A recent visit to Stillwater revealed new and exciting discoveries. Even though I came here many times before it was easy to skip over details of the city, as I was busy going back and forth across the river, to be with my aging mother. Now she is gone, but not forgotten, for she taught me to see from the heart. She would like my pictures.
Stillwater is a place I love to explore, with my camera, especially in the morning and early evening. Please see the photos individually, and read the captions I wrote.
White flower on a sunny morning on my walk.
I called this the gnome house because when you get closer there are gnomes all over the yard. I got very good vibes from this house.
The Art of Writing. These old boxes looked so lonely, in a row. They belonged to a lonelier looking set of apartments. Seemed to be almost vacated.
Quite proud of this picture, I had to venture into the side yard of someone’s property to get it. Hope they don’t mind. Many of the pictures came out blurred but this one was the magic moment. Here you can see the paddle boat coming up river. Behind it is the new bridge, almost in completion. This new bridge should slow the traffic which now pours through the downtown of historic Stillwater, to cross over into Wisconsin.
In flight. Got to get there some how.
Found this hydrant. Just in case of fire.
Some drying flowers along the fence of Fairview Cemetery.
A view of the old lift bridge and grain mill. This bridge will soon be part of a State Park and converted into a walk and bike way, when the new bridge downriver is inaugurated. Should happen in just a few days.
On a trolley tour the driver told us that these square houses were for the ‘River Rats’ or the men that worked on the The Boom. Rarely did they bathe thus came the name. Many of them perished in the dangerous work of logging dams. The history of the lumber business is fascinating, and created an environment where the Lumber Lords lived alongside people of walks of life. It must have been a very vibrant city, indeed.
Abandoned house in Stillwater. I saw this house two years ago. It looks much the same as it did then. Not improved from its dismal state. Perhaps someone will buy it and give it a new face. This is common in Stillwater, as it is a desirable place to live, for many reasons.
Taken at dusk this renovated house. This style of house is abundant. I believe it is one of the older types of houses, lived in by the working class, who worked on the river boom or lumber yards.
The date; Monday, June 12, 2017. Place, London. Event; The Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Got there early to get our spot at the gates. Found a square on the pavement to perch ourselves, and peer through the bars. Early, we arrived. We had to stay put and hold on tight or others would come and try to usurp our position. The tourists flocked from all corners of London, to line up at the entrance of the Palace. I chose to allow a few small children to stand in my place. A cumbersome woman barged in, blocking their angled view to the inside. I told her she was taking the children’s space. She left.
The process of the event, from beginning to end, enraptured my spirit; the ongoing arrival of spectators, fueled by a desire to watch the colorful fanfare, the marching and playing of the Palace band. Otherwise, the procedure was quite tiresome and boring, and a bit puzzling that so many would come and stand in the heat and humidity, for what felt like an eternity. Yet, the allure and will to pay respect to the Queen and the Crown, she so regally bears, took precedent. People from around the globe stood and looked on, and when it was all over the multitudes meandered away, as if nothing happened at all. If I never see another changing of the guard, I will not care, but I will say, “Long Live the Queen!”
The band and the guard
Close up of a guard. He came around to the gates and said hello to everyone.
Young girl peering out as she holds on the bar.
A view of the mall with Big Ben and other monuments.
A vigilant policeman.
One of the doors on the gate. The cat with the crown in the center is quite sinister.
Why do some places just pop out at me? Can’t be sure, but this is one of them. On a street in North London, I found this incredibly intriguing doorway. It’s so electrical! The name on the entrance called my attention and then I go to looking at the whole scene. The decoration over the top and down the sides is in the shape of coils. Above are seen sharp little spikes. I would call this classically contemporary. Quite benign and unique!
Just get to the point,
But which point,
Is there just one
and how do we decide
which one it is,
or should be?
Just make your point
and let’s be done with it,
And her mind wandered
from that room,
to another point-
a rock at the edge of a finger
of land jutting into an ocean.
Watching water merge with sky,
she rested on that point
as waves dashed around her.
Okay, she said,
after what seemed to him
too long a time,
this is my point:
We choose our beauty,
be it jagged and dark
or smooth or gleaming.
But what makes something
We must have a standard,
Yes, she agreed,
and then imagined
a clearing near the top
of a wooded mountain
reached only by foot
after a five hour hike.
I want to tell you about a place
I once visited, she said.
Let me pull the threads of
“Credo” By Virginia Small
Connecticut Review 2006 Vol. XXVII No. 2
Featured Image “Abandoned Farm” by Dave Dreimiller
… to the woods and the prairie of Winnesheik (Chapter VII), Hamlin recollects, his school days in Wisconsin. Instead of attending the village school, he and his siblings joined a few others at the home of John Roche. He recalls John’s daughter, Indiana, (a very cool name) whom they called Ingie.
