Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

Friday Funnies

July 31st, 2015

A Yooper was sitting at a down-state bar and asked the bartender if he would like to hear a Troll joke. (Troll is the term for anyone living “below the Mackinaw Bridge”) The bartender leaned over and said, “Do you see that guy in the corner? He is the local sheriff, and he is a Troll. The man at end of the bar works for the DNR and he is a troll. And buddy, I myself am of Troll descent. Now, are you sure you still want to tell a Troll joke?” The Yooper replied, “No, not if I have to explain it three times!”

An out-of-stater dies and goes to Heaven. St. Peter is showing him around. Everything is glorious. There is a music hall with every kind of music, all played with angelic perfection. The dining hall offers food beyond compare. And the residences, St. Peter assures him, are comfortable beyond all imagination. On their way to the residence halls, they turn down a hall where everyone is chained to the wall. St. Peter offers no comment as they continue down the long passageway. After a few minutes the man asks St. Peter. “If this is Heaven and everything is so wonderful why are these people chained up?” St Peter answers, “Oh. Those are the downstate Michiganders, if we don’t keep them chained up they try to go to their cabins in the UP on the weekends.”

Lempi took a job with Odovero Construction to paint lines on M28 between Munising and Marquette. The first day he painted ten miles. The boss was very impressed. The second day he painted two miles. The boss was a little disappointed. The third day he only painted 500 feet. The boss sat him down and said,” Lempi, how come you paint ten miles the first day, two miles the next day, but only 500 feet today?”. Lempi replied, “Well boss, each day I get farther and farther away from the paint can”.

Toivo was at the bar in Channing drinking a Stroh’s and watch the Packers on the television when a big tall rancher from Texas came strolling in. The Texan started drinking and bragging to Toivo about how much money he made and how many head of cattle he owned. He said to Toivo in a loud voice, “I can drive all day and never reach the end of my property!” Toivo replied, “Yah, I got a pickup like dat too, mister.”

Two Yoopers are roofing a house, when a big wind comes along and blows down their ladder. Well, it gets dark and they still have not figured out a way down, when the first Yooper gets an idea. He says, “Hey. I got this flashlight. I’ll shine it on the ground and you can climb down the beam of light, set up the ladder, and then I’ll climb down.” The second Yooper says, “No way. I’ll get half the way down and you’ll shut off the light.”

If you’re still unsure where Yooperland is click here: http://dayoopers.com/whatwher.html and if you’ve enjoyed this Yooper selection, please see my previous Yooper based Friday Funnies at: http://emiling.com/friday-funnies-9

keep calm

Hymns With a Message: Tis So Sweet To Trust Jesus

July 29th, 2015

In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. Psalm 56:11

How fitting this hymn is as I start my latest “mission” serving the community of Ironwood, since a missionary wrote it to express her faith and trust during travel.

Louisa Stead was born in 1850 and became saved at the tender age of 9. By the time she was a teenager she expressed a burden to become a missionary. When she was in her early twenties she immigrated to the Unites States and attended a revival meeting in Urbana, Ohio that would change her life with a ringing missionary call.

She made plans to go to China, but her hopes were dashed when her health proved too frail for the climate there. Shortly afterward, she married a man who drowned saving a boy during a beachside picnic. Shortly afterwards, taking their daughter Lily, Louisa went to South Africa as a missionary and it was there she wrote, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”

Louisa served in South Africa for 15 years and even married while being there. When her health forced a return to America her husband pastored a local Methodist church. In 1900, with her health restored, the couple attended a large missionary conference in New York that encouraged their zeal for missionary work and they offered their services again.

They arrived as missionaries in Rhodesia in 1901, “In connection with this whole mission there are glorious possibilities,” she wrote. “One cannot in the face of the peculiar difficulties help saying, ‘Who is sufficient for these things?'” But with simple confidence and trust we can say: Our sufficiency comes from God alone.

Louisa passed away in 1917, but her daughter Lily married a missionary and continued her parents work in southern Rhodesia for many years. No doubt trusting God every day.

Sunday in Michigan

July 26th, 2015

Isn’t a big Indian always a good reason to take a detour from morning errands? I thought so as I detoured off US2 to find Michigan’s legendary Hiawatha statue. The “World’s Tallest and Largest Indian” and it must be true because it says so right on his plaque. Hiawatha rises into the “giant” category at 52 feet (though his base may account for 2 of those feet). He weighs 16,000 pounds, including anchoring internal steelwork, and is engineered to withstand 140 mph winds. And, yes, Hiawatha has an anatomically correct rear end, though I did not photograph. Trust me on this.

