Sunday, April 24, 2016

And, Then, There Were Two

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

There were 4 of us, first cousins.  

Here we all are with our grandmother, Minnie.  In the back is yours truly on the left and cousin R, on the right.  In the front, left, with his finger in his mouth, is my brother Don and front and center, our cousin L.  R & L were siblings, Don and I the other set of siblings.

Don passed in 2014 and last week we received news that cousin L had passed.

And, then, there were two.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

She Loved Cats - - - The Poignant Cards

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

For close to two weeks, Man and I have been assisting in the opening, cleaning, sorting, listing,  of a family home up here in Rockingham County Virginia.

It's quite overwhelming cleaning out a family home. Poignant. Memories. Stories. Things not realized before, now learned. A little love affair. 

Cards filled with the same "sorry we could not visit". "Hope to come soon". "So and so is ill. " Moaning about the cold snow and sleet. Who is sick, married. Babies conceived and born. The threads of our lives.

Reducing a long interesting life to a few photos, letters and cards. 

Many cards trashed. The relationships and friendships at the bottom of a trash bag. Bitter sweet.

Tis a difficult chore, closing down a family home.

Cards with tons of cats on the greeting cards, she loved cats, and everyone knew it.  This collection from just a handful of the two boxes of greeting cards we found in the house.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yes, Tana, You Can Drive Lynchburg and Still Have an Intact Roof

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

As some of you know, Man has a very sore back.  We did have a schedule to keep this time, rare, but, we did.  He cannot lift his right foot to brake, etc.  So, that left yours truly doing the driving.  And, the electrical, plumbing, water, satellite plus all the normal inside packemup.  It’s not a problem, till it comes to strength issues.  I remember years ago with the Ford van and the Layton travel trailer I had to use a leveling board to wack open the sewer connections.  SIGH So, long story short, we managed, but those front landing legs are an issue.  I cannot pull the pin AND lift them at the same time.  So, Man pulled the pin and I lifted.  We got er done.

Day 1 of the run to the Shenandoah Valley was about 215 miles and fairly routine.  Not a lot of excitement.  I like that.

Day 2, however, was not quite as peaceful.  It should be noted, that Man is usually driving, I am usually the navigator.  Man does not use the apps, and, ok, I am gonna say it, his navigating skills are lacking experience.  You can make of that what you wish.  (Wink, wink)

It started out with a fuel stop.  Man does not want to put bio-diesel in Jolly the mean bad towing machine.  Dodge says no more than 5%.  Many truck stops run 20%.  It is an ongoing issue.  We deal the best we can.  So, I am driving towards Greenville North Carolina and he is trying to find fuel with all the apps.  The first exit resulted in a U-turn in a Family Dollar.  Nice parking lot, HUGE and two entry paths.  In, out, easy as can be. Go down the road. Second exit was a small station, with a direct pull in entry to the pump.  He pumped.  I got out and looked at the situation and did not like the straight pull out situation, mentioned same.  He found that I could back the rig up about 25 feet and then, note, straight back.  Then go directly cross the street into another and much larger parking lot for a U-turn.  Only when we got over there, there was no U-turn as the route was blocked by a fire department training trailer.  Now, my back up skills are seriously lacking, when it involves turns.  I stink at backing up and turning. Seriously, stink. I can do straight back, as I had proved cross the street.  We tried a back up.  Failed.  I then note that the paved drive seems to go around toward another road.  I get out and walk it. Yep, I can drive around on pavement and out another entrance.  Works.  All I can say, is I am really glad that the busses were not arriving for school pick up, cause I drove the wrong way in the busses only drive.  But, I got er out and we are off.

While Man was fueling, I took it upon myself to set the GPS to take us to Lynchburg. Then, promptly forgot I did so. HUGE tactical error. HUGE. Remember, Man is less experienced than I with following the apps and where we are. Intersections tend to sneak up on him and I found the new brakes work exceptionally wonderfully.  (Wink, wink). Anywhoooo, we missed the by pass stuff around Lynchburg and I blindly followed the GPS.

And, yep, next thing I knew, when I realized my HUGE tactical error, I was in downtown Lynchburg.  I mean, DOWNTOWN.  One way streets, the whole shebang.  My blood pressure was rising and my temper too.  And, then, I knew I messed up big time.  HUGE. Did I say, I really messed up??  Yep.

Now, if you look at this map.  I was supposed to be on 29, heading east, then, northeast, in this image, down towards the bottom, etc.  Instead I was on the 29 (business?) in the middle of the image.  I ended up off of that, and somewhere around the word, "Lynchburg".  I know we went over towards Madison Heights and then, somehow, onward to 29 and northeast towards Charlottesvile.

Man quickly redid the route, to Charlottesville, I kept heading Jolly and Tana in what my internal GPS said was the correct direction until he did the input and got us a route.  And, I did not encounter any low bridges, or anything. Tana, Jolly, Man, Sir Winston and I made it all the way though Lynchburg with nary a boo boo, cept my nerves were rather wacked.

