Extraordinary Stories

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

The "It Was All About The Whole-Wheat Pancake" Story

It was an ordinary day.  That was for all but a young Lancaster inter-city teacher named Kyle.  A little over a week ago the Lancaster City School District administered the PSSA tests to all students.  PSSA stands for Pennsylvania System of School Assessment and is given to all students to decide how much money the state of Pennsylvania will be giving to the school district the next year.  School Districts that do well on the test usually fare better than those that do not.  Lancaster School District's Edward Hand Middle School is located in an impoverished area of the city with 95% of the students coming from households with low-incomes.  The school offers free breakfast and lunch to all students everyday of the school year.  For many they are the best, and perhaps only meals, they get each day.  It is also a proven fact that students perform better when they are well nourished.  On the day the test was administered, breakfast was offered to all students.  One young teacher, Kyle, took it upon himself to go one step further and prepare one whole-wheat pancake for each student in his classroom he was monitoring that morning.  There is nothing in the rules for administration of the test that says you many not give students a whole-wheat pancakes while they are taking the test.  There is a rule that teachers should not do anything that would interfere with actively monitoring the test.  So what do you think?  Well, when it was found that Kyle was passing out whole-wheat pancakes during testing he was visited by the administration and told he was being suspended without pay for making whole-wheat pancakes for his students while they took the exam.  He was also told that a vote for his termination would be held the following Tuesday evening at the school board meeting.  Kyle is a well-respected teacher by all his students.  He has taught eighth-grade social studies at Hand since 2013.  He carries the title in the school as the "eighth-grade dad" by not only students but by their parents.  He also is the Student Council co-adviser and coached the school's basketball team the past two years.  He was also the high school freshmen athletic manager.  Hey, do you know how hard it is to find someone like him?  I taught high school for close to 35 years and it's tough to find teachers who are willing to take on extra-curricular duties.  And here is a guy that goes way beyond the call to duty...and whose students love him.  Well, the next day, after finding out that one of their favorite teachers was going to be fired, one young girl organized about 30 other Hand students as well as a few high school students who more than likely had Kyle as a teacher in the past, and stood outside the school for over two hours in protest to his firing.  The young lady told the newspaper that the only distraction in the classroom was when the assistant principal entered to admonish her teacher, and not eating pancakes.  The young teacher told the Lancaster Newspaper that he was suspended without pay until the school board could vote the following night at the monthly meeting.  The newspaper contacted the school about the problem and they replied that no teacher can be dismissed without the School Board first approving a written notice that offers the opportunity for a School Board hearing.  This past Tuesday night at the School Board meeting over 100 parents came in support of their children's favorite teacher, as well and their own favorite.  The large group was told there was never any action taken to get rid of Kyle and there would be no vote taken on the problem.  He was still a part of the staff of Edward Hand Middle School.  No where did I read about the following applause and cheering, but I'm sure there must have been some.  Every school has teachers who are liked better by students than others.  Doesn't mean they are a better teacher or know more about their subject than other teachers, but it does tell you that special teacher have a knack of communicating better than maybe others can.  And, from my own personal experiences, Middle School, or in my case Junior High School, history was not one of my favorite classes I had as a student.  It is tough to teach and tough to learn and if you can get a teacher that can make history exciting, good for them.  And evidently Kyle was one of those special teachers and the students as well as their parents knew that.  I'm so happy the problem was absolved and if they don't want it to happen next year, the PSSA testing services should add to their rules:  No serving Whole-Wheat pancakes during testing!  If they don't, I'd be surprised if other teachers don't try to feed their students something nourishing also.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The "Hey, They Named A Camp After Him: Part II" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Just turned left off of SR272 North and headed back Schoeneck Road to try and find Camp Rodgers.  My brother lives nearby and he gave be directions to the camp after I called him a few hours ago.  
Found Camp Rodgers close to the intersection of Camp
Rodgers road and Indiantown Road.