Ironwood Hiawatha

While in search of Hiawatha, I drove by the Miner’s Memorial Mural which celebrates the region’s mining history. The 110 men in Miner’s Memorial Mural represent the thousands of men who worked in the Gogebic Range Mines of Michigan and Wisconsin. It’s beautifully done.

Ironwood Miner's Memorial Mural

A little further down the road I also passed the carved miners in from of the Ironwood Depot. In 2013 a single tree was carved onto three life sized figures depicting two miners, and a lumberjack. The workmanship is very detailed and striking.

R

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Now I had a mission. To photograph cheesy local roadside attractions. That’s when I looked up to see the Ironwood water tower smiley face that makes the water happy and smiles down on this westernmost Yooper town. Fun!

Ironwood Watertower

Back on US2 I came across the Stormy Kromer hat. It’s worth reading the history from the website: http://www.stormykromer.com/content/our-story.asp

Ironwood Stormy Kromer Hat 1

Finally nearing home, the world’s largest goggled ski bum stands at the entrance of the Big Powderhorn Ski Resort where I’m living. His little ski slope platform is labeled “Skiing Capital of the Midwest.” Little is known about him other then he arrived to ski the slopes in the mid-1960’s.

Ironwod Big Powderhorn Ski Bum

After a short break I decided to explore the National Forest Scenic Byway. Dedicated in 1992, it starts just north of the ski bum, passes the chalet and ends at the Black River Harbor in the Ottawa National Forest, following the Black River on its way towards Lake Superior. I hiked: Great Conglomerate Falls, Potawatomi, Gorge, Sandstone, and Rainbow Falls. I rested my aching feet at Black River Harbor where I sat and pondered being back on the shores of Lake Superior.

The Great Conglomerate Falls is a ¾ mile hike to view a very wide waterfall with a 20’ drop, which is divided by a wide conglomerate rock formation. It is the first of the five main waterfalls on the Black River Scenic Byway.

Great Conglomerate Falls 1

Potawatomi, which is barrier free, is one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the Black River and was the easiest to hike into. Accessible by the same parking area is Gorge Falls with a 34’ drop. Gorge falls is named for the deep and narrow gorge above and below the falls. This was my personal favorite of Black River Scenic Byway waterfalls.

Gorge Falls

Gorge Falls

Gorge Falls

Gorge Falls

Potawatomi Falls

Potawatomi Falls

Potawatomi Falls

Potawatomi Falls

downstream from Potawatomi Falls

downstream from Potawatomi Falls

But it was Sandstone Falls hike of ¼ mile that nearly ended my day. It’s ¼ mile vertical hike to view the least scenic and smallest of five main waterfalls. But the waterfall meanders over rocks giving it a unique appearance. It is located on a particularly beautiful spot on the Black River.

Sandstone Falls

Sandstone Falls

Sandstone Falls

Sandstone Falls

Saving the best for last, Rainbow Falls is worth the ½ scenic hike with many steps. The final waterfall on the Black River before it enters is extremely photogenic on the East part of the River. The waterfall has carved out a large pothole. Most of the river falls into the pothole, but some of the water, depending on how high the river is, goes around or jumps clear over this hole.

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

I read signs about some other minor falls in the area, but my feet were barking. They needed time to relax lakeside at Black River Harbor. In the 1920s the Black River harbor was home to a small fishing village. And the 32’ Nancy Jean was part of the fishing fleet in the 1930s and later as a tourist fishing operation.

Black River Harbor Nancy Jean

Not far from the Nancy Jean is a CCC built suspension bridge which crosses the Black River. This 193′ span was built by 200 CCC men in the late 1930s. There was a sawmill where the parking lot is, and each anchor for the suspension cables consisted of 44 tons of concrete. The concrete was transported to the forms via wheelbarrows. The construction of the East anchor was difficult because the wheelbarrows had to travel uphill, pushed by one man and pulled by another.

