Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just my two cents from Branchport

This is Carol. It is early and I am up before usual. We are expecting a very warm day, so I got up to close windows and pull shades to "capture" and retain the cool and could not get back to sleep. Yesterday was very warm and we did the same, but also had the AC in the RV cranked up. We spent the worst of the heat of the day in the cool RV. We managed to watch the entire 5 part "Seventh Day" series with Hal Holbrook where Janet Thorngate represents SDBs. I recommend it. We spent around a $100 to own a copy but we could share. I need to learn how to copy DVDS. How hard can it be? But learning new technology is slow for us on the DOWNHILL side. LOL I got the front lawn mowed yesterday before the worst of the heat but still got soaked to the bone with sweat. At least I got it done.
Barb and I were supposed to be at a pagan festival in Ohio last week with our friends Vic and Beth, but on Wednesday before we were supposed to leave Friday, Buddy was unable to stand or potty himself. The vet said it was an intervebral inflammation that partially paralyzed our little man. The shot of prednisone he gave Buddy seemed to work right away and Buddy relaxed heavily in my lap as I waited for Barb to take care of the paperwork and get the medications prescribed. The vet said it was very serious and we should keep Buddy quiet, not allow him to do stairs or jumping up and down for 4-6 weeks. He put Buddy on a muscle relaxor, steroid, and spinal treatment formula. Buddy has been recovering well and will be on the one med for life to help prevent further occurences. But we were unable to travel as planned to Ohio. Dogs are not allowed at the festival and we did not want to put that level of care on anyone else, besides I would not have been able to leave Buddy behind knowing he was ill. With a very heavy heart, we made the painful decision not to go to the festival in Ohio and called our friends in Kentucky, Vic and Beth, to let them know.
Then on Thursday we got a call from Jim, Barb's oldest son, could we bail him out of jail, he had gotten a DWI. Barb was devastated. The calls continued all day and the details slowly came out. Jim had an accident with his car on our road at the far end. He does not remember the accident, his blood alcohol was 0.18 and he had only been off work for less than two hours. We figure he had to really chug the hard stuff (probably vodka) to get that kind of alcohol level so soon after getting off work. I contacted a friend from Al-Anon to give Barb a pep talk and tried my best to comfort and bolster Barb's spirit's. She chose not to bail Jim out knowing that AA people go to the jail and hold meetings there. I got out the Al-Anon book and read to Barb about it not being her fault, etc. Then there were the trips to jail to deliver medications, a big book (AA "bible") and to get a chat. It weighed heavy on us those days he was in jail. Monday was his hearing but there was no public defender available so it was postponed. Meantime, he was connected to FLACRA which helps with rehab and they prescribed an aggressive out-patient program. He was connected to AA and someone who could get him to meetings. Dave and Starr have been doing all they can to help, even removing all alcohol from the house and agreeing not to drink at home. After Dave's two DWIs he is realizing he cannot go on drinking like he had been. So this has been good for both of them. It seems Jim found his bottom and he may come out of this better than ever. Time will tell. We still do not know if he will lose his job and what the courts will do, his court date was moved to August when he went last night. He finally met the public defender. Jim needs a ride to go anywhere because his car is in bad shape, not sure about whether that will get fixed. Luckily Starr and Dave have been able to do the most of the shuttling. We are going to take him to Geneva or Canandaigua to get a new phone.
After the disappointment of not going to the pagan festival and Jim's DWI, the week was hard on us, so we resolved to go have some fun. We chose Watkins Glen, got a reservation at the Watkins Glen State Park, packed the RV and headed out on Friday. We set up camp and just relaxed there Friday afternoon/evening. Sabbath day we hiked the glen - and WOW! It is really a wonder of the world. There were people from far and wide there and I understand why. The last time I went to the park was on my honeymoon with George and I do not remember if we even walked the gorge trail. But it is truly amazing and draws people from all over the world because it is so special. After being totally wowed by the natural beauty of rocks and falling water at the glen, we hunted down a cemetery I was researching for placement of a letterbox. This was another WOW. The cemetery is set up on a hill overlooking Seneca Lake and you drive up hairpin turns to get there. The graves are set on hilly terraces amidst gorgeous old trees and there is even a 1904 stone pavilion at one edge where you can see the lake and revel in the cool updrafts from the valley below. I would have lingered longer but it was time for lunch, so we headed down again and went to "Castel Grisch" winery and restaurant. Sitting out on the deck looking out toward a broad view of field then vineyard then lake, we consumed fine wine, strawberry soup, jagersnitzel, walnut salad, creme brulee and cappaccino which were served by Bavarian costumed help. Then we went and tasted some of their wines. Yum. Then it was off to the waterfront to ride the beautiful old wooden boat out onto Seneca with a tour guide giving commentary. The weather was gorgeous, sunny and 80's so this was thoroughly enjoyed. The waterfront hosts a marina with many sailboats, park and restaurants. What a beautiful place. I thought of Doug with all those sailboats and plenty of wind along with the sun. What a gorgeous day. We were ready to head to the campsite for a relaxing evening and home-cooked meal. On Sunday, I carved a stamp of the Glen Springs Sanatarium and prepared the letterbox for placement. We checked out of our site and parked the RV at Clute Park and headed to the cemetery to place the letterbox. We were hunting for a spot to plant our letterbox, when I happened on a natural stone set way back in the woods. Serendipitiously, this stone was memorial to the founder of Glen Springs Sanatarium - William Elderkin Leffingwell and so it was perfect. Check out atlasquest.com "Schuyler County Cemetery Series #1 - Leffingwell's Glen Springs Sanatarium/Hotel" or google "Leffingwell" for more history. A visit to the local library for some more local history research and posting our letterbox clues on-line, then more wine tasting at "Tickle Hill", "Hazlitt" and "Chateau Lafayette Renae" rounded out our weekend. All and all a very pleasant weekend and great diversion for us.
Love to all,

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