It has been a nice break and a great visit with our daughter. The weather was perfect the entire time although we would have liked some rain. It is frighteningly dry here with fallen dry leaves and pine needles.
Today is our daughter's birthday. Our firstborn and only daughter. She was born in Indiana where my husband was serving his two-year obligatory stint in the Navy. Our first three choices (they actually asked for our preferences) were all overseas. So we were sent to Indiana of course. We lived on base at the Naval Ammunition Depot (NAD) in Crane, Indiana. NAD Crane was established in 1941, the Navy taking over 100 square miles spanning four counties in southern Indiana for the purposes of producing, testing, and storage of ordnance. When we were there, the base had a small number of military personnel so we lived in a lovely two-story house that would previously have been given to a much higher ranking officer. It was a lovely place to have our first baby with miles and miles of paved flat private roads that led to the storage bunkers, trails and old homesteads, a very large lake and extensive recreational facilities. Twenty miles southwest of Bloomington, our gates were often the site of protesters from IU. (We had much more in common with the students than with the Navy.)
So our first child was born in nearby Bedford. A real little Hoosier. She was a beautiful baby and such an easy infant to care for. Always adaptable to our young parenting skills. She was a delight and I thought motherhood was very fine indeed. She was the apple of her grandfather's eye who held her at every opportunity and logged miles in her stroller. I carried her in a backpack-type carrier in the tiny nearby town of Odon, IN. The folks stared at the strange method of carrying a baby. We drove through the Amish communities nearby. She loved riding in the car.
Yawning as if she were already bored.
The day she came home from the hospital.
She grew into a delightful toddler. Full of good humor, she never had a single tantrum. What on earth were those folks talking about those "terrible twos?" She was a compassionate little thing from early on. She loved the children's television show "Sesame Street." But she ran from the room when the Sesame Street baker invariably fell down and dropped his cakes. She saw nothing humorous about falling down or dropping cakes.
One of her last photographs as an only child.
When she was a little over two years old, her baby brother was born.
We moved to Milwaukee when she was twelve and she lives there still. But she also loves the North Carolina mountains as much as we do. She comes to visit several times a year and we spend most days traveling on mountain roads and the Blue Ridge Parkway. We ramble small rural roads and find all sorts of wonderful sights we might otherwise have missed. She's a great traveling companion.
She is an accomplished fisherman and she and her fishing buddy fish in Lake Michigan and in rivers and the other lakes all over Wisconsin. They have even gone on a week-long fishing trip in Canada with a guide and rather spartan living conditions.
She caught her first Steelhead Trout this year.
It is held up by her fishing buddy. He was as happy about it as she was.
She knows more than I do about birds and she and a friend often go birding all over WI.
Most importantly, my daughter is one of my very dearest and most trusted friends. We can be together for long stretches of time and still enjoy each other. We both love the same British comedies and mysteries. And the old Bette Davis and Vincent Price movies. And many of the same books. And yet we can share quiet time as well.
Lucy loves for her to visit and sits close by, demanding a lot of petting. At night, before I would put her to bed, Lucy would wander to the sofa to greet our daughter once again. After our daughter went back to WI, Lucy would stare attentively at the guest room, hoping that she wasn't really gone.
So here's a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our first born. From us and from Lucy:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR DAUGHTER
HERE'S TO THE START OF ANOTHER YEAR FULL OF FUN AND ADVENTURE!