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Well, this post is a bit later than I had planned, but here it is! We all had a great time attending the 2013 Pearson Family Reunion in Springfield, Ohio. As you can see from this group photo we had a pretty good turn out this year and hope for an even better one next year.
We decided that it will be in Springfield, Ohio again next year, but at a new location which is yet to be decided. The date has also been set so those that want to mark their calendars the next reunion will be on June 22, 2014 beginning at 1pm.
It was great to visit with cousins and Aunt Jean to catch up on a lot of what everyone has been up to since we last got together! Everyone got to meet their newest cousins from Kentucky, Xavier, Elaina and Damion! Hope more of the family can make it next year as we all had a great time and plan for an even better time next year.
Well this morning April, myself, David, our brother, Chrystal, Aprils daughter, and three of my great-great kids, Elaina, Damion and Xaiver are off on a long weekend roadtrip to our annual family reunion. This year it’s at Springfield, Ohio which is centrally located for most of the family that lives in Ohio.
Family reunions are always a great way to catchup with what’s going on in everyone’s life and I always look forward to them. Hopefully this year we’ll have a good turnout from my grandfather Moses and grandmother Marie Pearson’s descendents. They had 15 kids, our dad, John Alexander Pearson being one of them.
Of course we’re also looking forward to visiting two different Renaissance Festivals that will be happening this weekend close to Springfield. One at George Rogers Clark park that is during the Colonial Times and the other being at Harveysburg, Ohio. Should be a fun weekend and we’ll post some pictures and updates as the weekend progresses!
Anyone that knows Kentucky music or thumbpicking has heard of Eddie Pennington. This past weekend they had their annual festival in Princeton, Ky where Eddie lives and I took a short road trip, about 30 miles, on Saturday to hear Eddie and his family play. Of course I wasn’t disappointed as I’ve been a fan of him and his music ever since I attended my first concert in the woods at his farm. We at the paper have done several stories on him and so we’ve know each other probably almost as long as the 17 years I’ve been working for The Messenger Newspaper in Madisonville, Ky.
Anyway, I made my way there yesterday afternoon and shot several video clips with my Nikon D800 that I’ve strung together into a 30 min video that I’ve posted below that I thought our viewers would enjoy.
Even short routine trips can quickly turn into something else. Whether it becomes a disaster or an adventure depends on the end result. Recently, I had to go to Bowling Green. I registered for classes at Western Kentucky University there and had papers to sign, an ID to get, and an exam to take.
After a day spent clambering up and down steps and in and out of multiple buildings while searching for the proper offices that left me feeling like I was involved in a scavenger hunt, I finally accomplished all my business. Exam taken and my shiny new red and white picture ID card in my wallet, I headed home.
I needed to get gas on the way back and I made one of my favorite stops. Truck Stops in the center island may be common in some parts of the country, but they are a rarity on my normal routes. There is only one. It sits between the east and west bound lanes of the West Kentucky Parkway about 50 miles from my home exit. There is one side for big trucks and another for cars. It has the usual convenience store and an attached Arby’s. Like many places these days, you have to pay in advance, either with plastic at the pump or by going inside.
Since I was using cash that day, I took my cell phone, keys and wallet and headed inside. This is an unusual method for me. I usually pay with my card at the pump unless I intend to buy something inside. When I do that, I unlock the car and put my purchases inside before pumping the gas. On this day, I simply paid for the gas and returned to the car. I had nothing in my hands but cell phone and wallet. My keys were in a pocket. Why the cell phone wasn’t I have no idea. It should have been, would normally have been.
For some reason, instead of opening the car and putting everything inside, I set the wallet and cell phone on top and proceeded to pump the gas. When the pump handle gurgled and clicked to signal it had dispensed the appropriate amount, I returned it to its cradle, unlocked the car, got inside, and drove off. In fact, I drove all the way home. Slightly more than 50 miles, about 45 minutes. I thought about dinner and debated with myself how well I had done on the exam.
Shortly after going in the house, I started searching for my cell phone. The jacket I was wearing had five pockets. It wasn’t in any of them. My pants had four pockets, not there either. The purse I had taken with me had five pockets and two sections. No phone. Not laying in the entryway or on the Diningroom table, not on the kitchen counter or the end table beside my chair in the Livingroom, not on the coffee table. Finally, thinking I had done something strange, like put it in the freezer while getting ice for my tea, I used the landline to start calling it. As I stood still, hoping to hear it ring, I searched my memory for when when I had last had it in my hand and it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen my wallet while searching my purse…..back to the car (not on the seat or in the floorboard) and out the driveway without even telling my family I had been home. I finally accepted the fact that I had never picked these two crucial items up from the top of the car.
I knew the chance of finding either was minimal, especially since it was now dark. At the service island, I circled past the pump I had used, in the desperate hope my life would be laying beside the trash can. I parked and went inside the store to ask if some rare angel had turned them in….didn’t happen. The bored girl behind the counter looked at me as though I were asking if she had seen any honeysuckle in bloom that February. She suggested checking with the people in Arby’s where the counter person seemed to think I spoke in tongues.
As I was headed back toward my car, thinking I’d look along the exit ramp, a young man standing in the door of the janitor’s closet asked if I’d like him to use the flashlight on his phone to help search. My cynical first thought was, “How much will it cost?” But, I didn’t voice that. I hesitantly said yes, wondering as I did if he was a “Stranger.”
Outside, he asked which way I had been going and we walked the parking lot, the driveway and finally down the exit ramp. As he held his phone down toward the ground, sweeping it back and forth diligently, I was embarrassed about my suspicions. He obviously had good intentions. Halfway down the ramp, I was wishing for a real flashlight or my own phone that had a much better light than his. Now feeling like a total ingrate, I stopped him from moving onto the shoulder of the highway.
