Sunday, July 26, 2009


July 26, 2009

I started a theme last week on The Dahvee Repore, Things in Rochester that Make Me Say Hmm. Today I can continue that conversation.

For instance, what else can you possibly say when you read a sign on a building that says "Say no to drugs. . .Say yes to bowling."?

We visited the Eastman House in Rochester, where I saw the first player pipe organ of my life (pipes distributed handsomely practically everywhere). George Eastman also displayed the head of the rogue elephant that he "bagged" in the same room where he housed the organ. Apparently, this room was originally built with the wrong proportions. When he built the house, it cost $350,000. Sawing the conservatory off the house and rolling it ten feet over to make it just large enough, cost another $700,000. Hmm.

I also had nothing more than Hmm and Hmm again when we got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic at mile marker 209 in upstate New York. This grinding halt lasted well over forty-five minutes. This is the last situation where you don't appreciate that someone spent time marking not only the mile markers, but also the tenth-of-a-mile markers, too. Anyway, getting stuck in traffic didn't prompt a Hmm, but the fact that NO ONE hopped lanes or got agitated and tried to pass on the shoulder, the entire time. It was a little like meeting a bunch of folks from Stepford.

That politeness and calm in a traffic jam gave me some comfort when our rent car lost power and started decelerating as we crossed a lengthy bridge a short time after that. We made it across before we rolled to a stop on the shoulder. Rebooting the car returned power to the drive train, but the check engine let remained on. We limped along another twenty minutes to Ballston Spa, NY to our friends' eighteenth century farm house. About two hours later, Jake, the tow truck guy, trucked a replacement rent car directly to our door and traded out the one we had that still had its "check engine" light glowing.

For those of you who suggested reading options back when I added WeRead to my sidebar, I can now consider your suggestions. That's right, we can all celebrate that I finally polished off Middlemarch, a true triumph of willpower. Not to say that I didn't get into the intertwined doings of the citizens of Middlemarch, but I always have difficulty with books that make me want to put my hands over my eyes and scream "No, don't do that" when the characters make ill-considered decisions and say things that lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding.

We have made it to the outskirts of Boston and are having a really relaxed and fun time. For those of you planning your week, we'll make it back home on Wednesday and the lanyard workshop will resume this Friday (31st) at 3:00.


  1. I am about to read "Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World" while relaxing in the upper midwest.

    We are meeting my other favorite cancer mom while on midwestern-fantasy vacation, Donna L. Soon, I hope we can meet you as well (though the practicality of vacationing in TX in August escapes me right now - maybe during Christmas...)

    Looking at Erin's lanyards and thinking about her as I write this - peace be with you and Walter.


  2. I stumbled upon all of this rather by accident...even if you believe there are no accidents (as I tend to believe). Vickie, may God bless and keep you and your family. I have tears in my eyes as I type. I can't even begin to imagine the magnitude of your loss.

    Just yesterday I attended the funeral of a friend gone much too soon and she was 56. While she battled cancer in several variations, it was brain cancer that made her decide it was time to go "home".

    A little more than 15 months ago I lost a dear young friend to the same cancer that claimed your Erin. Katelyn was but 9 in earthly years yet much older and wiser than so many of us called adult.

    And on the days I struggle with my own purpose and feel bogged down by the why me's or the why not me's, I come across the beauty of something so simple and so powerful as Erin's lanyards and my perspective becomes much clearer even as the lump in my throat throbs just a little harder.

    And just an FYI way back in 1976 in our sophomore yearbook you actually signed my book with one of your infamous lists. Labeled good/bad you filled in details under each category. I'm going to have to say that Erin was much more advanced than you, at least in her lists.

    I hope you find some peace and comfort in knowing that Erin has touched so many of us in ways we can't even explain.

    God bless you and thank you for sharing, Becca
    (Rebecca Burford living in Hagerstown, Md these days)