Camp Rodgers is the church choir camp that opened in 1911 at a small town known as Pequea along the Susque- hanna River in Pennsyl- vania.  It was a place that St. James Episcopal Church organist and choirmaster George B. Rodgers started to reward his choir members with a summer outing along the river.  Before long it was moved to Schelle Island, a small island in the middle of the Susquehanna River and given the name of Camp Rodgers after the founder. 
Entrance to Camp Rodgers as it appeared in 1957.
In 1956 a fired destroyed the main building and the church bought property in Schoeneck to replace the camp on the river.  The new camp was dedicated on June 9, 1957 and welcomed visitors for the first time.  One of those campers was a young boy named Larry, better known to you as LDub.  I spent three years at the camp, loving every minute of the experience.  The property was 18 acres in size which included 3 acres of woodland and a pond of considerable size, which we called Indian Lake as well as a farmhouse and six small cottages where the campers stayed.  
The new entrance bridge over the stream that carries
water from the lake.  In the right background can be
seen a white house.  The same house that appears on
the previous photo to the left.  
I also remember a rather large pavilion where we played ping-pong and board games on days it might have been raining.  Close-by was a really neat waterfall that stood perhaps 10 feet tall, at least to a young boy it seemed that big, that was a picture of rare beauty.  I have fond memories of fishing most every day in the little area under the waterfall as well as the lake above the falls.  
Indian Lake was drained when the stone dam broke years
ago.  This photo shows the area where the lake used to be.
Indian Lake was used for boating with lessons in handling of boats and canoes as well as fishing, but swimming was limited due to the muddy bottom.  In 1959 a swimming pool measuring 20X50 feet was built to allow lessons in all aquatic skills including swimming and diving.  The camp also offered hand crafts, horseback riding and athletics.  Oh yeah, they had daily flag-raising ceremonies as well as a daily church service.  Everyone was responsible for making their bed for cabin inspections before we ate breakfast as well as KP duty a few times a week.  
Morning pledge to the flag during camp week.
I can remember a candy table that you could partake of if your parents had placed any money in an account for you.  I do remember most campers sharing their candy with those whose parents couldn't afford an account for them.  I can remember two different camp directors during the years I went to camp; a Mr. Thompson and a Mr. Breitigan who were both teachers during the school year at Edward Hand Junior High School in Lancaster.  
Boating on Indian Lake.
For choir members, camp was free and in 1969 scholarships were awarded for under- privileged children in Lancaster.  Eventually the camp was opened to a few other churches in the community.  For those who had to pay, the fee was $22.50 a week for St. James members and $24.50 a week for non-members.  This included camp activities, meals, lodging as well as health and medical insurance.  
The swimming pool at Camp Rodgers.
An allowance fee was required for everyone which covered items bought at the camp store, craft materials and incidentals.  They urged that no child be provided more than $2.00 a week.  Eventually camp enrollment declined and finally at the end of 1969 the camp was placed up  for sale.  My trip today was to find the camp once again and take a few photos.  After locating the camp I was greeted with a NO TRESPASSING sign.  Took a few photos from the road and headed for a visit with my brother who lives close by.  We talked about my visit and then Steve told me he was a camp counselor for two years when he was in high school.  Reminded me that one of my fellow teachers as well as the Godfather of my daughter, Mr. Jack Newell, was the camp director when he was a counselor.  Ah, the memories continued as we talked a few hours.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Camp church service held every day.
One of the 6 bunkhouses at Camp Rodgers.  I am the boy on the top right bunk. 
Ping-pong time.
KP (kitchen patrol or food prep) duty in the kitchen.  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The "Hey, They Named A Camp After Him: Part I" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Looking at one of my favorite Facebook pages, "The Lancasterian".  As I scrolled down the page I found a photograph of the entrance to Camp Rodgers which at the time the photograph was taken was located on Camp Rodgers Road near the town of Ephrata in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  I made a comment on the "The Lancastrian" and received a few comments in return.  
Pamphlet showing the Church Camp
on Camp Rodgers Road in Schoeneck.
