Saturday, June 06, 2009

Update: She's Baaaaaaaaaaaacccccckkk!!!!

I am back home, I always love getting out of town for a few days and I always love coming home. I suppose that makes sense if you want it to and I do.

I had an excellent trip to Toledo. I skipped the Ohio Turnpike this time because I simply couldn't cope with driving eighty miles per hour surrounded by trucks too close for comfort. It's draining and I was driving during daylight instead of in the wee hours as I did when I used to head to Motown for weekends. This was better although it took a bit longer.

It was raining fairly heavily when I began my journey and that continued as I made my way to Greenwich, Ohio (don't blink) where my parents and grandparents lived when I was born.
I drove about town and it seems the house where our apartment was is gone. I didn't take many pictures as a result of the rain. As I left town, the rain finally stopped and I headed north to Route 20 to keep a promise I made to an old friend and make sure I got to Toledo at a time when the traffic was manageable. (The huge, very high new bridge over the Maumee River scares the bejaysus outta me! Can you say acrophobia?)

Route 20 is a nice drive through the northwestern farming communities. I call it the flatlands because it so flat. It was once The Great Swamp of Toledo and home to the Shawnee, Delaware (Lenape) and Ottawa Indians and where General "Mad Anthony" Wayne met the great Chief Blue Jacket at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in Maumee and claimed the Ohio Country for the United States. The road is dotted with farms and pretty small towns. When I got to Bellevue, I stopped and had supper with a sorority sister who lives in one of the fabulous Victorian homes on Main Street. These homes are really gorgeous and some of the owners have taken to using the "painted lady" color schemes popular in San Francisco instead of the white or greys I remembered from my childhood when we drove south to visit my grandparents. Again, I didn't take pictures because we yakked too much getting caught up and I needed to get back on the road. I promised Ellie I would come back and stay for a couple days later this summer.

As I drove in on Route 280 and glimpsed the skyline of Toledo, tears welled in my eyes and I got a lump in my throat. I haven't lived there since I was twelve but it will always be home. I got off the expressway at the exit for Ottawa River Road and in a few minutes I was wandering around my old neighborhood recalling the days when life was simpler and I rode my bicycle all over our hood. It's changed a lot. A lot of the landmarks as are many favorite places are gone -- like the Sugar Bowl and Kunkel's where we bought penny candy after school. And I drove by the house where I grew up. No one was home so I didn't get to see what had changed inside. Funny thing though -- the exterior still is painted the same way fifty years later. The big thing I noticed is how small everything seemed. It felt like everything had shrunk: the streets, the houses. the shops -- only the bay and the rivers seemed to feel the same. I guess God's creations have more stability than man's. And yeah, I took pictures a lot but I haven't uploaded them yet. They'll be in future posts after I've gone through them.

It was getting late so I went and found my hotel and crashed for the night after I called Barbara, my step-mother, to let her know I had arrived in town safely and she said that she and Anne (my step-sister) were looking forward to our spending the next day together.

After breakfast provided by my hotel, I checked out and headed to Barb's apartment in a nice senior citizens complex. (I think the apartments are too damned small --I'd die of claustrophobia -- and took issue with that what was supposed to be a computer lab was sitting empty.) My step-sister, Anne, age 63, is a hoot. She lives in Alamogordo, New Mexico and we hit it off just fine and exchanged addresses, etc., so we can keep in touch. I have a standing invitation to visit there. Barb's friend Dolly is simply that -- a doll -- and she was my hostess for the night as there wasn't room for Anne and I both to sleep at Barb's place. We spent the day talking and getting acquainted mostly and wandering around Toledo so Anne could see her memories. One of the reasons, I went a day early was so I could do my exploring on my own with as much time as I wanted as well as adding the stop in Bellevue.

Thursday night, we celebrated Barbara's eightieth birthday at the Amvets post with all her nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews and their spouses in attendance. Barb is the last of her generation in her family and it was nice to see such a good turnout. Again, I took pictures and told Barb that my birthday gift to her was going to be photos of the party and that I was going to have one of the cousins take a photo of her, Anne and I and have it enlarged and framed. I promised to send prints to Anne, too. One of the cousin's wives took a lot of pictures, too and she's emailing them to me and I'm emailing mine to her. Cool, huh? It was really a fun party and I have a boatload of new cousins with standing invites to visit.

Friday Dolly took us out for brunch and I headed south after we talked some more. The best part of my visit was when Barb gave me a 12" by 12" cardboard box. It was filled to the brim with pictures that belonged to my dad. It had pictures from my grandma of his childhood and even some of Grandpa and Grandma's childhood! It also had my parents' wedding pictures, his high school picture and mine, and more. I have to make a trip up north to Cleveland to see one of my uncles who might be able to tell me who some of the people in them are. And that. my friends, reminds me that I have to go through my own box of photos and write what/where/who on the back of them in case anyone is interested somewhere down the road. If y'all haven't done so, I recommend y'all do the same. I am going to have all these photos copied to CDs and will share many of them with y'all.

