Thursday, August 24, 2006

I have a crop circle in my yard.

It is about 10 feet in circumference and consists of a doughnut of bare ground with a center circle of grass. I can think of no reason what could have caused it.

If it is a navigation mark and I am abducted by aliens, I promise to tell all about it in my blog.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Julia and Frankie picked up Adrienne at the Nashville airport on Thursday. She was here at my house on Friday and we were talking about Mississippi State. She had never been to State so I just said Why don't we go tomorrow? She said she would love it.

Julia had been to Nashville on Thursday and has to go back today to move Adrienne in at Vanderbilt for the new term so she decided she was not up to the trip.

I picked Adrienne up at 9 and we left. First stop was Saltillo, Mississippi, where we first went to the cemetery and I showed her the grave of her great-great-great grandfather Robert Anderson Webb, the Confederate soldier who made it to Appamatox. She was amazed at the name of one of her relatives there, Lucius Quintus Cassius Webb.

Then we went by front street to see old Robert A's house. It is for sale.

Then out to the country to see Dan Webb's house which I call Tara. It is a beautiful huge house on a lake. I think it is funny because the first time I saw it we had gone out there expecting to see the log cabin where my great uncle Taylor and great aunt Mag had lived. The contrast was great.

We stopped at the mall at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo where I suffered a great disappointment. McRae's is no more. It is now a Belk. First, Goldsmith's becomes Macy's and now this. I consider this a trajedy, this homogenization of the US.

We were soon down to Starkville where we drove over campus. There is a new visitors' center but we did not go there because I forgot about it. She loved the cafeteria as I have always loved it. It reminds me of a medieval banqueting hall.

In Starkville we drove by the little place where George Rodney and I lived when we first got married and the larger place where we raised our children. We also toured the Cotton District and saw Dan Camp's house.

Then we went to the Lodge. She bought a Mississippi State tee shirt for $6. I bought Emma a cheerleader costume to wear to the games this fall. Also I bought a 4 foot tall lawn ornament, a Mississippi State player with white and maroon Christmas lights on it. I loved it and at $63 I was splurging. But when I paid for it I found it was 75% off so I got it for only $16!

Back on the road back to Tennessee I remembered Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo. Adrienne was game again so we went there.

In the house itself we spent a long time talking to a widow named Billie. Her late husband had also been named Billy so they were HeBilly and SheBillie. We enjoyed our chat.

I enjoyed Adrienne. Her interest and enthusiasm for the everything added to my enjoyment. We talked all the way down and back. She is herself a knowledgeable and interesting person.

Adrienne is a great travel companion just as is her grandmother and uncle. Now I need to go somewhere with her mother Sonja. That would probably be great fun, too.

Saturday was practically a perfect day. As Laura Ingalls said, I will put that in my memory book.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I just watched a fascinating program on the History Channel, Grounded on 9/11, the story of the grounding of all aircraft above the country on that day. I have always been interested in this and there were several stories told that were new to me.

For example, many planes landed in Memphis because it had such excess capacity. There is not much activity in the morning but then in the afternoon all those FedEx planes are taking off. They did not leave that day so that left a lot of room to land planes. Memphis landed all they could(second in number only by Indianapolis) and then started sending planes to Little Rock until Little Rock called and said they had no more parking space.

They started sending them to smaller airports. They mentioned Wilson, which I have never heard of. Evidently they handle private planes but that day they had big planes from all the major airlines landing there.

There were two more scares, other than the four flights that crashed.

One Delta flight had an unruly passenger. They landed the plane in Cleveland and were surrounded by security but evidently there was no evil intent.

Another was a Korean airliner flying to the US. There was a miscommunication problem when Alaska air control notified them of the highjackings. The aircraft acknowledged this communication in such a way that air control thought that plane had been highjacked. (The international language for international travel is English.) For some reason, the plane was sent to little Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. Only one other plane of that size had ever landed there. The runway was long enough but not wide enough. They were afraid that with an inexperienced pilot the plane might have trouble with the gravel on the side of the runway. The airport is so close to the city center of Whitehorse that the town was evacuated. Luckily the plane landed safely and all was well.

Many planes were over the Atlantic and were too far to turn back to Europe. Those planes were landed, for the most part, at Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. We owe them a debt of gratitude for the way this small town welcomed the 7600 passengers that found themselves there. The people opened their homes and schools to provide shelter, and they worked to feed all those people.

