Cars, Campers, Trains, Bikes

So, here I am at McDonalds in Charlotte, Michigan. Now, if it weren’t for the internet I wouldn’t be here. Or, if it weren’t that I need the internet today as a part of my civic obligation, I wouldn’t be here. No it’s not this humble blog. If you live anywhere in Michigan you might want to check out the press release I just posted on the CACC website. I help that fine organization with their site. In fact, if you live in Michigan you might want to get involved and assist CACC in their noble mission, opportunities abound. If you live anywhere else, this press release is still worth a gander.

My route is the fun part. Last night, after we had a quick sandwich Papa drove Lex, I drove his car. We set up last night in a corner of the camping area, or more accurately, parked. We made the rounds, putting our chairs up front near this weekend’s action and visiting with friends and acquaintances. We watched a little hockey, we retired.

This morning, with Papa safely off to work in the Motor City, I placed my computer in my backpack (!), put the backpack in my bike basket, and rode myself down here to Mickey D’s to make the post, read my e-mail and so on. With no excuses, I decided to bore you with my day so far. Now, no self-respecting grandmother would do this type thing, but I gave up on convention years ago. So, here I am with my apple and diet coke, posting on the blog no-one reads.

Oh yes, the trains. For whatever reason, Charlotte seems to be something of a crossroads of trains. Now, there are no trains in the suburbs, or at least in my suburb. I remember trains from my small-town youth, but there is nothing like a few nights over here to refresh the old memory. There are train whistles all night. Really. It takes a day or two to get used to it and be able to sleep.

There is a reason for the trip, the music, the fun, and the friends. The 34th annual Charlotte (Michigan) Bluegrass Festival begins Thursday. The line up is good; we’ll see some friends in the audience, at the soundboard, in the campground, and on stage. We’ll visit, gossip, listen, learn, and enjoy. If you live in Michigan, joining us here is another worth-while activity. If you come, bring your bike and we’ll go for a ride! Now, if I can just ride back to Lex for a nap.

Rain, finally


It rained a measly half inch yesterday. Not to be ungrateful, but we could use a little more, this week please. I had finally given up and mowed on Thursday. I set the mowers up as high as they would go and did it. Had grandsons One and Two help with trimming and so on. This morning, as soon as I put the garbage out I fertilized the darn lawn. The garden looks great. I need to do a small amount of maintenance and then it’ll be good for the week.

We’re headed out to see some friends, some music and sit in our lawn chairs again this weekend. We are taking the camper tonight, provided I get the darn thing ready. I’m struggling, but might make it. This is the first trip for the Lex this year. We had cleared the entire thing out last fall, thinking we might trade (up or down). We finally decided gas for the one we own is cheaper than any new one, big or small. Strange, but it took 2 mostly sane adults a month or so to figure that out. Marketing on the new ones in powerful, and in your face. We use in only 8 or 10 times a year, and the rest of the time it is parked.

The kitten/cat I call Squeaky is very upset with the proceedings. Chloe, the other kitten/cat is off sleeping, but Squeak is under foot, in my lap, giving me dirty looks as I move the bags and food, and so on. She obviously knows something is up, but not sure how to stop me.

The Catties will be well taken care of, daughter Three will be home all week, so then will get food, water and attention. What they won’t have all week is a warm body to sleep by. grandsons One and Two are off visiting their father “up North”, and daughter One will visit with friends for the weekend, then retrieving grandsons One and Two. It’s summer and we’re in a hurry to enjoy it!

Suburban Deer?

We’ve seen deer before in this town of 80,000+, but that has usually been the Royal We. I saw one yesterday, as I journeyed to the mailbox. It was standing in the neighbor’s yard across the street. I startled it, and it ran up the street, and then back through our lot to a spot near the neighbor’s garden. 10 minutes later, it was still standing there, thus the photo.

Using Google Earth, we can still see some unpopulated areas where they must live, but fewer and fewer. Most of the wildlife has been squeezed out here, and it’s probably for the best we don’t see too many deer. They get hit by cars, go through store windows, and generally have a hard time in the city.

We need rain—wasn’t I just complaining about too much of it several weeks ago. We’ve been missed by recent showers, and everything is dry. Today, after a trip to the vet with the kittens I must mow the lawn, hoe and water the garden and water the plants. It’s an even day, so I can water outside. Everything seems to be on a schedule.

Grandson one is all graduated. He looked quite solemn and way too young. He was a great gentleman at the open house and has written his thank you notes. The Navy called and offered to look for a pull-ahead date. That means he might leave earlier than his scheduled November 8th. Life rolls on—out of control.

Tomorrow is the day

One day left. The rain we’ve been promised has never arrived. I have been watering the roses and they are mostly out. The lawn is mowed, the canopies are up. The food tables are up, the eggs and potatoes are boiled. Crazy, but this is all about one 3 hour party.

Everyone will converge tomorrow, and so far the weather has held out. We do need rain now, and we were skipped while the rest of the region got rain the past few day.

