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Early voting…

Day one of early voting in Florida found me in a socially distanced line waiting to vote, which is all I have to say about this election. The first election that I actually remember was the 1956 election. I was turning eight, and horrified to realize that Eisenhower might not continue to be president. Since I thought life was just perfect as it was I worried that he wouldn’t be re-elected. Or they could elect my daddy, I thought that would be a dandy idea also. Next up was the 1960 election of JFK, a big deal in MA of course, so that left a lasting impression. But with a voting age of 21, and due to my July birthday, the first election I was able to vote in was the 1972 election. I was living in San Diego at the time, so waiting for my husband to get home from work meant that Nixon had already been declared the winner before I went out and voted with my home state, the only state to go for McGovern.

To be honest I had to look up a list of the presidential elections after that to remind myself who ran, who was elected, and who I voted for. I’m only batting 500, but I actually thought it was worse than that, and for me most of those elections came and went without a lot of emotion on my part. Probably the most memorable one was the 2000 Bush/Gore election, which isn’t surprising. But it so happened that a friend of the family was on the Bush election team, which is probably why my two oldest grandkids were very aware of the election and excited about it. We walked to the polls to vote that morning, the kids rode their new scooters and we were going to McDonald’s for breakfast afterwards. The line was just long enough for it to seem like an event, but not so long that the kids got bored. They were allowed into the polling booth with me and they were given their own “I voted” stickers. For this grandmother it was the perfect educational moment, I just loved everything about that day, until the vote count. It was educational in an entirely unexpected way when my grandson asked me several weeks later, “Hey Mimi, did they ever figure out who won that election?”

The story of this election is still to be written… God bless America…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, changing times, facing facts, following the rules, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things

In search of eagles…

I had heard that the eagles had returned to the area of the nest I like to visit, and the morning sky was pretty, so I decided to see if I could spot them. But no, I didn’t see eagles, but I did find a few photo ops in my travels.

It seems that our weather may have taken a turn for the better, read cooler. Whew! Which is good news because I hear the bluebirds have been hanging around lately, and there may be a family of ducks at the little pond, so I will have no excuse to be staying home so much. Our governor has declared us to be in stage three of getting back to normal after COVID. Businesses can reopen without restrictions, or something like that. I will be picky about what I do, and I will wear a mask when I’m in a store, but I have to admit that it will be great to be out more…

'scene' along the way, changing times, following the rules, go with the flow, life goes on, moments, perseverance, photography, silliness, weather

Things are not what they seem…

For instance, that’s not the remnants of a horrible accident that are dripping down the windshield of my car. That’s soap suds, evidence of the big excitement of my day, which was a trip to the car wash. It felt good to get that long overdue chore over with. I like that car wash with its free vacuum stations to get the inside clean also. And as I ran the vacuum over the floors I happened to look across the street at the very cute mini-golf course, and from that angle I saw it as a photo op. A visual trip to the Congo River, complete with a plane crash. I’ve noticed it many times as I have driven up and down that road, but I’ve never played golf there. And if I’m honest it wasn’t quite as hot today, not like it has been. I’ve been using the weather as an excuse to myself for being stuck in the house day after day. Those morning and afternoon thunderstorms coupled with the beastly hot days are all the excuse I need to take refuge in my recliner. Soon we will be into the best of Florida’s weather. I can’t wait.

Good thing I was taking my photos from the sidewalk or I might also have stumbled into the quicksand like this poor fellow…

adventure, Camping, changing times, courage, learning, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Mean and Menor…

This interest in photography has led me to take a closer-up view of the natural world, and to face the facts that life for the birds and animals that I photograph is a day to day struggle to stay alive.  As opposed to the Disney-like view of how pretty all the creatures out there are, which is about as deeply as I thought about it in the past.  But this rugged Wyoming landscape has given me a new appreciation for what it must have taken for people to come and settle in such a beautiful but harsh climate.  To have had to go out and gather food, or not eat.  To have to build shelters for themselves that would keep them alive through harsher, and longer, winters than I would have imagined.  And to  discover ways to provide services to your neighbors that would allow you make a living.

These are the things that crossed my mind as I visited Menor’s Ferry.  In a non-Covid year there would be displays in the general store, and opportunities to ride the ferry across the river, and a bit more information about life in those days than just taking a self guided tour and trying to use your imagination to fill in the gaps.

07-28-20menorssign

The replica of the ferry itself…07-30-20theferry

The general store…07-30-20generalstore

The home in which a meeting took place which led to the eventual founding of The Grand Teton National Park.07-28-20menorshouse

07-30-20oldwestview

I love this sign…07-30-20menorsign

And the Chapel of the Transfiguration.  It’s altar window frames the highest mountain peak, but I didn’t get to see it since it’s not open this year.07-28-20chapel.jpg

I looked this information up this morning to be sure to be more accurate.

Historical Timeline of Menor’s Ferry

Menor’s Ferry
Menor’s Ferry once belonged to William D. Menor who came to Jackson Hole in 1894, taking up a homestead beside the Snake River. Here he constructed a ferryboat that became a vital crossing for the early settlers of Jackson Hole Valley.

Jackson Hole was isolated by its surrounding mountains and had such a harsh climate that it was one of the last areas of the lower 48 states to be settled. Homesteaders came here, mainly from Idaho, beginning in the late 1880s. Most early settlement in the valley took place in the south, or on a few scattered areas with fertile soil on the east side of the Snake River. Menor was alone on the west side of the Snake for more than ten years.

