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10/08/2018 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Good to Know Meeting
12/10/2018 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Good to Know Meeting
1959. What were you doing when Alaska became our 49th state? Living in the Midwest, maybe Alaska was Eskimos and igloos, moose and bears, and that big state that hung out there in the ocean with Hawaii on our maps and puzzles. Maybe Alaska became more real for us during the pipeline days, maybe even knowing someone that headed north for work in the oil industry. We learned in geography class that Alaska was the biggest state making Texas number two. I saw a T-shirt yesterday that read, "Divide Alaska in half, and Texas will be third biggest!" It would take eight Oklahomas to make up one Alaska.
A few days ago, the much older sister bought a beautiful Ornamental Hibiscus Tree. With a braided trunk and a ball of green foliage, the bright red flowers were so perfect on the stems, it reminded me of the scene in Alicein Wonderlandwhere the playing cards were painting the roses red because they had planted the wrong color. This little memory took over my brain for a while as I thought about the 1951 Lewis Carroll children’s story.
Another wonderful long weekend on beautiful Grand Lake O’the Cherokees, with enough sun for boating and floating, enough clouds and rain sprinkles for grilling and naps, and enough things to do to help me not remember.
For our family growing up, Memorial Day was organized by our matriarchs-my grandmothers. They still used the term “Decoration Day” which was changed by congress in the late thirty’s to Memorial Day, but regardless, the day was to honor soldiers who had died. We don’t have a long military legacy in our family, so we did that and used the day to gather with family and decorate the graves of our kinfolk. We set a time to meet at certain cemeteries.
My much older sister Julia posted a picture of us with our mom on Face Book. Somewhere in boxes there are many other very similar pictures. My mom with her red lipstick on, my sister and me in matching dresses that my mother had made for us, standing in the iris bed. The dresses and the iris means it is Easter, and our mom has stayed up late sewing after a hard day’s work on the farm. She enjoyed dressing us alike, I’m sure if I could see our feet there are white anklets and white shoes. Many years there were white gloves, purses and small hats to accessorize.
We travel the world as a group and some people still don’t get the added value of traveling with a group. The safety, the convenience, the fellowship, plus so much more. But then there’s the mystery trip. That really confuses some people. It’s not a “murder mystery” event, or a puzzle solving party, it’s traveling to someplace that will be a surprise. When trying to explain it, the conversation usually goes something like this:
Anyone remember “The Weekly Reader” from grade school?
This little four-page printed newspaper was purchased with our extra change but connected us to the world. Long before Google when not every family had World Books, I traveled the globe through a Weekly Reader. It was in this simple leaflet that I met Michelangelo. Our sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Ruby Browning, gave a writing assignment to write about three people we admired. At 11, I can’t think that I had met or studied too many impressive people, so Jesus Christ got top billing. I felt bad for my mom but knew she’d understand when my dad, Paul E. Roberts, was number two. Number three? I wrote a full page essay on the artist, Michelangelo.
That’s right, I may travel the world with my group travel business, but one of my favorite places to tour is in my own backyard. The Hometown Trolley tour is good to go again.
A little history here. Grove owned a cute little trolley several years ago, but sadly, the trolley was a bit ahead of its time. Although other tourist destinations such as Eureka Springs and Guthrie have iconic trolleys that stay very busy in their cities, our Grand Lake Trolley didn’t know whether it wanted to be transportation or an attraction when it was here and going. Fast forward, and the trolley wound up in Miami doing casino runs before it was parked and falling into disrepair.
Viva Italia! We are in Sorrento, Italy. This is the country of delights for the senses. The weather is a perfect 66 degrees and any breeze that blows our way carries the fragrance of lemons and oranges which hang on the branches like over-decorated Christmas trees. Walks down little cobblestone alleys offer a tiny shop every few yards. Shelves are stacked with the leather goods that Italy is known for as that warm leather smell invites one to just touch and feel the craftsmanship of decades on display. The next little shop might offer fresh produce with strawberries ranging in size from marble to double golf ball size. The land of lemons means lemon soaps, lemon oils and, of course, Limoncello liqueur. The first glass is to make you sing, the second is to make you sleep. At least we were warned.