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Monday, July 21, 2014

Archery camp

Laura started archery camp this afternoon, at Old Trail School in Bath, on Ira Road, just over the river past Riverview Road. I’d not been there before; nice campus.

I haven’t been that way into the valley since taking Hamilton to and from church every Sunday, and occasionally spending the three hours between enjoying the valley, the river and the herons. Sad Hamilton couldn't be bothered to stay in touch with the men who would underwrite his mission. Like his father, I agree the structure and direction could only benefit him, as much as proselytizing turns my stomach.  Now he wants sent to college, and his dad says “Get a job.” I suppose he’s waiting for a really good job for a summa cum laude high school graduate to come up the steps and knock.

Metro Parks has an archery range on the way to Old Trail, and we stopped there to show Laura what a range looks like. No targets were up; I suppose because the range wasn't booked for the afternoon. However, the posts the targets hang on are there and all the backstops.

As we left I said she’ll know what she’s looking at this afternoon. “Yes,” she replied, and I also know the string goes toward my nose!”

I dropped her off in a classroom; I bet they start with theory. “Only William Tell and Douglass Fairbanks shot arrows over the shoulder. The string goes toward your nose.”

I opted to wander the valley while I waited. When I picked her up I learned there is an up and down to a bow, and it’s necessary to bend the elbow of the arm holding the grip, else the string will thwang you on the forearm. I do recall that from gym classes in college. She will most certainly go back tomorrow.

I drove down Ira to the end, which is not the end, but where the road is closed because no one has enough money to put it back together again. Since the only landowner is the national park, it’s their problem.

In the order in which I took them:

Impatiens around a mail box 

I'll be. Hale Farm. I'd forgotten it's on Ira Road, past Old Trail.
It's a sort of living history place now. Admission charged.

The Hale House, but you can bet not the "homestead." Took some money to put up such a house.

Ditch lilies, brown eyed Susans, and I think, phlox. 

A barn at a private home on the way down Ira.

 The Covered Bridge!
It was on our way to Aunt Laura and Uncle Frank when I was a child.
There was a sign with clearance over the cross beams.
Ira Road makes a sharp right under the bridge.
Drivers had to blow a horn to see if another driver might be in the bridge.
It's part of the Towpath Trail now; not a road.

Looking at these beams and timbers, I doubt it is the bridge of my childhood. Too new. 
Part of the rewritten history of the valley, courtesy of the National Park. 
On the other hand, another generation can look at and understand a covered bridge.

The river under the bridge and
the origin of one of Dad's favorite remarks as we passed through the bridge.
"Mary (an artist friend) sat in the river and painted the bridge."
"Did she have a ladder?"
"No. She sat in the river and painted the bridge."

Along the river bank.

On the way back up the road.
I cut off the openwork metal piece on top of the church.
On the Hale Farm property, one of the buildings moved to the site to emulate early 19th century life.

Must be private property.

I believe this barn and the next are on Old Trail School property.

Altogether too precious, and that's not a compliment.

Raspberries along the parking lot, waiting for Laura.
I left them for the birds.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thoughts of an old grandmother on raising modern children

I haven’t mentioned grandchildren much of late; there is little to report. Several weeks ago I was tested to my limit and did write a list to let children know the differentiation of rights and entitlements. Then I was pushed past my limit and haven’t shared it yet. As Brigitta said this morning, they didn't hear and the hammer came down.

Rights, responsibilities and privileges

A home
Good meals
An education
To be and feel safe
To express yourself
Understand and follow the rules of your home
Understand what will happen if you break the rules
Respect the family you live with
Work hard in school
A cell phone
A computer
Extra-curricular activities
Chauffeuring to activities and events with friends
Really, really stupid things to avoid, or accept the consequences of breaking rules:
Giving in to peer pressure
Not having the courage to test the loyalty of friends by asking something be done the way you’re permitted to do it.
And in conclusion:
Not only did your grandmother not fall off the turnip truck, she knows every turnip in it.

How can it be we've had these children two years and they are unable to say “Thank you” unless reminded. I am currently on a mission to excoriate “No problem” when I say thank you for something done. I realize it does not acknowledge thanks, it simply says “Well this time you didn't bother me.”

Emily recently went the mile over the line, was caught in the act, so to speak, and spent a day sulking under the deck, formulating her responses to give to her grandmother. The very best: “I was raised to lie.” How about, on being asked why she didn't test the real friendship of the group to say “I can’t ride with any of you, can we please walk as originally planned?” Her response to me, she didn't want to deal with it.