Black River folage

Black River Harbor

Black River Harbor

Black River Harbor

Black River Harbor

Black River moss covered tree Black River suspension bridge

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

I wonder what I’ll find next week when I venture off Schussing Road …

Bessemer Street

 

Friday Funnies

July 24th, 2015

A rental car was driving down the street when all of a sudden it started swerving.  The car was going back and forth until someone with a cell phone called the police.  A police officer pulled the car over.

A sales manager rolls down the window and says, “Officer, I’m so glad you are here.  I saw a tree in the middle of road, then I saw another and another.  So I had to swerve to keep from hitting them!”

The officer looks at the sales manager and then says, “Sir, if the trees you swerved to miss were pine trees and all the same size, then that’s your air freshener.”

Moral of the story.   When you are on the road and renting a car, make sure to get one that is like your own vehicle.  You’re used to the size of the car and how it handles, so it’s the safer choice. Perhaps my Enterprise customer service rep should have heeded this advise before offering to take me to the airport in the van and getting stopped by an officer on the way there. True story!

Passengers on a small commuter plane out of Chicago are waiting for the flight to leave. Everyone getting impatient because the flight was leaving late, the plane was full and getting hot, but the airport staff assures them that the pilots will be there soon, and the flight can take off.

The entrance opens, and two men dressed in pilot’s uniforms walk up the aisle. Both are wearing dark glasses, one is using a seeing-eye dog, and the other is tapping his way up the aisle with a cane. Nervous laughter spreads through the cabin but the men enter the cockpit, the door closes, and the engines start up. The passengers begin glancing nervously around, searching for some sign that this is just a little practical joke. None is forthcoming. The plane moves faster and faster down the runway, and the people at the windows realize that they’re headed straight for Lake Michigan at the edge of the airport territory.

As it begins to look as though the plane will plow into the lake, panicked screams fill the cabin but at that moment, the plane lifts smoothly into the air. The passengers relax and laugh a little sheepishly, and soon they all retreat into their magazines, secure in the knowledge that the plane is in good hands. In the cockpit, the co-pilot turns to the pilot and says, “You know, Bob, one of these days, they’re gonna scream too late, and we’re all gonna take the big drink.”

 

Out of Place

July 22nd, 2015

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20

Have you ever felt like an alien? I want to break from the Hymns today to talk to you about the uncomfortable feeling that you don’t belong in a particular situation or place.  I’m leaving Maine tomorrow and moving to a new place and new situation where everyone else will be at home, but I won’t. For many there is the natural tendency to withdraw within ourselves. But being an alien (or alienated from something) isn’t something new. I don’t mind so much.

Nearly 100 times in the Old Testament, aliens (or Gentile foreigners from other nations) are spoken of in terms of their relationship to Israel. But when we get to the New Testament, we discover that Christians are referred to as aliens in two ways. First, we are the aliens (Gentiles) referred to in the Old Testament who are now no longer aliens but fellow citizens of the kingdom with believing Jews. Secondly, all the body of Christ is referred to as aliens (strangers, sojourners, and pilgrims) on this earth, because our true citizenship is in Heaven.

If you ever feel uncomfortable where you are, if you feel a bit out of place, you should—because this world is not your home. Remember you’re just passing through and our treasures are laid up beyond the blue.

Sunday in Maine Part 2

July 20th, 2015

It feels like summer is over, despite what the calendar claims. I’ve been grateful to have two back-to-back adventures to treasure before leaving. I’ve even enjoyed the cooler weather and rain that have caused an exodus of July visitors leaving Maine feeling somewhat quiet. Yet, in Yarmouth the fun continued Sunday at Maine’s favorite FREE summer festival. I’m referring to none other than Yarmouth’s 50th Anniversary Clam Festival.

Yarmouth Clam Festival 12

The Festival mascot Steamer the Clam was created in 2004, and the human inside the shell is a well-kept secret.

The Festival mascot Steamer the Clam was created in 2004, and the human inside the shell is a well-kept secret.

Yarmouth Clam Festival 21

Yarmouth Clam Festival 7 Yarmouth Clam Festival 11

The Yarmouth Clam Festival takes place every summer and is put on by the Chamber of Commerce as a way to raise money for over 35 local non-profit organizations, churches, and school groups. The Clam Festival brings the people of Yarmouth closer through working and having fun side-by-side, giving and taking, creating and sharing, passing on traditions and making memories. What a creative way to build a strong community as visitors enjoy entertainment, shopping or eating a clams to help the community.

