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Published: September 8th 2010
A Good Day for the Irish
Uncle Tom flies his flags for the Notre Dame football game.
Days 4, 5 and 6: Niles past Chicago to Toulon, Illinois; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and on to Cleveland, Ohio:
Well, we have an internet connection again, sort of. I have to walk downstairs to the lobby to connect and then walk back up to our 2nd floor room, but, what the heck, it’s internet. We have a guest laundry, fitness center, and some restaurants within an easy walk, if given correct directions, across the parking lot.
But, I am getting ahead of myself. To quote a nice older lady at the Niles Elks Club dinner the other night, "Do you know you are going the wrong way?" Well, yes we do. There was a method to our madness. To quote John Lennon, "Life is what happens while you are busy making plans."
We left off in Niles on Saturday after John had inadvertently deleted all the pictures from our trip. He had a glass of wine to refocus and to generally feel like all was not lost-just the pictures- and was able to work his techy genius and recover the pictures and self –esteem; whew! We ended a full day of Kennedy history by watching the Notre Dame/Purdue game, as everyone
in this part of the country does, and firing up the gas barbecue for some grilled corn and sausages. Tom was flying his American, his Notre Dame, and his railroad retirement flags as well as donning his Fighting Irish cap to celebrate the day...
Now the circle begins: we left Michigan to go back past Chicago to Toulon, Illinois. I DO NOT want to hear anything about my sense of direction, okay? There were good reasons which were only somewhat diminished by the endless, grueling horrible five hour drive into Indiana. In Toulon I was able to meet up with more cousins! We had a great family reunion, actually first meeting, with the Lott family who are still living very close to the old Maxfield farmhouse. We swapped family history stories and John was a trooper to not complain at all about all that Maxfield family talk. Then we went on to spend the night at The Chateau at Indian Creek Vineyards. Fred and Connie came home late and we had a chance to sit on the porch drinking some of that fine Illinois red wine while watching the electrical storm. Next day we went to visit the Maxfields in
Dinner with my long lost cousins.
the cemetery, visit with Don St. John and view the remains of the basement, foundation, and lots of brick left after the family home burned down. It was so sad to see it gone after over 160 years. John, the big sweetheart, found me a blackened smoky brick to take home...on the airplane.... Better than last time when I took home part of a wall and a board from the fence. Leaving Don St. John, he gave me a memento: a doorknob he had pulled from the ruins and saved until I returned. Lovely small gestures make a huge imprint.
Day 6: We're still acclimating to the time zone zig zags, but now we're on Eastern time for most of the rest of the trip. This morning it’s Hotel breakfast with a side trip to Starbucks and then on to the Allen County Public Library to visit their Genealogy Center. We're both still trying to cross the pond searching for our illusive off shore relatives. Early bed tonight--Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tomorrow!!! Then, I am looking forward to another dinner with a Maxfield family cousin/researcher. I could almost say that Indiana has redeemed itself except for the dry
All That is Left
after the farmhouse my great grandfather built burned down
hot wind, if there wasn't an almost naked guy in the hallway when I tried to do a load of laundry. Oh, those prairie winds!
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