Wasn't long before I dug out my small pamphlet titled "A Day at Camp Rodgers" to see how much I remembered about the small church camp that I enjoyed so much when I was young.  It was back on December 8, 2009 that I first posted a story here telling about my experiences at the camp, but I never told much about how the camp began and the comments on "The Lancastrians" were leading in that direction.  So, I dug out my book titled St. James Church 1744-1944 by Klein and Diller and began my search.  St. James Episcopal Church began in 1744 and had a variety of organists and choirmasters during it's history, but one of the best was Mr. George B. Rodgers who was recommended by a small church committee who traveled to Princeton, New Jersey to hear him play and interview him.  Wasn't long before he was hired on February 8, 1910.  
Mr. George B. Rodgers for whom the camp was named.
He spent 32 years at St. James and during that time began the boys choir at St. James as well as gaining recognition throughout the community for his musical library for the choir, his lenten organ recitals and his work with the youth of community.  He held his first church camp at nearby Pequea on the Susquehanna River in 1911.  A few years later he changed the location to the town of Goldsboro where he rented a cottage near the river.  
Fathers and sons in the choir.  My dad and I are in the
back row on the far right.  Dad and I both attended
summer church camp as children at Schelle Island
in the Susquehanna.
Wasn't long before the camp carried his name and was moved to a small farm house on Schelle Island near Goldsboro.  It was meant to be used by the youth in the community with those who were in his boy's choir allowed to go for free.  My father was one of those choirboys who had a chance to go to Mr. Rodgers' summer camp on Schelle Island.  Then in 1942 he retired as the organist and choirmaster, but was allowed to spend his summers at the church camp on Schelle Island.  Three years later he suffered a stroke at the camp and was brought back to Lancaster where he stayed in a Convalescent home until his death.  
Camp Rodgers on Schelle Island.  The building shown
here burned to the ground on May 4, 1956.
After Mr. Rodgers retirement, a few other organists filled the position until on Feburary 1, 1944 Mr. Frank McConnell became organist and choir- master.  Mr. McConnell continued the boys choir and the tradition of sending choir members to Camp Rodgers in the summer for a healthful summer vacation in a religious atmosphere.  I attended the camp for the first time in 1955 at the age of 11.  Memories I retain from my stay that year were jumping into the cold Susquehanna River at 7:00 AM every morning before breakfast, seeing one of the other campers shoot himself in the knee with an arrow from his own bow and seeing a large female snake run over by a lawn mower and watching as many baby snakes wandered under our sleeping quarters.  Then on Friday, May 4 of the following year the main camp building which was nearly 200 years old was destroyed by fire.  
Another photograph of Mr. George B. Rodgers.
It was impossible to fight the fire since no equipment could reach the island before the old farm house was destroyed.  The loss was great for the church camp since it was such a big part in the life of the parish since 1911.  Two days after the fire the church Vestry made a decision to erect a temporary building on the island for the coming camp season.  A pre-fab structure was taken by boat to the island and men of the church, including my dad, helped erect the building.  The new building held the dining room, kitchen and cook's quarters.  Then on December 21, 1956, the Vestry purchased  property consisting of 18 acres including 3 acres of woodland and a lake of considerable size.  A farm house and 6 small cottages were situated on the property.  The camp was moved from Schelle Island for $21,500.  The new Camp Rodgers near Schoeneck was ready for campers.  The road that leads to the camp was renamed Camp Rodgers Road and all was well once again.  Follow along tomorrow and I will show you some of the photos that were published in the pamphlet that I have saved all these years.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

PS - The following is a two-page letter my dad sent to his mother when he was at Camp Rodgers on Schelle Island.  The second page was actually folded so it has to be read as the left side and then the right side.  Dad was 12 years old at the time he wrote the letter.  Click on photos to enlarge them.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The "Lunch On The Canal: Part II" Story

Entrance to the Guy Harvey outdoor seating area of the
Schaefer's Restaurant and Canal Bar in Chesapeake City, MD.
In the background you can see the C&D Canal Bridge.
