Hello Fellow Readers, The Press gives their staff a week off during the holidays, so I thought I’d post a behind-the-scenes of next week’s story and the lessons gained from Henricus Historical Park.
While traveling with Curt and our canine kid Miss Ellie to visit Mom in a nursing home in Virginia the 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 using coal owned by Dominion Energy, one of the country’s largest electric power and natural gas companies, serving 14 states.
There’s Something Majestic about the Coal Plant.
While the clouds billowing above the majestic pipes may cause concern for the environment, there’s something magnificent about it. It’s patriotic, really, as you consider the history of coal energy that spearheaded the Industrial Age and the growth of our country. In next week’s column, I’ll share more about this intriguing plant (Link below.)
After we parked the car, I noticed a tier of wildlife puppets in the gift shop window. I purchased a turkey puppet from the same gift shop that became our “guest” during Thanksgiving three years earlier. At that time, Mom was well enough to enjoy the replica of a wild turkey, reminding her of those that roamed the dairy farm in upstate New York where she grew up.
Not Meant to be.
After our jaunt on the trails, we returned to the store, which was closed. 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. “Not meant to be,” I thought to myself, not 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. Happy New Year,” I said and began walking to the parking lot.
The Lesson learned from Henricus Historical Park.
A few minutes later, a friendly voice came towards us. Sarah of the Education Department offers 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’s 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 on 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.
The lesson from Henricus Historical Park:
Much has changed in three short years, but I am learning to take comfort knowing that all is meant to be.
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Link to Part 2 Dominion Energy amongst History & Nature
Link to Dominion Energy’s website
Column updated 9/1/21