Friday, July 27, 2012


There is hope. Hope for continuing the web log. After I groused the other evening about my inability to communicate with the outside world, Tim whose feelings were hurt by my griping, brought me to the computer room at the Manor and I learned the simplicity of continuing on. 

I'm not ready to write an entry today........but wait! I'm going to send you my entry for the next newsletter. There was talk of replacing me as co-editor and that spurred me into action.

Here is what is going in to the August newsletter. Anne Van Trigt's entry has yet to be put in (by the co-editor)

"If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal as much about the dynamics of this all its ardour and paradoxes......than our travels. They express, however inarticulately, an understanding of what life might be about outside of the constraints of work and of the struggle for survival. Yet rarely are they considered to present philosophical problems.......dated on advice on where to travel to, but we hear little of why and how we should go, even though the art of travel seems naturally to sustain a number of questions neither so simple nor so trivial, and of what the Greek philosophers beautifully termed eudaionia,  'human flourishing.'

            from  "The Art of Travel" by Alain de Botton

When I hear the word, “August”, I think of vacations which of course is left over from my years of mothering growing chilldren.. August was the month that we locked up our bookshop and pretended to be a normal family of the 1960s when most mothers wore aprons and were readily available all day long.

Some years we ferried to Catalina Island where we langished in a rented cottage for a week; other years we could be found on a road trip........less relaxed as our three offfspring tended to squabble over which kid was privileged to sit in the middle seat.

As the years went by, Mr. Bob and I found ourselves in more exotic places but always with the necessity of getting back home to resume shopkeeping.

One of my fantasies regarding the move to Windsor, involved my stepping to the counter and telling Sandy or Sue that we were going away and would return in six months. Alas, that dream never materialized, but I have
a wealth of memories from the trips we did take;

In Germany when from our hotel, we walked through fields of grain to get to a small village, landing in their beer garden which looked for all the world like a movie set, so artistically arranged it was.

Learning about the rich, traditional music of the lower Mississippi River on an Elderhostel barge trip.

The train trip where during the night, the partition in our bedroom car vibrated open and suddenly we had not only twice the room, but an unfamiliar roommate who was not the least bit amused.

In one of the northern-most states, marveling at the wheel ruts, still visible, from the Conestoga wagons of long ago.

The early morning ascent of colorful hot air balloons during the festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mr. Bob saying, upon our return from a three week motorhome trip to Maine and back again, “I’m not going anywhere with that kid until his voice changes”.( referring to Tim, the nice man who visits me several times a week). Fifteen years later our family was together on a hellish vacation in Hawaii and Mr. Bob came to me and whispered, “His voice hasn’t changed yet.”

And now, from a few of our residents:

I’ve traveled all over the world and all of the trips have been super except for the time the airline lost my luggage.
                          Jeanne Naumann

It took three attempts before I fulfilled my desire to visit Egypt. The first two times my plans were cancelled because people were shooting each other in that country.

A vacation was about the last thing in my mind a few months ago. With great friends, food and fellowship right here at Windsor, why would a person  vacate?

One evening a deep voice on my answering machine greeted me with: “Hello, Shirley, this is Will Adams from Liberty, MO after 65 years!” Will and I had dated a bit when I was a kid in junior high. Bill, a mutual friend, was planning a 65th and final reunion of their class of 1947. Will was going and wanted me to go, too.

A month later Will and I met in the home of Bill and his wife. Will and I had both shrunk; he was down to 6’4”.

All of us at the reunion enjoyed the tasty food; then we gathered around Will at the piano. No one had the music for the school song, so we sang some patriotic numbers. After picture taking, we disbursed to our cars.

During the following 3 days, Will and I revisited the old familiar haunts. We went to the location where our old school had been and then to the new school that replaced it. During his teens Will and his brother had put out a small newspaper with articles that revealed how local children felt about current events during those World War II years. We met with the principal and the librarian of the library. Both were thrilled to receive copies of the old newspapers for their archives.

Will stopped at the house where he had lived and was invited in to meet the residents and share information about former owners. He took a picture of me in front of my childhood home. The church next door had been rebuilt and enlarged. In true Philadelphia style, one breakfast menu included scrapple.

I stopped at the Wayne Hotel where my mother had been in charge of the dining room and kitchen during the ‘40s. It had been remodeled and upgraded to a posh, upscale hotel and is now on the National Registry of Historic Buildings. The community of Wayne had been updated to include restaurants, shops and galleries.

We were up early on the fourth morning and whisked to the airport for our flight to Kansas City. Will made a great traveling companion. His height meant we were directed to a wide, open row of seats.

Will’s home, in Liberty, was built in the 1850s. He gave me a tour, offering me any of the available bedrooms. I chose a single with a pull-down queen bed on the lower level. It was a man’s house........8 TVs, 3 computers, even an elevator!

One day we saw the Truman Library and on another we visited the only museum in the world dedicated entirely to the first World War. The last museum we visited was in a 19th century ship dredged up from many feet of mud as the Missouri River changed course through the centuries.The displays were most interesting.

My somewhat whirlwind vacation, with all of its fun and memories, came to an end as I flew to Minneapolis, then Burbank and returned to the warmth of the Windsor family home.
                                         - Shirley Lawson




Hopefully your interest in travel has been stimulated enough to dip into an interesting book on the subject. Among the titles offered by our very own Windsor library:



  1. Just glad you are back and at the computer...Anxiously awaiting more...Rusti

  2. So good to know you're there and just good to hear from you. Lovely post, Jane! thinking of you...


  3. Interesting! And be good to that great son you have, even if his voice hasn't changed yet. What a great child!
    You're started now, keep it up,
    Neighbor #409

  4. You can't dump me Babe! A Non Y Mouse " ) Love yah

  5. OMG, how I've missed your musings!


  6. What a great read! Life looked back, with people to do it with, reminds you what you have and in some cases, what you may have missed. This entry reminded me that it is just plain fun to accept an invitation and go for it. Do whatever comes along that is decent and legal and makes the trip fun! Thank you Jane!

  7. Travelling across Canada on Via rail, from Halifax Nova Scotia to Prince Rupert, then catching the Ferry to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island, was one of our most impressive journeys, on Your side of the Pond, seeing Wild Bears for the first time between Prince George and Prince Rupert, and Bald Headed Eagles and one Golden Eagle.Terrific memories, its a must if You are a Railway Nut!!!, and the scenery in Autumn is just stunning.
    The Wrinklies

  8. Susan H writes: I am the offspring that always complained that my August birthday was always while we were on vacation........What I wouldn't give to be on vacaction for my birthdays now. Ironic. Good to have you back Mom!

  9. The best part of vacation is the anticipation. Love, Shelley

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  11. This made me giggle like reading you does :)
    Thank you

  12. This reminded me of your OUAT QUESTION OF THE WEEK. You asked the most delightful questions and your customers got to enjoy the responses. If you run out of writing ideas....perhaps you could bring that back!

    It is always great fun to hear from all your readers.

    Keep writing, Jane! It's always a treat.


  13. Jane, Not only are your posts great, the responses are so enjoyable!
    In our family, Dad would have us try to plan the next trip or visit before the end of the one we were on. That way we had a new count-down to look forward to.
    I have always been one to love vacation more than the "back home" part and looking forward to my next get away is necessary for me.
    Here's to your future travels and the wonder you bring to our computer screens!