Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pictures! Part I ...more later :)

As mentioned in an earlier post, me and the kids were able to visit with three aunts and cousins while we waited in the Indy area--for Richard to return from a funeral in OK. Here's a photo of me with Penny, admiring our Grandpa Shelley's old, musty violin [ in Kirklin, IN]. : ) : ) We had a very nice visit (I think I already wrote about it in a previous posting)! :)


Before we knew it, Richard was back and it was time for us to continue on our trip....to Morgantown, WV [Richard's job was sending him there to take classes].
It was nice that we could all be together, but I must admit that it was a challenge. We began a little routine that made us feel more "at home". The first half of the day was spent working on school work. After eating lunch (sandwiches; no microwave or kitchen available), we'd play on the little playground that was behind the hotel, go on walks, swim in the indoor swimming pool, or go window shopping (no room in van for Christmas gifts; my Christmas shopping consisted of taking notes of what we'd buy later). We also checked out the local library. The second week was much more difficult because it snowed and was too cold/frigid to play outdoors, and the hotel people closed the pool.
The children had chores just like at home. They emptied the trash 3 times a day (hotel trash cans are SO tiny), and also emptied/refilled the ice in freezer bags that we were using in our Styrofoam cooler [no refrigerator available]. When we needed more towls, washcloths or toilet paper, it was Caleb's job to hunt down the maid. Richard would take us out to eat in the evenings, and we'd wince when he'd suggest Subway. No more sandwiches!!!!! ha ha ! : ) : )
I had wanted to bring a crockpot with us on the trip, but didn't end up bringing it because of lack of space in our vehicle. We all survived the sandwiches. : ) : ) : )
After returning to our hotel room, Richard would start on his homework, and I would take the kids swimming or read more stories to them. We were actually able to limit " hotel TV viewing" a LOT on this trip. A friend had loaned 2 books to me...the Methuselah books. They are for all ages, and are about a raccoon family who live in the forest and seek to serve the Maker, asking Him to remove the masks from their hearts, enabling them to live "Uprightly". : ) : ) I read them aloud...and we were able to finish both books by our last day in WV. These books were life-savers! When the kids were bored in the evening and there truly wasn't anything to do, I'd pull out a "raccoon book", and the children would squeal in anticipation. I highly recommend these books to you! : ) : ) : ) Yes, I had brought along other books to read , but these raccoon books were in high demand by my audience. The titles were "Methuselah's Gift", and "Methuselah's Heart"....I've given the books back to their owner, and now cannot remember the Author's name. Oops, should have written it down! I'll have to look them up online.
When did I do laundry? On the weekends. The first weekend, we were in a motel in Elkins, WV that had a laundry room for guests. The second weekend, we visited a laundromat while waiting for Richard to get off work so we could continue our trip to Pittsburgh and then to South Bend, IN. Once again, the raccoon books were a life saver in the laundromat! I must say, however, that by the end of the trip I was slightly hoarse from reading. :)
It had snowed the second week in WV, and the kids made a small snowman! : ) : ) They enjoyed the snow very much! :)
Let me go back to the first weekend in WV. We stayed in Elkins-- as mentioned above, and then drove around in the Beverly and Bartow, WV areas to see the different Civil War sites of interest. I had researched enough to know what specific sites I wanted to see. I'm not going to share all the photos on this blog because I'm afraid I will bore you! : ) : ) : ) I would like to share where my gggrandfather was killed in the Civil War! This is the little mountain road we drove up to get to the "Camp Allegheny" site. This road is part of the "Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike" that people used to get across the Appalachians in the 1800's. During the Civil War, the Union army cut off the Confederate's supplies along this road (which explains CW battles taking place near this turnpike).
How do you like the pot hole below? I was a little afraid we'd have to turn around and go back down the mountain w/o seeing Allegheny site....but Richard checked the depth/muddiness with a stick, and made the decision that it was safe (Whew!). : ) : ) Besides this huge puddle, there were other numerous ruts in the road all the way up the mountain. Quite a trip up there [I might also mention that there was no cell phone coverage--zero bars]! :)
Seeing the views below, made the 8 1/2 mile trek up the mountain worthwhile! :)
The second photo is actually a view into Greenbank, WV. Can you see the white radio tower in the distance?? :)

Once we arrived at the top of the mountain [4,400 feet above sea level], we found information signs telling us about the battle that took place there on December 13th, 1861. The first photo below, is part of "Camp Allegheny", and the second photo is the field where most of the battle would have taken place (across the road from Camp Allegheny). The third photo is to prove that we were there! :)
I had already known there was nothing to see at the site. For me, it was such an extraordinary experience being able to be at the place where my ancestor (with Union regiment) had left the turnpike a mile from the Confederate camp to climb his way up the steep mountain side, hiding behind trees in the forest-- across the road from camp Allegheny--waiting for the command to fire. He quite possibly was shooting in defense, as their "attack" was not a surprise as planned. I know that his regiment was on the "front lines". Did he fight in battle for awhile or was he one of the first ones shot? Was he wounded, groaning with agony, or was he killed instantly? Could he have been trying to save the life of a fellow Union soldier, placing himself in harm's way? Oh what pity-- with the knowledge that my questions shall forever remain unanswered!!! [I'm being a bit melodramatic] . I'm sure we can all be thankful I don't know the answers....because you know that I'd be writing about everything and you wouldn't want to hear the gruesome details. :)



See the forest above? Somewhere up there, is where Milory's troops (including my ancestor) first appeared on the battle field.


And here's to prove we were there! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) It was very cold and windy that day. It had been raining earlier, and I was so thankful the rain had quit so that I could enjoy seeing this battle site.....maybe I should say....so that I could "imagine" what the battle site was like on December 13th, 1861. : ) : ) : ) : ) I am also thankful we took this "family research road trip" when we did and not any later! It began snowing the very next day (in the mountain/mountain towns), and there was no way we would have attempted a ride up that little mountain road in the snow! : ) : ) :)


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