The Festival is FREE and all funds raised through food sales and parking fees are returned to the Yarmouth community through the work of participating non-profit groups in various forms such as: student scholarships, athletic equipment/uniforms/etc., maintenance of community parks and pathways, etc. I had to be a part of this. Along with approximately 100,000 of my closest friends from around the world.

Yarmouth Clam Festival 1

"Herbie" the Elm is believed to have been 212 - 215 years old when cut down in 2010.

“Herbie” the Elm is believed to have been 212 – 215 years old when cut down in 2010.

This man and his wife sat at my table and taught me what a Lime Rickey is.

This man and his wife sat at my table and taught me what a Lime Rickey is.

Yarmouth Clam Festival 16

I counted over 80 different types of foods featured at the booths. They claim more than 6,000 pounds of clams, 13,500 Lime Rickeys, 6,000 lobster rolls, 2,200 pancake breakfasts, 1,500 shore dinners, 400 homemade pies, and 6,000 strawberry shortcakes are expected to be consumed during the Festival. WOW!

Yarmouth Clam Festival 13 Yarmouth Clam Festival 15 Yarmouth Clam Festival 23

Yarmouth Clam Festival 17 Yarmouth Clam Festival 18

I was unable to attend the entire festival, however I was able to watch a clam shucking contest and the extremely popular Diaper Derby before the rain set in. I chose not to ride the horse and wagon ride in the rain. If you have never been to a Diaper Derby before, I urge you to run, don’t walk, to see these babies crawl their way to victory. It was a hard choice between watching the babies or watching the parents urging them on at the finish line. That was gut-busting funny!

Yarmouth Clam Festival 24 Yarmouth Clam Festival 25 Yarmouth Clam Festival 28 Yarmouth Clam Festival 29 Yarmouth Clam Festival 30 Yarmouth Clam Festival 33

Notice the mother closest to me has a ball and the one standing has food. Neither baby cared one iota. Hilarious.

Notice the mother closest to me has a ball and the one standing has food. Neither baby cared one iota. Hilarious.

Yarmouth Clam Festival 36

YARMOUTH, ME - JULY 19: Participants compete in the clam shucking contest at the Yarmouth Clam Fest in Yarmouth, Maine on Saturday, July 19, 2014. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer)

The Clam Festival used to be the Firemen’s Field Day, and the Firefighter’s Muster is a well-preserved and well-loved part of festival. I enjoy Maine’s sense of tradition and look forward to my next visit.

The Beth Condon Pathway is a beautiful paved path running along the river and parallel to the heart of the village,

The Beth Condon Pathway is a beautiful paved path running along the river and parallel to the heart of the village,

Yarmouth Clam Festival 5

Sunday in Maine

July 19th, 2015

For most people, seeing whales in the wild is an amazing, awe-inspiring experience. When I signed up for a whale watching tour this weekend, that’s exactly what I was hoping for before leaving Maine. I was waiting for a special moment that would last in my “bucket list” memory forever. And I got my magic (and freezing cold) moments with Eastport Windjammer Cruises.

It took a while, and time seemed to stand still before we saw anything. Then the captain turned off the engines as we floated by a nesting bald eagle and a small group of black guillemots. The small Black Guillemot may be seen swimming and diving around rocky shorelines north of Massachusetts and through Canada to Alaska. A “Black” Guillemot only in summer, it looks mostly frosty white in winter. Our guide referred to them as “Maine’s penguin.”

Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 2

Look closely for bald eagle nesting in this tree

Look closely for bald eagle nesting in this tree

Black Guillemot

Black Guillemot

Quite suddenly a minke appeared in the distance and we started off in his direction. The minke (pronounced mink-ey) whale is also known as the Little Piked Whale. They are very fast swimmers, capable of reaching speeds of 24 mph which made it difficult to keep up with them and get a photo. Supposedly they can be curious, and has been known to approach boats, but that wasn’t the case during my tour. Typically, minkes are known to spend relatively little time at the surface which makes me feel glad I had the chance to see a few. Their blow is rarely visible and it tends to disappear quickly after exhaling, but if you can smell it! Whew!