M-in-L and I went to daughter One’s office yesterday and she took out and bought our lunch. One has had a long road to her civil engineering degree and job, attending college with two small children. She wanted her grandmother to see the office, and she wanted the pleasure of buying her lunch.

Daughter Three gave grandson One his gift last night, since she will be at work during the party. It is a small wall hanging type quilt with photos of him as he grew up. There is room for his friends to sign it in the center. School colors, good photo choices, very cool.

Four Days to Open House

first rose

Some things are too beautiful to describe. My roses have cooperated and many will be in bloom on Saturday for the open house. Here is the first rose, M-in-L showed it to me this morning. It’s on my desktop now.

Shopping starts today. Last cleaning tomorrow. Food prep on Friday, including setting up tables & chairs. Papa will mow Thursday evening. Tents up after.

Last day of school for Grandson One. I hollered up the stairs and yelled that it was the last time I’d have to peel him out of bed for school. So happy, so sad.

Five days to open house

Mom is home, she went yesterday. They took away a medicine that could have been the problem, They did enough tests to bankrupt the medical system, got her straightened out, and sent her home. I’m thinking this isn’t going to be a permanent fix, but if sure fixes this week. I did talk to both my brothers during this latest event, it’s the only time I do.

Papa’s mother arrived with him, so our household will include M-in-L for the rest of the week. Lots of thrift shop trips, and other things I wouldn’t do normally. Detroit had record high temps yesterday. We turned on the air, I’ll bet a lot of people did. No other way to breath.

Cut my finger on a knife in the dishwater, had to clean the carpet and some other things were stained, including a couple of Papa’s shirts which I apparently hung up while it was still bleeding. Too many errors there, oh well.

The garbage is out, and another hot day is coming.

Seven Days to Open House

Well, the garage is clean, if you look at the front half. That’s all we need for the food anyway. Daughter One and sons handled that yesterday while I sat with Mom at the hospital. Step-dad gets tired, worry tires everyone fast.

Papa went up north as planned. This morning he and his Mom are out at all the cemeteries. They did my Dad’s plot for me. This makes me happy, since Dad was fussy about how it looked at Memorial Day.

Mom is a little better, and they are doing every test on earth to see how to help her be more comfortable. I’d be really happy if her appetite came back and she would consider a little shopping trip. We’ll see. I just hope she is well enough to come for the open house.

Back to the cleaning…



Mom is sick, again or perhaps still. She called from the truck, my step-dad her is driving her to the hospital. She visited her doctor and they just aren’t sure which problem is bothering her. Right before the holiday, right when she and step-dad had plans to camp with his family. He’s getting tired, and it’s so sad.

Whats to dig for after 30 years?????

I finally can’t stand it anymore and I’m going to say something political. This is the craziest wild-goose chase I’ve seen in years. Many people heard a rumor that Hoffa was buried at this farm (and many other places) 30 years ago. The same stories have been circulating for years.

Give me a break.

I found 18 recent articles in a quick search of the Detroit Free Press today. The evening news is disrupted by ‘breaking news!” oftener than not. I can tell you for sure that breaking news isn’t what it used to be. A view of a bunch of FBI agents standing around on a farm in Milford is not breaking news, it is a sign of action after 30 year.

Our dinner table conversation last night included a chance to educate grandsons One and Two on the history of the word “teamster”, a view of the Teamster’s union, and other conversation designed to help them understand why all the fuss. Remember, their parents were very young 30 years ago.

I’m watching our tax dollars being spent to create a media circus. Oh well, they do that in lots of places, I guess.

If you even care, here is where the fun is:


Barn is Victim

Forensic experts

Scientists Doubt

Day 5

Buried Priorities

Milford blushes in Hoffa spotlight

Pointless Endeavor

Officials sat on Hoffa farm tip

A carpet, a backhoe and two strangers

The hunt for Hoffa heats up

Lawyer: FBI knew Hoffa tip years ago

An End or a Beginning?



Grandson One is graduating from High School soon. Now, all you grannies know that we love ‘em all and treat them the same and on and on and on. But this is my first grandchild. He arrived new and beautiful into this confusing world very recently, less than 18 years ago.

With the exception of a few short years, he has been a constant presence in my daily life ever since. That makes almost 18 years a long time. He has grown taller than us, about 6-2 or so, and stronger than us, and has learned a lot over the years. He is well liked and even adults who meet him complement his Mom.

Tomorrow, he is taking a physical so he can join the Navy. For One, this is a good choice. He is bright but not a scholar, so college seems an unreasonable idea. Jobs for high school graduates in our area are few, far between and low paying. One parent, two grandparents and an aunt are a lot of authority figures of deal with for almost 18 years. A little space must look very welcome.

And, this choice was one for him to make, and one he has made. Perhaps this is a safe platform from which he can learn and launch. I hope so, he will always occupy a huge part of me, and I will always worry about him and pray for him.