Monday, May 29, 2017

Freedom Isn't Free

Memorial Day 2017

As I sit here writing this I can see our flag blowing in the breeze. We are grateful for those who gave their lives so Tom can put that flag out and I can see it waving.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Spending Time With Grandchildren

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

We are still hanging in there after enjoying a few days visiting with our grandchildren. On Wednesday, the 17th, we headed back to Mackinaw City to pick up three of our grandchildren. The sky was a lovely blue with wonderful white clouds. We had thought we were going to have them from Tuesday through Saturday but it only ended up being a couple of days. Our daughter-in-law, Nadine, was at the house Friday afternoon, I think she had a harder time being separated from them then they did being away. (Though they did ask where mommy was a couple of times and the little girl asked about her daddy.) They headed back downstate and home Saturday morning.

Tom and I agree we never get tired of the views
of Lake Michigan along US-2.

Just before St. Ignace there are sand dunes and signs warning
about sand on the road. There is parking and when the weather
is warm the cars are parked bumper to bumper while their 

occupants enjoy the lake. In the middle picture is one of the steps
provided to reach the lake. (There is a lot of protected area 

along here.) Though with the lake being so much 
higher this year it does not look like there will be much beach area.

Crossing the Mackinac Bridge.

We have ate at Darrow's Family Restaurant in Mackinaw City
many times over the years and this is the first time I have 

noticed this. It is in their parking lot.
We met here for lunch before heading back to Escanaba with our
precious cargo.

Heading back across the Bridge.

It was a tight squeeze but we got all three car seats across the
back of the jeep.
Left to right: Marcella, Noah, and Jonah
For a while it was very quite.  

Our daughter Rachel actually started out trying to get a picture
 with the two who are two. Nate over on the left in blue and Marci
on her lap. Nate would not move closer, then Adelaide crawled 
up on her lap, and Noah showed up. (We are missing two.)
I just kept clicking.

She kept trying to get a picture of these two sitting next to each 
other and smiling.This is as close as she got.Nathaniel is her son 
and Marcella is our son, Thomas's daughter. They are both two
though she is 5 months older.
The two youngest.
Our daughter, Rachel's youngest Adelaide ((9 months) on the left
with Marcella (2), named after my mom, on the right.

The two "middle's".
Jonah, who looks so much like his father
at this age (4) and Nathaniel (2).

The two oldest.
 Our son's son, Noah (6) Our daughter's daughter, Charlotte (5)
Charlotte is a mini-Rachel.

Noah and Jonah trying to help Adelaide eat.

For dessert Thursday night my daughter melted chocolate and let them dip and spread it on marshmallows, strawberries and creme-puffs.(She is brave and they loved it.)

We have several puddles in our yard
and Nathaniel got out of the car on
Sunday and proceeded to fall into this
one. So his mom let him have some fun
since he was already muddy and wet.

Our backyard tree is getting leaves.

A couple of dandelions and we have a few
tulips coming up.

So it was a busy and noisy couple of days but at the same time it was fun to have them all here under one roof. (Making memories is what it is all about.) Of course, if the weather would have co-operated and they could have been outside more and it would have been easier on them and the adults. Since, except for one chair, our living room furniture is gone they did have extra room to play in.

In between the rain Tom has been out doing yard work and I have been taking care of errands. Today I had my hair fixed, it needed major help. Tomorrow I will be upstairs going through stuff. Packing what needs to go into storage, boxing what I want each of the our kids to have, and putting stuff aside for them to go through. Wish me luck. I am hoping to be finally done by next Wednesday.

Hope the sun is shining where you are and you are enjoying your days. If you have a minute to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Belated Happy Mother's Day!

Monday 15, 2017

(I know I am publishing this a day late but the wishes are still sincere.)

Both of our Moms are gone but thought of, missed, and loved every day. 

Also, hope our daughter, Rachel and daughter-in-law, Nadine had a special Mother's Day! We are so proud of both of you and grateful for the wonderful job you are doing raising our grandchildren.

Plus, we hope our sisters, Cheryl and Chris and sister-in-laws, Linda and Jody had a Happy Mother's Day.

To all the mom's out there and woman who take care of children on a daily bases thank you and a belated...

I know I have been gone from "blogging" for a bit but I have a good reason. We just got back from spending time with our children and grandchildren that live down by Detroit. We had a wonderful time but it was also a tiring time. There is a reason you have children when you are younger...mainly you have way more energy. So all our energy was focused on the grandchildren and that was about all I could handle.
Now we are back in Escanaba and we just finished two days of our granddaughter's dance recital. In a few days the three that live downstate will be here to visit for a couple of days while there mother goes to a conference and their father works then has his National Guard weekend. Since, the cousins will want to spend time together and their aunt will want to see them that means we will pretty much have 6 children here, 6, 5, 4, 2, 2, and 10 months, part of this coming week. It will be hectic but fun.

We left Escanaba under blue skies and white fluffy clouds on
Thursday, May 4th. Some views of Lake Michigan along US-2
in the UP. The bottom right going over the Manistique River
it was high. In fact, all the rivers and creeks are high this year.

