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Archive for the ‘Elmer’s General Store’ Category

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New Year’s Eve without the headache?  Quite simple actually.  Stay home, drink tea and tune into CNN to see how long it takes Kathy Griffin to have Anderson Cooper giggling with embarrassment.  Less than one minute by the way.  Being three hours ahead of New York we didn’t have to force ourselves to stay up to midnight. Yup — that’s how we rolled this New Year’s Eve.

Year in review shows were a blur of conflicts & terrorism, celebrity deaths and scientific breakthroughs.  For me 2016 was made up of more highs than lows with lots of in betweens.  Cycle of life stuff.  One of the most amazing moments of my life was being part of Team Megan in the delivery room the day our grandson was born.  Our daughter was so brave and a marvel to behold from the first contractions to the moment we met the most beautiful baby in the world Bowen Michael.  I’ve gone almost cross-eyed staring at those pinchable chubby cheeks and soulful blue eyes.

Ticking off one of the biggest items from our bucket list Chris and I hopped on the Harley for the “big trip.”  See the many posts below 🙂 The whole year was broken into chunks of: planning for the trip, being on the trip and post trip.  Thankfully I blogged as we went because I couldn’t hazard a guess as to how many state lines we crossed or remember all the places we visited.  We have so many memorable moments like the impromptu bluegrass festival At Elmer’s General Store, the chef who came out to meet us when she heard we were going to blog about her homemade flapjack syrup or sharing a beer in a hotel parking lot with another motorcyclist after a torrential storm forced us off the road.

In my own “gone but not forgotten” tribute — 2016 was a sad year.  My Uncle Don Lane and then his daughter, my cousin Jennifer Lane Robinson both passed away. And who would have imagined at my age and a grandmother myself that I would be sharing the news that my 96-year-old Nana was gone.  Joan Mary Collings was the matriarch of five generations.  Celebrating her birthday in July we gathered for brunch and she reminded us of the importance of family.  Yes she lived a very long life and no it wasn’t a surprise when she died, but I felt out of sorts for a few days.  Mopey that my Nana was gone.  My last grandparent — the end of an era.  And then I smile when I think of how our daughter described her as “a real sassy molassy.”  A proper British Nana whose stern and no-nonsense manner put me on my best behaviour as a child but when I did some growing up I adored her independence and sense of humour.  She and I went for dinner occasionally when we both lived in the same city.  We would share our funny dating stories and she once tried to give my phone number to a good-looking waiter.  We were pen pals and I treasure all the letters that were signed “with fondest love Nana.”

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My last visit and hug with Nana in August

Resolutions for 2017? I’m thinking along the lines of eating healthier & trying to be more physically active.  My husband totally surprised me at Christmas with a gym bag full of work out gear, running shoes and sessions with a personal trainer.  The “transformation” starts on the 16th and I’ll let you know how that all works out.

Yesterday I got an email from myself that I’d totally forgotten about.  Futureme.org is a website where you write yourself a letter and they send it to you a year later.  Here’s the last paragraph and I still feel this way.  Happy New Year !!!

You have enough !!!! More than you ever dreamed of actually. Be grateful for the house on the beach, a girl cave for crafting, a pantry full of food, a car to get you where you want to go. And married to your bff for more than 30 years. A beautiful daughter happily married and now a wee one. JUST BE GRATEFUL. Pray more, be silly more, get outside and breathe fresh air more, get to the gym more and one more reminder WRITE MORE.

Love Me xoxoxo

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How apt that thunderstorms were forecast this morning as we made our way to Williamstown, Kentucky to visit Ark Encounter, a life-size Noah’s Ark.  Locals tell us it’s the most rain they’ve had in ages and we kept rain gear on all day.

Only open for 2 months we were impressed how organized the whole property is from the acres of parking to the efficient people mover buses that leave every few moments.  I heard a little boy say “wow” when the Ark came into view.

For the loggers in our lives the Ark was made with 3.1 million board feet of timber and is the biggest timber frame structure in the world.  At 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high it’s HUGE !!

A staff member told us it cost $100 million to build and can hold up to 10,000 guests at a time.

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The attraction has many detractors because of the fundamentalist creationist belief but for Chris and I it was an amazing experience.  It’s a story in a book that I respect and whether historically accurate or not it’s a story shared by many cultures.

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There are displays explaining how Noah & his family may have fed and cared for the animals.  And I had song stuck in my head all day I learned at bible summer camp “the animals, they came, they came in by twosies, twosies, elephants and kangaroosies, roosies, children of the Lord.”  And while we’re walking along we noticed the soundtrack with animal noises and music befitting any Cecil B. Demille biblical movie.

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We spent a few hours walking through all three levels and probably if we’d been wearing runners instead of our bike boots would have stayed longer.  Emzara’s Restaurant (named for Noah’s wife) was also a marvel with seating for 1500 people.  With most students back at school we were told the past few days had been a bit slower than the up to 4000 guests a day earlier in the summer.

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Leaving the Ark we headed into Williamstown to find somewhere to sit down with our iPads and figure out where to spend the night.  Driving down the Main Street I saw “wifi” out of the corner of my eye and we turned in at Elmer’s General Store. Part general store/old fashioned ice-cream parlour/cafe/music lesson & instrument repair shop and live music venue it is a gem !!!!

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Over a hot cup of coffee we chatted with Megan, one of the store owners, who is a professional performer and when we lamented we hadn’t yet heard any Kentucky bluegrass she and Elmer got up on stage and started playing for us.  Goosebumps galore as they played a few of their own originals as well as Dolly Parton’s song “Jolene” and from Grease “You’re the One That I Want.”  We walked away with a signed copy of Megan’s CD and awe that a simple cup of coffee morphed into a bluegrass concert.

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We are overnighting in Harrison, Ohio and we keep asking each other “which state are we in again?”  Tomorrow we’ll be crossing into Illinois.

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Love & hugs from the road…

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