Monday, June 19, 2017

A Food And Road Adventure Kind Of Week Of Thankfuls

I wrote last weekend's TToT before the weekend, so this 'un is going to wrap two weekends up in one. 

1. I went to my dad's last Saturday, and he and I went to an auction that afternoon about five miles north of town. We didn't stay very long (it was HOT), and there wasn't anything we were terribly interested in (it was some household goods and the rest was all taxidermy supplies, guns, and sundry other items), but country auctions make for great people watching and are very entertaining. This one in particular had drawn about 15 Old Order Mennonite men and boys, and it was particularly enjoyable to watch the boys sitting on and admiring some ride-on mowers and motorcycles that were up for auction. 

They can't ride them, but they can admire them.

Lots of men, standing around. 

Watching as guns are auctioned.

Horses and buggies tied up in the shade.

2. We left the auction with the intention of going back to the house. My dad rode shotgun and was in charge of directions, and we took a side trip past where my grandma had once lived, then ended up driving all over that part of the country, turning randomly here and there. We took gravel roads and one lane bridges, and eventually, we were close enough to the tiny town of Hume to make it worth going there for lunch. We went to Sisters & Friends Restaurant, and I had one of the tastiest hamburgers I've had in a long time. My dad got a pork tenderloin sandwich that was as big as a plate. We left full and happy.

3. My husband, dad and I went to the stock car races that night. THIS is small town living in the midwest and south! Didja know stock car racing began during prohibition, when illegal moonshine was transported in souped up cars, at night, with no headlights, along winding country roads, as the drivers eluded the "revenooers"? The last time we went to the races, the College Boy (still need a name for him now that he's graduated) was two, and he played in the gravel under the bleachers the whole time. My dad always loved going to the races; my mom, not as much, but she went with him. After they bought the lake house, though, they spent their weekends at the lake and stopped attending stock car races. I'm so happy we finally made it back there this weekend. Very little has changed with the track, and it felt a little as if we stepped back in time about thirty years.

Green flag.

Me and my daddy at the races.

4. The day had been hot, but there was a stiff breeze that made the temperature that evening quite pleasant.

5. So the Nevada Speedway is a 1/4 mile dirt track. Know what happens when cars go flying by a few feet away from you on a dirt track? You get some dirt thrown on you. When you factor in some wind, you end up covered with a pretty good layer of dirt. On your skin. In your eyes. In your hair, all the way to the scalp. In your teeth. It's okay; I'm washable.

Here's one improvement at the ol' Speedway: the bathrooms have been upgraded. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the bathrooms were indoors, and they DID flush, but there were no doors on the stalls. No. Doors. NO. DOORS. So, SO thankful for the upgrade. SO thankful.

6. My dad really enjoyed the evening and had no problem walking into the venue or with the gravel under the bleachers. He said several times, "This has been a really fun day!" and he was right.

7. I met two friends for dinner one evening this week, and we talked and laughed for two and a half hours.

With Allison and Amy after our marathon dinner.

8. Emma and I drove to Kansas City (everything's up-to-date there, you know) on Thursday and did a little Going To College shopping. We love our girl getaways, even if it's only a day trip.

9. This weekend, my husband, the College Boy and I headed to the lake house, because my dad wanted to take us to an old grist mill turned recreation area (College Boy opted out of this activity and went to a water park with his girlfriend instead). It was 70 miles away by road, probably 40 as the crow flies, and took us two and a half hours to get there (we could have made it in two, but Barfy McBarf Barf in the back seat got queasy the last fifteen miles of twisty roadways, and I had to slow down considerably). The place is called Rockbridge and has lodging (cabins and such) and a restaurant, and the creek is stocked with rainbow trout. We couldn't go inside the grist mill, as the floods in April caused considerable damage to it, but we walked down to the creek and then ate at the restaurant, where I had yet another tasty hamburger to cap off my week.

Creek flowing over the dam at the grist mill.

Trout lurking in the water.

10. Before leaving for the lake, my dad came by my house so he and I could go to the Spiva Center and see a sculpture exhibit by the man who lives across the street from the lake house. His name is Tim Cherry, he's extremely talented, and if you ever hear that he will have an exhibit at an art gallery near you, go see it! 

All three of these are bronze sculptures.

Man, I had a busy week, but not too busy to give thanks.

Ten Things of Thankful


  1. Wow! Those are beautiful pieces of art!
    The picture of the dam at the grist mill reminds me of some photos I have seen of places in Arkansas. (My mother lived her early years in Crawford Co. AR, in the NW part of AR.)
    It looks like you and your Dad were enjoying every minute at the races. So good you are "washable." LOL
    When I was growing up there were some Old Order Mennonites in the area where I live. I enjoyed seeing them with their horses and buggies at the farm auctions my Dad sometimes attended.
    How interesting to hear how the illegal moonshine was transported in the old days.

    1. The sculptures were AMAZING! Most of them were in bronze, but (and I know NOTHING about art) some looked liked they were carved out of stone.
      There are lots of mills around the Ozarks. Some are even still working! I know where Crawford County is - my cousin used to live in Ozark and Ft. Smith.
      There are quite a lot of Old Order Mennonites in the area, as well as a few Amish. The Amish broke off from the Mennonites at some point in history because they thought the Mennonites were too strict!

