11 years ago today, Day 25

More Henry Ford Museum.  Or to be more precise, Greenfield Village.  I went back to the museum that morning and spent most of the day wandering around looking at all the buildings that had been gathered together and put into a rather New England-like setting.  Or maybe it was all the turning leaves.  Or something. 

Lots of buildings associated with famous people, like the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop:

One of the informational panels in this building said that their sister Catherine had almost as much to do with the invention of the airplane as Orville and Wilbur did.

And Thomas Edison’s workshop:

I’ve never seen more different kinds of glass bottles in one place in my life.
Then there were the oddities:
This was one of those fancy German mechanical gizmos.  When the clock struck the hour, the figures below it moved.
Then there were the “ordinary” buildings from different time periods.  One in particular that fascinated me was the Great Depression-era Southern farmhouse that I suspect was a lot like the house my father grew up in.
Then there were the craftspeople displaying their skills:  glass-blowing, weaving, tinsmithery, pottery.  And some rather nice gardens:
These buildings held some of the craftspeople.
I wandered and wandered until my feet hurt, then stopped, ate lunch, and wandered some more.
It was a most excellent time, except for the gaggles of noisy schoolkids:  “Speaking as the curmudgeonly old grump that I seem to be becoming, I’m beginning to think that the kindest possible thing we could do for anyone under eighteen is to tranquilize them until they grow out of it.”  Which sort of makes me wonder.  If I was a curmudgeonly old grump at forty, what am I now at fifty-one???  My feet must have been more sore than I’d realized.
I left Detroit about the middle of the afternoon and promptly got myself stuck in traffic.  A few miles south of Toledo, Ohio, “I got stuck in one of those ‘let’s narrow things down to one lane for no discernable reason’ construction zones — literally — the left hand lane had nothing in it” for miles, no equipment, no torn-up roadway, no nothing.  Of all the stretches of Interstate I fought on my long trip, that had to be the worst, which was saying something.
I did finally make it to Van Buren State Park, a very nice campground on the edge of a lake where the lady in the campground office tried to give me a kitten.  I had to explain my situation in some detail before she finally gave up.
It felt very odd to be back in Ohio. I’d spent six years in the Midwest, in my late twenties and early thirties.  I left a husband behind here.  He’d hoodwinked me into leaving my beloved Pacific Northwest “temporarily” so he could go to grad school in Indiana, but when he got within 2 hours’ drive of his seven brothers and sisters in Cincinnati, he changed his mind.  I wasted five more years trying to get him to come back to the Northwest with me, and when it became obvious that it was never going to happen, that he was forcing me to choose between him and everything else that was important to me, I finally picked up and left.  So far as I know, he’s right where I left him still. 
I did have my reasons for passing through Ohio again — friends in Cincinnati, wanting to revisit a few of my old stomping grounds, but ambivalent doesn’t quite cover how I felt (and how I feel, reliving this right now).  As I put it in my journal that night, Ohio “feels like it’s going to get its claws into me, and I won’t be surprised if I hear a loud sucking noise when I cross the border into Pennsylvania.” 
At least it was only for a few days…
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Categories: Long Trip, museums, outdoors, philosophy, travel | Leave a comment

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