concord, NC

We are in Concord, NC and staying at the Tom Johnson Camping World campground.  Lots of visiting with our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. (6 in the area).  Today was build gingerbread houses at Barbara & Henry's.  It was their first "Annual Grands Day" and included decorating Gingerbread Houses.  Oh, what sticky fingers we all had!

Riley, Hayden, Griffin & London
Hayden, Gerry & Riley

 We are still waiting for some parts to finish the repairs on the motorhome from the large branch falling on it and breaking the windshield.  It also poked a hole in the front cap and that was repaired on Tuesday. 

Tree branch stuck in front cap on MH.

 There is some further damage to the a/c and the King Dome cap and we are waiting for these parts to arrive to finish the job.  Hopefully they will arrive Monday and we can make plans on where we will be this winter. We should know by the end of next week what the future holds in store for us.  Possible major event for us is in the making.

In the meantime we picked up Grant from school on Thursday and were checking out the area near his school.  We ran across this beautiful stand of trees in the Ballantyne area near Charlotte, NC.  The photo doesn't do it justice but will give you an idea of the beauty of the setting.  Picture perfect.

 We have been busy these past few months and there was a lot going on that I didn't want to blog about.  If all goes well I intend to go back and fill in some of the blanks.  That's all for now.

Friday, November 10, 2017

60th Wedding Anniversary

August 17, 2017

60 years ago Gerry and were married and we celebrated the anniversary with dinner at the Dobbin House Inn in Gettysburg, PA.  It is one of our special places for celebrating anniversaries and birthdays.  

60th Wedding Anniversary dinner

We had an early reservation and got to chatting with our server since she wasn't too busy.  We had a great meal and she brought out two desserts for us to help celebrate the anniversary.  The meals were so large we had a difficult time eating the desserts and wound up taking them home with us.  She also told the other diners that it was our 60th and they all congratulated us.  We did hear one of the patrons ask what it takes to last so long, as he was wondering about reaching his 20th anniversary.

Rather than describe the place I copied this from their advertisement for the Inn.

Reverend Alexander Dobbin, who built the Dobbin House, was an early frontier pioneer who helped settle and civilize the area. Born in Ireland in 1742, he grew to be a man of keen foresight, a person highly respected by his peers, an educator of men of stature, a Minister and a rugged individual who played a major role in the founding of Gettysburg. After studying the classics in Ireland, Dobbin and his bride, Isabella Gamble, set sail for a new life in the New World. Shortly after his arrival in America, he became pastor of the Rock Creek Presbyterian Church, located one mile north of what is now Gettysburg.

In 1774, the Dobbin purchased 300 acres of land in and around what is now the town of Gettysburg and commenced construction of a farm and the Dobbin House, for use as their dwelling and as a Classical School, today's equivalent of a combined theological seminary and liberal arts college. Dobbin's school was the first of its kind in America west of the Susquehanna River, an academy which enjoyed an excellent reputation for educating many professional men of renown.

Rev. Dobbin needed a large house for his school and family, for his Irish wife had borne him ten children before her early death. He remarried to the widow, Mary Agnew, who already had nine children of her own!

Rev. Dobbin, a short, stout, smiling gentleman who wore a white wig, became a highly respected community leader, as well as minister and educator. He worked diligently to establish in 1800 an autonomous Adams County, which originally was a part of neighboring York County. Thereafter, he was one of two appointed commissioners to chose Gettysburg as the new county seat.
In the mid-1800's, a secret crawl space, featured in "National Geographic", served as a "station" for hiding runaway slaves on their perilous journey to freedom on the "Underground Railroad." After the battle of Gettysburg ceased, and the armies had departed, it served as a hospital for wounded soldiers of both the North and the South.
Today the historic house appears virtually the same as it did over 200 years ago. Its native stone walls, seven fireplaces, and hand carved woodwork have been painstakingly restored to their original beauty and character, with interior decor in the traditional eighteenth century manner. Many of the home's antique furnishings are identical to those listed in the inventory of Rev. Dobbin's estate. The china and flatware exactly match fragments which were unearthed during the re-excavation of the cellar. The servant's period-clothing is completely authentic right down to the tie on pockets!

They also have a tavern in the basement that is very neat.  We went there for lunch with a special friend in September during her visit to the US.  More to come late about that visit.