“This is hopeless. Even if it’s here and not halfway to Missouri, we’ll never see it. If it’s still here, it’s for sure no one else will find it tonight. My brother and I have to come back this way tomorrow for an appointment in Richmond. We’ll stop in then and search in the daylight. Thank you, though. You’ve been very kind.”
“Ok…if you’re sure. I found one for a guy last week like this though. We can keep looking if you want.”
He sounded so hopeful, I felt even worse. Obviously, this was preferable to whatever he was supposed to be doing or else the man had given him a reward and he hoped I’d do the same. Oh, how awful he was making me feel. Why couldn’t I accept his help without looking for a hidden agenda? When did I become such a terrible cynic? This trip had turned into a disturbing inner journey that I wasn’t enjoying.
As I drove home, I took my mind off my rotten inner core by mentally listing what was in my wallet:
- Two credit cards
- Three bank cards
- Driver’s License
- Social Security Card
- WKU picture ID
- Murray State ID
- Barnes and Noble Membership
- Insurance Card
- Medicare Card
- $33 plus change
- La Quinta Inn Membership
- Two Library cards
I began to arrange them in order of urgency, calculating how much damage could result if I didn’t cancel the bank and credit cards before noon the next day. I’d have to go online when I got home and get the emergency numbers for the financial institutions. Everything else would have to wait until the day afterward. Once I was sure everything was really gone, I’d make the most urgent calls with my brother’s cell phone from the road. That thought turned my jittery mind to my own cell phone.
Replacing the actual phone wouldn’t be hard. My contract had been up for a couple of months. I could get a replacement the next day, maybe not free, but definitely under $100. All it would take was a trip to AT & T, or Walmart, or Best Buy or…..
I could sync the new phone through iTunes on my computer to recover most of what was on it. Unfortunately, I hadn’t done a calendar sync in quite a while. I had added some things to my Outlook, but a lot of it was only on the phone. Plus I had several apps on the phone with data that never synced anywhere. All my notes and a lot of my pictures were only on the phone…..basically a big chunk of my life was going to be unrecoverable. Of course, I’d still be out seventy or eighty dollars for a new Mophie® battery case.
By the time I got home, there was a big, black rain cloud settled over my head. When I walked in, one of my daughters and two of my brothers were there. I explained what had happened and my two brothers said, “Let’s go look now. We’ll take big flashlights and search both sides of the ramp all the way to the highway. If it’s still there we’ll find it.”
So, off we went, back down the same road for the third time that day. When we got there, one brother went inside to ask, again, if anyone had turned anything in, while the other brother and I went over the parking area….“one more time.” Then we started out the driveway and of course, because this was turning into some kind of black comedy, one of the flashlights wouldn’t work. So, I went back and got the car. I turned the headlights on high and inched slowly along behind the guys as they each took a flashlight and walked the edges of the road with occasional trips down into the drainage ditch.
My youngest brother, Jim, had ranged ahead and was almost to the end of the on ramp. As I realized I couldn’t really see him myself, I became concerned for his safety. Several cars had passed us as we searched. By the time they got to the end of the ramp, the need to merge quickly meant they were doing sixty and I was afraid the drivers wouldn’t notice him.
As I rolled along with the window down, I called out to my other brother, “Davie, can you see Jim?”
“Yeah, he’s down there, I saw his light a second ago.”
Then I heard Jim call out. “I’ve got the phone.”
We both moved quickly to catch up with him.
“Here’s the wallet too…looks like it’s trash though.”
I stopped the car where the headlights shown around him and Davie as they searched the area. I turned on the flashers, put the car in park and got out to help search. Jim handed me what was left of the wallet. The external change purse was flapping loosely. All the neat inner slots were ripped loose. The protective plastic where my driver’s license lived was gone. Only one pocket was intact. In it, I found one of the credit cards. Saved because I seldom used it and put it in the least accessible place.
Jim said, “Here’s the phone.”
I stared in amazement. It was on. It still worked. The corner was cracked and the battery almost dead, but otherwise it looked fine.
He said, “That’s how I found it. I called the number hoping it would ring or something and saw the light flashing.”
David said, “This looks like part of the phone case.”
I took the metal sleeve from him and slid the phone into it. The case was in sad shape. Both corners of the bottom were cracked with pieces missing. Jim handed me the top half. It slipped into place. The trim along the top edge was broken and hanging loose, but it was all there. Even as bedraggled as it looked, it still transmitted its stored charge to the phone. My life was restored.
Jim was still searching and he soon brought me more bits and pieces of plastic that he had collected. All the cards were there. Most of the financial stuff was cracked or even broken into multiple pieces, but I had all the magnetic strips. He also found most of the cash. Amazingly, it wasn’t even torn, just wet. The ID items had survived intact as well and the insurance cards.
I was saved. It would take a week or so to get some of the cards replaced, but I wouldn’t spend that time contacting every institution in my life while worrying whether some random stranger was pretending to be me. The black cloud had dispersed and, even though it was now midnight, I felt the sun in my mind. Saint Christopher had smiled on me. The Travel Disaster had become a Travel Adventure. I was safely home once more.
Waiting for the judges to finish. It’s been an interesting weekend. There were several accidents due to the icy road conditions. Thankfully, no one was injured.
We got some nice shots as you can see below. Jim won best of show for his dog houses picture. This park allows shooting anywhere, even out of state. ;-) One of the winning photos was actually shot in Virginia. The speaker, Ian Plant, was very good. We’d like to return in the spring.
There were a lot of points we couldn’t reach due to the icy roads. The lodge layout is kind of sprawling. Since the weather had left ice on the walks as well and only the main ones had been cleared, we walked and climbed almost as far going back and forth to our room as we usually do hiking at Pennyrile. Next time we’ll try to arrange something more convenient.