There are a lot of wet areas along US-2 and the reflection of the
trees in this one was beautiful.

Going over the Mackinaw Bridge. Lake Michigan on the right.
There is continuous upkeep on the bridge when the weather allows.

Lunch at Darrow's Family Restaurant in Mackinaw City. The 
food here is nothing fancy but is made from scratch and delicious. 
It is one of our favorite places to stop for lunch.

Passed a long line of National Guard Vehicles on their way
to Camp Grayling.

Once we crossed the bridge everything was a lot greener, our trees
are just starting to bud, but the sky was starting to cloud over.

Thought of several of the couples we have met from Canada as
we went under this sign. 

Once the sky opened up we were traveling in heavy rain through
Bay City, Saginaw, Flint, and all the way to our family's front door.
Google maps moved us off of I-75 sooner than normal because of
accidents ahead. So we spent the last 30 minutes on city streets.

The three little reasons we were anxious to visit.
Starting on the left Noah who is 6, Marcella who is 2, and
Jonah who never stands still and is 4.

Jonah getting on the bus to go to pre-school. He looked so tiny
getting on such a big bus. He just ran out and climbed on.
(He did give kisses before he left.) 

It was Noah's schools Spring Concert on Tuesday, May 9th.
It was a nice surprise to be able to go and watch. He is in
Kindergarten and they did a wonderful job, of course he was
the cutest.
(Okay, as his Nana I may be a little biased but he is a cutie for sure.)

Nadine and I at Noah's Concert.
While we were visiting she took me out for lunch to celebrate
Mother's Day and we got in a little bit of shopping.
It was a fun outing and nice to spend time
together, just the two of us.

Wild violets and one of the dandelions in their front lawn.

Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.

It is a lovely old theater.

The Fox Theatre is a 1928 movie palace and performing arts center located at 2211 Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit, Michigan, near Grand Circus Park. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

Our son with his beautiful wife,
Nadine and their three children.

As his parents it was a proud moment for us to watch him walk.
He actually received his Master's in Industrial Engineering this
past December but because of his commitment to the Michigan
National Guard was not able to attend his commencement. So
he applied and they let him walk with the May 2017 class.

Heading home it was a beautiful day with blue skies and
white fluffy clouds. The little black flies are hatching so
along the lake the windshield started to get messy.

Crossing the bridge going north off to the right you can see
Mackinaw Island in Lake Huron.

The sunset was beautiful but there are a lot of trees along
US-2 so the view is distorted from the movement. Tom would
only stop once for pictures.

Back home in time for our granddaughter's dance recital.
Her mom took this backstage before the dress rehearsal.

Our daughter makes sure each girl, in not only her daughter's class, but in all the little ones classes, have their name and picture on their chair. Most of them cannot read and this way they know where to put their stuff for two days. She also, takes the time to put their letter and number on the chair to make it easier for all the other mothers, like herself, volunteering to watch and get them out on stage.  

Our daughter, Rachel, and her daughter, Charlotte
backstage before the first performance. 

We spent Mother's Day with Rachel and her family. We were treated to brunch by her boyfriend, Timothy, out at the Casino which was a very nice surprise.

So that is a quick overview of our last 12 days. It has been busy and in between we have done a couple of things here at the house. Today and tomorrow we are getting things ready for our three grandchildren whom we will be picking up in Mackinaw City. Then this coming Saturday and Sunday we will be just sitting and catching our breaths before we dig in again to get things done.

Hope everyone is enjoying their days and getting a chance to relax. 
If you have a moment to leave a comment we would enjoy reading what you have to say.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where We Live in the UP

(Click on the Pictures to make them larger.)

Saturday, April 29, 2017 -- Thursday, May 4, 2017

It has been a somewhat busy week trying to get things done. We are moving ahead but slowly.
Below is a picture of a lovely large maple tree in our backyard. It actually has small buds and when the leaves come out it will be very full. I remember when my dad planted this tree many, many years ago. (We purchased this house from my parents in 1994. My father had a stroke a few years earlier and the upkeep and yard were becoming to much for him. They had other buyers but the deal fell through and we needed a larger house and so we put in an offer and they accepted.)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

We saw a wonderful blue sky for a
short time on Saturday.

I found a dandelion  next to the house.
Our electric cord from the Stinger B.

On my way to purchase groceries I took a detour down to the
lake. You can see the lighthouse off to the right.

Looking in the other direction at the ore terminal that closed
while we were gone. There will no longer be large ore boats
rounding the corner on the far side of the lighthouse.
 I find it sad, over the years I sat and
watched them coming in and going out more then once.

I found the article below on the internet about the last ore boat. Tom remembers when he was serving on his first ship in the Navy and the guys would not believe we had boats this size and larger coming into port in Escanaba. If they were this large why would they be called boats. The answer because they only sailed on the great lakes. (He ended up having his dad send him and article about the ore boats so he could prove that he was telling the truth.)

Two street views of the Ore Terminal.