Minke whale

Minke whale

The area off Eastport also hosts Wright whales and Humpback whales, however they are late arriving this year. We did get to enjoy the shy and elusive harbor porpoises. Unlike the dolphins in Florida, the harbor porpoises are NOT inclined to approach boats and bow ride. They don’t know what they’re missing. They are small, only growing up to 4 – 6 feet and are very dark gray or dark brown, shading to a lighter gray patch on the sides. On the choppy sea it was difficult to decipher a wave or porpoise at times. Our guide said that the porpoises will get sometimes work together to get fish into a bait ball only to have a minke whale rush in and swallow all their hard work in a single gulp.

Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 15 Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 16 Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 18

The Atlantic harbor seals were not bothered a bit by our presence and were only happy to pose as we passed them by. Their gray or brown fur with dark and light spots, and each one looks different from the others allowing the guide to tell them apart and track them over the years.  Bobbing around the rocky outcrop was a fairly large group of gray seals. Gray seals are often found in the same areas as harbor seals and seemed very happy resting in a vertical position similar to a floating bottle, keeping only their heads and necks above water. They can be found from Massachusetts to the Baltic Sea using blubber to maintain necessary body temperatures. Even though I could see my breath and was bothered by the cold, it was nothing for them.

On the way back to port we floated into Old Sow, the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere, located off the southwestern shore of Deer Island, New Brunswick and northeast shore of Eastport, Maine. They call if “Old Sow” do the sucking noises it makes when churning, though I didn’t hear it. The phenomenon is caused by an extreme tidal range where waters exchange between Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy combined with the topography of the ocean floor and cover an area of approximately 250 feet. Tremendous water turbulence occurs locally in the greater Old Sow area, but it does not usually constitute a navigation hazard for motorized vessels with experienced operators at the helm. However, kayakers are warned to avoid these waters when the tide is running.

Eastport Whale Watching Cruise Whirlpool

The closest I was able to get to Campobello without my passport was passing the unmanned East Quoddy Lighthouse, rising majestically on the eastern tip of the island. Proudly looking out over the Bay of Fundy, it is said to be the most photographed lighthouse in the world.

Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 9 Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 10

Standing at attention at the eastern most point in the United States, the candy-striped West Quoddy Lighthouse protects vessels from the rocky shoals of West Quoddy Head, while looking across the water to Liberty Point on Campobello. It was just a short drive from Eastport to the picturesque site and the eastern most lighthouse in the US. It’s literally at the end of the road. Not much to do here but see the lighthouse and gaze out across the bay to Grand Manan Island.The West Quoddy Lighthouse was built in 1808 by the commission of Thomas Jefferson and automated, like most in the area, in 1988.

West Quoddy Head Light

This was a weekend trip I’ll never forget. It’s so rare to have the opportunity to experience these animals in the wild. To witness the surprise on everyone’s faces, absolutely captivated when the whale or porpoise would emerge from the dark ocean. It was exciting to watch the children on board become animated with the seals.

I encourage you to be engaged and amazed by your world, wherever you are, get out and see it!

Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 1 Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 12 Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 17

Deep Cove salmon farm.

Deep Cove salmon farm.

Eastport Windjammers new boat about ready for cruising

Eastport Windjammers new boat about ready for cruising

Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 26 Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 28 Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 30 Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 31

Captain showing us how lobsters are measured before keeping or throwing back.

Captain showing us how lobsters are measured before keeping or throwing back.

Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 33 Eastport Whale Watching Cruise 34

This 12-foot-tall bearded old salt clutching a fish at the Eastport docks was created for 2001 reality TV show "Murder in Small Town X."

This 12-foot-tall bearded old salt clutching a fish at the Eastport docks was created for 2001 reality TV show “Murder in Small Town X.”

Me and my lobster friend "Manny."

Me and my lobster friend “Manny.”

Hymns With a Message: There is Power in the Blood

July 14th, 2015

Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord (You are great, and Your name is great in might). Jeremiah 10:6

The words and the music to this hymn were written during a camp meeting at Mountain Lake Park, MD by Lewis Jones. Jones was a California native, graduated from Moody Bible Institute and spend his vocational life with the YMCA. On the side he wrote hymns. This, his best known, is particularly effective in resisting the wiles of the enemy. Such as in the story below:

One day as missionary Dick Hillis preached in a Chinese village, his sermon was interrupted by a piercing cry. Everyone rushed toward the scream, and Dick’s co-workers whispered that an evil spirit had seized a man. Dick, though, didn’t believe him.

