54th Wedding Anniversary

I did not realize our wedding anniversary fell on Flag Day until we had been married several years. A presidential proclamation established June 14 as Flag Day in 1916, and it was established by an Act of Congress in 1946. It is not a federal holiday. That means no one gets the day off; therefore, there are no parades or big sales. Towns often put flags out on the main street, and that is what we saw this year. John usually decorates the front of our house. I caught him as he was putting a letter in our mailbox to be picked up.

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A number of people called and sent messages to notice our day. There is a photo of one of them – David and John listening to Nathaniel. We asked about his last day of school. Years ago, when he began wearing a suit to school every day, he declared that he would wear shorts on the last day of high school. As we spoke, David pulled up his picture on Instagram that showed him wearing a red shirt.

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Talking to grandson Nathaniel as David shows his brother’s photo on Instagram

We wanted to know, “Did people notice that you weren’t wearing a suit?”

Nathaniel replied, “They didn’t realize it was me unless I called out their names in the hall!”

Our celebration was spending a day in the mountains. John consulted the waterfalls book and listed several we might see. David checked out the first one, calling back for me not to go down the path. He brought back photos on his phone, so we would know what we missed. I didn’t take any photos of my favorite one, because I have so many. We went on to Pisgah Inn, a restaurant and motel on the Blue Ridge Parkway. David was our official photographer for the day, taking this shot on the deck as we waited for a window table to be free.

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The left-handers sat together, so I took a picture of John and David at the table. They ordered roast chicken in a spinach wrap, and I had a crab cake sandwich. We split two desserts – key lime pie and chocolate silk pie.

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As we left the restaurant, an emergency vehicle went past quietly. We caught up to it at the Looking Glass overlook, our destination. John read that there was a great swimming place across the road. The book said the path had steps, but we didn’t realize its rating was 5. We found out quickly that the path was as difficult as one we encountered the last time we hiked to some falls. There were rocks and roots in the steep places. After a bit, a hiker came toward us and said a woman had hurt her leg. I assumed she had fallen in the water, so we continued on. The path did not get any better. A bunch of men came from the overlook wearing huge backpacks of emergency equipment and a stretcher on two wheels like a bicycle. Another hiker told us the woman had fallen about the time we sat down to our leisurely lunch, so she had been waiting for hours by this time. We sat on rocks when we realized the rescue was taking place over the next steep hill, not down by the water. One of the EMS people came back to tell us that it was going to take a long time. We started the trek back, very thankful I was not the one lying on the path. You can be sure I took my time going back. Waiting at the overlook were a fire truck, an ambulance, and vehicles that rescuers had come in.

We had not stopped where the road crossed the stream above Sunburst Falls before. It was too steep for me to get down to the water. Nimble-as-a-goat David leaped down to explore and took a photo of me standing on the road.

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It was after 6 pm when we stopped at the last falls on the list. John read that it was a scramble the first few feet, and then the trail followed an old logging railroad bed. David again scouted the terrain, saying he thought Grandpa could make it, but I’d better stay in the car. I was very happy to read the newspaper in the fading light. John probably enjoyed walking along the old railroad, and David brought back photos of the falls. John said the trek was challenging. I suspect we are going to read between the lines the next time we plan a waterfall expedition.

A Bump on the Road

Neighbor Marla saw the bump a day before I did. As she walked dog Albert, Cat (the one we pet every day) came onto the road and bumped noses with Albert. I was with her the next day when the action began to unfold. I was not quick enough to get out my camera, and so missed the shot. As John and I walked today, I told him I had done things out of order and forgot to pick up both camera and phone. I said, “If I need a camera, I’ll have to use your phone.”

Wouldn’t you know, on the way home we caught up with Marla shortly before Cat appeared. As the animals eyed each other, I asked John for his phone. I fumbled finding the icon for the camera, and I was sure I was going to miss the moment. In a split second it was done. They didn’t approach each other again. It was luck! Pure luck!

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Logan’s New Nephew

Neighbor Logan (almost 8) had a chance to hold his new nephew Pico when the baby came home from the hospital. I’m sure Logan will be a wonderful uncle to this baby, as he has been to Lily and Sufi.

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Logan takes his duties seriously. A few weeks ago he came to our door to bring us something. We asked if he could come in to visit with us, but he said, “No, I have to go home and play with Sufi.”

Snow in June??

I knew it was cool this morning, but I couldn’t believe my eyes when I got to the firehouse near the creek. The roses appeared to be holding bits of snow. Snow in June? No way!

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Perhaps the firemen needed to get rid of foam. We’ve walked there for four years and never saw foam before.

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Grandson David had a day off, so we had lunch at Jukebox Junction on the way to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a wonderful day to be in the mountains. The higher we drove, the cooler it became. A sign stated we were at the highest point on the whole parkway. There were many clouds, both white and rainy-gray, which made the scenery much more interesting than a view bleached by full sun. We stopped at many of the overlooks, getting out to soak up the silence and enjoy sprinkles from the sky.

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Miscellaneous is more “miss” than anything else with me. I almost missed the shot of son John $ falling out of the geriatric chair. He stretched out in the recliner I inherited from John’s godfather, who died at age 97. He didn’t know the chair was designed to boost an oldster into a standing position. In checking how far the chair would go, he almost fell out of it in slow motion.  David and I were there to laugh with him.

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David was too groggy to finish his breakfast cereal. He missed eating it when it was fresh. A day later he took it out of the refrigerator, and half of it came up on his spoon. I should have watched to see if he broke it up in the bowl or just gnawed on it.

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John found two ticks on himself and another crawling on his desk. He missed the tiny one that attached itself firmly. I removed it with tweezers amid giggles and twitches. It was still moving when I took the photo. You can’t see its size, but we feel sure it was bigger than a deer tick that carries Lyme’s disease.

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A rabbit was grazing on our gravel when I went out to walk. He hadn’t moved as I advanced slowly toward him, so I fished out the camera and shot him. He hopped a few feet away and again seemed to be searching the gravel. I missed the point of his being there. With acres and acres of lawn and pasture surrounding him, why was he nosing about that arid area? Does anyone have an answer for that?

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Neighbors Shawn and Bob held their grandson only hours after he was born. Bob sent a photo that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. I presume Shawn took it on his cell phone. She caught the mystery, awe, and wonder that surrounds the miracle of birth. It was a tender moment.

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For those who want details, the baby weighed 7 lb. 11 oz. He is named Picasso, to be shortened to Pico (Pee-co).

Naked as a Jay Bird

When I went out to get the mail at the end of the driveway, I saw neighbor Logan (7) racing a four-wheeled vehicle down the street. Bob told him to go one more time before putting it away. That was my signal to get out the camera.

Just then I saw Bob’s grandson Sufi toddling down their walkway. He was stark naked! He waved at me enthusiastically, and I waved back. Having just passed his second birthday, he was not at all concerned with his lack of clothes. What could be better than running around unhindered and waving at the neighbors? Bob’s dry humor came bubbling up, and he said, “This is the way we run around in the mountains.”

There was only one chance to get a photo, so I aimed carefully. In fact, I aimed two ways – toward Logan and away from Sufi. Logan roared past and careened straight down the steep driveway to the garage under the house. We all returned to our homes, and I was wearing a silly grin.

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Sufi was about here.