Monday, July 17, 2017

como park band

There's nothing better than enjoying an outdoor concert on a warm (but pleasant) summer evening in June.  This time I was attending a concert in the Como Park band shell in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The entertainment for the evening was provided by the Fridley Concert Band.  What a delight.  Very good music in an architecturally delightful old building next to the lake.  Rock on.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


This church has a beautiful interior.  I remember visiting here as a teenager while attending MYF youth day during annual conference.  The stained glass windows are absolutely beautiful and they tell a story of various important events in the life of Christ.  I was very happy to visit here again.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

mn capital

I spent some time in Minnesota this June/July.  As I was passing through St. Paul I was able to get this picture of the Minnesota State Capitol building.  This is a quick pic taken from a moving car.  I wasn't driving!! Built in 1905, designed by Cass Gilbert and patterned after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Capitol is a beautiful old building and is visited by many school children each year as part of their Minnesota history studies in fifth grade.  Thanks Miss Medchill!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Herbert Hoover (#31)

I stopped in West Branch, Iowa to visit the birthplace of Herbert Hoover.  I didn't know that much about this former president but I was about to find out.  He was born in this small house in Iowa.  His Quaker upbringing in this small town helped to form him into the generous man that he ultimately became.  He is instrumental in delivering aid to the Belgian people when they were starving.

               He was a big man so it was interesting to see his baby crib.  (We all start out little).

Here is his school.  Even though he left West Branch at an early age to live with an aunt and uncle in Oregon, he always considered this town to be his home.  This is where he and his wife chose to be buried.  The graves are very simple in keeping with their Quaker faith.  His presidential library is located on the grounds.  This site is maintained by the National Park Service.

Friday, July 7, 2017

here he rests

Abraham Lincoln is buried in a very lovely cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.  It is a public cemetery and is beautifully maintained.  His crypt is located inside a large memorial building.

                                            I felt very humbled to stand at his resting place.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lincoln slept here

Then I went to Springfield, Illinois to see the house that Abraham Lincoln lived in while he was a practicing lawyer.  What a beautiful house.  It started out as a small one level house.  The Lincoln's added on to it over the years and it became this two story house.  Not only did Lincoln sleep here in his bedroom, he was also known to take a nap on this very couch.  I can just picture him snoozing away.  This is a very well preserved house.  It is part of a walkable neighborhood of old buildings that have been restored to their original look by the National Park Service.  Go and see.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

a beautiful door

I was walking around Hodgenville, Kentucky and I came across this beautiful door.  The lines on the panels, the greenery and the flowers make for a lovely setting.  Something else that I know is lovely is the date of July 5th.  Seventy five years ago my parents married on this date .  This, too, is beautiful  and I celebrate this date.  To you, Mom and Dad.  Cheers.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lincoln's birthplace

I wanted to see where Abraham Lincoln was born.  I found his birthplace near Hodgenville, Kentucky.  The National Park Service has preserved the family homestead acreage and opened the area to the public.  It's free and, of course, it's your park to enjoy.  A replica of his birthplace cabin is housed in a rather impressive monument.  It's the FIRST Lincoln Memorial paid for by pubic donations.

There are walking paths and things to note along the way like the trees marking the homestead property lines.  There is a spring well on the property.  This spring, called Sinking Spring, is also the name given to the farm.  Abraham Lincoln lived here for the first two years of his life.  It was a short stay.....but what a beginning!!

Abraham Lincoln statue and quote

Right in the center square of Hodgenville, Kentucky sits a statue of Abraham Lincoln.  His birthplace is located in this area.  There is a museum at his birth site and inside the museum is a plaque with this quote by Abraham Lincoln that I think is very poignant.  "I happen, temporarily, to occupy the White House.  I am a living witness that any of your children may come here as my father's child has."  Such possibilities.

Monday, July 3, 2017

mammoth cave

O.K., here we go ...underground.  I made it to Mammoth Cave.  I stayed the night in Cave City, Kentucky and in the morning I drove the short distance to Mammoth Cave and hopped on the ten o'clock tour.   It is the longest cave in the world.  The rock formations are amazing, especially the pipe organ.  At one point the guide turned out all of the lights (they were low to begin with) and we all sat on benches in complete darkness.  That was scary but what was worse was the absolute silence.  The silence was what drove early explorers crazy more than the darkness.  This wonderful park is operated by the National Park Service.  The park is open for free.  The tours have an admission fee.  It's worth the trip.  I'd go again.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

stone river battlefield

Near Murfreesboro, Tennessee I located Stone River National Battlefield Park.  It is a civil war battlefield and is part of the National Park Service.  The headquarters building housed a museum with historical displays and information.

Probably the most meaningful part of the battlefield park was the National Cemetery located on the grounds.  There is a peacefulness here amongst the green grassy fields and the pines.  It is beautifully maintained and open for quiet meditative walks.  This is another wonderful park operated by the National Park Service.  Come and's yours.

driving through the rain

My Dad told me that sometimes it is better to drive through a downpour than it is to pull over and wait for the rain to stop.  The end of the storm line may just be a short distance ahead.  I drove through one of these storms recently on my way north through Tennessee between Manchester and Murfreesboro.  I could see the rain coming.  The highway was full of cars.  When it hit most people slowed down.  The rain was so heavy that it was hard to see the car ahead of me.  I wanted to be close enough to the vehicle so that I could follow its tail lights but not too close in case I had to stop quickly.  At one point the rain was so heavy that cars were pulling off to the side of the road and stopping.  I really wanted to do that too but I kept on going.  I was out of the rain a short time later and I just kept on going.  What a relief!!  That was scary!  Driving through that rain storm was a total white knuckler experience and I would put it at the top of the fright scale.  I made it through.  I'm fine.  But...hmmm.  Scary.