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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Yes, I’ve been to Sturgis | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on June 30, 2022:

My Daddy and me – 1947

The week before Father’s Day, I changed my Facebook profile picture of a favorite picture of Dad and me. I was about nine months old which would have made him about twenty-six. You could tell that, even at that young age, I had him wrapped around my little finger – and I was pretty fond of him, too. While I was at it, I decided to change my cover photo. I chose a picture my neighbor Connie took of me and David back in 2014 during a photo shoot. You see some of the results of that day at the top of my column every week.

I’m not a very good model – I stiffen up in front of a camera – so after we finished the hard work of getting something acceptable for a head shot, Connie wanted to do some fun shots. She snapped a few pictures of us among the flowers in her front yard, and then she had us change into our biker clothes and move over to the old metal bridge on County Road 3200. In the summer, it’s shaded by a canopy of trees that she said would make a great setting for photos. I’m much more relaxed when I pose with David, and the results were some of the best pictures of me since our wedding. (His pictures are always good!)

I posted my favorite of the bike shots, and although I’ve posted it before, it got a lot of attention. One day last week at the Senior Center, Linda Pietila said, “We  got a real kick out of your biker picture, especially Rocky. He couldn’t believe you were ever on a motorcycle.”

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All Roads Lead to Emory | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 30, 2019:

All roads lead to Rome“All roads lead to Rome” is a proverb of unknown origin that has come to mean that everything you do and everywhere you go will eventually lead you to the center of things. In the days of the Roman Empire, this was true because all the empire’s roads radiated out from the capital city.

In present day consumer-driven American society where trends come and go at the speed of teenage whimsy, it’s almost impossible to determine where the center of things lies from moment to moment. However, I believe I have verifiable evidence that, at least during this past week, this small town was that center and that, indeed, all roads did lead to Emory. (more…)

What will 2019 bring? | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on January 1, 2019:

wasted time on facebookI spend too much time on Facebook. I don’t stay up until the wee hours looking at cute kittens or comparing what actors looked like then and now, but I do lose writing time, cleaning time, and other productive moments while keeping up with the current activities of my family and friends. Still, I do occasionally find little bits of inspiration like the one I saw on Sunday.

One of my friends posted a cartoon in which two mouse-like creatures were perched on the three-dimensional numerals “2019.” The first mouse was standing with his arms crossed, worry lines around his eyes, and drops of sweat popping off his forehead. The second was on his knees with an eager look on his face as he dug into the surface of the big zero. Their conversation went like this: (more…)

Kitty’s Camping Experience | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 14, 2018:

Kitty on the dashboardLast week’s column ended with the comment that David was anxious to take our motor home, which is being made road ready after six years of sitting idle in our backyard, on a test run to a local campground to see what items other than the refrigerator and generator need attention. As it turned out, he was more anxious than I thought – last week we spent four days at Thousand Trails in Point.

After checking our calendar, scheduling an outing became a now-or-much-later decision since I will be recovering from rotator cuff surgery for the next several weeks. David opted for now, and I began making lists. Sunday after church we began shuttling back and forth between the house and the coach with armloads of clothes, food, and Kitty necessities. I almost backed out when David told me that I wouldn’t be able to use the refrigerator after all, but I simplified my menu plan and added an ice chest to my list.

One of the first things David did once preparations were underway was to get Kitty’s carrier out of the shed. In the interest of safety – both hers and ours – we had agreed that it was not a good idea to let her roam free while the motor home was underway. When he brought it into the house, David put the carrier on top of a box, and Kitty immediately gave it a good sniffing, stretching up on her hind legs to reach it. I put it down on the floor and opened the door, and she went inside and lay down. She was ready to go.

She rode quietly to the campground, but when we arrived and opened her door, she immediately disappeared. After we hooked up the water, electricity, and sewer and put out the slides, I went looking for her. I found her in the bedroom, crouched on a nightstand under a corner of the comforter. We didn’t see much of her until bedtime. She wasn’t interested in dinner, but when I brushed my teeth, she appeared in the bathroom, waiting expectantly for her nightly treats. After scarfing them down, she spent most of the night snuggled against my legs or lying between David and me.

We decided not to leave her alone in an unfamiliar environment, so Monday morning David dropped me at the church and took Kitty to the house. He said she took about four steps into the living room and collapsed on the floor as if exhausted from her ordeal. That afternoon when the three of us drove back to the campground, she was not quite as ready to go as she had been the day before. David had to coax her into the carrier with treats, and she whined a bit in the car. Once she was released in the motor home, she nibbled a few bites of kibble and disappeared into the bedroom again.

After the dinner dishes had been washed and put away and we were settled down with our computers, she ventured out of her hiding place, creeping warily through the hallway and scurrying back to safety at the slightest noise. She finally made it to David’s chair where she demanded constant petting and reassurance.

Each day she became a little braver, jumping up on the back of the sofa or the dashboard and inspecting the new scenery she discovered outside the windows. She spent most of the nights on the bed with us, but I did find her on the floor in front of the driver’s seat a morning or two. The last evening before we came home, she had become comfortable enough with her surroundings that we brought out the squirt bottle to let her know that kitchen counters and dining tables are off limits even when camping. She finally settled on the middle of the dashboard as the appropriate perch from which to survey and rule her new kingdom.

We’re all back home now after a successful test run, and we’re looking forward to venturing a little further soon. Kitty seems to have suffered no ill effects from her first camping adventure. Hopefully, next time she’ll adjust more quickly – and hopefully, next time we’ll have a working refrigerator.

Blessings,

Linda

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On the road again? | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 3, 2018:

Campsite up closeIf you’ve read my memoir, or if you’ve driven through our neighborhood, you know that David and I have a 40-foot motor home. After we purchased it in 2007, we spent many happy weekends at Florida state parks and campgrounds. We went on several two-three month adventures, and after we sold our Florida house just before Christmas in 2010, we made our way slowly west, arriving in Emory in mid-February, 2011. In July of that year, we went back to Florida for a couple of months to visit friends and doctors.

By the time we returned to Emory that fall, the price of diesel had risen so high that we parked the Eagle in the back yard. For several months last year, she was moved a few miles east where she provided temporary living quarters to a friend who lost his home in the tornado. Aside from that, she has served as our guest room for the last several years. (more…)

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