Onward - - lunch - - very small Pilot truck stop found - - parking is parallel, thought I was in a moving lane of traffic - - nope - - oh, well, we are parked - - by default.  After lunch we had to drive through the scales to get out of this place.  Back on the hard road - - wagons ho - - 

Man looks at the maps and decides to go all the way to Charlottesville is a bit out of our way, so, he decides he would like to take a more scenic and direct route.  Now, remember, my nerves are already a bit shaky.  (Wink, wink.)

So, off we go on our “tour”.  I will say, that the redbuds up by Afton were stunning.  I will say, that this gearing thing on Jolly works out quite well, I think I have mastered it enough to get by, or get up and down the hills.  (Wink, wink.)  I probably slowed down the local traffic on the 2 lane roads, but, well, I’m sorry.  SIGHH.  

Now, his next “turn” decision did not turn out so well. It did result in another U-turn.  He said, let’s try 6, yes, there are a few semi-hair pin turns, but, it will be gorgeous, he said.

Till I turned and see the big ole sign - - NO TRACTOR TRAILERS!


Now, we need to turn around and get off of 6.  About 1/4 of a mile down the road, I find a larger drive and we discover it is the drive to a storage lot, full of RV’s and such.  Wooohooo, they can get them in, we can get Jolly and Tana in and out, there is room to turn around somehow.  SOOO, in we go.  Man gets out and walks the storage area, discovers a way around, and off we go.  Some tight turns, but, out of there, back on 6, and back on the original route.  

Sometimes you really should believe the GPS. Sometimes not.

The rest of the drive was basically routine.  We got to the valley, found a new campground, much easier to get into the one we used to use, also much cheaper.  It is close to the I-81 and yes, we can hear the traffic rolling.  But, all in all, we are pleased with this new campground, and they have red buds blooming.

And, let me tell you, after setting up the electrical, plumbing, cable (WAHHOOO) and most of the inside, I poured an adult beverage, watched DWTS and crashed and burned.  I discovered this morning, I never hooked up the computer.  Yep, I was that tired.

And, today, we enjoy the Shenandoah Valley.  We are here for a while, at least a week, more likely 2 - - or - - 

And, Tana still has a roof, intact and no booboos.  It’s all in the day of the life of a RVer.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Chipping at Brick Walls, Sideways, Or, You Just Never Know What Piece of History You Will Turn Over

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Man and I stopped in Walterboro, South Carolina for 3 nights, we have been here well over a week.  Has to do with a little issue of a very sore back for the dude.  While he has been attempting to rest and heal, I spent some time fussing with my "true" brick wall, that ends here in the Colleton County area.

Jefferson Grant and his bride, Rachel nee, Hargraves or Hargroves, or Graves, or Groves?? are some of the bricks in this wall.  The others are the family of one William H. Remley and his bride, Mariah (daughter of Jefferson and Rachel).

I reviewed my files, and decided what I could do about this tidbit of information:

1860 US Census, St. Barthelomews Parish, Colleton District, South Carolina, Jefferson is enumerated:
     Jefferson Grant, age 52, Overseer, value of personal property is $4,000., born South Carolina; Rachel J., age 50, born South Carolina; Thomas G., age 15, born South Carolina.  The family is enumerated on the same page as Joel Larisey and John Nettles and Fred Fraser.  Joel Larisey is listed as a Planter, with real estate valued at $12,700, which further research will show that he owned the Fish Pond Plantation.

I decided to research, Joel Larisey, because, why not, maybe I could find some collateral info on the Grants and the Remleys.

Well, I found some goodies over at Fold3.  I am going to need a lot more time to transcribe and absorb the information, but, I think you can see from this one page, that I have stumbled into some interesting history. So far, I have not really found any more on Jefferson Grant, but, whewie, this gave me a moment's pause:

"Specification -- In this, that he, the said, Joel Lariscy (Civilian) in company with others to wit: - John E. Lariscy, Oswalk Lariscy, Joel B. Lariscy, David Applebee, Peter Appbleby, William P. Appleby, Jefferson Rutts, Henry Z. Mack, Laurence Grisste + Marion Grissett, did, consipire to resist military authority, and did resist the same, by firing on an armed force, being soldiers of the United States, in the execution of their duty. - - the said Joel Lariscy, (Civilian) occupying a house situated on the Plantation know as Appleby's, about six miles from Georges Station, South Carolina, from whence the resistence was made.

This at the Plantation known as Appleby's, in Colleton District, South Carolina, on or about the 27th day of July, 1865."

This is not even all of this page.  So far, the Grants and Remleys are still MIA.  I'll just keep on reviewing, looking at all the facts I have accumulated with new data bases and online information and fresh eyes.  I have not worked my "true" brick wall in years. Never hurts to look again.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Key West, Fun Stuff and of Course, A Sunset:: Keep Them Wheels a Rolling - Winter 2015-2016

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Key West is small, but, is PACKED with fun and interesting things to do.  One of the things we chose to do was to visit the Little White House:

No photos are allowed in the house during the tours, did snag this nice photo of the outside:

It is well worth the small fee we paid for a guided tour.  Don't miss it if you are in the area.