Our children also have a special celebration in the works.  That will be over the Labor Day weekend since they will have the extra day off work and school.  We always look forward to getting them together as we usually see them individually.  It is very interesting observing all their interactions and reminiscing about earlier times.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Early Morning Drive

August 20, 2017

 I'm not an early riser normally but today I felt like taking a ride around the area of the cabin.  I stopped for a cup of coffee to drink along the way.  It was foggy and a little cool for August but it turned out to be a pleasant ride.  Gerry values her sleep too much to leave the cabin at such an early hour and remained behind catching some zzzzzzzzzs.

Our son Larry Jr. purchased this home in 2005 and did some remodeling to make it nicer.  It had an old cistern on the left side of the house and a previous owner broke through the basement and cistern wall to make it accessible.  It made a great wine cellar and was cool all the time.  He sold the house for a nice profit shortly thereafter.

There was a violent wind storm that went through the area a few days ago and this is some of the damage to trees in the area.   We used to camp at Owens Creek Campground in our popup tent camper and it was very close to this area.  I rode through the campground and there were numerous old tall oak trees fallen,  Glad we weren't there when that happened.

This really nice country church is just down the road from the campground about a mile or so.  Camp David is on the mountain behind the church and all the tree damage.

 Beautiful Maryland countryside with a nice dairy farm in view.  I had noticed but there is a tractor with a front loader next to the barn.  It was being used to pick up the huge bales of hay on the left of the photo,

 The Western Maryland railroad trestle made room for only one car to travel through at a time.  It's quite old and may have predated automobiles being popular like they are now.

 There used to be a motel here with the log cabins being the motel rooms.  The main office is long gone and the forest is reclaiming the cabins now.  There are more cabins to the left of these but they are in very bad condition.  The property is for sale if anyone is interested.

Beautiful view along Fish Hatchery road with the mist coming off the lake.  It's a tree farm now and also has some horses roaming around.  I'd like to have this view from my front porch,

 Black Eyed Susans are the state flower of Maryland, but these are in Pennsylvania and thriving,  They seem to need a lot of sunlight to grow and we don't have a lot of sunlight at the cabin.

 This modernistic cabin was just down the road from the tree farm and had the nice view I wanted.  It is small so I think it is a weekend home for people in the Washington/Baltimore area.

By this time I figured Gerry was awake and waiting for me to join her for breakfast, so off I went back to the cabin.  



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I'm Back

Yes, I know you didn't realize I left.

The House Behind The House

One of my fondest memories
As I recall the days of yore
Was the little house, behind the house,
With the crescent o'er the door.

'Twas a place to sit and ponder
With your head all bowed down low;
Knowing that you wouldn't be there,
If you didn't have to go.

Ours was a multi-holer, three,
With a size for every one.
You left there feeling better,
After your job was done. 

You had to make those frequent trips
In snow, rain, sleet, or fog--
To that little house where you usually
Found the Sears & Roebuck catalog.

Oft times in dead of winter,
The seat was spread with snow.
'Twas then with much reluctance,
To that little house you'd go.

With a swish you'd clear that wooden seat,
Bend low, with dreadful fear
You'd shut your eyes and grit your teeth
As you settled on your rear.

I recall the day Ol' Granddad,
Who stayed with us one summer,
Made a trip out to that little house
Which proved to be a bummer. 

'Twas the same day that my Dad had
Finished painting the kitchen green.
He'd just cleaned up the mess he'd made
With rags and gasoline.

He tossed the rags down in the hole
Went on his usual way
Not knowing that by doing so
He'd eventually rue the day.

Now Granddad had an urgent call,
I never will forget!
This trip he made to the little house
Stays in my memory yet. 

He sat down on the wooden seat,
With both feet on the floor.
He filled his pipe and tapped it down
And struck a match on the outhouse door.

He lit the pipe and sure enough,
It soon began to glow.
He slowly raised his rear a bit
And tossed the flaming match below.

The Blast that followed, I am told
Was heard for miles around;
And there was poor ol' Granddad
Sprawled out there on the ground.

The smoldering pipe still in his mouth,
His eyes were shut real tight;
The celebrated three-holer
Was blown clear out of sight.

We asked him what had happened,
What he said I'll  ne'er forget.
He said he thought it must have been
The pinto beans he et!

Next day we had a new one
Dad put it up with ease.
But this one had a door sign
That read: No Smoking, Please

Now that's the story's end my friend,
Of  memories long ago,
When we went to the house behind the house,
Because we had to go.