Archive for November, 2008

Work or Play?

November 20, 2008
Betsy 'working' on the leaves.  Fairfield Glade, October 2007.

Betsy working on the leaves, Fairfield Galde, October, 2007.

Yesterday was a busy day for the Adams.  In the morning we made our weekly trip into town to do our grocery shopping (we like the Senior discount at Krogers!!).

In the afternoon we decided to tackle the leaves in our yard.  The trees around us have lost most of their leaves over the past couple of weeks, and although we cleaned the leaves last week, it was time to do it again.  Actually it was past time, but rain and high winds kept us from doing much over the past couple of days.

But yesterday afternoon the wind died down and the leaves were dry, so Betsy and I decided we couldn’t put things off any longer.  Betsy is the leaf-blower ace — she can get those leaves to go where ever she wants them to go.  My job is simpler — I provide the muscle to carry leaves away.

We have one big advantage when it comes to getting rid of leaves — our yard backs onto the golf course and the maintenance people will use their equipment to pick up leaves from the rough directly behind our house.  Betsy can blow leaves from the back yard directly onto the golf course property, but the other sides of the house involve some work.  That’s where I come in — I get to carry the leaves to where they can be dumped.

Now don’t get me wrong — Betsy also works hard.  But she has this wonderful ability (see above) to make work seem like play.  Or should I say to make play seem like work?

Old Fort Niagara

November 19, 2008
George along the river wall of Old Fort Niagara.  October 25, 2008.

George along the river wall of Old Fort Niagara. October 25, 2008.

In 2002, when Betsy and I went to Niagara Falls the first time, we stayed on the Canadian side of the river.  One day we drove the length of the river from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and stopped at the Fort George historical site.  From Fort George we could see Old Fort Niagara on the American side of the river.

When we visited Kelly and Chuck last month we had a chance to visit Old Fort Niagara.  Actually we learned that there are two forts sharing the same site.  Old Fort Niagara, the historic site, dates back to 1726.  During the Civil War the garrison expanded beyond the walls of the fort and became the “New” Fort Niagara.  The last army units were withdrawn from “New” Fort Niagara in 1963.

The French were the first to occupy the site of Old Fort Niagara, starting in 1679.  Their first two posts were short-lived, but in 1726 they erected a permanent fortification.  The fortification, the “French Castle”, was designed to resemble a large trading house and is the oldest structure at Fort Niagara.

The British gained control of Fort Niagara in 1759, during the French and Indian War, after a nineteen-day siege.  The British held Fort Niagara throughout the American Revolution but were forced, by treaty, to yield it to the United States in 1796.  Fort Niagara was recaptured by the British in 1813, but was ceded to the United States a second time in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812.

The War of 1812 was Fort Niagara’s last armed conflict — it served as a border post after that time.  The fort was restored between 1926 and 1934 and is now open to the public.

To see more of our visit to Old Fort Niagara click HERE.

Why I Don’t Like Snow

November 18, 2008
A reminder of a snowy Indiana landscape.

A reminder of a snowy Indiana landscape.

Yesterday I talked about Betsy’s love of snow.  She even left a comment saying she wanted more!!

I admitted that I don’t share her love of snow, and the picture above shows why (That’s my Dad’s car).  I grew up in northern Indiana, and one thing we didn’t lack was snow!  We lived out in the country most of that time and the snow (especially the drifts) could be quite high.  If you’ve ever been to northern Indiana you know that it’s flat with nothing to stop the snow from accumulating.  I remember the highway department putting flags to mark the location of intersections, because once the snow got piled as high as it is in this picture, you couldn’t see other roads coming into your road!!

Although we lived in the country Dad worked in the city, so I also have memories of getting up early on snowy mornings to start an old John Deere tractor so my brother and I could plow a path to the highway so Dad could get to work.  Such fun!?!

Yes, snow can be beautiful.  I just enjoy viewing snow in pictures as I sit by a roaring fire!!!

The Secret to Betsy’s Happiness

November 17, 2008
Snow on a pansy, Fairfield Glade.  November 16, 2008.

Snow on a pansy, Fairfield Glade. November 16, 2008.

Betsy was in a very good mood yesterday morning, and the picture above shows the reason why.  Betsy woke up yesterday morning to find snow on the deck and flowers.

I   really don’t understand it, but Betsy loves snow.  We haven’t had what she calls a good snow for a couple of years.  The first winter we lived here in the Glade we had a 10-inch snow storm!  We had gone to Hendersonville that day and it started to snow as we headed back.  The trip home took twice as long as normal and we had to walk up the hill to the house, but that was a good snow storm as far as Betsy was concerned.

So although she was delighted to see the snow yesterday, I know that it only whetted Betsy’s appetite for more.  I want my bride to be happy, but I wish it was spring flowers she wanted to see!

A Moving Experience

November 16, 2008
Grandson Landon with his sister Avery.  November 15, 2008.

Grandson Landon with his sister Avery. November 15, 2008.

Yesterday Betsy and I had pleasure of attending the Bar Mitzvah of her grandson, Landon.  Landon is the oldest child of son Jeff and lives in Knoxville.  His Bar Mitzvah was at Temple Beth El in Knoxville.

