Recently I have been thinking about the drastic effect COVID-19 will have on the children of this country and many others. Out of school and confined to home, our children are losing valuable time and experience. These are not just a few snow days that are being missed. There are weeks and months of education that will not be recovered easily. Even those with computers and pads who are following online lessons at home are still getting cheated. Certainly a great part of schooling is the social interaction, learning to interact with our peers and other societal members. I envision a generation that will grow up hoarding toilet paper and vowing never to be without it again in the best Scarlett O’Hara fashion (and perhaps they watched Gone With the Wind while staying safe at home…a good history lesson). Continue reading “COVID Lessons”
With the New Year I made a significant investment in a robot…yes, a robot. The Roomba vacuum cleaner, which can be seen to the right with more at irobot.com, is about as cute as R2D2, moves in a similar fashion and is just as much fun to watch. In these troubled times it is comforting to encounter something that simply does what it is says it will do. Continue reading “Trump got you down? Buy a Roomba.”
The odyssey is over. Tango and I are safely arrived in Franklin, NC, where we will quietly enjoy the summer. No road trips anticipated. 😀
We made a completely unexpected trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and met a family who I felt that I knew but had never met. I wrote about that in my blog, “On the Road — Memories and Magic.” But I also got to visit my nephew Michael and his family in Sun Valley, Idaho. What a beautiful family in a beautiful part of the U.S.
If you enter North Dakota from the west, traveling from Montana along Interstate 94, one of the first things you will see is a billboard which simply says, “Be Polite.” I knew I was going to love ND. Continue reading “On the Road – The Dakotas”
Today Tango and I turned the van eastward and began our journey home. The magnificent Western mountain ranges that have filled my windshield for nearly four weeks — the Rockies, Sierra Nevadas, Cascades, Pioneers — are sadly becoming relegated to my rearview mirror, growing smaller with each mile. Continue reading “On the Road – Four Great Days in Idaho”
Faithful readers know I am on a cross-country trip with my canine companion Tango. Some of those faithful readers, but not all, know that I have a long history with the medical cannabis issue (to learn more please visit aliceolearyrandall.com). I have kept medical cannabis out of my Alice’s WanderLand blog for various reasons but primarily because I am not a 24/7 cannabis person. There is so much more to life than cannabis (aka, marijuana). Alice’s WanderLand is my touchstone with the wonders and beauty of life…either through pictures or words. Continue reading “On the Road – Memories and Magic”
I am just shy of three weeks on the road, about halfway through the trip. It has been great fun. I think everyone should leave the safety of their home cocoon and get out in the world. Despite the rather spooky presence of nearly identical shopping malls in every fair–sized hamlet, you can still catch the regional flavors that make this land a wonderful smorgasbord of ideas, ambitions, and realities. How have we ever managed to hold it together for all these years? Will we manage to keep it together in this current time? Continue reading “On the Road – God Bless the U.S.A.”
One of my favorite TV series is “Saving Grace.” (It originally aired on TNT 2007-2010 and is now available on Netflix.) Holly Hunter plays an Oklahoma City detective named Grace who is visited by Earl, a lovable angel. Grace is a nice twist on the prostitute with a heart of gold. She sleeps around, drinks too much, and is a wicked jokester but she’s also ethical and a good cop. Continue reading “On the Road – Day 4”
Today Tango and I crossed the states of Alabama and Mississippi, stopping in Vicksburg on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Vicksburg is notable for being the spot where the first Coca Cola was bottled in 1894. It was also the site of one of the critical battles of the American Civil War. In 1863, from May 18th until July 4th, the Union forces laid siege on Vicksburg. The armies totaled 110,000 men–more than twice the current population of Vicksburg. Causalities were more than 37,000–a number that does not include the civilians of Vicksburg who were trapped along with the Confederate soldiers.
Vicksburg’s strategic place along the Mississippi made it a “must win” for the Union. Abraham Lincoln declared Vicksburg “the Key” to winning the Civil War.
Today the land on which the Yanks and the Rebels squared off against one another is preserved as a National Park. With close to 150 years of recovery, the landscape no longer resembles the war-ravaged land of 1863. Monuments grace the 1,800 acres and the Park Service clearly has its hands full keeping the grass trimmed back. You can hardly believe there was ever the carnage and suffering that is depicted in the exhibits.
Why visit such a place, you might ask? Why care about a war that is long gone and that many college students can’t even tell you who won (it was the Union)? It has to do with perspective, I think. There are many who feel these are the worst of times in the U.S. But there was a time in this country when we set about to slaughter one another and did a darn good job of it. Estimates are that 620,000 people died in the Civil War, which was only four years long. Do the math…155,000 a year, 12,917 a month! Add to that the mammoth destruction of property in the South. It was a horrific time….
Yet today soft green grasses of spring wave peacefully on the hillsides. The trees have that rich color of new growth and birds are everywhere collecting the makings of their springtime nests. Butterflies flitter about and dozens of people, like me, stopped by to pay their respects to this hallowed ground. Things may be a little tough right now but let us hope we never return to the horror that was the American Civil War. ❖