Originally I had written that we would only spend three weeks in Missouri. As it turned out, that was not to be. John had heart issues which required emergency placement of stents and a brief hospitalization. He is better now and very anxious to hit the road again! However, we do need to stay another week for him to visit his doctor one last time. Thanks be to God that John is on the mend and that we happened to be near our doctors, family and friends when this all occurred last week! Another blessing came our way Saturday when daughter Melissa called and announced her engagement to Spencer. We are thankful that he is joining our family! Their wedding will happen about a year from now. We also had another surprise last week when our son Daniel flew in to visit us after he had received the news of John's illness. I was thankful to have his support, especially now that John needs encouragement to take on a new life style after his heart attack. A low-fat diet is now very important! On Monday we all decided to venture out and drive to the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Illinois. In the sanctuary we mainly saw herons, egrets and many swallows swooping and diving over the waters. We had hoped see either eagles or pelicans, unfortunately it is too early in the season for them. From the wetlands we drove over to Confluence Point State Park, one of the most significant places in our nation. It is where two of our greatest rivers, the Mississippi and the Missouri, flow together. They both were essential in the western expansion of the United States.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
We arrived in St.Louis last Friday, and plan to stay here for three weeks. It was hard to take the triple digit temperatures on Friday and Saturday, especially when we thought back to the cool temperatures we had up north in the past two months. Fortunately a cool front moved in Sunday. It was a great day to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Japanese Festival. The festival was explained in Friday's Post Dispatch. According to the article the organizer of the festival, Ed Shimamoto, started up the festival about 35 years ago. He and his family had been in an internment camp in 1944 in Arkansas. When the war ended he and his family and others traveled to St.Louis for work. Shimamoto is quoted in the article that the Japanese Festival was conceived "as our thanks to St.Louis for being so welcoming". The festival is now one of the largest and oldest in the nation. It is a celebration of Japanese food, music, art, gardening, and martial arts. There is something for everyone to see and do over the three days it is held. Our visit started in the Ridgway Visitor Center where we toured displays of Bonsai and Ikebana. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging, using flowers and other natural materials. Below is an example of Ikebana. Origami cranes decorate the wall next to the display. Bamboo for the flower arrangement came from the garden.