Tag Archives: Olympics

Home Again, Home Again. . .

27 Aug

A lot to catch up here, as we did not have access to the Internet for a large part of the time.

We spent Monday morning at the Newport library, looking for The Squire’s ancestors, and then went to see our old friends, the Rectors, and a friend of theirs. They fixed a lovely vegetarian dinner, Portobello mushrooms, tabbouleh, and salad; we had a grand time, just talking and laughing at some truly bad jokes. Being with them is really coming home. Set our sails for Canton around 7 PM and get there in time to visit a bit with The Squire’s middle sister, J., before we piled into bed.  We spent most of Tuesday visiting the widow of one of his closest high school friends and the friend’s sister. The widow is most likely The Squire’s relative, as she has a last name that ties into his tree. Lots of reminiscing and genealogy talk.  We met J’s two sons and grandsons at a local brew pub. Last time we were there, the pub had a nice kitchen, but that was closed and there was a food truck on the parking lot. Bar-b-cue was the specialty of the house, but they put together a pepper-and-onion taco for me, with lettuce and extra cheese. Delicious, but leaky; I managed to dribble juice all over my clean slacks!

On Wednesday morning J, The Squire and I pulled out of Bryson City on a train ride through the Smoky Mountains, along the Nantahala River. The scenery was beautiful, the food was tasty, and the banjo player was excellent. One woman was celebrating her birthday, so we all sang to her, and another couple had been married ten years. The banjo player did a lively rendition of You are My Sunshine and every married couple of the train got all mushy – including us.

Riding on a train is a real memory jaunt for me. My grandfather worked for the B&O for decades, and we went all over by train. Spending part of Christmas vacation in New York, watching the skaters at Rockefeller Center was an annual treat, and we often traveled to visit some friends of my grandparents who lived near Chicago.  I started one ride in a foul mood (a bad case of teen-itis) and was scowling at my reflection in the car window. My grandfather made faces back at my reflection until I had to laugh, in spite of myself.   Eating in the dining car, and being polite to everyone. “That black man works harder than anybody else you know. You will call him by his name, look him in the eye, and say ‘yes, sir’. Do you understand?” Coming from my German grandmother, this was non-negotiable.

The train stopped at a little resort-type place and we all piled out. This part of the river is a Class 5 rapids, and J said it is used to train for the Olympics. The Squire spotted three canoe paddles in the water near the bank. That must have been one rough trip!

When J and I got to the Ladies’ room we discovered there was no running water in the sinks. The restrooms are arranged so you can see the washbowls from the door, but nothing else. I stood contemplating the Men’s room for a moment, and then yelled “Hey, in there”. No answer. I zipped in and ran my hands under the water – no time for soap; this is a rush job – and on my way out I grabbed a towel from the barrel-type dispenser on the wall. The object of this device is that the towels will snap off at the perforation.

They don’t.

Fortunately, J was coming in right behind me and grabbed my little banner so she could dry her own hands.