August 30, 2014

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Along the Winding Roads

Along the Winding Roads 8/14/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martha Ackerman   
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 4:31 PM

Well my column last month was a very long one, but, needless to say, this one definitely won’t be. It surely has been a busy month, though. Fr. Dave asked me to help him out with our church bulletin and it has been interesting learning the Publishing program. I don’t find it as easy as Pagination, which we had at the office, but I am learning. Sometimes it just doesn’t do what I want it to do. Oh, well, it’s a learning experience.

I haven’t done as much baking in years as I have the last month. My cousin Thelma Baker and I worked the kitchen at bingo two Tuesdays and a Sunday at the Brown Community Center. That entails baking a couple desserts each time and trying to make things people will like. Thelma is an excellent baker so, you know, it is hard to bake something comparable to what she makes. But I am getting the hang of baking pies again. For many years, Susie and I didn’t have to make the pies for family dinners because Mom was our pie baker, and as anyone who patronized Katy’s Place when we owned it knows, Mom made great pies and apple dumplings. When the kids were little, I often made cherry pie (Fred’s favorite) or other desserts but now we usually don’t do dessert. Neither of us need the extra calories. Then there were two other occasions I made a cake and several batches of cookies. One was for Fred Jr.’s birthday dinner. He doesn’t care much for cake or pie, but he does like peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses so that was dessert for that evening and, of course, some for him to take home. One dessert I used to make for different occasions when the kids had sports or school banquets is  “sin cake” because it is full of calories, but it went extremely well at bingo that night. Two people asked forthe recipe. Think I will try it again sometime. I told Fred I didn’t care if I baked anything for the rest of the month. Okay, enough about baking.

I do want to apologize to Johnny Denbow because, if you read the article on the veterans’ bricks in last week’s Beacon, I had the wrong information in the cutline (that’s the information under the picture) on his great-great-grandfather. I had it right in the article but forgot to change the cutline after I had called him and clarified my notes. Guess I’ve been away from writing articles too long. Johnny’s family is so blessed to be able to claim eight Civil War veterans.

Along the Winding Roads 6/12/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martha Ackerman   
Thursday, June 12, 2014 10:07 AM

A couple of weeks ago we were off to Dover, Delaware. By the time you read this, we will be back home and getting ready to enjoy Alumni Weekend. As I have mentioned in this column before, this will be our 50th class reunion and we look forward to renewing old friendships.

Yes, Fred and I graduated from WHS in 1964. We began dating when we were juniors and after a few on again, off again times, we were married in 1965 and will be celebrating 49 years in November. Anyway, I digress.

First of all we have spent the last two weeks spending time with our son Doug, his wife Kristyn and their two children Kaelyn and Luke. I have played Go Fish probably 100 times, Old Maid and then began teaching Kaelyn how to play Rummy. At only five, she caught on to the concept of the game very well. She will be a pro at it in the next few months.

Fred has been busy playing ball with three-year-old Luke. He likes baseball and any kind of game requiring a ball. We have enjoyed walking a couple of times a day with the kids. We walked, they rode their bikes. Great exercise for all of us. Dover Air Force Base has wonderful walking trails all through the housing units.

We enjoyed watching Kaelyn and Luke at swimming lessons, and even spent one weekend babysitting while Doug and Kristyn attended a wedding in Virginia. It has been great as all grandparents can relate.

One afternoon we spent at Rehobath Beach walking the boardwalk and enjoying the ocean's beauty. The kids enjoyed the various rides in the fun area. I couldn't resist buying some salt water taffy and we parked right in front of a Coldstone so of course ice cream was an afternoon treat. Anyway it was a great time.

The best part of the trip was helping Luke celebrate his fourth birthday. Since they were in Hawaii the first three of his birthdays, it was great being able to be with him on his special day.

Along the Winding Roads 5/8/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martha Ackerman   
Thursday, May 08, 2014 9:02 AM

Isn’t it supposed to be March winds? Well, I think we have had the windiest year ever. Today, Sunday, the wind is gusting and it’s hard to do any yard work when the wind is almost blowing you over. Will it ever get warm and pleasant at the same time? Mother Nature will probably skip a nice spring and go right on into a hot summer. Hopefully, we will have some nice sunshiny days without extreme heat. Oh, well, we can’t do anything about it anyway.

And talk about wind. Our Arkansas family was narrowly missed by the recent tornados. Chante’s husband Daniel and little Kayden were visiting his parents that Saturday and a tornado hit just two miles from their home. Too close a call. Chante texted me that she and Daniel have been approved to add a storm shelter to their home. Thank the Good Lord they were fine, but our prayers continue for all those who were affected by that terrible line of storms.

Aren’t the dogwood and other flowering trees beautiful this year? I am pleasantly surprised after the late snow and hard frost we had. The only flowering trees that were completely damaged were the magnolias. They were just starting to flower nicely when the hard frost destroyed them. I saw some lilacs blooming at the post office but they aren’t as full and pretty as they usually are. It has been a very cold and strange winter. I think it reverted back to the old fashioned winters we used to have except for the strong winds.

Enough about this crazy weather. As you know if you read the Beacon, I went back to work at the office for a few days. It certainly reminded me why I decided to retire at 66. Connie and I worked hours and hours getting the church guide together. It had to go to press early and it was quite a challenge, especially since I had been gone for almost two years and working on a Mac is definitely different than a PC. Things came back slowly, but I had several questions of the staff. It is hard going into a project cold, too. When I worked there, I knew which churches that were to be included and to make matters worse, the thumb drive containing last year’s church guide had been damaged, so some of it was starting from scratch. It’s things like that which make me glad I did retire although it was very nice seeing the staff again.