The selection of books at Hamlin’s home struck me. There were none, except the Bible, Mother Goose and a few newspapers laying around. This reminded me of a story of my own great, great, great Grandpa, Adam Bryan, also a pioneer of Wisconsin in the 1840’s or ’50’s. Adam, brought his family first to Illinois, from Pennsylvania, and shortly after decided to settle at Jug Creek, or Bad Axe, (a bastardization of an American Indian word), which most unfortunately was changed to Vernon County, after the home of the immortal hero, George Washington. Too bad, for Bad Axe! Well, I am proud to say Gramps was the first pioneer of this area carving out the land with ox and cart, to build a cabin for his family, soon to arrive. Like Hamlin, it is said that Gramps learned to read from the only book he had, which was the Bible.
The Garlands faired a little better than my Grandpa’s family and acquired two books especially good for the imagination. These were Beauty and Beast, and Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp. Nothing like a fairy tale to stimulate creativity.
In continuation, the Garlands move on. Hamlin recalls the reluctant spirit of his mom, Belle, as she packs all their things and gets ready for a three day treck across the February tundra land of Wisconsin. First they cross the bridge at Lacrosse, go through La Crescent, stay in Hokah, pass through Caledonia, and arrive to their farm about 2 miles from the town of Hesper. There is a kind Quaker man there, waiting for them to take over the property. As they settle in they find that their little shack doesn’t quite meet up to the standards of their cabin, back in Wisconsin. They make due, but not without hardship.
First their house girl (I found this addition to the family interesting) contracts smallpox from the limited English speaking Norwegians that Hamlin’s dad hires for construction help. She survives, but Hamlin’s father also gets smallpox. It lasts quite awhile, but he also lives. This invasion in the household is worrisome to Belle because none of the children are vaccinated. They eventually get this done, and the Garlands are spared of the wicked illness spreading in the family.
It must be around the 1870’s when another small creature is added to the brood consisting of Hamlin, his brother Frank, and sister Hannah. Mother Belle has a baby!
Hamlin gets accustomed to his new home, and school, which is highly populated by Norwegians, or Norskies, who fight with the so called Yankees, like Hamlin. Hamlin has nothing against his new classmates, but is obliged to do what is necessary to protect himself, using the path of least resistance.
The author grows to love;
‘The colorful and sweet woodland farm, the warm sun on radiant slopes of grass; the meadow phlox and tall tiger lilies, blackberry thickets, odorous grapevines, cherry trees, and delicious nuts that grew in the forest in the north.
The wilderness of the forest was an endless and solemn playground. They thought they would spend all their years in their beautiful home and see many more seasons, where the wood and the prairie of their song did actually meet and mingle;’
But, alas, little did they know, father had something else in mind. They would have to move again!’
Faribault, Minnesota is a lovely, well preserved town, about one hour and a half straight south of Minneapolis/St. Paul. One of the earliest European settlements in Minnesota, it is filled with beautiful architecture, and prominent institutions.
Florinda Udall, born in May 1833, died at age 11 years and 8 months, on January 25th, 1845. She was the daughter of Alva and Phebe Udall, from Hiram, Ohio, and had one brother, named Edward. She was a schoolmate of Lizzie Atwood Pratt and Lucretia Rudolph Garfield.
Lizzie Atwood records the death of Florinda in her diary, on January 24th, 1845, which is in conflict with the death date, on the stone: “I spent the evening at Mr. Boyds. Florinda Udall one of my schoolmates died of Bowel Complaint, after 6 days illness AE 11 years, and 8 months.” On the 26th she writes: “Florinda was buried at the center of Hiram.” The diary entry is true to the tone of Lizzie’s writing, which was matter of fact, and sparing of emotion. This was the style of most of her writing. At 12 years of age, she proved to be an objective observer of events that took place around her, in her village, and does this as well, in the case of Florinda’s illness and death.
Florinda’s name, comes from the word ‘flora,’ meaning ‘flower’ in Spanish, and is derived from Latin. It must have been sad for family and friends, when their little flower died.
Made a journey down a winding road, to see an old friend and a dog named Luna. Near the coast we stayed. We listened to the not so distant waves come and go, in a rhythmic way. The smell of salt was in the air.
The next morning, on a walk at the beach, the tilting fence post glistened in the sun, with sand at its feet. Budding rose bushes, splattered bits of red color upon the dunes. The dynamic sea awaited the hustle and bustle of beachgoers, after Luna and her friends had their play.
In the afternoon, the sun beat down. Children frolicked at the shore with mother and father at their sides, building castles in the sand. They felt unfettered, by the rough canine play, of the early morn.
What did Luna think, as she lay at home sleeping, mid-day? There, she was dreaming of her four-legged pals, from whom she would steal balls and sticks, as they raucously rolled in the sand. Then, swim!
In the hours, when the night had fallen, and twilight awoke, daybreak returned to summon Luna out to play. Alone, she could not go. She rose, wagged her tail, and sniffed and licked the face of my sleepy friend. She was begging to go to the ocean, where she would find her friends again; and so they did.
With every journey, there is something to be learned. On this one, it was knowing a day in the life of Luna, and the simple pleasures it brings.