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Thursday, August 17, 2017

30 Years!

When Doug and I married in our forties, we never dreamed we'd live long enough to celebrate 30 years of marriage. But we did! We celebrated our 30th anniversary on Tuesday.

We've been so busy with our cataract surgeries that we weren't able to get away for any kind of a special celebration. But what we expected to be a very ordinary day turned out to be a very special one.

It happened to be the day of our church's monthly lunch and entertainment outreach to senior adults in the community (PEP). Vicki, one of our friends from church, was providing the musical entertainment for this month's PEP, along with a friend of hers from another church. And two dear friends, Terry and Diane, who live about an hour away, drove up to join us at PEP and to spend the day with us.

Vicki began an introduction to two songs that she said were in recognition of Doug and Linda's 30th anniversary. When she said that, I turned to look at Doug and saw him approaching me with a bouquet of red roses. He had managed to purchase them the day before, bring them to the church, and put them in a cooler to keep them fresh. Then he'd conspired with the pastors and with Vicki for just the right moment to present them to me.

The roses were a big enough surprise, but then Vicki began to sing "My Jesus, I Love Thee," a song that we had requested to be sung at our wedding. Doug had asked Vicki to sing that song at PEP, as another special anniversary surprise for me.

On our first anniversary, Doug had given me roses and a framed copy of the music for "My Jesus, I Love Thee," knowing it had special meaning for me.

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Our First Anniversary-1988

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Our 30th Anniversary-2017


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Denise & Vicki (the musicians), Bonnie, Doug, Me, another Linda, Diane, & Terry


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Associate Pastor, Dick B. (on the left) and Senior Pastor, Dave T. (in the middle of the four ladies)

After PEP, Terry and Diane went with us to visit the History Center in Fort Wayne, pictures of which were featured in my last post. I'm including a new picture below, taken from the rear of the building.

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The History Center (from the rear)
That awning you can see in the lower right corner of the picture of the History Center is part of a block-long area which is home to a Farmers' Market on Saturdays during the summer.

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At the History Center with Terry and Diane

After the History Center, we took Terry and Diane to another nearby community, where there's an observation tower overlooking a very large stone quarry.

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At the stone quarry with Terry (Diane took the picture)

Then we had supper at a restaurant in the same community where the stone quarry is located, after which, we returned to our house for dominoes and dessert.


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Playing Dominoes (Sorry, no pictures of the dessert)

It wasn't a typical way of celebrating a major anniversary; but, at the end of the day, I couldn't think of anything else I'd rather have done. (Although, when we were at the stone quarry, Diane did suggest that our next stop should be a junkyard. Diane's a funny lady.)


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Downtown Fort Wayne

There are some beautiful old buildings in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana and in the old neighborhoods close to the city. The main focus of today's post is The History Center.

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The cars, lines, and trees detract from the photo, but I wanted to include a view of this side of the building.
Built in 1893, the building originally housed the offices of city officials, as well as the municipal court and police department. At the south end of the building was the jail, or "calaboose." At the turn of the century the garage housed the city paddy wagon and hayloft for the horses which were stabled nearby.

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The front (North Side)
Originally known as "The Fort Wayne City Building" and later as "The Old City Hall," the building was abandoned in 1971, as the city offices were moved to a new facility.

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In 1979, the Historical Society rehabilitated the Old City Hall to create the Historical Museum, which was opened to the public in October, 1980.


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The History Center, with the Lincoln Tower in the background

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Lincoln Tower
The Lincoln Tower, built in 1929-1930 was, for decades, the tallest building in the state of Indiana with its 22 floors. It no longer holds that distinction, but it's still a beautiful structure. My mom worked for a law firm on the 17th floor of that building for years, so it holds a special place in my heart.

I'd been wanting to capture some images from the city to share here on the blog but never had much occasion to go downtown. Recently, though, all the appointments related to my cataract surgeries have been taking me there.  My doctor's office and surgical center are in the same block as The History Center, and I couldn't resist taking my camera with me one day and capturing these few images. Hopefully, there will be more forthcoming as there are many worthy architectural subjects to choose from in this city.

By the way, my eyes are now doing quite well. The doctor intentionally made my right eye a bit nearsighted, while giving me increased distance vision in the left eye. It allows me to see both far and near without glasses, which is a good plan. I'm finding it challenging to get my eyes synchronized with each other, but I'm seeing better now than I've ever seen before in my life. Hallelujah!


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Pictures from the Park

We've found ourselves with limited no time for travels this summer, primarily due to doctor appointments. There's nothing major going on, just a full calendar. 

We've been able to work in a mini-vacation now and then, usually a day trip to Ouabache State Park about an hour away. These photos are all from that park.

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Oops. Hope I'm not interrupting anything.

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Male Eastern Bluebird

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Tattered White Butterfly

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Same Butterfly


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Interesting Mushroom
Some of what's been going on with Doug and me revolves around cataract surgeries for both of us. Several appointments are required, both before and after the surgeries. My first surgery was done on July 19 (right eye) and the second on August 1 (left eye). 

I've always had terrible vision. I was so nearsighted that, without glasses, nothing would come into focus until it was just inches from my face. I've looked forward to cataract surgery for several years, ever since my optometrist told me that a lens implant had been developed that could correct much of my severe astigmatism. Of course, I opted for that lens when I had my surgery. And now, following surgery, I do see so much better...but not great. 

I'm pretty sure I'm going to need glasses, but they want me to hold off getting them for several weeks, to allow time for the eyes to fully heal and settle into their optimal visual capability. 

It's going to be a challenge for me because I don't currently see well enough to drive.

Doug's going to get his cataracts removed this month, but I'm hoping his experience will go more smoothly than my own. He actually has very good distance vision and mostly needs glasses to read. Hopefully, his post-surgery vision will be 20/20 without glasses so that at least one of us will be able to drive.

Here's a statement I recently saw on Facebook: "I really don't mind getting old...but my body isn't taking it very well."

That statement resonates with me. Getting old isn't for sissies.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

PEP Trip to Conner Prairie

Our church has a ministry to seniors in the community. It's called PEP, which stands for "People Enjoying People." There are monthly lunches, with entertainment provided, and monthly day trips on the church bus. On June 27, Doug and I went along on one of those trips to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park near Indianapolis.

I'll borrow a paragraph from Wikipedia to describe this park:
Conner Prairie is an interactive history park, or living history museum, in Fishers, Indiana, United States, that preserves the William Conner home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and recreates part of life in Indiana in the 19th century on the White River.
There is so much to see and experience here that I think we need to go back again. There is an 1836 Prairie Town, an 1859 Balloon Voyage, an 1863 Civil War Journey, an 1816 Lenape Indian Camp, the William Conner House, and more.

I'm just going to include some random photos from our short visit.

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Jan is one of our Associate Pastors and our bus driver. It was his birthday.

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The helium-filled tethered balloon rises 350 feet above the park, carrying up to 20 people in the gondola.

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A scene in the 1836 Prairie Town

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Wigwam (under construction) in the 1816 Lenape Indian Camp

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William Conner House, built in 1823

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Dress and Portrait in William Conner House

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This covered bridge is part of the 1863 Civil War Journey at Conner Prairie.

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We saw this little girl enjoying her lunch as we waited for the tram to return us to the park entrance.

Each area of the park is staffed with people performing tasks and dressed in clothing appropriate to the period represented by that area. It's a fun "walk back in time" with attractions to interest all members of the family.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Visiting Dennis

We visited Doug's brother, Dennis, last Saturday. He lives a couple of hours from us, and we go about once a month to spend the afternoon with him. Going out to eat is always a part of those visits. Finding a restaurant that we all enjoy is sometimes a challenge, but we've recently discovered a place we can all agree on: a little truck stop with delicious food and a good variety of menu items.

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Arlene's Truck Stop in Augusta, Michigan

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Dennis with his western omelet, Doug with his wet burrito, and my chicken bacon ranch wrap

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A sign on a wall in the restaurant.
After a very filling meal at Arlene's, we stopped at another place for ice cream. Then we found a little park where we could enjoy a little stroll and some time of conversation on a park bench. The following photos were taken at the John Wilson Park in Athens, Michigan.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

A New (To Me) Dragonfly

Doug found this little visitor on one of our shrubs Thursday night, about nine o'clock. I don't believe I've ever seen a dragonfly quite like this one and hope one of you might be able to identify it for me.

