Sunday, May 4, 2008


Thought I would start off with some photos of the trip. This is the Kensington, an assisted living facility in Hastings where I stayed the first night. It is a fantastic old hotel that they have converted. The chandelier is quite impressive looking into the lobby area from the 2nd floor. The marble stairs are worn from the many hotel patrons of years ago. Sharon is the director of the Kensington. One of the vehicles they use to take residents to appointments is a PT cruiser. Looks very cool with the name 'Kensington' done up in script on the side. It was a fun experience.

Our first stop in Padcah Friday night was Caryl Fallert's. We then went on a walking tour in the lower downtown art district where the homes are being renovated through their artist program. The baby giraffe is outside one studio/home and on the opposite side of the sidewalk the mama stands, stretching her neck up to the 2nd floor porch. One of my favorite pieces of art in Paducah.

It was somewhat depressing when I turned onto the gravel yesterday for the last stretch of the journey. In less than 24 hours I had come from a lush environment of dogwood, azaleas, trees trees and flooded fields to a scoured, wind whipped landscape.
The only thing that looks better now than before I left are the pastures. They have started to green up, but due to lack of rainfall and the horrific winds the day before on Friday, everything else is going backward. The wheat is showing signs of stress, tumbleweeds, corn husks, wheat straw and dirt are in places they don't belong and are not wanted. The fields that are conventionally tilled are a mess. This is a fragile area we live in and sometimes it is pushed too hard by the elements and man.
I remember my grandmother saying that when they left Iowa all those years ago and headed west, through Nebraska and on into eastern Colorado, she thought she had fallen off the face of the earth when they arrived and had gone to hell. She was around 10 and walked behind the wagon most of the way. As beautiful as this part of the country can be, it can also be harsh, brutal and unforgiving.
Due to the 70+m.p.h. winds on Friday, our crab apple tree is now one third smaller. I guess we won't have to worry about it hanging out over the driveway any longer. Fortunately the grill was not torn up when the wind blew it over and with some adjustments, the satellite dish is back on its signal. Really glad I missed all of the action on Friday. I do need to dust however.
The plants in the greenhouse have grown rapidly, good thing too as I need to start planting them into their respective pots. The monthly bills showed up while I was gone as well. It was fun while it lasted.
Time to unpack the treasures and start catching up to life once again.

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