When I got home, I was supposed to meet Marcia downtown for First Friday and see the
Budweiser Clydesdales. I was soooooooooo tired that I simply couldn't so I unloaded the car and crashed. It was a good trip but it truly drained me so I'm going to rest and recuperate.

I hope y'all have been having fun and feeling fine and I am sooooo glad you enjoyed Nancy's excellent grooooaaannn on Friday!!!!!!!!!!! I thought it a truly great one.

Happy Blogging!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  1. Kay---does everybody else know why you travelled to Motown, and when?

    what a treasure you got in your 12 x 12. We're digitizing all our photos and most of them look better, as I didn't know how to take care of the paper ones.

  2. I'm glad to know you have a good time and got back safely.

  3. It sounds like a lovely and fun trip. I'm glad you made it back safely. Have a good day tomorrow.

  4. Kay;

    You sound like you had such a great time and that you were able to visit some of your memories there! nice to have you back safe and sound. When I drive to Ohio to see my Mom , I get so rattled that I just crash when I get there!

  5. Kay, I'm glad to hear that your trip went so well. Those photos are a treasure, to be sure. And I'm glad you made it safe and sound. You can see the Clydesdales another time.

  6. Since I haven't driven in 4 years since I retired, I really admire how you're able to drive anywhere. I've just got to get my courage up again. I'm really thrilled that you were able to get that box of photos. That is very precious. I love how you were able to see your old house, too. What a surreal feeling that must have been.

  7. That was a great post, Kay. The whole time you were relating going back to see things from your childhood...and some of them were gone, I was revisiting mine in my head. Here's my question to you: If there had been somebody home at the house, would you have asked to go inside? I'm assuming that you don't know them.
    Get some rest. Trips take the stuffing right out of you, sometimes.

  8. Its sure nice of you to share your trip and visit with us.

    My Dad had a senior's apartment and ya they are small here too.

    Sounds like you have a good start on a family tree.

  9. Welcome home Kay. It really sounds like you had a great time sweetie. Trips home can be very rewarding and rejuvenating...and yours sounds like it was for you. That box of photographs alone is a priceless treasure Kay. Again...I'm sorry I missed your call sweetie...I'll call you back today. Hugs, Joy

  10. glad you had a good trip --- so great that you got to be with her for the 80th birthday

    I'm hoping to make a similar trip for a friend the end of June!

  11. Lorna: LOL I used to date a guy who lived in Motown for a year or two. That dance has been over for a while. And yeah, I am loving these photos. Wait until you see the formal photos of my parents' wedding!!!!

    Judy: Thank you!!!!

    dg: thanks!!!! I just vegetated.

    Peggy: I have to take my panic attack meds for such a trip -- especially on the Turnpike.

    Fran: Thanks!!!!! I keep gioing through the photos. They are definite blog material. I laughed when I saw my senior picture next to my Dad's. He can never deny me. LOL

    Kay: I didn't drive for 10 years because of the financial horros of my divorce. I really don't like to drive that much but it's the best way to get to see things.

    Mare: Glad you enjoyed it. I get the same feeling when I read about others' history. And yeah, I would have knocked on the door. My parents built that house -- we were the first people to live there. And yeah, I have been sleeping a lot.

    GFB: I'm glad you enjoyed it. And we have a family tree that dates back to the 1700s when my great (6 times) grandfather emigrated from Aberdeen in sometime in the 1720s or 1730s. My grandsons are the
    10th generation of our family in this country. We have been Ohio since the turn of the 19th century which probably means I'm related somehow to half the state, LOL

  12. How delightful you made it home ok. Wonderful. The whole trip was excellent despite the long and tiring drive.

    Yes, mam, I am the last and have the pictures on CD, on a two computers, and the originals in folders. Mother labeld nothing. This stuff is so important. Welcome home.

  13. I'm so happy for you that your trip went well. And I am doubly happy that you received that precious box of old photos. I'm sure a diamond necklace wouldn't have seemed as valuable. Welcome back and I'm looking forward to seeing the photos.

    Did I ever tell you that my great grandparents and their families came from Ohio? Both Great grandfathers fought in the Ohio regiment in the Civil War. They were all from Ashtabula and Geneva (where my mother was born). I thik my maternal grandparents lived in Toledo for awhile. So maybe we are related, too. ;-)

  14. Glad you had such a great Toledo trip. Am sure you've recovered by now.

    In the summer of '06 when I was in Ohio for a few days, I drove to the house where I was born, and then another city where I had spent a few young adult years after returning to Ohio following an eight year absence. I surely do know what you mean about the birthplace house and area seeming so much smaller. I made no attempt to see the interior of the house as I preferred my vivid memories.


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