29 April 2010

Second Spring

It's been a whirlwind couple of days.

We went to Pennsylvania on family business and to get my wedding shoes on Tuesday. I had found a pair I liked back in October, and I've really wanted them and keep comparing other shoes to them. So we went back up, hoping the store was still open--you have to worry about that these days. They had my shoes, but I found out that they were white vinyl with a dyed bow. Hmmm, white vinyl shoes? Perhaps cute for a few hours, but not for 8 hours. No way. I found out they were white vinyl and the words, "Sweat and blisters, sweat and blisters" danced through my brain. And that was the end of the consideration for them--it will be hard enough to lead the Electric Slide with a ballgown on, let alone a ballgown and blisters. I did find a cute pair of silver slides with a kitten heel. They're glitzy, they're fashionable, they match my bridesmaids' silver shoes, and they were $12 cheaper than the vinyl shoes. Rock on!

It was not all fun. We ordered the flowers for the family graves for Memorial Day. In Western Pennsylvania, among the older generations, Memorial Day is a day to decorate the family cemetary plots, not to go to the beach. My mother does this, and, at some point, I'll take over. So we placed the flower order, visited with Gramma and took her some pansies. I think my mom wanted an arrangement, but we found out the fall before this past one that, the cemetary groundskeepers clean up on certain days and they take whatever you put on the graves off--they took a mum I had bought Grammy off after two weeks and it was upsetting to think that Gramma didn't get to enjoy them, so I am not buying an expensive plant. Gramma wouldn't like to see plants wasted (you didn't dare bring home a plant or a bulb and not put it in the ground if you had a plan, because if you left it, she'd plant it her way), and I think she will enjoy her purple pansies for a week or so.

I wanted to make sure I know how to get to the cemetary my father's family is buried in as well. I know it is "out in the country", but am never really sure how to get there. And I need to know that. I don't want to think my grandparents and my father's baby brother and sister would go without flowers for my lack of initiative, so now I know. Also, it's where my great-grandmother is buried. I was on, and people were asking about her. I thought it would be a help to someone to at least have a picture of her tombstone, even if they don't know the other stories about her. It's pretty wierd to me to think that I have cousins who know NOTHING about our family, especially when I see Daddy and his cousins at the reunion. They speak Pennsylvania Dutch to each other, they remember being children together in the late 30s, they know who's related to who. They were the ones who told me about my great-grandmother, raising children alone after my great-grandfather died, how she was the daughter of a man who fought with his Mennonite neighbors because they didn't feel it was right that he took a pension for his Civil War service, and he should give it to the church. He'd fought in the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and Gettysburg, and he told them they didn't bother to keep him back, they didn't fight alongside of him, and they weren't getting his money. I wish my relatives knew this--I know that there have been times that I've reminded myself of the tough stock I come from to get through a bad time. It's a resource. We all need this. Anyway, I know now. I renewed the connection. I'm glad.

We sat and watched the turbines on wind farm off the Lincoln Highway near Stoystown for a while. They are starting to put them up up there. I know it's a devisive issue, but I like windmills. Mom and I both agree that we think those windmills are beautiful. It's like watching a living piece of art--they're very graceful and delicate, and it's a good use for land that was stripmined at one point. It brings movement and life back to what could be a very desolate place and we say we wouldn't mind living by a wind farm.

One lovely souvenir I've brought home from up there is an allergy attack. The same things are blooming up there that were blooming down here three weeks ago. Only I wasn't outside so much then because it was in the 90s here. We were outside pretty much all day, and in greenhouses, so I was huffing pollen all day long. Yesterday I woke up with a swollen face and a headache. I went to work, but came home dog-sick. I laid around all afternoon. I don't think HTB took it seriously til I didn't eat dinner, and went up to bed at 8:30. I didn't want lights on, I didn't want to think too hard, or focus on anything. Today, I feel much better. I may just live.

I'm going to try to get my Christmas Carrot finished by the end of tomorrow. That way, I've finished April in April! Woo hoo!


riona said...

Sounds like a very busy weekend ... and you are absolutely right about getting leather or cloth shoes for the wedding ... natural materials breathe and are much more confortable when worn for a long time ... especially when you'll be so active, what with the reception line, the posing for photos and the dancing.

I hope you'll be sharing lots of wedding pictures when the time comes ... reading about all the preparations is tantalizing.

Julie M said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better today Rachel!

I loved reading about your family history. My family isn't the visiting graves type of family. Not sure why. Neither of my folks visit their parents graves.

Congrats on finding shoes, ya gotta keep the tootsies happy on your wedding day. Otherwise, it's just miserable!

Annie said...

Yea for finding cute comfy shoes. Your feet will thank your for that.

Nice to have a family tradition like that. (And I'm not referring to the allergies!)

Pumpkin said...

Thinking of those vinyl shoes just makes my feet ache! I'm glad you found something more suitable and that you still like :o)

I think more people should do this if they can. I've never even seen my grandfathers' graves and that's terrible to say. Good for you :o)

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls