Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Land of Lincoln - Lincoln's Tomb

When we made our road trip to Florida and back at the beginning of April, we had to pass through Illinois - the Land of Lincoln. Although I have previously visited Abraham Lincoln's tomb and home in Springfield, Mr. Cut Off had not, so we took advantage of this trip to give him that experience. We were headed south, so we stopped on the north side of Springfield to see the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site first. It's located in Oak Ridge Cemetery. It was pouring rain much of the day, but since we had just left snow in the U.P. 2 days earlier, we didn't let the rain stop us from enjoying our day. This is what we saw as we made our way through the cemetery and approached Lincoln's tomb.

We parked in the lot located near the custodian's residence - a beautiful stone building now used for site offices.

It's just a short walk down the sidewalk to the tomb.

President U.S. Grant (Lincoln's trusted general during the Civil War) dedicated this tomb at a ceremony in 1874 - 9 years after Lincoln's death. 

We were told that as hard as they tried through the years, they could not stop people from rubbing Lincoln's nose on this bust at the site "for luck." They finally gave up and now provide wooden steps to assist people in reaching it.

Mr. Cut Off may have even rubbed Mr. Lincoln's nose himself!

When you walk through the doors of the building, you first enter a rotunda where you're greeted with lots of marble and this replica of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

As you head down the first corridor to your right, you'll see plaques mounted on the walls in some spots. Most of the plaques have texts of Abraham Lincoln's most famous speeches. The first one gives a brief description of his life.

The long corridors are lined with marble. Note the detailing at the ceiling.

Statues of Lincoln representing various stages of his life are located throughout the building where one corridor connects to another.

At the back of the building, you'll come to another rotunda containing Abraham Lincoln's vault. It's an appropriately solemn atmosphere where you can reflect on the life of our 16th president.

"Now he belongs to the ages."

If you turn around, you'll see the wall containing the crypts of Lincoln's wife, Mary, and 3 of their 4 children. If you aren't up on your Lincoln history, notice the birth and death dates of their children. Think about the losses these parents had suffered - one before Abraham Lincoln even became President of the United States - one while in the White House. Surely, Abraham and Mary Lincoln understood and had experienced the deepest of grief.

Even though there is a plaque for son, Robert Todd Lincoln, Robert's remains now reside in Arlington National Cemetery at the request of Robert's wife.

As you continue through the circle of corridors, you eventually end up where you started - back in the rotunda containing the replica of the Lincoln Memorial.

Making our way back outside, we stood to look again at the impressive structure and took the time to read the other markers outside.

One marker shows his descendants.

If you have not already made a visit to Springfield, Illinois, to see the tomb of Abraham Lincoln, I highly recommend the visit. 

In upcoming posts, I'll share our brief stop at Lincoln's "first tomb" and our tour of his home in Springfield.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day - Remember the Fallen

Shiloh National Cemetery, Shiloh TN

Let us not forget the true purpose of Memorial Day.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Good Scolding

Bad! Bad Blogger! Bad!

I know! I know! (Slapped self on wrist) I've been a very bad blogger lately. Very bad! I'm chock-full of excuses, however.
  1. We took that 16-day road trip in April - to Florida and back with a lot of meandering in between. When you take a long road trip, you need to spend time getting ready for it. When you return, you need to spend time recovering from it. Am I right?
  2. I'm still suffering from the effects of that sinus infection which began while on said trip. Yeah, 7 weeks now and counting. Ugghh.
  3. We hit a deer on the way home from that same trip. Uh huh, less than 50 miles from our driveway. New Vehicle = New Deer. That was a headache.
  4. Other headaches - better known as migraines - an unfortunate part of my life.
  5. Washing windows. It's Spring in the Keweenaw! Although we do have at least one remaining snow pile, some dandelions just popped up overnight.
  6. Getting "lost in the woods." That's what happens many mornings when we sit in the great room for our morning chat with our cups of coffee. We often find it difficult to pull ourselves away from the view outside our sliding glass doors. There's just too much happening out there, folks! Various critters are walking past, leaves are beginning to fill out the trees, hummingbirds are returning, and then there's that sky - our beautiful Keweenaw sky! We get totally engrossed with watching trees swaying in the breeze, looking for pileated woodpeckers when we hear one pounding away at a tree, and counting goldfinches at the finch feeder.
  7. Mostly, though, it's daily life that gets in the way. You know, being wifey!

I do have one additional excuse, however. Some of you know that our family is interested in genealogy, and we've done lots of work on it in the last 25 years. Mom & I spent most of our vacation time for years - traveling and researching our family history. Now I use the computer; however, my limited gigabytes at the new house prevent me from doing as much as I would like. On our way home from Florida, I was contacted via email by a long lost relative. I'm talking LONG LOST - like we never even knew she existed! I'll call her "K." K and I share a GG grandfather who died in 1913. She contacted me because of our DNA match. K was adopted back in the 1950's and has been researching her biological family. Can you imagine how excited we were to share our knowledge with her? Beyond thrilled! My late uncle was a master researcher & writer and compiled our facts into big thick books he distributed within our family. I've acquired more facts since he passed away, but most of our knowledge is in those books. I have copies of those books on my computer hard drives, on CD's, and on USB flash drives. I just had to take the time to separate out the info that pertained to K's ancestry (including my updates), copy it onto a CD, and mail it to her. I wish I could explain how it felt to give someone the knowledge of her family that was more than just names on a computer screen. When I read the following sentence she wrote to me, it moved me to tears:  ". . I'm happy beyond belief because it just helps me fit into my skin better."  And then there was, "I'm so excited about all of this, I'm just vibrating!"  Priceless.