Fred and I had a nice time at the Kiwanis basket bingo. We didn’t win anything, but it was nice seeing a lot of people we hadn’t seen for a while. I talked with Ruth Workman who is on the Woodsfield Bicentennial Committee. Hope you enjoyed the article I wrote on that event. The small committee has worked so hard with very limited finances, but it sounds like it will be a fun-filled weekend.

American Legion Post 87 asked me to do an article. They are having an open house May 17 which is Armed Forces Day. They are ready to show off their brand new facility, which is very nice and conveniently located on South Sycamore Street. When Fred and I were going through some of Mom’s things a couple of weeks ago, we found Dad’s American Legion and VFW anniversary pins. He joined the organizations after serving in the Army during World War II. Our son Doug will be a veteran one day. He will soon have 26 years in the Air Force and has already committed to the four that will bring him to 30. We are very proud of his accomplishments.

Along the Winding Roads 4/10/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martha Ackerman   
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 2:17 PM

Good day to all! I guess if you have been reading my column the second week of each month, you know what I am going to talk about first. Yes, Doug, Kristyn, Kaelyn and Luke’s visit. It had been over a year since we had seen this little family and we loved spending the week visiting with them. Kaelyn, now five, and Luke, three, have grown so much. Each morning I was awakened with a little voice (Kaelyn) saying, “I love you, Grandma.” You grandparents know how wonderful that is to hear. Luke is not the morning person; Kaelyn is. She jumps out of bed and immediately wants to play or do crafts. We did a lot of both.

A typical boy, Luke likes his trucks and playing construction. Fred gave Luke a tractor and trailer he had made a number of years ago. It has a sign “Ackerman Trucking Service” on it and Luke loves it. It was one thing he wanted to take home, but unfortunately, Doug didn’t have room for it. Yes, it is pretty big and heavily loaded with wooden logs. We will be taking that to him when we visit. Yes, the first part of June we will be traveling to Dover, Delaware, for Luke’s fourth birthday, the first one we will be able to attend. He has celebrated the first three in Hawaii and, unfortunately, travel there is very expensive, so we have missed the kids’ birthdays since they have been across the Pacific.

The weather wasn’t very cooperative during their visit but we did go to Cabella’s where the kids liked looking at all the fish and wildlife. They especially liked the jungle display. It was a fun day. Kaelyn and Luke also enjoyed the snow. There was just enough to do a little sleigh riding.  There were a couple warm days when we played ball in the back yard and driveway. Luke is quite the slugger.

While Doug and family were here, we had several get together dinners with Fred, Kim, Haleigh and Ryan which was doubly fun. Then Doug’s boyhood friend, Steve Kirkland, came to visit with his wife Anne and son Carson. Doug and Steve have been friends since they were babies. Doug is Carson’s godfather and Steve is Kaelyn’s. The kids played great together and the adults had a great time catching up.

By the time you read this, Doug will have reported to work at Dover Air Force Base and Kristyn will be trying to get their new home on base set up. Hopefully, their furniture and household goods will be arriving soon.

While we were in Arkansas, which I told you about last time, we drove down to Hot Springs and on to Garvin Gardens. It is such a beautiful place, but the flowers and trees were just beginning to come out. The daffodils were very pretty, but I bet right now that place is beautiful with the hundreds of tulips, flowering shrubs and trees. Kayden enjoyed the trails and waterfalls, but he sure liked walking instead of riding in the stroller. If Chante` hadn’t been holding him tightly, he would have walked right into the koi pond. He really enjoyed watching the fish.  I would like to make a return trip next spring.

Along the Winding Roads 3/13/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Martha Ackerman   
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 2:58 PM

It seems winter just won't let go. I play Words with Friends on my cell and one of my friends is a lady from Oklahoma. I think I have told you about her before. Unlike a lot of people who play the game, we have gotten to know each other and we seem to have a lot in common. Anyway, I will get to the point. We were texting about the weather. I shared with her that we went to Florida and it was cold. We came home and it was very cold, snowy: you know how it has been. Then we came to Arkansas expecting to be able to take a walk each day around the community pond here in Cabot. Well, guess what? Yes. It has been very cold, an ice storm and today it is raining.     Anyway, back to her comment which seems to apply to us. Our weather experiences seem to be like Linus (from the Peanuts gang) with the cloud always over his head. It sure feels like that. Arkansas is experiencing unusually cold weather. Go figure. But things are looking up. At least we hope they are. The weather man says it is supposed to warm up. Yea, just in time for us to go home. But there has been an up side to our visit. We have been able to spend lots of time with our granddaughter Chante` and great-grandson Kayden, along with Steph and Curt. Kayden is 13 months now and every day he is doing something new. It is so funny. He is obsessed with clocks. He points out every "cock" he sees and that includes watches with hands (not digital ones).
For some odd reason he loves my tennis shoes. I made the mistake of putting his little foot in one of them and helping him walk in it. He thinks that is great until his foot comes out of the shoe. I tried putting the shoes in a bag in our bedroom and sure enough, he found them. Needless to say, we are definitely enjoying him.
Granddaughter Haleigh has been housesitting for us. She takes great care of all my plants. I was glad to hear she was on spring break when that last snowstorm came through Monroe County. I worry about Haleigh and Katherine driving to OUE in the bad weather we have had.