Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday for the Odd

Today was an odd day out here on the plains. The wind was blowing and the temperature rose early and then began to drop in anticipation of possible snow on Saturday. The wind was especially noticeable at the museum as it drove the old windmills and wind powered farm equipment to clatter like demons. Made one heck of a lot of noise. I was at the museum for a meeting with a donor.The city owns and operates a very highly rated western museum, concentrating on the history of the area and the Overland Trail which passes along the edge of town. That makes us a bit unusual for a city of our size as not many cities own and operate a museum, and ours has a collection of the original buildings of many types and farm equipment and a one room school plus a lot of lore, artifacts, and history from the area. All spread out on a several acre campus by the river.

The meeting at 2pm was at the request of the donor who wanted the mayor to accept his gift of the final issue of the Rocky Mountain News to go with the archive first issue of the Rocky Mountain News from 150 years ago. The museum also has one of the early news printing presses, so this adds a bit to the collection, putting a capstone on it in a sense. If you are really unlucky, you will see a picture of me with the donor, me sitting on an old printers stool (about 1 foot tall) with my knees about my ears in front of the early printing press, looking like we are examining the paper hot off the press. I say that because the reporter/photographer from one of the local papers was there covering the event. The donor spent many years with the Rocky, and I think this  also allowed him to cap off his association with the Rocky.

After finishing up at the museum, I went home and changed and headed over to Mom's house. Mom is undergoing surgery next week that will confine her to a wheel chair for at least the next 6 weeks, so it was time to remove some doors and get the handicap accessories in place. Mom has been spending most of the week getting things arranged so that she can do everything she needs from a wheelchair. Along the way she has been creating a list of things for me to do when I came over today. It is interesting all the things you take for granted when you are up and about versus sitting in a wheelchair. So a bit later I had the list for today done and the doors stored away. Of course, I also had to get my plant watering lesson for the day since I will be watering Mom's virtual forest of indoor plants. I think Mom's afraid I will kill them - probably a reasonable worry!

Once we got that done, we headed to a local diner to eat. A number of our relatives seemingly had the same idea. Some background: Mom's younger sister G died some years ago due to cancer. G's kids are somewhat younger than me (I was the oldest grandkid) and I used to babysit them from time to time as we were growing up and G was still here. Mom is the honorary grandmother to G's kids' kids. (Parse that Emily Post.) G's three kids all have names that begin with M and one of them follows this blog and all three live here. The one who reads the blog requested to be known herein as M, so I'll call her brothers M1 and M2 just to avoid any claims of originality. M and her two kids and M1 and his wife and two kids all showed up at various times while we were eating. I am known as Uncle Dan to M and M1's kids. Mom and I got to see and talk to them as they waited for their food to come out. They'd come over and sit and talk with us and then return to their tables to eat.

It was nice to see the kids. M's oldest and M1's oldest are both 7th graders and seem to be shooting up like the proverbial weeds. There are all the signs of emergent teenager making an appearance. M1 described it as the 12 going on 16 age. I have read to some of the kids' school classes at various times for Reading Across America and other programs. You haven't seen excited until you get to their classroom and they get to introduce the mayor as their "Uncle" Dan. As everyone got ready to leave, Mom and I got hugs from the kids. It's been a while since L and I had a pre-teen threatening to turn into an teenager at any moment, so it's always good to be reminded of what they are like. Especially when one can then go home and not worry about it. (Just kidding!)

Time to get ready for tomorrow. Someday I'll have to write about babysitting M, M1, and M2. M threatened to kill me if I wrote about it tonight, so I'll have to wait until later. {*grin*} Of course she also claimed it exposed how old I am too. I thought the white hair already did that.


  1. This was a great post. Life in a small town can be interesting ---with everyone knowing everyone (and everyone's business.) We moved to a small town in 1987 ---about 2100 residents, 700 households. A neighbor told me the bank president had died the year before and she was disappointed that a home-town resident was not chosen to replace him. The new bank president had only lived here for 35 years. So, it will probably take us 15 or 20 more years to fit in. We hope to be in a warmer climate by then.

    We also have a town museum. I have read the history of the place, and believe me, nothing interesting happened here, except one ---around 1920 almost every home in town had a oil pump in the back yard, but once all that black gold was depleted, nothing much has happened since. But we sort of like it that way.

  2. It is always nice to see that people in power (albeit a mayor in a small town) live normal lives!

  3. I hope your mother's surgery goes well Dan


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