Today I realize how totally out of shape I must be. The only parts of me that don’t ache are my fingers. That’s what walking for hours on rough ground and rocks did for me yesterday, but I wouldn’t have traded the beautiful day or experiences for anything.
We spent yesterday at the Old Thrasher’s Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and throughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend going if you like to go back in time to see how hard it was for farmers before all the modern equipment. It’s on through Monday. Hay making, corn shelling and wood cutting demonstrations abound. Two trains, trolley cars and tractor pulled carts haul people. On the hour, three lawmen have a shoot out with bank robbers or train robbers. Saloon girls put on a show. Two schools are in session through the day. We were invited to join a spelling bee, but I declined. I told the woman I didn’t spell a word without spell check on my computer.
For me, the adventure was like research from studying people to taking pictures of antiques that I might use in a story. The highlight for me was a young woman I watched weaving a rug in a log cabin in the settlers village. I talked to her about helping my mother weave rugs on Mom’s three looms. One of those looms was of 1900 vintage and steel. Took four men to get the loom into Mom’s house and that was in pieces.
Next we talked quilting and I told her I had been to Kalona in April to see the Amish quilt show. The woman mentioned she was in Home Health Care in Kalona and had a client that was Amish – Mennonite. She had visited on a day there was a quilting bee in session which thrilled her. What thrilled me about the story was how close my imagination came to real life in my latest book – A Promise Is A Promise ISBN 0982459505 . This is the story of a Home Health Nurse working in Amish country. I had every intention of telling the woman about my book but we were interrupted so I moved on. So much to see and so little time.
Of course, we had to sample as much food as we could consume and not much of it met the food pyramid. Funnel cakes about two inches high that filled a paper plate, homemade ice cream (close to a pint in that cup), a hamburger, popcorn in a sack larger than a microwave sack and a quart of homemade ice tea. By the time we got home, we weren’t hungry.
We stopped in the theater and walked through all the memorabilia from early stage productions complete with letters on the wall from some famous actors. Suddenly, we were joined by a greeter. She wanted to tell us the story of her family’s stage career in the twenties to forties. She was one of 8 siblings who performed with their parents in juggling and acrobat and actors hired by her father did plays. They lived in hotels and later a grayhound bus and performed out of tents as well as theaters. The scrapbook, she complied of their travels, had been put together from Internet research and newspaper archives. Proudly, she showed us her family history. Finally, she said humbly she hoped we didn’t mind her butting in on our tour. I told her I was delighted. Without her, I would have walked on by that scrapbook and showcase full of memorabilia. It was a thrill to meet her. I hope she continues to suddenly appear for others that come in to look around. The event program says the theater is air conditioned. That might persuade people to venture in just to cool off. Boy, are they in for a treat.