Hello Fellow Readers,
There was a gap in the publication cycle of The Press during the holidays so I thought I’d post a behind the scenes of next week’s story…
While traveling with Curt and our canine kid Miss Ellie to visit Mom in a nursing home in Virginia these last three years, we stumbled upon a historic place along the James River and have taken respite amongst nature. Along the drive into Henricus Historical Park in Chester VA is an electric plant powered by coal owned by Dominion, one of the largest electric power and natural gas companies in the country serving 14 states. While the clouds billowing above the majestic pipes may cause concern for the environment, there’s something magnificent about it. Patriotic really as you consider the history of coal energy that spearheaded the Industrial Age and the growth of our country. Next week I’ll share more about this intriguing plant.
After we parked the car I noticed a tier of wildlife puppets in the window of the gift shop. The same tier hosted a turkey puppet that became our guest during a Thanksgiving visit three years earlier, when Mom was well enough to enjoy the replica of a wild turkey that reminded her of those that roamed the dairy farm in upstate New York where she grew up. This time a tortoise puppet caught my eye and in the spirit of the season and the love of turtles and tortoises by my soulful twin Bill, I thought the shelled fellow should come home. After our jaunt on the trails we returned to the store which was closed. “Not meant to be” I thought to myself not terribly disappointed as merely sighting the puppet was joyful. A lovely lady tending to the restrooms suggested I ring the office bell to see if they could help. I did and a friendly voice explained the park is closing to give staff an early start to New Year’s. “Thank you,” I responded, “Happy New Year.” I began walking to the parking lot.
A few minutes later the friendly voice named Sarah of the Education Department came towards us offering to open the store. I shared the story of my brother who passed three years ago, just before Christmas, and how much Bill loved turtles hence why the puppet caught my eye. “It was meant to be,” declared Sarah. She then shared that they host puppet shows for children using the wildlife puppets as part of the education program. I told the tale of the turkey puppet I saw there on Thanksgiving Day (a month before Bill passed it occurs to me now). The store was closed Turkey Day but we returned the day after to buy my feathered friend in the window. “Is it going to live in my room?” dear Mom asked as I animated the puppet. We didn’t realize how far along Mom was in her dementia journey; confused by reality and make-believe but still fascinated by the fluffy puppet.
Much has changed in three short years but I am learning to take comfort in all is meant to be.
Garden Dilemmas? Askmarystone@gmail.com
Stay tuned next week for Part 2 Power amongst History & Nature