I found the picture below, and the one below it, on the internet. It was a described as a post card from the 1950's. This is what the Ore Docks looked like while I was growing up. You can see the ore train above.
My grandfather worked on these ore docks.

This is a picture of the Ore Cars at the terminal. I remember these
across the street from when my parents had a house on the North-side
of Escanaba. It would be noisy when the would start moving.
Not to mention we would always get caught if we spent anytime
by them. The red greasy dirt was pretty noticeable.

Papa and Charlotte fly a kite. The blue sky had disappeared
and the clouds and cold were back.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Today's picture through the tree is
grey and gloomy.

We started the day by going to mass at St. Joseph and St. Patrick's church. We do not belong to this parish but they have the last mass on Sunday at 11:30AM and we were slow getting ready this morning. (We did belong to this parish for a couple of years and it is where our daughter made her First Communion.)

St. Joseph Church was established in 1865 by Father Sebastian Duroc. (According to one other site about the history of Escanaba it was the first church built. I knew it was the first catholic church but did not realize this.)  St. Joseph Church and St. Patrick Church were merged in 1997 by the Diocese of Marquette, and St. Joseph Church was renamed St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church. The current structure on 1st Avenue South was completed in 1939, and the Vanduzen bells in the bell tower date back to 1898. (This was the 3rd structure.)

The main altar and two side altars.

The above statue of St. Patrick was in St. Patrick's Church until the diocese closed the building and consolidated the two parishes. It was the colors you would expect a statue of St. Patrick to be at that time. It was repainted to match the rest of the statues at St. Joseph's.

The building below was once St. Patrick's Catholic Church and when it closed it was stripped of its stain glass windows, altar, and statues. It is sad to see this once beautiful church building in such disrepair. (This is the parish Tom grew up in, baptized, 1st Communion, and Confirmation. His sister and her husband were also married here.) I was able to find out that 11 of the 13 windows are at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Lemoore, CA. Which opened in 2013

Picture taken from internet of St. Patrick's Church
in 1903, the year it was dedicated.
An interesting side note:  In 1901 the Irish members of St. Joseph Church begin to circulate a petition to form their own parish after disparaging remarks are made about them by the assistant pastor, Father Hubert Kalt, O.F.M., on St. Patrick’s Day.  The petition is presented to Bishop Frederick Eis on July 14 and a vote to separate from St. Joseph Church is taken.  On July 26 Father John M. Langan is appointed first pastor of St. Patrick Church and the formal division is declared by Bishop Eis.

The building below: Originally the auditorium and gymnasium for St. Joseph Church, the building for the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center dates back to 1938. The fine arts center is named for "Big Bill" Bonifas, who immigrated from Luxembourg to the Upper Peninsula in the 1880s and became a wealthy lumber baron. The William Bonifas Fine Arts Center (Click here for more information.)hosts cultural activities and educational programs. They put on activities throughout the year. When our children were in grade school they went to art classes here. Our son sang in one of the cabarets when he was in 8th grade. They also bring in the Missoula Players in the summer and both our children participated in these children plays.
I went to St. Thomas Catholic Grade School and this is where our 7th & 8th Grade basketball games were held. At the time there were 5 Catholic Grade Schools, 1st through 8th grade, in the area.

Growing up this was the Carnegie Library which opened in 1903.
It was built with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie.
Mary Beth, a lifelong friend, and I used to ride our bikes here in the 
summer to take books outs from the children's room in the basement. 
Our children also spent time in that same children's room.  
Tom and I spent many Saturdays and nights here doing homework and 
researching information for papers. (Though not together.)
When they built a new City Hall/Library Complex,which opened 
in 1995, the building was sold to private owners.

(The information about the two churches and the library I found under the History of Escanaba and St. Joseph and St. Patrick's Parish.)

Later in the afternoon Charlotte, our granddaughter, and I went to see "Beauty and the Beast" then Pizza Hut for dinner. She is 5 and very much like her mother so there was a lot of talking. She told me she liked the cartoon version better and I would have to agree with her.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Today's highlight was having my brother stop over for a visit on his way home from work. We had a nice visit and then showed off the Stinger B.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The sun made an appearance a couple hours before it set and I took this picture of it setting from our front porch. It was 47 degrees today and the predictors are saying 53 degrees for a high tomorrow. Just having the sun and blue skies was wonderful.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

We opened the shades this morning to blue skies and sunshine and our temperature reached the low 50's. Tom took the opportunity to get the leaves out of the flower beds along our fence. I brought more of our stuff in from the Stinger B and packed. It truly was a beautiful spring day in our part of the UP.

The sun shining through our maple tree.

Another sunset from our front porch.

Our daughter and her three children joined us for dinner this evening. Since, we will be gone for a week it was nice to spend time with them.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I have to admit we, mostly I, did not get everything done we planned on but we are moving forward slow but sure. This morning we are headed downstate to spend time with our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren and we are so looking forward to seeing them.

Hope you are seeing blue skies and sunshine.
If you have a minute, we love it when you take the time to leave a comment.