There had been a protocol, never before invoked, to ground all planes. Afterward there was an inquiry as to how to proceed next time, in case it was needed again. An extraordinary thing happened. A federal agency had some common sense, and decided that more detailed plans would just hamper the air traffic controllers and to leave the decisions to them with their experience and knowledge.

This will probably be on again. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Oh, heartbreak. Poor George!

The Ruckers went to the Williamson County Fair yesterday.

They had a height limit for the main rides. Adam and Emma were just over the measurement and George was just under it.

Anne said he took it like a little boy, putting his hands in his pockets, looking down, and kicking rocks.

Once I was at WalMart talking to Janice when I noticed some key chains with really rude sayings on them. I remarked Who would buy these? Janice said teenagers.

At Penney's on Sunday, I noticed that type of saying on tee shirts in the little girls' department. Now grown women are buying those. All I can say is What are they thinking?

For example, one said "If you buy me things, I'll act nicer." Another said "It's all about me."

Friday, August 11, 2006

After stopping briefly to visit Mother, I went to Nashville on Sunday to be a babysitter. This week Anne was in school but the kids were not.

I went by Ken's mother's house. They eat lunch there and visit every Sunday afternoon. Anne wanted to go shopping so Anne, Emma, and I left.

First Anne bought some clothes. Then we went to Penney's. Anne had been there on Saturday and bought some things for Emma, including a pair of pants that did not fit. She said the shopping on Sunday was much better than Saturday when it had been a madhouse. That weekend had been a tax holiday in Tennessee, when school supplies, computers, and clothing could be bought with no sales tax. That is quite a break since the tax is almost 10%.

Anne wound up returning the pants because they did not have the correct size. I think she needs a seven which they did not have. She also returned and then rebought some other things for Emma that were on sale on Sunday with a considerable reduction but had not been on sale on Saturday.

Back in Nolensville, we went out to eat. I read to the kids and then they went to bed. Emma slept with me and the other two slept on the floor.

Monday morning the kids came to get me at 8. They are good about waiting till then and by that time I am very happy to see them.

They have a set of old fashioned games that includes pick-up-sticks, jacks, and marbles. We played those games much of the time on this trip. Emma likes the sticks and jacks; the boys prefer marbles.

First they built a base on the carpet to play the games. When they were little babies, a relative of Ken's was at the dump when a kindergarten or something was going to throw away a set of blocks. Actually they are made from two by fours. The blocks are of various lengths and are sanded and finished. There are many, many of them. The kids have played with them for all their lives. This is the best toy I have ever seen. They would have been worth the cost if they had been paid for.

After a lunch of spaghetti, it was off to the pool. Emma has vastly improved her diving. She now does a running dive off the board. The boys are more interested in playing in the pool than in increasing their skills.

Once Emma was sitting on the side of the pool when a boy came over and stood there staring at her. She looked up at him for a few seconds and then stuck her tongue out at him. He left. Don't know what that was about.

Monday night I discovered that Anne has a copy of William Bennett's book on heroes. We read a story on Abe Lincoln's honesty and the Valley Forge patriots' fortitude. They loved the symbolism of the shoeless soldiers' leaving a trail of blood in the snow. Tuesday night I read about Jackie Robinson. All of us are enjoying this so I will read more next time I am up there.

Tuesday was generally a repeat of Monday except instead of going to the pool, we took Adam to get his allergy shot. He is going into a new series of shots, that are adult strength and will sometimes mean three shots. He was a little apprenhensive but he is a brave boy and marched right in there.

Wednesday I took the children to the Nolensville library where they have been going to a creative writing workshop. First we had the crisis of the missing folders. Emma had hers but the boys did not and we could not find them. Adam said he had given his to George for safekeeping. George felt bad about it but there was nothing to be done. For once, Emma was helpful telling them that since they had no homework it didn't matter.

I don't think it did matter at the library. The workshop was for two hours. The library was so cold so I froze for two hours. Occasionally I went outside in the 90 degree heat for a little relief. I could not think of anything I had in my suitcase that would help.

At twelve I dropped them off at Margie Rucker's. She will keep them for the rest of the week. And I came on home. i stopped four times on the way, the bargain bookstore at Bellevue, at Dickson for lunch, and at the two rest stops.

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