Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Explanations are in order...

I suppose you are all wondering about the picture of my father's headstone and the caption "planting flowers on Dad". I guess you have to know my family.

On Saturday, 3 of my sisters (I have 4 and the 4th one is a book in herself) and I decided to plant flowers on my (our) father's grave. By total coincidence, it's the same weekend that we planted flowers last year. The cemetary is in White Lake which is about an hour's drive from where we live and is in the very beginning of the Adirondack Park in northern NY. So, after many side trips, stops and starts, we arrived at White Lake. The actual planting of the flowers takes us approximately 15 minutes. While we were planting, we reminisced about the house we grew up in and how it is haunted. I have actually written down the goings on in that house and each sister added an incident that I either didn't know about or had forgotten. Looks like a rewrite is in order.

Jolene, my youngest sister, gave our annual outing a new name - "Grave Day". And if you laugh at this name - good! I laugh every time I hear it. It seems she was working Friday night at the hospital (she's an RN) and was telling her fellow nurses that she was glad she hadn't been mandated to work another 4 hours on top of the 12 she had already worked. She wanted to say that we were going up to plant flowers on Dad's grave and all that came out was "I have Grave Day." Her coworkers kind of laughed and asked what "Grave Day" was. When she explained, one of the girls apologized for laughing. Jolene told her not to feel bad since we spend about 15 minutes planting the flowers and then drive another 20 minutes north and spend the day in Old Forge. We shop in the gift shops and have lunch. It's a nice outing and Dad would wholeheartedly approve. He was one of the biggest practical jokers I know. I cannot tell you how many ice cubes I had slipped down my shirt when I lived at home. He thought that was hysterical. When we visited his grave soon after his burial, we found dozens of radish "roses" among the flowers. It seems he used to steal radish roses off the salad bar at one of the local taverns and everyone who knew him in White Lake stole a rose and put it on his grave. (Okay, that memory is making me teary eyed). And the upshot of this story is that a picture of my father's headstone with the flowers we just planted on him is totally appropriate to post. My sister Michelle was getting a little nervous as she dug the holes for the flowers but I told her she had about 6 feet to go before she should worry. We are an irreverent bunch.

Don't you love the pictures of 4th Lake? It's the largest of the Fulton chain of lakes and runs from Old Forge to Inlet. That's a distance of about 10 miles when you're driving the road. There are 8 lakes in the Fulton chain. As I said, we shopped in Old Forge for a while and then drove about 5 miles north to eat lunch at Daikers Inn. (It's about halfway between Old Forge and Inlet.) I haven't been there in quite a few years and was surprised to find that they had built a brand new building. It's a great example of an Adirondack lodge. Log railings and sidings on the outside of the building and a large bar and firepit inside along with booths and an outdoor deck for dining. I could have sat there all afternoon drinking Coronas and talking. But Jolene and I limited ourselves to one Corona with lunch. Michelle and Lynne don't drink beer. Then I took pictures of the lake and we drove home in the pouring rain. It would not be the Adirondack Mountains without rain.

On a side note, Scott and his family owned a camp in Inlet for more than 20 years. We spent many a summer vacation at that camp and loved every minute of it. It's now owned by his oldest sister and his middle brother. We decided to buy a travel trailer and camp that way. I love my trailer (and you will be seeing pictures soon) but I think we need to take it up to Old Forge Camping Resort this summer. I love it up there.

Oh, knitting content? Well, the Old Forge Hardware has a nice yarn section and I found the size 13 double pointed needles I've been searching for and a Knitting Pur and Simple pattern for a basic cardigan vest. And they carry Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride wool which I cannot find anywhere close!

Now for Sunday. It will be quicker, I promise. Sunday morning Alek, Scott and I got up and were in Utica by 7:30 a.m. so they could run a half marathon. That's 13.1 miles. Alek came in first in the 20-29 year old age group which is why I have a picture of him on the 1st place stanchion. Scott also finished in good time. I'm the cheering section and do a damned fine job of it!

I hope you like my stories and will join me again. I have a feeling I'm going to have to post haunted house stories next.


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