Category Archives: People

A Memorable Walk

Our blogging group settled on a favorite walk for our latest topic. I could not think of a favorite, but I did remember a memorable one.

As much as I claim to love the out-of-doors I am a homebody and tend to stay inside much more than is good for me. Dean likes going out and doing things so he was pleasantly surprised when, eleven years ago, I requested a family hike on the Trillium Trail at the G R Thompson Wildlife Management Area in the Shenandoah Valley for my Mother’s Day gift.

I’d not heard of trilliums until high school when, for my birthday, my friend Cindy gave me a green suede choker with a single white trillium on the front. I’d not seen one in person, until college when my botany 101 professor, Mr. Steinboch, took us on a field trip to a local park. The next time I saw them was in Pittsburgh when a friend and I visited the Trillium trail there (now a subdivision). I was ready to see more trilliums.

We were going to have to get up early to get to the trail and hike before we ate lunch. A small roadblock was the fact that Clare was spending the night with some friends. We warned her that we were stopping by early to pick her up. Andrew was fine with everything, as far as I recall — he always made sure any special day (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays) were special for the person being celebrated.

The morning of the walk we got up early, ate breakfast and picked up Clare. She was unhappy about having to get up early and very grumpy. We let her sleep in the car. When we got to the park she continued her grumpiness, but Andrew was energetic and happy so that was good.

The hike was beautiful and those of us who’d had a decent sleep were good. I saw trilliums, skunk cabbage, lady slippers, May apples and even an eastern towhee or two.

We had a mid-morning snack on a rock, Andrew rested on a branch, Dean took one of my favorite photos ever of me. Clare continued to be grumpy.

I don’t remember if I was upset that Clare was grumpy the entire day. I probably was and I might be to this day except for one thing — years later she explained to me why she was grumpy all day and apologized for it. The night before she’d been drinking with her friends (apparently the parents were okay with it) and the next day she had her first hangover. While I don’t condone her drinking at age 17, I understand why she was grumpy and realized that she was doing her best to make my day a happy one just by being there.

Two birthday cards from Grandma Green

This card was from 1980 and the note on the back refers to Dean and my trip to the Chetek cabin for our first vacation together. By this time Grandma had moved in with John in his trailer in Plano, Illinois.

This next card was probably from 1983 because I spent a few days with my Grandma and her partner, John, on my way from Pittsburgh to Elgin to drop off the cats for some reason or another — maybe Dean and I went to San Francisco that year? It was not the most direct of routes, but it enabled me to see her in her home. I think it was the only time I went to Plano, Illinois to visit her and John.

Note from Aunt Pat (and her dog)

This must have been in a Christmas card

Hey Dona,

Haven’t heard if you are coming home for Xmas. Even if you do I may not see you cause I won’t take my car out in 15° below weather. Joey couldn’t even walk into the house this morning after he pooped. His little footies are so tender they freeze. Hope your kitties have a nice Xmas and you and Dean too. Thanks for the birthday card.
Leila & Joey

Aunt Pat (Leila) was a trip. I wrote about her a few times over the years, the last was when I was remembering drinking root beer in her house.