Just then, a woman rushed toward them. “I beg you help me!” she cried. “An evil spirit has possessed the father of my children and is trying to kill him.”

The two evangelists entered the house, stepping over a filthy old dog lying in the doorway. The room was charged with a sense of evil. “An evil spirit has possessed Farmer Ho,” the co-workers told onlookers. “Our God, is more powerful then any spirit, and He can deliver this man. First you must promise you will burn your idols and trust in Jesus.”

The people nodded and Dick began singing “There is Power in the Blood”. With great hesitation, Dick sang the words, “Would you be free from your burden of sin …”

“Now,” continued the co-worker, “in the name of Jesus we will command the evil spirit to leave this man.” He began preaching fervently. Suddenly, the old dog in the doorway vaulted into the air, screeching, yelping, whirling in circles snapping wildly at his tail. They continued praying, and the dog abruptly dropped over dead.

As they finished praying Farmer seemed quiet and relaxed, and soon was strong enough to burn his idols. At his baptism shortly afterward, he testified, “I was possessed by an evil spirit who boasted he had already killed five people and was going to kill me. But God sent these men at just the right moment, and by Jesus blood I am set free.” Amen!

 

 

Sunday in Maine

July 12th, 2015

Do you remember summer Sunday drives? While growing up, I remember them in the late, warm afternoons. It could actually be Saturday or Sunday after church when tummies were full. Everyone and everything was at a slower pace in the summer back then, from the moment we all sluggishly got up in the morning for church, until the last firefly was captured in our mason jar at dusk.

So, when a Sunday afternoon would slowly come around, my parents would pile us in the station wagon, and take us on a drive. Mom might pack us treats. Dad was in the driver’s seat with the window down, confident as he drove his passengers across the country. We always traveled through picturesque country roads of farms and fields where I mother would take pictures of barns and long abandoned school houses. My parents conducting living history lessons as we passed, teaching me and my siblings that everything and everyone has a story and relevance. (This was the early beginning of my wanderlust)

Nowadays, many family’s Sunday’s are packed with sport practices and a to-do lists a mile long. I urge us all to slow down our pace, and plan nothing and let Sunday evolve. Maybe you can pack a picnic and take a leisurely drive. Like I did this weekend and was so pleasantly surprised at the way it unfolded in front of me.

Listening to the radio while driving along I came across a gaggle of clowns. Really. I stopped the car to see what was going on and I had stumbled into Corinth’s annual “Old Home Days” celebration. Serendipity was with me. After the parade, everyone was invited to enjoy a live band, car show, entertainment, demonstrations, carnival games, rock wall, bungee trampoline, mechanical bull, bounce house, prizes, competition games, chili cook off, baked bean cook off, whoopie pie eating contest, chicken bbq, lots of food options and much more! While that was all very exciting I had more adventure ahead of me before the sun got too high in the sky. Yes, Mainers love to display their affection for America and the flag any chance they get.

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days" vets

Corinth “Old Home Days” vets

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days" gaggle of clowns

Corinth “Old Home Days” gaggle of clowns

Corinth "Old Home Days" honored veteran

Corinth “Old Home Days” honored veteran

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days" antique fire truck

Corinth “Old Home Days” antique fire truck

Corinth "Old Home Days" petting zoo

Corinth “Old Home Days” petting zoo

Corinth "Old Home Days" most dangerous float

Corinth “Old Home Days” most dangerous float

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days" mobile crime lab. cool.

Corinth “Old Home Days” mobile crime lab. cool.

Corinth "Old Home Days" mobile command truck. It was huge!

Corinth “Old Home Days” mobile command truck. It was huge!

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days" transportation

Corinth “Old Home Days” transportation

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Corinth "Old Home Days"

Corinth “Old Home Days”

Weekend drive find on a country road

Weekend drive find on a country road

My final destination was the Orono Bog Boardwalk in Bangor. (Say the three times fast!) The 1 mile boardwalk loop provides the perfect way for people to experience the beauty and fascinating plants of the Maine bog ecosystem. It starts at the forested wetland in the Bangor City Forest and crosses into a portion of the Orono bog owned by the University of Maine. Along the way I passed through a wide range of changing vegetation and environments on its way to the open, peat moss carpeted center of the Orono Bog. If I lived in the area I would visit regularly to observe the bog and absorb its tranquil beauty over the changing seasons.

