Thursday, November 11, 2010

Travelin' On

Another beautiful, unseasonably warm day. Forecast high for this area is +75º. We traveled west through Iowa on 2 lane roads up to I80 West, to I29 North to Sioux City. Took a room in a Super 8 and had a bite to eat in the Wendy's right across the road.

Our first rainy day (other than the half day of rain at Natchez Trace Resort when we didn't plan to drive anyway.)

In Sioux City, we visited the Sioux City Museum, currently housed in this old mansion. They are getting ready to move into a new building downtown. It was a small museum, but it was o.k. The more interesting story was that of the mansion itself.

In the late 1800's John Peirce was a financier active in Sioux City. He had this "palace" built in 1891. The recession of 1893 wiped out his fortune, and by 1900 he gave up on Sioux City and made plans to move to Seattle.

Being deeply in debt, he conceived the idea of raffling off his house to help pay his debts. He sold 40,000 tickets for $1 each, with the drawing taking place on December 24,1900. Several days later it was discovered that he had already deeded title to a New York millionaire in partial payment of his debts. The lottery had been a scam!

Here's an example of some of the fine woodwork in the house, illustrative of the time and care that went into a fine house in that time.

By noon of Wednesday we were headed north to Sioux Center, Iowa, the home of Dordt College, founded by my dad's cousin, Rev. B. J. Haan. We had been there sometime in the 70's and found that this small center had grown remarkably. We went for lunch to Casey's Bakery, a long-standing tradition in Sioux Center. I bought 2 dozen cookies for my cousin Trudy.

We are on the way to see her and her husband. I haven't seen Trudy for more than 50 years, and have never met her husband.

We found their farm by about 3 p.m., and were happy to meet with Trudy and her husband Irv. We had a great visit, staying up until after 11 p.m. getting acquainted and reacquainted. She was taking care of their little 6 month old great grandchild, who is just just the smiley-est little baby, full of good cheer, in spite of missing most of her nap that day. It's always a treat to be around little ones!

Too bad that my camera battery had died and needed to be recharged.

Irv took Jim on a tour of his farmlands, and Trudy and I walked around the buildings on the yard, checking on the many little calves, few pigs, and dairy cows. Then Jim had the car serviced at the local small town, and we took off around noon.

This was a beautiful sunny, but cool day, quite windy. But so cheerful after yesterday's drizzle. It was also a day spent mostly on Interstate highways, so I started working on the band for the 3rd hat. Yesterday I had knitted the crown, following a method that was published in a Threads magazine some years ago. I'll show the hat when it's finished.

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