Thursday, April 11, 2013

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

It was a whirlwind trip: 34 hours, 700 miles, 6 hours telling stories at a school, a visit with my brother, dinner with my nephew--and the surprising discovery that the lady who had hired me for the school was a friend of my brother! We discovered that fact about midway through the day's performances. West Virginia is really just one small town.

Another happy discovery was that my car did just fine on the long haul over the mountains. Remember that trip about a month ago when it overheated and my mechanic said he thought it needed a head gasket (which means new engine)? This trip I learned that the temp gauge only jumps into the hot zone when I really put the hammer down, pushing it into passing gear for an extended length of time. What's that all about? I have no idea. As soon as I let off the accelerator the needle drops back to cool. Weird.

The school, in West Virginia's eastern panhandle, is fairly new and has about 800 students. I did four performances, dividing the presentations by grade levels so the the stories could be changed to meet comprehension levels. The day went as smooth as butter, starting with preschoolers who ate their breakfast while I told them stories (one said, "let's just stay and have more stories!" Love it.). Then K-1, 2-3, and 4-5, with about 200 in each group.

I had planned to have dinner with a daughter-in-law and granddaughter  but when that didn't work out, I thought I'd try my brother Tom to see if he was available. Tom is a morris dancer, and as it happened he would be finishing practice just in time to get together. I had a great time talking and laughing with Tom and his dancing friends.

On the way home I stopped to have dinner with my grandson Jared and his girlfriend. We went to the Black Bear Cafe, a great place to eat if you happen to be in Morgantown, WV. Jared is working at the Hotel Morgan, which was built in 1925 and has spectacular oak woodwork inside highlighted by crystal chandeliers. Beautiful. You can read more about this lovely hotel here.

I thought I would see more signs of spring on this trip but it has made little advance in the region. There was even snow still in deeper ditches and dips along the road. Here and there a brave tree showed a little green, and the Bradford pears were in bloom in many places so it is on the way, if bot quite here. It was hot though--temperatures were in the high 80's!

We saw some lovely buildings in the small towns we passed through:

In Shepherdstown:

In Sharpsburg, MD:

 Also in Sharpsburg, a place I think I will see never in my home county:

A doggie spa? Really? I think I'm out of touch with current pet care.

Other views along the way:

And finally, home, where this pretty sight greeted us this morning:

Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. Glad your car is behaving - just gotta watch that lead foot. :-)

Sue said...

Okay, I have just one question. What is a morris dancer?


Michelle said...

It sounds like such a positive day. I teach 2nd grade and we haven't had a storyteller in a while. Love your views. We used to live in the Annapolis, MD, area and would drive to KY for vacations.

Nance said...

oh, man. I love to travel. To drive and look at houses, farms and fields. And store fronts. What is that field of blue? It is beautiful! and of course, coming Home again is always the prettiest and best of all. wow! what a road trip!

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