This sense of entitlement can only come from their parents, who are, of course, free to live with their lovers and let someone else take care of the children. And I see I may never change it. As Hamilton, who has escaped to lounge his life away in the apartment his father provides for his twenty three year old sister, says to Emily, “You only have to put up with Grandma for two more years; I was lucky at eighteen months.”

As Emily says to Laura, “I only have to put up with Grandma for two more years, you have six to go.”

And Laura says to Uncle Tom, “In six more years I can go live with my dad.” And he roars “I don’t think so!” But you get the drift of it.

Recently Emily mentioned to Aunt Linda that she would be hard pressed to get into college, because her Grandmother has stripped her of being entitled to be chauffeured anywhere and now she will not be able to list any volunteer jobs on her resume. I’m sure she got a piece of Aunt Linda’s mind. And at supper tonight I I’ll ask if she knows the meaning of all those boring pieces of fabric we have her cut for Aunt Janice. Just another turnip in the old folk’s wagon, I’m sure. They can’t possibly become quilts for children in homeless shelters.

Fortunately for them we’re in this for the long haul. They have no idea they could have been in a shelter or turned over to Children’s’ Services.

And once again, the last time they were homeless and we took them in while their mother earned her RN. Emily left, two cousins, Becca holding Laura and Hamilton.

Friday, July 18, 2014

You can close a road but you can’t close a bike trail

My road ends at Akron Cleveland Road, the main north-south between Akron and Cleveland, until the expressways and interstates were built. Heck, it used to go from Cleveland and Lake Erie to Marietta and the Ohio River. Interstate 77 does that now. 

Actually, there’s less than a mile of Akron Cleveland Road left, the city encroaching from the south has renamed it State Road, the name of the road at their border, and still is. The border has simply moved nine or ten miles north. 

A new business owner on Akron Cleveland Road, in our township, petitioned other business owners in the corridor to support changing the name of the last bit of the road to State Road, to de-confuse Google. Another business owner, who seemed to represent the opinion of most of the rest of the business owners, snarled at a public meeting, “It’s all we have left of ourselves. Let Google figure it out!”

But, I've digressed.

The bit of the road to the north that is in the village of Boston Heights is a bridge crossing a bike and hike trail.  In Ohio, or at least in our county, bridges that cross water are the responsibility of the county. Bridges that cross bike trails are the responsibility of—you got it. The jurisdiction they are in. Bridges are probably the most expensive bit of roadway ever devised by an engineer.  

I’m sure the original purpose of this bridge was to cross the substantial gully below. As in, the gully always was there and needed bridged, and the bike and hike trail was the afterthought. You now can get half way through Ohio on that particular trail, and under that bridge was probably the easiest route.

The bridge is deteriorating badly. My last venture on a bicycle ended with crashing into my own garage, so I haven’t looked at the underside of the bridge from a bicycle. I’ll take all the engineer’s words for it. It needed repaired. We’re talking millions. 

The village secured a grant for a study on how best to repair the bridge, and those road engineers came up with such a fine plan the state kicked in the money to implement it. They’re turning the bike trail into a tunnel under the bridge.

This project was supposed to happen last year, but then the hitch showed up, as it would. You cannot close a bike trail. That’s what the officials tell us, and I’m sure they’re right. Of course, there was a second hitch. They would close the road for something like three months.

That caused an out roar, led by the fire/EMS district and the police.  Closing the road would add fifteen or twenty minutes to response to a call in my end of the township. Out here in the sticks you can’t just go around the block.

The eventual compromise: detour the bike trail and keep one lane of traffic each way on the road. I took some pictures this morning.

There it is, the Bike and Hike Trail right under Akron Cleveland. And, I am extremely pleased with myself for finally mastering cropping a screen shot, although I'll probably need to watch the video a next time.

The trail, heading down to the bridge at the left.

But the trail is closed down there, take this detour.

The bike/hike detour takes them across the road here; there will be a switch to activate the lights and stop traffic. The lights haven't been activated yet.

This fellow skipped the detour lane and made his own way across.

Here's a look down the trail toward the bridge.

Here's a closer look. Not to worry; the operator left for a minute and I scooted right down. We said Hello as he came back and I left.

Job headquarters, across the road. The detour goes right behind and rejoins the trail.

A view of the road.

And traffic going by those two supervisors, still standing under the lights.