Orono Bog Walk

Orono Bog Walk

Orono Bog Walk

Orono Bog Walk

Orono Bog Walk

Orono Bog Walk

Orono Bog Walk

Orono Bog Walk

Orono Bog Walk

Orono Bog Walk

Where will your Sunday drive lead you?

Friday Funnies

July 10th, 2015

Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, surely I can’t look that old. Well, you’ll love this one …. I was sitting in the waiting room at the Prometric testing site yesterday when I noticed a name plate with a name I recognized. Suddenly, I remembered a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 30-odd years ago. Could he be the same guy? Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate. After my exam I asked him if he had attended Jamestown High school. ‘Yes. Yes, I did.’ he gleamed with pride. ‘When did you graduate?’ I asked. He answered, ‘In 1984. Why do you ask?’ ‘You were in my class!’ I exclaimed. He looked at me closely. Then, that ugly, old, bald, wrinkled, fat, gray-haired man asked, ‘What did you teach?’

While I was testing, a blonde was testing two seats down from me. She took her seat in the examination booth and just stared at the computer for five minutes, and then in a fit of inspiration reached into her pocket, removed a coin and starts tossing the coin and marking the computer screen, “Yes” for Heads and “No” for Tails. Thankfully, within half-an-hour she was all done. During the last few minutes, she was desperately throwing the coin, muttering and sweating. The moderator came into the room, alarmed, approached her and said, “What is going on?” She replied, “I finished the exam in half-an-hour. But I’m rechecking my answers.”

On a chemistry exam at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, one question concerned how to clean the floor after a chemical-powder spill. In detail, my friend William described the liquid he would combine with the powder in order to dissolve it with chemical bonding and electron transfer. He was pleased with his grasp of molecular structure until the exams were handed back. The teacher asked another student to read her answer. She suggested a broom and a dustpan to sweep up the spill — and got full credit.

 

 

 

 

Hymns With a Message: Nearer, My God, to Thee

July 8th, 2015

Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven. Genesis 28:12

Sarah Flower was born into the family of a prominent newspaper editor in the winter of 1805. Therefore she grew up enjoying the spotlight. She showed great interest in the stage and dreamed of being an actress. In 1834 she married and the couple moved to London where she could be near the great theaters. In 1837 she played “Lady MacBeth” to rave reviews.

Sadly Sarah’s frail health hampered her career and she focused on her literary gifts. It’s sad she wrote quickly and under compulsion. Among her compositions were hymns of praise to the Lord. Sarah’s close sister Eliza was a gifted musician and often wrote the music for the hymns. They were very close.

One day in 1841 their pastor paid the sisters a visit. He was compiling a church hymnbook and he wanted to include some of their hymns. He mentioned he was frustrated at his inability to find a hymn to go along with the upcoming Sunday’s sermon on the story of Jacob at Bethel in Genesis 28:20-22.

Sarah offered to write a hymn based on those verses. The rest of the week she poured over the passage, visualizing Jacob’s sleeping with a stone for his pillow as he dreamed of a ladder reaching to heaven. The following Sunday South Place Unitarian Church sang Sarah’s “Near, My God, to Thee.”

Sarah, and her sister both died of consumption in 1848.

 

Sunday in Maine

July 5th, 2015

Small towns have big hearts.

And that’s never more evident then on the Fourth of July. What this small town of Sebec lacks in population, they more than made up for in patriotism. I was able to be a part of one of the most enthusiastic, community driven Independence Day I’ve seen in years.

Just after sunrise Sebec Village hosted their old fashioned July Fourth Celebration. Starting with breakfast at the Sebec Village Community Christian Church, Sebec residents and visitors could spend the entire day jumping from activity to activity ultimately culminating in an evening of fireworks over Sebec Lake. Other activities included the community parade, 5K run, canoe races, live music, pony rides for the kids and a chicken dinner.

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The parade kicked off at 9:30am and was filled with fire trucks, classic cars, church and civic groups and anybody else that wanted to be a part of the 1.5 mile celebration. The rest of the town lined the route to catch candy being thrown from the cars.