It was an ordinary day.  Having a lemonade with my Crab Melt on a soft pretzel at Schaefer's Restaurant and Canal Bar in Chesapeake City, Maryland.  Sitting in Guy Harvey's Island Grill overlooking the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on a warm spring day enjoying the sights of passing boats as well as a tugboat pushing a large fuel-laden barge.  
LDub and Carol on the right while Jere and Just Sue
sit on the left of the table in the foreground.
My table-mates on this beautiful day are my wife Carol and our traveling friends Jere and Just Sue who are visiting with us from State College, PA.  The four of us visit Chesapeake city quite frequently, but most times eat on the south side of the canal.  Today we thought we would try Schaefer's which just opened once again a year or so ago after a few years of renovations.  
Restaurant logo appears on the menu.
When we arrived, without reservations, we entered the main indoor restaurant at Schaefer's and were told it would be at least a 30 minute wait to be seated.  We decided to cross the canal and eat at another spot until we walked back outside and saw that their Canal Bar was seating customers on their outdoor deck.  The temperature was in the mid-70s on one of the first days after a very long and brutal winter, so we opted to sit on the deck.  Wasn't long before we all had our drinks and meals and were enjoying watching the boat as well as pedestrian traffic along the Canal.  On the opposite side of the  450 foot wide canal were the two familiar restaurants, The Chesapeake Inn and The Bayard House.  The town of Chesapeake City sits on the south side of the canal close to the two restaurants.  
My meal of Crab Melt on a soft pretzel with coleslaw.
Carol and I, as well as friends Sandy and Gary, made visits to Chesapeake City starting in the early 1980s when our children, who were very close in age, would visit to eat and look for souvenirs of their visits to the Chesapeake.  The C& Canal was completed in 1829 wiith the first bridge across it constructed in 1900.  
Photo of seating area before the customers arrived.
There have been many changes to the bridge over the last century, but the town of Chesapeake City still remains.  For us the hour-long ride is a welcome chance to take a break from our routine schedules and enjoy a good meal with friends as we watch the boat traffic on the world's third busiest canal.  Always an exciting visit.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Barge and tugboat pass the restaurant.
Rear of the restaurant chair shows the unique design that was laser-cut into the metal.
The restaurant logo flies next to the Maryland flag.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The "Lunch On The Canal: Part I" Story

Our destination today in Schaefer's Restaurant and Canal Bar
in Chesapeake City, Maryland.
It was an ordinary day.  Sitting along the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal in Chesapeake City, Maryland having lunch with our friends Jere and Just Sue.  Jere and Just Sue both graduated from high school with me and have been traveling companions of Carol and I since Jere and I retired from working together at Manheim Township High School in 1999.  
1910 view of the Schaefer's location on the C&D Canal.
After retirement they moved to State College, Pennsyl- vania, but make several visits a year back to Lancaster to visit with Carol and me and to visit the Chesapeake Bay area for lunch and sightseeing.  Our destination site today is Schaefer's Restaurant and Canal Bar.  Chesapeake City has a lengthy history dating back to the mid-1850's, but my story today will deal with the history of Schaefer's which is the establishment we have chosen to visit for lunch today.  
This is Schaefer's in 1950.
Schaefer's has had a variety of owners throughout its history.  Schaefer's was founded in 1907 by Mr. Joseph Schaefer and his wife Winifred when they opened a grocery store and ship's chandlery (boating supplies) on the north side of the Chesapeake & Delaware (C&D) Canal, just west of the C&D Canal locks.  At the time they became the fourth owner of the property which was deeded back in the early 1800's.  Joseph died in 1923, but Winifred was determined to make the business a success to honor her husband. A few years later a new building was developed along the canal.  
Another 1950 photograph of the C&D Canal Bridge with
Schaefer's in the center of the photograph.
In 1935 a beer garden was opened in a small building behind the canal store.  That building became the initial Schaefer's Restaurant with crab cakes and hard-boiled eggs available at the bar.  Shortly an exclusive dining facility opened which was called the "Chesapeake Room" and became known as one of the finest seafood places on the canal.  In 1966 the "bend" in the canal at Chesapeake City was straightened and widened to 450 feet at Chesapeake City.  