We also walked around the area near the Mallory seaport area.  Nearby is the Old Post Office and Customshouse which is the official headquarters for the Key West Art & Historical Society.  We only walked around the outside where this great life like art was.

This was just a bit larger than real life, you will know why I say, just a little larger, when you see another piece:

Sony III zoomed in on this little girl having a sandwich:

And, then there was this couple dancing:

Maybe this will give you an idea of the true size of our dancers:

According to RoadsideAmerica dot com, this is a "huge Seward Johnson statue of a man and woman in full formal evening attire ballroom dancing, based on the Renoir painting "A Dance at Bougival."

And, the sunset.  We went to the Mallory Square for sunset.  It was fun.  Food. Entertainment. And way too many people.  I was shooting this magnificent sunset over the heads of hoardes of people.

Still managed to get a few nice photos, we do love sunsets!

We have one more day to discover what we can at Key West.  We found another fort/museum and let the day surround us in atmosphere,  including of course, food.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Ernest Hemingway Home Tour, Cats, Kitties, and More Cats:: Keep Them Wheels a Rolling - Winter 2015-2016

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Our second full day at Key West was spent seeing as much as we could, of course.  We started the day at the Ernest Hemingway Home.  When I reviewed the photos, it became evident, that it was more cats than house photos.  The kitties there are reportedly descendants from the cats owned by Ernest.  There are 40-50 polydactyl (six-toed) cats living at the house at any time.  They are well cared for, well loved, visited by the vet frequently.  They eat and live well.

They even have a variety of "homes".

OHHH, a pretty flower:

This Calico seems to be giving me the stink eye, as if to say, "really, person, must you take MORE photos of me?"

And, yes, there is a kitty cemetery:

Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Stewart, Mark Twain, Ava Gardner and many others are buried here:

Even Errol Flynn, thrown in a Gremlin for good measure.

Kitty and lovely tropical foliage:

In the house, furniture, with notes to not sit on the couch, do believe the kitties are allowed.

They are allowed on the breakfront:

Even the artwork is full of kitties.

And, yes, the curtains as well.  Look closely.  No, I am pretty sure these were not here during Hemingway's years.

This kitty found a quiet spot.

The writing space, can you hear the walls speak??

This kitty says, see ya later, I'm going to go lay in the sun somewhere, in the place I call home.

So, if you ever get to Key West, do not miss the tour of the Hemingway house.

*  Obviously, there is controversy in all things.  Even kitties in Key West.  Article from 2012.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

When Jolly is Too Big, Rent a Little Car, Key West Florida:: Keep Them Wheels a Rolling - Winter 2015-2016

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

A place like Key West can be a difficult drive and parking experience with Jolly, the wide butt big and bad towing machine. So for day 2, we rented this car, errr, golf cart, or whatever they call them.  No trouble parking this baby IF you can find a spot.

We first drove right over for a tour of the Hemingway House.  During the next hours we saw houses, drove by the cemetery, where we could not locate a parking spot (probably a good thing, I might still be grave hopping, ya know?).  We took in the Harry Truman Little White House tour.  We took the little car back to the rental office, plugged it in for a recharge, drove back to the campground for Sir Winston duties.  When we went back to town, Sir Winston went with us and had his first cart ride.  We worried if the noise might upset him, or the wind in his face, but he did quite well.  We parked, we walked, we stopped at Sloppy Joe's for a drink and a bite to eat.  Sunset was taken in at Mallory Square and then we drove around town for a couple more hours.  

It was a great way to see Key West.  I'll bring you several posts with the pictures of the day.  You know the saying, stay tuned.


Key West: Boats, Sunset From Fort Taylor: Keep Them Wheels a Rolling - Winter 2015-2016

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

While in Key West in December of 2015, we were told the sunsets from the beach area of Fort Zachary Taylor were rather nice.  Of course, we went to find out ourselves.

Here are boats in the sunset and the sunset itself.  Very little digital editing was done to these photos, they are pretty much just how Sony III shot them.

It was quite the sunset.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Key West, South and the West Martello Tower Gardens:: Keep Them Wheels a Rolling - Winter 2015-2016

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

During our visit to Key West in December of 2015, we drove by the "southern most point" in the US.  We did not stop. There was a line to get to the marker so you could take your photo there.  Parking was not good and well, I just did not need the photo.  Instead, I took a photo as we turned the corner and bought the sticker!  LOL

After a delightful lunch on the beach we walked a few feet to the West Martello Tower Gardens.  The tower is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  The Key West Garden Club is heavily involved in the West Martello gardens and has a very interesting page on the history. The foliage and some flowers and seeds were lush, of course.

One thing I enjoyed about this particular garden was the number of places to sit for a spell, and it seems that everyone had it's own special charm and decorations.

This guy was enjoying his solitude and was reading a book.  I tried not to disturb him.

And, there was this strangler fig.  Huge, amazing.  And, you can walk through it too!

Just outside was the Atlantic Ocean.  You can see the affects of the "tropical-like" climate. Lush, green, and huge plants. We enjoyed our brief stop here.