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Then by 10:30 the annual canoe race got under way. The kayak race course was 8 miles long, and the recreational canoe race covered a distance of 4 miles. I was unable to be there for the finish, but I also understand that there was also a race of numbered, plywood teddy bears held at some point during the day. I guess the holder of the numbered teddy bear that reached the splash boards on Sebec Lake first won half of the funds collected for the teddy bear race. There was something for everyone.

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Watching all the families gathered together, I was reminded that as a child nether heat nor bugs were an issue of significance when enjoying outdoor activities. Nothing’s changed. I also had the privilege to enjoy the Southern hospitality and generosity of a group of friends for dinner at a neighbor’s home. Everyone gathered around the long table telling tall tales and laughing to outrageous stories that probably some of them had heard a dozen times already. This was as “All American Fourth of July” as it gets.

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We then capped the evening with taking desserts in the front yard and some lighting sparklers before fireworks being shot off over the lake. Want to view the fireworks in a whole new way? I was given a pair of 3D firework glasses and gained a new perspective on fireworks! It was psychedelic and only got better as the air thickened with smoke so the light particles were everywhere. It amazed me and drew audible “ooooh’s and aaaah’s from all of us! They made the fireworks extra special, but they could probably be used when viewing Christmas lights, too.

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Hopefully your Fourth was filled with great company, food and sunshine. I’m so thankful for the reasons we celebrate, visiting with friends and families, making cherished memories and I didn’t have to hand-crank the ice cream maker this year!

 

Friday Funnies

July 3rd, 2015

As far as holidays go, American Independence Day is just not as funny as Halloween, Christmas or Thanksgiving. Halloween is the runaway winner, followed by Christmas and Thanksgiving. Poor 4th of July barely makes a showing. But as summer approaches, and those cold weather holidays are a distant memory, we’ll just have to make do.

Father Hiram, the old priest, made it a practice to visit the parish school one day a week. He walked into the 4th grade class, where the children were studying the states, and asked them how many states they could name. They came up with about 40 names.  Father William jokingly told them that in his day students knew the names of all the states. One lad raised his hand and said, ‘Yes sir, but in those days there were only 13 states!’

As the Fourth of July weekend was approaching, and Miss Hillary, the nursery school teacher, took the opportunity to tell her class about patriotism. ‘We live in a great country,’ she announced. ‘One of the things we should be happy is that, in this country, we are all free.’ Trevor, who was a little boy in her class, came walking up to her from the back of the room. He stood with his hands on his hips and said loudly, ‘I’m not free. I’m four.’

Eric took his young son, Gavin, to several baseball games where “The Star-Spangled Banner” was sung before the start of each game. Later, Eric and Gavin attended church on the Sunday before Independence Day.  The congregation sang The Star-Spangled Banner, and after everyone sat down, Gavin suddenly yelled out at the top of his voice, ‘Play ball.’

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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Hymns With a Message: Amazing Grace

July 1st, 2015

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7

It’s hard to shake of our mother’s influence. On days that I want to give in, I can hear my mother’s quiet lessons. John Newton, author of Amazing Grace, was also heavily influenced by his godly mother, who in spite of failing health nurtured his soul. At her knee he memorized Bible passages and hymns. Though she died when he was only seven years old, he later recalled her prayers to him.

After her passing, John alternated between boarding school and the high seas, wanting to live a good life but falling deeper and deeper into turmoil. As a member of the British Navy he deserted, was captured and flogged. His thoughts vacillated between murder and suicide after that.

More voyages, dangers, toils and worldly snares followed. Then, in March 1748, John was jolted awake by a brutal storm that rose suddenly on him and his crew. The next day, fearing for his life, he cried to the Lord. He later wrote, “That tenth of March is a day much remember by me; and I have never suffered it to pass unnoticed since the year 1748. The Lord came from on high and delivered me out of deep waters.”

The next several years saw slow spiritual growth in John, but in the end he became one of the most powerful evangelical preachers in British history, a powerful foe of slavery and the author of hundreds of hymns.

Here are some things you may not know about Newton’s most famous hymn. His title for it wasn’t “Amazing Grace” but “Faith’s Review and Expectation.” It is based in Newton’s study of 1 Chronicles 17:16-17: “King David … said: ‘Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet … You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the rank of a man of high degree …”

There’s also a forgotten verse if you want to try singing it yourself: “The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine; But God, Who called me here below; shall be forever mine.”

To listen to Elvis singing Amazing Grace, click here:

Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.