This map show the location of Schaefer's.
Click on photo to enlarge it.
Parts of North Chesapeake City were lost and Schaefer's complex lost quite a bit of land, but a steel bulkhead was erected along the revised waterfront to protect the remainder of the Schaefer property.  Then in 1971 plans were made to build a new restaurant which became known as Schaefer's Canal House which opened in 1973 directly on the canal and had a large dock with fueling station as well as a great view of the canal.  As ships passed in the canal, dining guests were told of the ship's origin and size.  Two years later  Schaefer's Delmar Market opened next door to the dining room and today is Cabin John's Cocktail Lounge.  
A black and white photo of Schaefer's on the other
side of the canal in the upper right of the photograph.
The same year a Pilot Shack was constructed next to the restaurant which served the commercial shipping traffic by transferring pilots on and off the vessels who used the canal.  Since 1975 there have been a variety of owners up to 2002.  Late in 2010, Schaefer's seemed to close with no visible activity and the restaurant was closed when we visited the area.  
A view from the dock looking across the canal to the south side.
The Giordano Family from Kennett Square, PA had purchased the property and spent time with recon- struction to both the marina and the main restaurant. My family first found the Schaefer property in the early 1980's when we began to visit the Chesapeake for summer vacations with our three children as well as friends Gary and Sandy and their three children.  Gary had a boat and we made many a trip to Schaefer's to refuel so everyone could waterski during our two-week August vacation.  
Schaefer's lights can be seen on the center right of the photo.
My parents often made visits to Scahefer's and my dad would always tell me of the "Soup Sampler" which included Snapper, Maryland Crab and the soup of the day.  When the Giordano Family bought the property and began to renovate the property  we began to visit South Chesapeake City and for years made frequent visits to the The Bayard House and The Chesapeake Inn to eat.  Then last year we re-discovered Schaefer's and now have multiple choices for our frequent visits to the C&D Canal for lunch.  Tomorrow I will tell you of our recent visit and share with you our thoughts on the new Schaefer's Restaurant and Canal Bar.    

Monday, April 16, 2018

The "Unchallenged King Of Tabletop Sports!" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Downsizing!  Yeah, I'm preparing for a move sometime in my future. But then, aren't we all?  Not sure where I'm moving to or when, but I thought I should prepare for something, sometime.  Now I have to tell my wife about the move.  Starting my downsizing by cleaning out my green metal filing cabinet that holds close to 100 file folders that I have in alphabetical order telling what's inside the folder; you know...Air Purifier, Airplane Tickets, APBA Journals, etc.  
APBA was played with cards the size of a playing card.
Here are different year sets of APBA cards held in boxes.
Wait!  I haven't looked through that last folder for ages, so I pulled out the APBA Journal folder and started to go through it.  Gonna be tough to get rid of this, I thought to myself.  For those reading this that have no idea what the APBA Journal might be, it is, or should I say was, a 16-page newsletter that was published in Durham, North Carolina and tells about people who play APBA.  
Mr. J. Richard Seitz began to sell his game this year.
APBA dates back to the 1930s when a bunch of high-school buddies in Lancaster, PA played a simulation baseball table-top game invented by one of them, J. Richard Seitz.  His game was loosely based on an old tabletop baseball game called National Pastime.  But, unlike any previous board game, it combined the randomness of dice with the on-field performances of individual players.  The guys called themselves the American Professional Baseball Association; thus APBA.  
The cover of the APBA Journal.  This issue
features a story about Mr. Seitz who is seen
on the cover of the Journal.  The three-page
story was written by none other than me.
