Tuesday, September 30, 2008
High Marks for Progress--Lessons for Me on a Tutorial Tuesday
To show you that I have a softer, gentler side, I present these Celosia flowers blooming with abandon in my mother's yard. I drove a few miles down the road this past weekend to visit her in Southeast Missouri, while Hubby finished up his 80-plus-hour week at the rig in Southern Illinois.
I hope that these pictures of Celosia can soften what now appears to me as a rather harsh comment left on TC's site, The Write Gardener. Maybe I should avoid visiting other blogs on Mondays. Those days invariably bring out the worst in me for some reason. It must be from the effects of the moon that gave its name to Monday.
My mom's hybrid tea roses are just about finished blooming for the year, but I found a single rosebud holding itself proudly above the rather tired looking leaves of the shrub. It's fresh and lovely.
Now here is a full-blown rose showing evidence of its encounter with some kind of marauder. Whoever he was, he must have felt sorry for the old gal and left her in peace for the rest of her show. She will live for a while longer on my blog.
I took my mom to lunch in Cape Girardeau at this historic eatery, Port Cape Girardeau. I wonder if the Coca-Cola being advertised so boldly on the side of the building contained at one time a secret ingredient to combat fatigue. Amazing, isn't it, how prices have changed?
After lunch, we took a stroll on the street-side of the Mississippi River floodwall. The wall has become a showpiece for the city, inviting visitors to take a step back in time.
Looking back up the hill from the floodwall, I could see the Common Pleas Courthouse, still in use today as a site for the administration of justice. It was built in 1854 and has witnessed a lot of pleas since that time.
Turning back to the floodwall and going back a bit farther in time, this panel on the wall captured my attention. Perhaps justice was more blind than usual in this instance.
At the edge of the wall, the river-level gauge bears witness to progress. Skeeter had an interesting remark about progress in her comment on my last post: Arrrgh! The river's dimensions, course, and boundaries have been fiddled with for years by a certain government entity known as the Army Corps of Engineers. They have made a valiant effort to spur economic progress to the area with barge traffic. Unfortunately, nature has a way of foiling the efforts of even the most dedicated public servants.
Cape Girardeau proudly proclaims its heritage and progressive attitude to any passersby who happen to be traveling on the river. It is a beautiful city with friendly people and a thriving healthcare industry, a virtual medical mecca for folks coming from hundreds of miles away.
This piece of progress came just in the nick of time for millions of travelers like me who cross the river from Illinois to Missouri. The old bridge was a crumbling bit of high anxiety that I dreaded every time I drove to Missouri to visit my parents. The kids in the back seat learned to pipe down whenever mom gripped the steering wheel in anticipation of the crossing. Two narrow lanes (one each way!), somehow, for many years accommodated heavy traffic which included semi-trucks. Horror stories about near misses occurring with great frequency kept this driver on her toes.
Crossing the bridge now seems like a cake-walk compared to the old days of white-knuckled driving. I felt confident enough to snap a picture (while driving!) of my approach to the bridge while heading back to the Land of Lincoln on Sunday afternoon. Kids, please don't attempt this stunt. Only (idiot) drivers with plenty of experience crossing dangerous, old bridges are qualified to perform this feat.
On the road home, when no other cars were in sight, I snapped another picture of the floodwaters which have almost completely disappeared from the floodplain on the Illinois side of the river. The wetlands tried to make a comeback this year and almost succeeded.