Monday, October 31, 2011

Leggings & Leg Warmers

I was reading another blogger's post that they bought their first pair of leggings and I had to laugh out loud at the memory of my first pair of legwarmers. They also happened to be my last pair of legwarmers too. It was winter of 1981. I was a college student and I was working for a law firm in downtown Cincinnati. The movie Flashdance was a big hit about a dancer in NY and she was always wearing these legwarmers. They are these bulky sweaters that you pull on over your shoes up to your knees. They are like socks on steroids and they slouch and sag as part of the look.

So I bought these dark, navy blue leggings and legwarmers. I pulled the leg warmers over my ankle high boots with their little western heal. I had a giant-sized sweater on over top of this get up, that looked like a tunic and it was intentionally too big, so it would fall off one shoulder. It was the 80's. My blonde hair was super wavy back then and in the humid damp air I had some big-hair going on with big ear rings. I thought I was so fashion up-to-date as I walked into the law office for work.

The 40-something year old secretaries all looked up from their typewriters (that's right-typewriters!) at me as I stepped off the elevator. And I saw it. They all stifled a laugh when they caught a look at me. It confirmed to me my suspicions were correct. I looked silly. The next day it was back to my skinny jeans, hiking boots and leather blazer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Remember Dad

My father made his living selling insurance. One day he went to the local Christian bookstore. At the time this was a very large Christian book retailer with multiple locations, and they advertised heavily on Christian radio. As he entered the building, he had a cheerful heart being among fellow brethren and the atmosphere of the store. He approached the owner, held out his business card and said, "I'd like the opportunity to speak to you about your insurance needs." The owner took the card, looked at it, and then shoved it back at my dad and bluntly stated, "I only do business with Christians." My dad stood there and looked at his business card. His company logo was on it, a sales award seal, and about 3 degrees after his name. No bible verse was added. No little "fishy" symbol or "cross" symbol. Instead of defending himself, or explaining that he was indeed a Servant of his Lord, my dad just put his card away. Said, thank you for your time. Have a nice day. Then left.

I asked my dad why he didn't speak up and at least "meet the objection" as they say in sales lingo. My dad answered, he didn't have Peace.

Philippians 4:7 The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Trip to 1804 West Virginia (For Nerds Only)

On Saturday Olin and I drove to Wild, Wonderful West Virginia for a trip back in time. The drive through Ohio was beautiful. We crossed the Ohio River and ate dinner at an 1850's hotel. The patio garden was a nice place for an early meal together.

Then we headed to the shore of the Ohio River to await the sunset and to board a stern wheeler. The paddle boat took us to an island in the river in the pitch dark of night. No artificial light. All was lit up with candles and little torches were everywhere for a reenactment of a party in 1804 in the Blennerhasset mansion.

Olin's camera wasn't set up right to
take photos in the dark, but I wanted to capture the idea of all the burning candles on the island. When I walked off the boat we were greeted by people dressed up and in character from 1804.

The experience felt like we were inside of a play, not sitting in theatre seats but walking around the stage and watching and interacting with the actors.

It was really... really... well,


When we first arrived, we climbed aboard a horse-drawn wagon that gave us a tour around the island in the dark, trotting down a path lined by burning torches. We heard a little history of the island.

Then we got in the line to go through the mansion. We met Mr and Mrs Blennerhassett at the door and we went inside to have a look see. The party included dancing on the second floor with live music, music in the downstairs parlor. In fact there was music everywhere on the island.

Like I said, it was really... really...


The evening was perfect with an almost full moon and the West Virginian autumn air was cool with no wind. Perfect.

We ended up at bonfire and I heard some whippersnappers playing banjo, bass, and guitar and singing some fantastic blue-grass with a mountain twang and everything. I felt the young singer could be a star he was that good. As is fitting for October while we warmed ourselves by a bonfire a vivacious older colonial gentleman told us some true ghost stories about the mansion and grounds.

By 10:30 pm we had to walk back through a path of candles and climb aboard the last paddle boat back to Ohio. Olin drove home, while I slept soundly. At 1:30 AM my own bed felt fabulous. When I woke up, it felt like I had had a really weird dream. The end.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Wall of Hights

This spot in my house is between the kitchen and the family room, a very open area. I was silly to start measuring the people in our house, friends, visitors, and pets on this wall. Kids took over the practice at various ages. See where Sam wrote "wall of hights" when he was 7? Yes, we know an "e" is missing.

A foot off the ground written in faded blue marker is"Princess 10/2002" where someone measured our Corgi. Way up higher are other precious names & dates, and someone even measured how high they could lift their foot. In reflection, it's disappointing that some of the measurements have faded and worn off over 16 years. In fact I painted over the wall once prior to 2000 because I was going to sell the house. So there's 5 years of measurements missing. Yet, it's right in the open where everyone can see all its pencil smudges and magic marker markings. My advice to young folk setting up your home: Don't do this. Scroll below and you can see where to buy off etsy an attractive measuring vinyl hanging that can be taken down and put away, and you won't lose those precious measurements of life. I can't bring myself to paint over this wall. So here it remains all out in the open.