One of the most interesting parts of these books is the Civil War section in Volume 2. The GG grandfather and GGG grandfather I share with K were both in the Civil War. My uncle used the actual pension records of our soldiers to tell us what they were doing during the Civil War. Others may know that an ancestor was involved in the war - may even know the regiment and the dates they enlisted and/or mustered out. They may even go so far as to check out the battles that particular regiment fought in, but that still won't tell them if their ancestor was actually "present" for that battle - if he was sick or wounded, etc. That information can only be obtained through their military pension records (or maybe some rare diary). Armed with the information I shared with K, she can take the text and corresponding maps with her to Shiloh, Tennessee - find the very spot where her ancestors in the 77th Ohio were camped on the battlefield near Shiloh Church and the stream where they got their water - and picture the events as they unfolded that day. Then, she can make her way down to Pittsburgh Landing and sit on the bank of the Tennessee River where our badly wounded GG grandfather waited for several days for the ship to arrive to take him away for medical treatment. It's a very moving experience. If he had been killed that day, she and I wouldn't be here. Shiloh is an especially great battlefield, as it's still out in the country and preserved so well - no big city encroaching upon it. So many other Civil War sites are preserved only with a simple marker or a square block of grass in the middle of a modern city. I have some Shiloh photos coming up on the blog in the next few days, and I'll share more about our recent trip to Shiloh in the near future.

Anyway, that's what I've been doing here in the Keweenaw, and I'll sincerely try to improve the frequency of my posts. No more slaps on the wrist, as I bruise too easily!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Summertime Hummertime - Free Printable

They're back! 

Or at least one is back! Maybe it's the advance guard checking to see if those folks in the Keweenaw are going to feed them again this year.

You betcha, little one! Sorry that photo isn't very sharp, but I had to hastily grab my camera when we spotted this little hummer about 9:30 this morning. I was down with a migraine for the majority of the day yesterday, but I did have a few vertical moments and asked Mr. Cut Off to put out one of our hummingbird feeders late in the afternoon. We spotted our first hummer on May 19th last year, so I was hoping they would be back sometime this week.

Nothing around us is blooming yet. Our grass is still mostly brown and we even have piles of snow here and there. Isn't it amazing that a little hummingbird is able to find this one small splotch of red in the middle of miles and miles of forest? We counted over 20 at one time drinking from multiple feeders last year, so more will surely be on the way soon. By the way, if you're looking for a sturdy feeder, we've had the most luck with this model and it's one of the least expensive. It's just under $6 at Walmart - doesn't leak - easy to clean.

In anticipation of the upcoming hummingbird season, I made this printable last week.

Summertime IS hummertime!

Of course, it doesn't look just like a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, but I like the bright colors for my summer decor.

I made this printable as a 5x7, but you can always play around with the proportions a bit and print another size.

If you would like a free copy of this printable, click on the following link:

Hummingbird 5x7

We get a lot of enjoyment out of watching these busy little birds every summer. Glad to see they're on their way back!

UPDATE:  I just looked up and spotted 2 at once! Yay! (12:35 p.m. - 5/15/17)

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Reflections - Mother's Day!

If you're a mother, this day is to honor you!

Special Mother's Day wishes to Mom, Mom G., Carrie & Beth!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Falling Water

After sharing the video of falling ice at the end of last Thursday's post, I thought you might want to see some falling water today.

These photos and the two videos were all taken back on April 23rd. We knew more water would have been rushing over our local falls earlier in the month, but we were on vacation when that was happening. It's nice to see the falls at any time of year.

Although the day was overcast and we still had a little snow in the trees, I always appreciate the view as we head down into Eagle River on Hwy 26. The darkest blue/gray area just above the trees in the center is Lake Superior.

Eagle River Falls is located near the center of Eagle River. Turn right just after you cross the bridge, park near the bridge on the right side of the road and walk over the foot bridge to view the falls.

I've said it before, but I think I could stand there all day and listen to the sound of the water.

Click on the following link for some (slightly shaky) video:

Eagle River Falls 4-23-17

Next, we headed up Hwy 26 toward Eagle Harbor. Jacob's Falls is located between Eagle River and Eagle Harbor. It's on the right - just off the road - so you can pull over and view it from your car window (or park and walk over to it). This one is much smaller than Eagle River Falls.

Click on the next link if you would like to hear this one.

Time to head home, so we continued on Hwy 26 to Eagle Harbor.

As you can see, things didn't look much like spring in Eagle Harbor yet! That slide at the beach is waiting patiently, however, and will be well used by many children this summer.

All is well in the Keweenaw.