When Dick Seitz entered the Army in the 1940s he took the game with him.  He played his game with his comrades in the barracks at Fort Eustis, Virginia.  After the war Mr Seitz had a variety of jobs, but still continued to improve his game.  Then in 1951 he decided to share his creation with the world.  He offered his game, which he had playing cards for each member of the 16 major league teams, plus playing charts, for $10.  Sales were so brisk that in 1957, after making more money the year before selling games than working elsewhere, he began his career in APBA.  I discovered the game in the late 1960s and just loved it.  I started my own league with 7 other guys in Lancaster County, PA which eventually grew to 12 guys.  
A full-page advertisement for my miniature
stadium that I made and sold.  I called my
company WBBB which was Woods Baseball
Boards.  I sold close to 20 before I stopped
production of them fearing someone might
electrocute themselves while playing on it,
and sue me.  Click on page to enlarge.
In the early 1970s I discovered the APBA Journal and in no time was writing stories for it.  Wasn't long before I made my own miniature baseball stadium onto which I rolled my dice while playing.  A few guys liked it and said I should make them and sell them.....so I did.  Wood framework with a green felt field on which I silkscreened base-paths and bases.  The bases were miniature lights which I could turn on when there were players on base.  Had a scoreboard in center field that I used my kids lite-bright pegs to keep score.  Stadium was about 24 inches square and about 10 inches tall.  Advertised them in the APBA Journal and they were a success.  The editor of the APBA Journal asked me, since I lived in Lancaster where Mr. Seitz had built his game company, to visit the company and do an interview with J. Richard Seitz.  
This photo shows the game board, dice, playing
pieces and the boards that told you what happened
to the player after you rolled the dice.  My stadium
was more fun to play on that the game board seen here.
I placed the call and made an appointment with the President of APBA.  And, the APBA Journal that I pulled from my file folder as I was downsizing holds that interview.  It covered almost 3 pages of the 12 page newsletter with a large photo I took of the President on the cover.  I'm positive that you aren't interesting in reading it, but I'm not sure I can get rid of it; or any of the other 30 or so old APBA Journals.  So, I decided to put the folder back in the metal filing cabinet and begin my downsizing another day.  Heavens, I'm not moving tomorrow so what's the rush. And, I still haven't told my wife my plans of where we might be moving yet! It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The "Illness-Free Plane Travel Tips" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Talking with my wife about the swine flu outbreak that occurred in 2010.  During the spring of that year we traveled to our favorite vacation spot, St. Martin.  But, before we traveled to the island, we decided to prepare ourselves for the airplane ride just in case someone on the plane might have had a case of the flu.  We both got a flu shot, a prescription from our family doctor for the Tamaflu and Carol baked a batch of Flu-fighter cookies.  The cookies included ginger which has an antiviral compound, cranberries which have antioxidants, oats which are rich in selenium that helps your body fend off free radicals, walnuts which have zinc that prevent viruses from reproducing in your body and yogurt which boosts your ability to absorb helpful vitamins and minerals.  
Choose a window seat and stay put whenever possible.
And our final precaution before we boarded the plane was to buy masks to wear over our nose and mouth while on the plane if we happened to suspect that someone on the plane might have had the flu.  We searched every drug store and pharmacy in the Lancaster area, but couldn't find any masks.  A day or two later I went to our local Walmart to get our Tamaflu prescription and happened to be walking through the hardware department when I saw them.  
Do you know whom might have touched these before you?
Two masks meant to be worn when sanding something or removing insulation.  BINGO!  Well, we felt rather funny wearing them, so we kept them in her pocketbook while on the plane...just in case.  We luckily didn't need them, but we felt our precautions were what might have saved us.  During the years that we have been traveling overseas or to the Caribbean, we have found ways that we feel have kept us from getting sick from illnesses that might strike us while on the airplane.  
Do they ever clean these trays?
Some of the tips we picked up on different websites, while others we have developed ourselves.  I will share some with you so as to keep you from getting any illness that can be caught while flying to your destination.  First, pick a window seat if at all possible, and stay put.  Seems that people in window seats come into contact with fewer passengers because they leave their seats less often than those sitting near, or on, the aisle.  Plus, anyone who may have been in the restroom might touch your seat as they pass by to steady themselves and who knows what they touched last when leaving the restroom.
