Welcome to A Garden Variety Blog!

Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
And you, you are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups on my table.
--Tang Dynasty

I hope you, whomever you are,
will sit down "with" me for tea,
or flavored coffee or spiced cider,
and have a garden variety chat.
Now and then.
I am not so consistant about blogging
as I ought to be.
I *am* consistant about
drinking hot beverage
and the coffee/tea is always on the hob.

Come on in!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blessings Today

It's been a good day. Larry had the day off (rare Saturday blessing for us this year) and he took just the two of us on a field trip down to Buchanan, Michigan where I was raised. They had an "Old Mill" festival we read about in a tour guide. The festival was....well, a struggling attempt to battle for a failing little town. Sad. But I enjoyed walking through the old mill (Pear's Flour and Grist Mill), which I had not even heard about in all the years I lived there. (Like the train station we never knew existed.)

You can read about it and see it here.


Buchanan is built around McCoy Creek - literally. Actually, the mills were built around McCoy Creek, and Buchanan was built around the mills. They gradually built the city up, building right over the creek, so most of the water that ran through the city was "buried" - an underground creek so to speak. After I had moved away, they removed abandoned buildings and uncovered much of the creek, building small parks around it. It's lovely now. They also fastened bars over the openings where the creek emerged from or disappeared under buildings; this after there was a drowning. The kids in the area would dare each other to "walk the creek" and during a storm, one was drowned while taking the dare.

A bit more history here if you're interested.

The Buchanan area was inhabited for thousands of years before Europeans arrived by Native Americans living on the North side of present-day Buchanan on the banks of the St. Joseph River. A Native American mound was found in this area near a place called Moccasin Bluff. The mound is about the size of a school classroom. Tools, axes, knives, pottery, and the bones of a prehistoric woman were all found within the mound. The first white settler in Buchanan Township was Charles Cowels. He came to Michigan from Vermont in 1832, living in Niles first and then moving to the Buchanan area in 1833. He built a log cabin and a shingle mill. Buchanan was first known as McCoy's Creek after Isaac McCoy who came to the area as a carpenter at the Carey Mission, and after working for a time in boating on the St. Joseph River, he claimed a piece of land at the mouth of McCoy's Creek in 1833. The name of the area was changed to honor James Buchanan the 15th President of the United States - who approved Michigan statehood. Pear's Mill is the last of 13 mills which once lined the Mill Race of McCoy Creek. It was built in 1857 and today houses a working water powered flour mill and artifacts from Buchanan's history.

(Taken from http://www.fourflagsarea.org/index.php?cID=1&sID=17)


We stopped by the church where I attended growing up, and the Pastor, wife and some men from the church (HI CHARLIE!) were painting and fixing up the exterior. They had also been cleaning grass out of the parking lot getting it ready for a re-coat. I'm so glad they're keeping things up. I think the parking lot is a sign of the level of success and, yes, especially hope for the future. After the sad little festival, the church work was encouraging.


We went from there to visit mom and dad's grave. Someone has been keeping it looking nice and I really appreciate that. Larry watered the rose bush there and cleaned off the stone.

We drove past the old house before going home. It has a new barn, but the house hasn't changed a bit. Didn't feel like home. But Grand Haven did! It was good to get back. Although...............

We did come back to a mess. The defunct garbage disposal evidently rusted right through, and unknown to us we had an open drain which had leaked through the cabinet floor and even into the basement! That is not a blessing. Well..........I guess we did get the under sink cabinet cleaned out finally. But now I can't use my dishwasher or the right hand sink. Hmmmmm.........I recall Crystal used to just LOVE doing dishes by hand................