How do we celebrate the end of summer? We participate in all the local fun and take advantage of the few remaining warm days. I took my grandson out with me Friday, where we visited the locally owned shops in downtown. The historic downtown isn’t always accessible to me, but more and more businesses are having small ramps built that can be removed to get around the restrictions which include not changing the front facade of historic buildings. We visited one such store where I found a beautiful gift for my youngest grandchild then had lunch in the coffee shop. He loved the coffee shop so much I had to take several pictures.
The coffee shop is operated out of an old Victorian house. There are 4 rooms open to the public with seating in each. Unlike the expensive coffee chains it’s nice to have a bit of privacy when you want it. To the left of the door is a sitting room complete with couch, where the owner’s little boy was sleeping. My grandson was taken with the elaborate woodwork and paneling around the staircase and the chandeliers.
Our food was delicious, and unlike the chain restaurants spinach is used for its health benefits over iceberg lettuce on the sandwiches. My grandson had a bit of trouble deciding what he wanted to eat, at which point the owner offered to make him her daughter’s favorite sandwich…..3 cheeses melted together. Our meals came with fresh raw carrots as well. Little one was torn between milk and water when he was offered the opportunity to make his own soda. I wasn’t thrilled at first but after learning how it was made relented. Club soda was blended with his choice of flavorings which were low in sugar (nice to have a mother who understands these things serving you). His was raspberry and apple. Our sandwiches arrived on clear glass plates, but our drinks were in disposable cups. I will have to remember to take my own cups next time. But aside from my disappointment with the disposable cups, this was the best meal I have had out in years.
The entry way is the information section where you can browse the bulletin board or check out the table of free community newspapers and event postings. Each room has at least 2 bookcases overflowing with books to enjoy and artwork both to admire or to purchase. There are some oddities to check out like this lamp my grandson spent quite a bit of time checking out from every angle to figure out why it had to be so ugly. :-)
We strolled around town watching everything being set up for homecoming
We also had to take time to admire the fall plantings. Most homes are adorned with mums on the front walkways or by the main doors, and then there is this display I enjoy each fall.
In between there was some work to do, I am fortunate to have such wonderful helpers.
I have a good start on my Christmas shopping, and while picking up my youngest son’s gift I spotted this. You know it had to come home with me.
The veneer is almost off and I can already see how this will look when finished. Little one has her own ideas on how it should look. She wants the wood stained on the top and sides then each drawer to be painted in a different color “like a rainbow,” she says. From the top right she wants yellow, green, middle drawer red, bottom one pink. I think I will have to do the painting when she’s not here or it will have her vision and not mine.
Can you tell someone else loves this dresser? Look at those legs, I spotted these legs first and couldn’t wait to find out if I could have this piece from that moment on.
On the way to the parade this morning, loaded with blankets and snacks we stopped to watch two chipmunks at play. We didn’t arrive as early as I would have preferred and had a bit of trouble finding a good place to view the parade. Once we found our spot little one got busy getting her seating arranged and waited patiently.
The highlight of any parade is the Zem Zem Shriners. If you aren’t familiar with the Shriners, they are a charitable organization which raises money for sick children. They have some of the best hospitals around staffed with caring and dedicated specialists. Their motto is: “We ride so children can walk” Here are some pictures of just a few of the different vehicles they take around the country.
We call the Zem Zem vehicles “the funny cars” and while they are entertaining to watch, there is always the potential for an accident. My son was able to join us today and remembered from his childhood of my moving him back away from the street. He quickly gave his daughter the option of sitting on my lap or his shoulders. Guess which one she chose? His rationale was that he could move a lot faster with her if he didn’t have to try to pick her up should there be an incident.
When your university’s mascot is known as the Fighting Scots you can’t have a parade without several bands with bagpipes.
Everyone knows bands are a part of a parade, but do all parades have a clown band. Sorry I didn’t get a better picture of them.
Plenty of floats went past us, I wish I had taken a few more pictures. Every year there is a theme for the floats, this year it appeared to be children’s movies. Included was The Wizard of Oz, and even Clifford the dog walked around to shake hands with the children.
While I do not agree with war, I do know that we have many men and women who have risked their lives in the hopes of protecting our country. With the news this past week of World War II veterans having to storm barricades to view the monument built in their honor as a result of the government shut down, it was nice to see everyone stand and applaud these men today. These men are both veterans and Zem Zem members.
And that’s how we celebrate the end of summer each October. Now it’s back to work putting the garden to bed and getting some furniture sanded before the weather turns cold again.