Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Roll Out those Lazy Hazy Days of Summer"

Summer Solstice is here!  Along with the typical Midwestern hot, humid days.  I was up before the butt crack of dawn to get my cardio walk in before the humidity got too high.  I know, I know, I could go the the new "Y" we have here in town and make use of a treadmill, or walk on their indoor track, but the whole idea seems redundant to me.  Walking outside makes me feel like I still exist as one with nature.  I can look around at the trees, and see what other people are growing in their yards.  I can speak to other walkers or bikers, I can wave at people who honk or wave at me, even if I don't know who it is.  (I don't wear my glasses when I walk because they keep sliding down my nose, and my wrap arounds aren't prescription sunglasses.)  If I walked on a treadmill, I would miss all of this.  And the "Y" is far enough away from my house that I would have to drive to it, just to exercise.  Now, don't get me wrong!  When the weather gets too unbearable, I will probably go there just to "beat the heat."  Most days I could walk at my church.  We have a large indoor area that is usually open in the mornings for walkers.  So that, too, is an option.  But for now, I will just trot my bod (really, walk) along the sidewalks of town, waving and panting!!  It's getting me off my rear, out of the house, and pumping up the ol' heart rate.  Can't be all bad!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Read Any Good Books Lately?

As a matter of fact, yes, yes I have.  I read Robert B. Parker's Lullaby, published after his death and authored by Ace Atkins.  It's a Spenser novel, and that made it even better! Maybe Ace can continue to write this series...
Then I read Redfield Farm, by Judith Coopey, an excellent, well researched story of a Quaker family involved in the Underground Railroad prior to the Civil War.  A very "smart" read, if you know what I mean.
I just finished Allan Folsom's The Exile.  This superb action packed novel is a long one.  It consists of 702 pages, so be warned:  don't start it unless you have time to finish it.  It's a good one!!!
Interspersed with these wonderful reads, I also read The Devil's Cradle by Sylvia Nobel. It was an okay novel, but just let me say, it wasn't quite my cup-of-tea.  Enough said about that.  I have two of her others here that I borrowed from Curley.  I intend to just give 'em back unread.  After much soul searching several years ago, I gave myself permission to not finish a book that I wasn't enjoying.  I give it a chance, but now I don't feel obligated to read one if it doesn't meet my expectations.  Nobel's work doesn't. 
But, I must say, that three out of the last four were real "barn burners" for me.  Not a bad pick from my local library, huh?
I still need to get used to using my Kindle.  There's a lot of good stuff available at little or no cost now for Kindle, and all e readers, but I still like the look, feel, and smell of the written word, on paper, held in my hand.  Call me old fashioned...that's okay!


Friday, June 07, 2013

Day Trippin'

Yesterday I went on a day trip.  A bunch of us "seniors" boarded a bus for a trip only into the next county over from mine.  There is MUCH I didn't know about that county.  I found out that there was a huge Miami Indian settlement there once, and that there are still several Miami Indians around the area and that their state tribal council headquarters are there in Peru, Indiana.  We visited the Cole Porter exhibit at the Miami County museum and that was a blast.  He has always been one of my favorite composers, and I got to pose for a pic beside his 1955 black Caddy, which, interesting enough, was used in the movie, "The Godfather."   We took a driving tour where we got to see Cole's birthplace, his boyhood homes and also his grave site.  I found it interesting that though Cole Porter was a wealthy man, famous, and quite the talk of both Broadway and Hollywood in his era, it was his wish that, upon his death, he be brought back to Peru and buried with his family, or back to his "roots."
Since Peru, In is also the home of the Circus Hall of Fame, and the International Circus Headquarters, we visited the Circus City Museum.  Though I am not a real circus buff, it was interesting to learn about local people who retired in the area, and have taught local talent to be circus performers, and that an actual amateur circus is produced there every summer.  We met a granddaughter of one of circus' famed performers, Clyde Beatty.  Interesting!
We toured some of the Miami county countryside and the grave site of Frances Slocum, who was a white girl kidnapped by the Miami Indians, in Pennsylvania, brought to Indiana, and eventually married a Miami Indiana chief.  There is a lot of legends and actual folklore surrounding that whole story, which can be read by all in the novel, "The Lost Sister Among the Miamis."
We had a wonderful lunch at "The Siding." a restaurant in Peru.  It is in an old train depot, which also has two old railroad dining cars attached and used as dining rooms.  The buffet lunch was tasty and the facilities were unique, and quite well appointed.  We ate altogether in the long dining car which was decorated in honor of Cole Porter, with a music theme, with strains of "Night and Day" and other Porter tunes playing softly in the background.
The company was great.  I knew a few of the people who were on the trip previously, but met some new people, and, I feel, made some new friends.  I'm glad I went!