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The images aren't the best quality because of the low-light situation and the movement of the dragonfly's perch in the evening breeze. In fact, I had to use a flash, which must have confused this poor little critter because those big eyes were rolling with my every move.

Update 6/25/17: Aha! Persistency in searching the internet has paid off.  I believe this is a female Eastern Pondhawk.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

June Days

This has been an unusual year (so far) for Doug and me. We've had more than the usual number of ailments, resulting in more than the usual number of medical appointments. There's been nothing too serious among our ailments, but they've clogged our calendar, kept us from doing much traveling, and contributed to my lapse in posting here.

But, lest you think I've abandoned the blog completely, here are some photos from some warm, sunny days in June.

Ouabache (pronounced WAH-bash) State Park is a favorite destination for quiet summer afternoons of relaxation, reading, and photography. 

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Unfortunately, the lake in the park has been drained this year, to allow construction of a swimming beach. So our afternoons by the lake aren't quite the same this year. For one thing, there's a serious lack of dragonflies, one of my favorite subjects for photographs. And the Canada Geese are doing more hiking than swimming.

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An Eastern Eyed Click Beetle (after I knocked it out of my hair)

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The same beetle, with wings spread
Even though the lake has been drained, there is a small area with water in it. Doug and I walked out on the dry lake bed to reach the edge of the water and found several water snakes swimming at the water's edge and moving among the rocks on the shore. (And the park authorities are building a swimming beach???)

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Water Snake

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Cedar Waxwing

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Brown-Headed Cow Bird

After our afternoon at the park, we drove over to Willshire, Ohio, for supper at the Willshire Drive-in, one of our very favorite places to go for ice cream in the summer.

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Willshire Drive-in

While enjoying our meal (and dessert) at the drive-in, we watched a brave soul painting the town's water tower.

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Painting the Willshire, Ohio Water Tower
Our drive home that day had to be rerouted due to a fire in what we think was a barn. We drove by the site a few days later. All that was left was a pile of charred debris. There was a house nearby, so we're pretty sure this was a barn.

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Structure Fire



Saturday, May 06, 2017

Hodgepodge

Today's post is a random accumulation of images from the last few weeks. 

First up is a wonderful old barn that I pass several times a week. It sits beside a state highway in an area which is rapidly being overtaken by retail stores and other businesses. The property is for sale, and I fear it's only a matter of time before this beauty is only a memory.

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Some of you will remember my talking about Doug's brother, Dennis, who underwent a partial amputation of a leg in 2014. His daughters and their families live a few hours north of Dennis and haven't seen him since his hospitalization three years ago. We live a couple of hours south of Dennis and see him about once a month. Well, on April 29, several members of his family to the north met us and Dennis at Aubree's Pizzeria and Grill in a town approximately an equal driving distance for them and for Doug and me.

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Aubree's Pizzeria

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A reunion at Aubree's
Dennis is in the green jacket, between his oldest daughter, Denise, and my hubby, Doug. Dennis' middle daughter, Becky, is across the table from him, with the man in her life to her right. On her left is Denise's son and his wife. And Denise's daughter and her little son are on the left end of the table. It was a special time, and I hope we'll be able to do it again sooner rather than later.

Also, those of you who have been around awhile will remember my great-nephew, Carson, who is active in music, drama, and dance. On Tuesday, May 2, Carson performed with the high school orchestra in their last performance of the school year. I understand that it was probably Carson's last performance with the orchestra, too. He's considering playing keyboard in the school band next year.

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Carson in orchestra performance

And lastly in this random mixture, a look at the front of our house and our beautiful azalea bush.

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The azalea bush was very small when we bought the house 28 years ago. It's grown considerably in those intervening years. And it just glows when it's in bloom. It's such an eye catcher that we notice the Amish checking it out as they drive by in their buggies. It's about the only time of the year that they pay us much notice.


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