  2. we have an expression in the upper corner of New England, aka Maine, also referred to as 'Down East' (yeah, go figure), 'ayuh' I'm kinda thinking thats what them Mennonite fellas might be sayin (talk about gender trumping religion and culture!)
    can't say I've ever been to a dirt track car race ( a scottian friend of mine has, he likes it mostly because of the noise, and the invitation to shout at the passing cars)
    excellent photo of the fishes... (I trust you had a rock in your had for after the picture was taken).

    1. I wish I had gotten a better picture of those boys on the bikes and lawnmowers, but I didn't want to be obvious about photographing them. Boys will be boys!
      Dirt track stock car races are SO noisy! And dirty. And yes, people yell at drivers as they go by, either wives yelling at their husband the driver or another driver's wife yelling over some perceived injustice.
      No clubbing of the trout. This place stocks the creek and you have to pay to fish there, plus you pay for what you catch, as in $5 a pound. Then someone guts and filets and freezes your fish for you. It's mighty expensive!

  3. This whole post made me smile! Such a busy week but an awesome one. I love that you get to spend time with your dad doing fun things together. The photo of the meta-night boys enjoying the motorcycle and lawnmowers was priceless! All kids dream of adventures :-)

    To me, meandering down country roads is great fun, relaxing and beautiful scenery. But little mom-and-pop restaurants in small towns are often the very best food!

    Stock car races are indeed a staple of small-town life. I didn't know that is how they began, But it sure makes sense. I love the philosophy about not worrying about the kind of dirt that washes off, the same is true of getting soaked in the rain… We don't melt! Doors on the bathroom stalls are a definite reason to be thankful!! 😊

    Your dinner with the friends sounds lovely, there are just some people you can talk for hours with the never run out of things to share, and the laughter never stops, they are good for the soul! I'm glad you got to have a girls day out with Emma too!

    The trip to the Gristmill sounds awesome, although I would also be one of the barfi when is in the backseat! Winding roads make me dizzy and nauseous as Papa Bear can attest , "slow down, SLOW DOWN"!! Papa Bear would have been eyeing those beautiful trout!

    Tim Cherry's sculptures are awesome!! I love the flowing lines and graceful curves!

    It looks like your summer is off to a great start, and I am so happy with what life is bringing you these days, you deserve it! Wishing you another great week ahead, thank you for taking time in the wee hours of the morning to share with us! XOXO

    1. I love the adventures my dad and I have! My mom was in poor health for several years before she passed away, and he hasn't had a chance to do this kind of stuff since that all started.
      The race track and stands are pretty much what they were 30-40 years ago, except the bathrooms. Such an improvement!
      You're a Barfy McBarfBarf, too? I swear I was driving as carefully as I could, but there was only so much I could do on such a swirly road!
      Tim is a gifted artist! One of my dad's and my future adventures includes going to Little Rock and seeing several large sculptures he has there, including one my dad watched Tim work on when it was in the early stages.
      I know the summer is going to fly by, but at least it will be fun while it lasts!

  4. Such a brilliant week and I love your humour and warmth shining through as always. Sounds like life is good and your heart is full. I am glad 😃

    1. Thank you, my Lizzi! Wish you could come enjoy some of it with me again!

  5. Sounds like an incredibly fun week and some quality time with your Dad. I've only been to stock car races once and didn't know that they developed as a result of prohibition. Sadly, Maine was birthplace of Prohibition but now we're known for our craft beer industry. Things change! WeekendsInMaine

    1. I squeezed a lot into one week, didn't I? I started going to stock car races with my Grandpa when I was about 9. We used to ride in the open bed of his pick up truck, on the highway and everything, and lived to tell about it. That's pretty funny, that Maine has gone from the birthplace of prohibition to being a producer of craft beer!

  6. What a cool bunch of things to do - and all in one week! I don't think I realized there was much of a Mennonite population near you. Cool.
    SO nice to hear your dad is getting around well and enjoying himself. Yay!
    You are such a lovely person, Dyanne, and so full of life. Glad to know you. xo

    1. Busy, busy, busy but fun! And yes, lots of Old Order Mennonites. There's a fairly large community not too far from the town that has Sisters and Friends restaurant and they have a HUGE wholesale melon business in the summer. Tractor trailers of melons leave there every day with watermelon and cantaloupe. You can buy their melons plus produce from their gardens at a little market at their settlement.
      Thank you for the kind words, Lisa. I'm glad to know you, too!

  7. 2 weekends worth for sure! I don't know what was better - your pictures or you writing about what you did. All interesting, cool and different things to do! You covered all the bases. Friends, family, geography, art, historical....damn! Too cool.
    How wonderful to spend time with your dad like you did. Especially going to the races. I bet it was like no time had passed at all :D
    And no! I did not know the origin of stock car racing. Thanks for that piece of trivia!
    I like those sculptures!

    1. Man, I did a little of everything last week, didn't I? My dad and I have a lot of fun together. We're a lot alike.
      Seriously, you should check Tim's website, and if he ever has an exhibit near you, go see it! He goes to Colorado and Alaska and Canada and studies animals to help him with his sculptures.