The Bar Mitzvah ceremony traditionally takes place around the thirteenth birthday of a young man (Landon’s birthday is August 25).  The term Bar Mitzvah means “son of the commandment” and represents a boy’s formal acceptance of religious responsibility as a member of his temple or synagogue.  Landon prepared for his Bar Mitzvah for about six months.  During that time he learned and studied his Torah portion (which he read in Hebrew), practiced the prayers which he led, and wrote his commentary on the Torah portion he read.

Yesterday was only the second Jewish worship service that I have attended,  so there was much that I didn’t fully comprehend.  But the majesty of the service and the evidence of the faith was very obvious.  I’m glad we got to go.

Landon has a younger sister, Avery (see the picture above).  Avery told us that she will have her Bat Mitzvah in three years.  I hope we’ll be invited!

Proof Our Vacation Was Relaxing

November 15, 2008


I’ve mentioned a couple of times how relaxing our visit to the Smokies was.  Tuesday was especially nice as we stayed at the cabin all day.

The picture above was taken about noon on Tuesday.  I’m not going to mention any names concerning the identity of the person under the blanket!  I simply offer the picture as proof of the relaxing nature of our stay in the Smokies!!!

We’ll Go Back

November 14, 2008
Serenity Falls, Cosby, Tennessee.  November 10, 2008.

Serenity Falls, Cosby, Tennessee. November 10, 2008.

As I said yesterday, Betsy and I had a wonderful time in the Smokies earlier this week.  We got some much needed rest and enjoyed exploring a part of the Smokies (the eastern side) that we’ve visited less frequently than we’ve visited the western side.

Of course we hoped to visit some waterfalls that we hadn’t seen before.  We knew that this wasn’t a good time for waterfalls — November is one of our driest months and we’ve been in a two year drought.  But we always have hopes!

We did find two waterfalls that had some water going over them.  The most impressive was Serenity Falls, which is shown above.  Serenity Falls is on private property near the Cosby Campground.  There were three cabins on the property in addition to a farm house.  While talking to the owner we discovered that the cabins were once part of a small community that practically disappeared when the road through the area was rerouted.serenitycabin01

We were told that the cabins are now rented out.  One cabin, an old grist mill, is located at the base of Serenity Falls.  As the picture on the right shows, the deck of that cabin looks right out at the falls.  Care to guess where we’re going to stay when we go back to Cosby?

Some Mountain R & R

November 13, 2008
Bunny Brook Cabin, Cosby, Tennessee.  November 11, 2008.

Bunny Brook Cabin, Cosby, Tennessee. November 11, 2008.

Betsy and I got back yesterday afternoon from her belated birthday celebration.  We spent three days on the ‘quiet side of the Smokies’ in Cosby, Tennessee.

We rented the cabin, Bunny Brook, shown above.  One nice thing about going in November rather than August was that we had almost the entire place to ourselves — the cabins on either side of us were empty.

On Monday we did get out to do some hiking, but we spent most of our time at the cabin.  Now don’t think we were being lazy — we were simply taking advantage of the amenities of the cabin.  Two of the nicer amenities were no phone and no computers!  Since the days and nights were both cool we got a lot of use out of the fireplace.  But we also enjoyed the hot tub.  Do you have any idea how relaxing a hot tub under a full moon and stars can be?

All in all we had a wonderful vacation.

Driving Through Western New York

November 12, 2008
Lake Ontario at 30 Mile Point, New York.  October 25, 2008.

Lake Ontario at 30 Mile Point, New York. October 25, 2008.

Kelly and Chuck (my daughter and her husband) have lived in the Buffalo, New York, area for a little over a year.  One of the things Kelly talked about last year was apple picking, so she planned on taking us to an orchard while we were up there.

One thing about Buffalo that impressed us was that you could quickly get into the countryside from the city.  I’ll admit that I didn’t realize there was so much agriculture just outside Buffalo.

Kelly and Chuck took us to Lynoaken Farm, an orchard that allowed you to pick your own apples.  Unfortunately, it was raining when we got there, so we picked our apples from bins rather than from trees.  But they sure taste good anyway!

We also visited an Amish store (Yoder’s Country Cupboard) and another farm, Brown’s Berry Patch.  Brown’s has been a family farm for over 200 years and was interesting to visit.  In addition to growing all kinds of fruit, Brown’s also made some delicious ice cream — which we just had to sample!!

Since Betsy likes lighthouses, we also visited Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse.  The lighthouse is near Brown’s and is one of a series of lighthouse on the shore of Lake Ontario.

To see more of our drive through western New York click HERE.

Akron Falls Park

November 11, 2008
Lower Akron Falls, Akron, New York.  October 24, 2008.

Lower Akron Falls, Akron, New York. October 24, 2008.

A few days ago I mentioned that my daughter Kelly and her husband Chuck, took us to a city park in Akron, New York, to see a waterfall.  We enjoyed the park and the waterfall, but didn’t discover until we got back home that there are actually two waterfalls in the park.

Even though we only saw the one waterfall, we did enjoy our visit to Akron Falls Park.  The park is a 284-acre park that straddles Murder Creek.  There has to be a story behind the name of the creek, but I don’t know what it is!

Although it was close to dusk when we got to the park, we were able to enjoy the walk through the woods and the waterfall.  To see more of our visit to Akron Falls Park click HERE.