Saturday was an awesome day……one to remember! Yeah, I know – I say that all the time! I tend to find fun in most days and turn even the calmest of days into an adventure, a memory, a reason to smile, or any combination thereof or all three mixed in together! But, Saturday was way up there on the scale for awesome days! What was planned to be a quiet, easy day gradually filled in with things to do and ended up crammed with really special stuff! And it kept changing and getting better……right up until Saturday morning, the day kept changing! But, it was all good……and it was jam packed with friends – old and new!!! On my way home after the last of the great parts of the day, I realized that my cheeks actually hurt from smiling so much! Now, that HAS to be the best testament to the day there could possibly be!
I started the day by dropping off a pan of baked beans I made for a memorial service at our church. I made them the night before using good ole Grandma Brown Baked Beans as my base and doctoring them up with ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, dried mustard, bacon, and onions. I was a little nervous about them because I tried a small spoonful when they came out of the oven to make sure they weren’t a disaster and was concerned that I might have been a little too heavy handed with the Worcestershire sauce – they had a little bit of a bite to them – they were GOOD, but they definitely had a bit of a bite to them! But, reports later said that they were very good and went over well at the luncheon after the service. So, that was good!
Then, my friend Al and his sons were going to be playing their music at the Cobble-Ridge Co-op. Al is the one who I sang “In My Life” with at the Memorial Tree Dedication for the reunion and again in our church. Mom was not able to attend either performance and really wanted to hear me sing. So, I met her there and we sang it for her! That was nice and so very special!
The bulk of the day was spent with a new friend! Let me tell you the story……. There are a lot of blogs out there! A while back, I wrote “Where Have All The Bloggers Gone?” and mentioned that I would love to find more Albion/Western NY bloggers. A guy named “Eric” left a comment with a link to a blog that has a post every day with photos of interesting things and places around Western NY! I started reading “Tom The Backroads Traveller” every morning and really enjoyed it. I made a comment here and there and he started reading my blog and leaving comments here and there and we emailed a few times with tips on cool things to do around the area. Almost exactly a year later (I posted my bloggers piece on July 31, 2013), he was intrigued by my post about the benches in our downtown area and said that he needed to make a trip to Albion! Of course, I told him that if he did come to town, to let me know and we’d connect at some point. At first, I figured we would finally meet each other after all this time of commenting back and forth and maybe I’d point out a few things he should be sure to see while he was here and then go our separate ways. But, the more I thought about it, the more things I wanted to point out to him — the list was getting pretty long! So, I decided that the best way to do that – if he was interested – was to take him around and show him personally! I still didn’t think it would take very long, but thought that what made the most sense was for me to drive and let him “gawk” and go to the main points, stop if he saw something he wanted to photograph, and then let him go back for a closer look at things in between another time. But, it ended up being quite an adventure……I had a blast and I think he did, too……and I made a new friend!!!
We met up at the Cobble-Ridge Co-op just after I finished singing so he got to meet my Mom…….several hours later, we had traveled around much of Orleans County, seen lots of sights, and taken lots of photos, but still only put a dent in the list I had thought wouldn’t take us very long!!! hahaha We ended the day with him saying he would definitely have to come back another time to check out more of our lovely area! We never made it to the main area downtown or the lighthouse at Point Breeze or the Cobblestone Museum Complex (except to drive by and point it out) or the mud truck event we saw signs for or a few other places I had on my list…….I don’t know what I was thinking – no way we could have EVER done it all PLUS the impromptu stops that I knew would catch our eye along the way!!! But, there is no way it would have made it any more special to do it all instead of what we were able to do!!!
Our adventure started at Miller’s Amish store in Ridgeway in response to a question he had! We picked up some sandwiches to be eaten later while we were there. We, then, went to take some photos of the cemetery that is beside the store. As we drove down the Ridge back towards Albion, I made a side trip to the culvert that goes under the canal – I knew that would be a place he’d want to photograph! On the way, we stopped at someone’s house so he could take some shots of some interesting things they had in their yard and talk to the owner. The next main stop was in Knowlesville for some of the interesting buildings, a beautiful home in the “painted lady” style, and barns along that stretch of road that I thought he’d be interested in — and he was!!! We stopped in Eagle Harbor because the bridge was up and we took some photos of the boats – yes, there was a bonus of TWO boats – cruising up the canal. We sat there on the picnic bench and at our sandwiches and talked. Let’s see…….after that, I think we went by the schools and then Mt. Albion Cemetery – I took him up to where the Soldiers and Sailors Monument is and by my head stone and finally at the chapel and Ingersoll fountain. Then, I always wanted to pop in at the Tanner’s Cemetery across the street from Mt. Albion, but was concerned about doing it alone, so we went in there and took some photos. There are a couple houses in town that are the style I have seen him post about – the Barlow house on Clinton St and the old Merrill Grinnell Funeral Home across from the current Merrill Grinnell Funeral Home (the former Sanford Church house), so we swung by there. We also made stops at some of the churches around the courthouse square and other points around town that caught our eye. All along the route, we made side stops and took drive by photos whenever he or I saw something interesting! We covered a lot of ground and I educated him on the history of whatever I knew the history of! And, we talked and talked! By the time we stopped in front of the Presbyterian Church to take in some of the benches and other downtown attractions, he was tired and I didn’t argue! hehehe We decided to end it there and let him head out on his own and plan a return visit at some time in the future, so I took him back to his car – after making two more quick stops along the way!
We were having such a great time, the time just flew by — we didn’t realize it had gotten so late in the day! At one point, Mom called and asked if I was OK – I said, yes, I’m having a blast, why? She said, “well, you left early this morning and got in your car with a strange man you didn’t even know and I haven’t heard from you in hours!” I cracked up!!! Guess I’m just too friendly for my own good, sometimes! Tom agreed with her and said that HE knew he was a nice guy, but I didn’t know that!!! Hahahaha! I guess I should have thought about that, but all was fine and it was a great day!!!
After I left Tom off at his car, I went on to my next destination! A dear old friend (yeah, boyfriend from high school) was in town and we made plans for me to come by his Mom’s to say hi and meet his wife. We had a lovely visit and I really enjoyed meeting his wife! It was the perfect end to an adventurous day! I loved sitting out on their back deck and chatting.
I came home and made myself an incredible sandwich — I’d go so far as to say the PERFECT sandwich — ham, lettuce, fresh cucumber slices, onion, and miracle whip on two of the freshest, most delicious slices of pumpernickel bread I’ve had in a LONG time! And……finally, the excitement of the day wound down and I realized just how tired and sore I was…….I crashed!!! And that was that!!!
Here are just a few of the photos I took during my cross county drive with Tom The Backroads Traveller:
The cemetery next to Miller’s Amish store in Ridgeway:
The culvert under the canal on Culvert Road – from both directions:
The canal bridge and boats at Eagle Harbor:
The old train station and mill on West Academy Street near the corner of Washington Street- the mill used to be a Purina Dog Food factory when I was little, but it was also a mill and a warehouse at various times over the years – incredible beauty can be found even in the roughest of scenes:
Mt. Albion Cemetery:
This is my favorite photo of the day — I love how the sunlight streaks across the building!
Tanner Cemetery – across from Mt. Albion:
There you have it…….I didn’t take a ton of photos – a few more than what I posted here, mainly because we went places that I have a lot of photos of already. But, Tom took LOTS – I think he said somewhere around 350 photos!!! I look forward to seeing them pop up in some of his posts where they might fit in to a particular theme or maybe even one post dedicated to his Albion adventure!
Yes, it was an awesome day……one to remember……one to write about…….one to try to beat with many other adventures yet to come!!!