Rivers are often important transportation corridors. However, the Snake River was a natural barrier that divided the valley. In dry months the river could be forded safely in several locations, but during periods of high water even the most reliable fords were impassable. After 1894, Menor’s Ferry became the main crossing in the central part of Jackson Hole. Residents crossed on the ferry to hunt, gather berries and mushrooms, and cut timber at the foot of the mountains.

Bill Menor built the original ferryboat and cableworks. Today’s ferry and cableworks are replicas. The ferry is a simple platform set on two pontoons. The cable system across the river keeps the ferry from going downstream, while allowing it to move sideways. By turning the pilot wheel, the rope attaching the boat to the cable is tightened and points the pontoons toward the opposite bank. The pressure of the current against the pontoons pushes the ferryboat across the river in the direction the pontoons point. This type of ferry existed in ancient times and was used elsewhere in the United States.

Menor charged 50c for a wagon and team and 25c for a rider and horse. Pedestrians rode free if a wagon was crossing. When the water was too low for the ferry, Menor suspended a platform from the cable and three to four passengers could ride a primitive cablecar across the river. In later years, Menor and his neighbors built a bridge for winter use, dismantling it each spring.

Menor sold out to Maude Noble in 1918. She doubled the fares, hoping to earn a living from the growing number of tourists in the valley. Noble charged $1 for automobiles with local license plates, or $2 for out-of-state plates. In 1927, a steel truss bridge was built just south of the ferry, making it obsolete. Maude Noble sold the property to the Snake River Land Company in 1929.

Bill Menor and his neighbors homesteaded here thinking of the local natural resources as commodities for survival, but many of them grew to treasure the beauty and uniqueness of Jackson Hole. In 35 short years, from Bill Menor’s arrival until the establishment of the original park in 1929, this land passed from homestead to national treasure.

 

Camping, changing times, finding my way, following the rules, home, life goes on, perseverance, photography, unintended consequences

Obsessions…

I don’t know how others have endured their time in quarantine these last couple of months but in my frustration over needing something to do I became obsessed with the desire to sew.  I mean that literally, I was dying to sew but absolutely couldn’t settle on a project.  In the back of my mind were the collage quilts that I came across in a tiny little quilt shop in the tiny little town of Fairlee, VT while I was camping last summer.  The patterns they had were so cute, and the concept uses your scraps of fabrics from all your other projects, finished and unfinished, and that appealed to me too.  But the downfall was that this process yields art quilts.  Quilts to be hung on the wall and admired, but with little wall space in my house, and lots of doubt in my ability to match the jaw-dropping ones I saw online, I dropped the idea once I got home.

But along came a quarantine and my need to do something besides bake (and eat), but I couldn’t make myself decide on a project until I thought of a log cabin quilt with the theme of doorways, and embellish them with little elements, a la collage quilting.  And so I started cutting and sewing, using only fabrics that I already owned.  I used up tons of fabric, spools of thread, and a quilt batt that I had bought but never used.  And somewhere along the way I realized that we are behind closed doors, and I here I was working on happy little doorways.  I didn’t do it on purpose, but once I saw the connection I was fearful that it would be yet another project that would remain forever unfinished when it could be something to remind me of this strange time.  Days and days of rain came at just the right time to keep me home and and sewing, and as of this morning its finished!  I will take it with me when I head out in a couple of weeks.  Not a piece of art, but a warm reminder of a time like no other in my life.  A time we probably won’t forget anytime soon…06-09-20quilt

I thought I had finished this post, but then I looked out my door and saw my uncle come out of his front door, so I recruited him to hold the quilt for me.  It’s simple and silly, but I like it.06-09-20quiltray

 

adventure, bucket list, Camping, changing times, coping, courage, facing facts, faith, finding my way, Just do it, life, life goes on, making memories, perseverance, road trip

Plans…

Oh come on, don’t tell me that you haven’t fried yourself a nice piece of quiche for breakfast before.  Or ever.  Especially when your brilliant idea from the day before didn’t turn out as you’d planned.  I wanted to use up the spinach that I’d left a few days in the refrigerator, and I had potatoes I hadn’t used, so I thought they would make a dandy hash brown crusted quiche.  There may be a reason that the online recipes I saw called for frozen hash browns, perhaps they magically don’t turn brown the way potatoes usually do.  I know that mine were turning brown faster than I could grate them.  But I was committed (don’t say it) at that point so on I went, browning the hash brown crust first, and even though the bottom crust looked more soggy than crusty I went ahead and poured in the filling and baked it.  Which didn’t improve the bottom crust any, but it was edible.  Faced with trying to figure out what to do with it the next day I knew I had nothing to lose so I resorted to my little frying pan, and when I saw it was browning quickly I covered the pan, even though I imagined a volcano erupting in there, but surprisingly it was quite good.

I’ve been feeling rather scatter-brained lately  Not able to sit down and make a plan for what I might want to do this summer, even if it’s just a fantasy.  I opened the maps function of the computer and put in the farthest possible destination for myself, and now I stare at the map of the US with that blue line that would lead me there.  And there are choices, not one blue line but two, and infinitely more really.  Last year going to New England felt cozy, but looking at that map, that blue line, makes me feel like I’d be traveling naked.  Exposed.  So my mind boggles even as I try to use up the stuff in the refrigerator and tell myself to start making lists.  Making plans, and frying my quiche…