Monday, October 19, 2009

More Odds and Ends

Check out the Swartzentruber sisters. They make quilts, beautiful quilts in Holmes County, Ohio. Ron and I spent a day in Amish country, and had the privilege to visit their home and see the quilts. You should see them, too. Mrs. Swartzentruber asked us, "Where are your wives?" I told her that we weren't married, but I'm not sure if the situation sunk in.

The family reunion was nice. It was a pleasure meeting Davita. I hope that we didn't all scare her off. Joe and Karen's condo renovation project turned out fabulous. The view of downtown Chicago and the lake is unbeatable. Gracie and CJ love the unimpeded living room, and use it as an exercise room.

Coming over the Alleghenies, we saw some pretty colors. While we were in Holmes County, it was pretty rainy. Crossing the rest of Ohio and Indiana was anticlimactic, much like the leaden sky, overhead. In Chicago, Ron and I stayed at the Inn at Lincoln Park. Joe told me later that the hotel was slated for demolition so that developers could build a high rise and retail space, but when the property market crashed, the hotel gained a new lease on life. Pity.

The hotel was a little strange. Qualitywise, it's like an aging Quality Inn. You might want to stay on the lower floors, because the water on the upper floors wasn't always hot. The elevator is very European, as was the help, and the service. Very strange, indeed, in the heart of Chicagoland. The big plus was the bed. It was comfy.

Friday, we did some sightseeing with the family. Friday night ate at Bubba Gump's on Navy Pier. Saturday was at Karen and Joe's so that we could all see the new place. Sunday, Grace hosted a cookout. I made my famous Norwegian Potato Salad. Darryl is turning into quite a griller. We met his girlfriend. Karen, Joshua, and kids also came to the cookout. It was very nice seeing them.

This morning, Ron and I went to Millennium Park to see the shiny peanut. That place is classy. The fountain wasn't working, but the weather was beautiful, and we took a nice walk throughout the park and environs. From there it was out of Chicago, and on the road to Cincinnati, and we're holed up here in the Fairfield Inn.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Latest Exploits

This blog is suffering from neglect, mainly because of Facebook and ManHunt. I'm not proud to admit that. Neither of those sites requires the intellectual curiosity nor the skillful storytelling that this blog demands. In a weird economic way, the base drives out the precious and this blog turns to dross. Oh well. I should get used to that.

The biggest new thing for me is cycling. I sit in a more gingerly fashion than I did in the past. I've been assured that my butt will eventually toughen up. In the meanwhile, I've been exploring the bike trails about town. Jerry and I went on another bike ride, this time to Mt. Vernon, then back through Rosslyn. I'm slowly increasing my mileage. And I'm having a lot of fun doing it. The bike riding weather has been beautiful, and I'm enjoying the bike immensely. Thanks, Jerry, for your inspiration.

I'm back in the groove with Big Bang Theory. Season 2 has arrived from Netflix. Those boys should all earn a Nobel Prize in Physics. And don't miss Modern Family. Wow, what a Costco moment. I'm embarrassed and empowered in the same instant. If this is what it means to be gay. I'm all for it.

Today, Ron took all of our closet "treasures" to a flea market held at the Wheaton Ice Rink. Imagine a vast sea of crap, but floating on top of that sea, a table filled with startling treasures, tastefully arranged, and priced to sell. And that's exactly what Ron did. He toiled from early morning to mid afternoon, and very little was left on the table, as he closed down at the end of the market. I'm very grateful that Ron took on organizing our forgotten crap, and turning it into shining treasures that a lot of people decided they couldn't live without. Well done!

In September, Ron and I attended a studio show of Joe Jacobs, a local artist in Gaithersburg. I found a painting I couldn't live without, and proceeded to purchase it. Yesterday, Frames by Rebecca called and told me to come pick up the painting. So I did today after visiting the farmers market in Silver Spring. The painting is beautiful, and now hanging quietly on the wall, like a poem ready to be read.

Always for the First Time