And, how many germs are in this place?
Carol, if not seated by the window, will sit in the center seat...and she stays put.  I can't remember more than one time that she had to leave her seat and that was to walk a few yards back and forth due to just having surgery before we traveled and her doctor told her to walk to avoid any blood clots.  Then there is the issue of reading the magazines in the bin in front of you.  Has someone who just left the plane touched the magazine and had the flu?  Or had they used the rest room and not washed his hands before grabbing the magazine to read it?  And what about the tray in front of you.  Do they ever wash them?  At times we get on a plane that had just landed half an hour before and there's no way they cleaned those trays.  A couple of other tips for you that may help you from getting sick.  
Carol and I feel safe when flying with these!
One is called the "Two-row-rule."  This rule tells you not to sit within two rows of an infected passenger if possible.  Another is the "Projectile rule."  The main transmission vehicle for viral infections such as the flu are the droplets of saliva and mucous that an infected passenger might eject.  These droplets are usually at least five micrometers in diameter, therefore rarely travel far before landing.  If those droplets happen to be from someone who has just passed you in the aisle...another reason to sit by the window!  Make sure you have a small bottle of hand santizer and use it often.  I do remember getting ill one time over all my years of travel.  I then proceeded to give it to my wife and before long we were both at an island doctor.  Not fun to be sick while on vacation.  And, no matter how careful you are to avoid sickness, a bit of luck is still required!  That and a mask from the hardware department and, a couple of Carol's Flu-fighter cookies.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The "Two New Family Members At LDubs" Story

2017 and a kitten has arrived at the back door.
It was an ordinary day.  Feeding the new additions to our home.  The two kittens were constant visitors at our back door for a few weeks before Christmas of 2017.  Then a few days after Christmas when the outside temperature was close to "0" Carol opened the door to put some food out for the hungry kittens and grabbed the male kitten and brought him into the house.  We kept him confined to one room in the house for a week or two and finally allowed him to explore the house.  We then enticed the second kitten into the house and after a day or so took her to have her spayed.  
"The Gray Lady" reaching for the camera.
In order for her to recover before we re-introduced the kittens once again, Carol had a good friend, who loved cats and had quite a few of her own, take her to her home to recover from the surgery.  By now we had named the two kittens.  
The handsome boy "Snickerdoodle"
The male was named after the cookies Carol was baking at the time he was brought into the house, Snickerdoodle, while the female was named according to her demeanor and smallness... and naturally coloring...The Gray Lady.  Shortly, Snicker- doodle
  was taken to the vet for neutering and brought to our home to recover.  Wasn't long until the two were reunited once again.  
The Gray Lady loves to sit on her mom's lap.
We are not sure if they are brother and sister, but they certainly are different in coloring as well as size.  Doesn't matter since they are the best of friends.  They are still exploring the house and learning new places to hide and nap.  The Gray Lady is the smaller of the two and more sociable while Snickerdoodle is much larger and a handsome guy, but still somewhat afraid.  
Playing "Footsie"
They love to play with the myriad of toys we have purchased for them and love to tussle.  They do tend to get a bit rough and usually Snicker- doodle gets the short end of the deal, but The Gray Lady did have to make a trip to the vet a few weeks ago when we noticed her one front paw was swollen.  
Snickerdoodle hiding from his sister.
Seems she was bitten or clawed and the vet had to lance her paw to drain fluid from it and give her a shot and pills to help with her recovery.  

They are a never-ending storm of activity.  We get tired just watching them play.  The Gray Lady loves to sleep on your lap while Snickerdoodle is now just discovering that he can jump.  
This looks innocent, but what follows is mayhem!
The only trouble we have with them is they decide to play "rough" most mornings at 5:00 AM and we need to "shush" them from the bedroom so we can get another hour of sleep before feeding time.  I already have a slew of photos, but not wanting to be like a new parent, will only post a few photos for now.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

The Gray Lady sleeping in Carol's lap.