Thursday, April 24, 2008

Between the Lines

On visits to Archbold, I frequently return with a few books or photos or even a tray of slides that Dad has found that might be of interest to me. This time Dad sent four little notebooks “mostly Mother’s vacation journals” with me (and some with Lou as well) “to read and keep if interested.” They are pretty much a log of what mom and dad saw, what they ate and what they spent on vacations. Things are understated, of course, these were travel journals, not a novel or even a memoir. Nonetheless, I loved seeing Mother’s handwriting again and connecting with her.

Like Mother and Dad, I am also direction challenged.

Drove around Pittsburgh a couple of hours until we finally found the route again. [Honeymoon 1940]

Started out at 7:30. Crossed snow capped Smokies with sun shining on them. Wanted to get to Cornelia’s so bad that we didn’t stop for breakfast. At Knoxville we went wrong direction about 25 miles so were 50 miles out of way altogether. Turned back again.
[Honeymoon 1940]

Like them, I lose things!

July 21, 1983: Lost the car keys, had to eat supper in Ramada Inn. Cost $11.55 plus .90 tip.
July 22: Cost $19.00 to get the trunk open, keys were there.

Oh man, I understand!

November 15, 1940: Thru Roanoke went on new, very nice Blue Ridge Parkway. Realized we were not supposed to be driving on that road as it was not yet finished. Ran out of gas at 12:30. Spent 1 hr. until we got going. Road workers helped us. They told us that it was illegal to be on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Took route 18 & were we glad to get on our way!!

But this one I don’t get! Except perhaps I do? One night when Bob and I were spending the night at a castle made into a hotel in Port Townsend, WA. We were thrilled to get the last room available—until around 10:00 p.m. when we got a knock on our door. It was other guests asking if they could tour our room because it was the haunted room. They tiptoed around our rooms—it was a suite—whispering things like, “Have you seen doors moving? Any creaky noises? Where did the murder occur?” Hmm. . . I had to keep reminding myself and Bob that God did not give us a spirit of fear and greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. The next day though we laughed about it. Maybe that experience loosely relates to this one.

Ate supper in cafeteria in Ashville NC. Stopped for nite in tourist home at the foot of the Smokies. Nice home. Husband was in coffin! Actually! No kiddin! [From Honeymoon in 1940] (Sure would love an explanation of that! Dad cannot remember so it must have not been a big deal.)

Is a great love for carbs inherited?

We had the most marvelous dinner at Berea at the Boone Tavern Hotel. We had things like corn sticks, cinnamon rolls, parsnips, sweet potatoes, fried apples, blackberry cobbler and the most delicious lemon pie. Dad had pork dressing I had chicken croquette. [Feb. 20, 1971]

I cannot resist “free” food either—though I am trying.

Plane take off at 11:02. Soon they were passing out dinner trays & what a good dinner. Piece of white meat chicken in nice dish of peas. Large tuna & tossed salad with French dressing. Roll & butter (generous) 2 crax & cheese, the most delicious sweet roll with custard inside & frosted for dessert & 2 cups coffee. So many people did not eat at all or left most of it on the trays. Can’t understand that.[Two hour plane ride from Port Au Prince to Miami on Pan Am March 6, 1971]

I, too, have always, always had hair issues. I am glad this story had a happy ending for mom.

Got off the plane 20 min. late & then the wait, wait for the baggage. Finally in line for luggage inspection. Now we can go, no! We got to be searched. The women seemed a little disappointed I was clean. Then no porters around to help. Taxi’s scarce but finally on our way to the beauty parlor. Arrived at 2:30, half hr. late but she was so kind & took me in. Frances Beauty Salon-at Coral Gables. [March 6, 1971]

My mother was very hospitable with guests in our home. I remember one time when she told me that a good host and hostess not only gave the guest their bedroom, they also moved their car out of the garage so the guest could park their car in the garage. This gracious hospitality was recorded on their honeymoon trip when they stopped for one overnight with friends.
Arrived at Ruebens at 9 o’clock. Had a very nice time there visiting. Slept in their bed.

Mother also had a couple of recipes at the end of journals that she must have received from people when traveling. Her recipe for Hungarian Walnut Torte from someone in Haiti particularly made me chuckle as she copied, “Put on rock to cool. When cool, fill & frost.

Mom and Dad’s faith in God was very much a part of their lives. Notations indicating this are sprinkled thoughout the journals. If away from home on a Sunday, they always found a church where they could worship and fellowship with other believers.

What a nice church about a mile down the road from where we were staying. Very interesting with different ones involved. The SS teacher was very good—no doubt a Hawaiian police officer. . .a young people’s ensemble sang and we had a good message by the Pastor. . .a young deacon from California took us back to the Market Place. . .

And at another church, I enjoyed singing with them.

Ate breakfast in our room, juice cold cereal, donuts & coffee. Had our devotions per usual.

We thank God for a Holy Spirit to lead, to comfort, to guide us to draw us to our Savior, the Son of God.

Home looked good, but Praise the Lord for a wonderful trip.

Mother itemized every expense even 2¢ stamps and did a trip expense summary at the end of her journals.

From their honeymoon 1940
Drove 1800 miles. Expenses were $47.92. Used 110 gal gasoline, about 16.3 per mile.

Or like this entry from their Haiti trip in 1971.
Gone 23 days. We figure our actual trip cost us $600.00 as it would have cost a little to live at home also & we gave our tithe. We actually spent $676 but figure everything at $600 over what it would have taken at home.

July 1983
Total cost of trip: $209.14
Total miles: 758

This little door peep hole into Mother was fun. She might think of it as an embarrassing souvenir. We just don’t know what our children will find after we are gone. But I do think she would agree that like Ezra on a journey (Ezra 7:8-10) the gracious, merciful hand of God was on him [her]. And in turn, I have been blessed and yes, challenged. And yes, Mother would approve of that!

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