The challenge this week is for "wheels". Skateboards have wheels and for enterprising individuals they provide inexpensive transportation. Particularly when the source of locomotion is an obliging dog. This is what I would have to call a win-win situation.
Sunday evening Sue and I attended the wedding of a wonderful young couple. Sue attended the wedding of the bride's parents some years ago.
The happy couple met while in college. The groom and his three groomsmen were all in Boy Scouts together. It was a very nice wedding.
After the wedding there was a reception with a fine sit down dinner. The setting for all this was at a farm which has been converted into an event center. The wedding was down the hill at a little pond. The reception was held in the remodeled barn with copper topped silo attached. There is a nice terrace just around the silo which leads to a big reception hall. After dark the big doors covered by a log portico was lit with a string of lights and looked very romantic. It was a nice place for a wedding. May the newlyweds live happily ever after.
Some of these roses are red and all of them are beautiful. I love roses but am not able to dig and plant like I used to. My compromise has been to plant my roses in 24 inch pots and arrange them around the perimeter of my back deck. There are advantages and disadvantages with this arrangement. The advantage is that I can manage it all from a wheelchair. Another advantage is that since they all are on wheeled coasters I can move them around to suit myself. Try that with a rose garden set in the ground. The disadvantages? Not many actually. It works for me and that's what counts.
Friday night Sue and I enjoyed a AA baseball game between the Tulsa Drillers and the Midland Texas Rockhounds. We might have enjoyed it even more if Tulsa had won, but oh well. It was a beautiful evening and there were fireworks after the game.
Driving east on US 65 to Branson, Missouri we get into the western reaches of the Ozark mountains. The Ozarks are very old and have been smoothed down by millions of years of erosion.
As we get closer to Branson we drive through a newer stretch of road which has been carved out of the hills rather than going up and down. You can see the long marks where they drilled deep into the rock and blasted it out of the way.
Here in Oklahoma we are all still trying to digest the devastation of Monday's terrible tornado about 100 miles west of Tulsa in the Oklahoma City suburb Moore. My friend and fellow blogger Alan Bates posted some sky photos and quoted a beautiful essay by Oklahoma Today Editor Nathan Gunter about the relationship between Okies and the sky. It is the sort of thing I wish I were eloquent enough to have written. Every word of it is true. Look at "Yogi's Den"
We have a trusty rain frog who lives on our desk and measures our rainfall. We are thankful that all we have gotten is rain. If we had the tornadoes that swept through Moore our little rain frog might be in Kansas or Missouri. Our trusty little rain frog has been with us for a long time so if you think you have seen him before please excuse me. A faithful servant like our rain frog cannot be recognized too often. See more Thursday Challenge
Please remember in your prayers the citizens of Moore Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City who endured a devastating F5 tornado on Monday. At least 51 people were killed when winds of up to 200 miles per hour (320 kph) flattened entire tracts of homes, two schools and a hospital. For more see HERE. We are fine here in Tulsa.
Our granddaughter Sarah put on cap and gown Friday evening and graduated from Wagoner High School. My son David took this photo with my camera and I'm sorry that I cannot name the three girls standing with her. Sarah is the one with the medal and ribbons which indicate that she was in the top 10 percent of her graduating class, a member of the national honor society, and a senior class officer. We are very proud of her. Sarah is the 4th generation of Millers to graduate from Wagoner, Oklahoma.
Branson, Missouri is to Christian Evangelicals what Las Vegas is for those of us with fewer scruples. Branson has nice hotels, good restaurants, shows presenting music, comedy, and drama of all kinds. What is not here is organized gambling, legalized prostitution, entertainment valued for vulgarity and shock value.
In the center of Branson is an old fashioned train station serving 2 excursions a day. It goes out of town to just into the state of Arkansas to see a few surviving wooden trestles, then reverses direction and returns. In case you wondered how they do this, there is an engine on each end of the train. It lasts an hour and one half.
But I digress from my photograph. Those who have visited Las Vegas probably enjoyed the elaborate fountains set to music at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Along the river in the center of Branson is the Branson Landing, At regular intervals a row of fountains sends water dancing into the sky, punctuated by bursts of fireworks. It may not be as grand as the Bellagio but it looks pretty darn good, especially at night. It is worth seeing and not so much as a gosh darn is heard as a discouraging word
On the left is the Table Rock Dam which backs up the White River into Table Rock Lake. This holds back water and controls flooding while the flow of water turns turbines and generates electricity. On this side of the dam cold water is released from the bottom of the dam and creates the cold water Lake Taneycomo, essentially a very deep fast running river. The Missouri Department of Conservation operates a fish hatchery that keeps the the lake stocked with trout, permitting trout fishing to be enjoyed year round. Slick, eh?
We enjoyed a picnic under some giant Cottonwood trees one afternoon. If they don't look all that big, look for the person in the blue shirt at bottom center. These trees are at least 100 feet (30 meters) tall. See more Thursday Challenge
We were very impressed by the Big Cedar Lodge. The accommodations are very comfortable, the food and the service is excellent, and the grounds are beautiful. If desired there is a big pool, golf course, and horseback riding. We are thinking that a three or four stay over during the week would be a peaceful retreat from our usual routine. Big Cedar is definitely on our bucket list. Check it out HERE.
The gardens at Big Cedar Resort in Branson were in full bloom and included lots of Foxglove. We don't see foxglove very much possibly because they contain digitalis which is toxic if ingested. The little bugs seemed to enjoy them.
There is an old passenger train that makes a one hour and forty five minute out and back through tunnels, over trestles, and through southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. While in route the conductor describes the history of the old railroad cars that make up the train, . Several of the passenger cars have observation domes on top.. Sue climbed the steps to the upper level and took this view of the train from above. Well done Sue.
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers created Table Rock Dam in 1954-1958 to provide flood control for the White and lower Mississippi Rivers and to generate hydro-electric power for Branson Missouri and the surrounding area.
The original route 66 passes through Tulsa on its way from Chicago to Los Angeles. It crosses the Arkansas river on the old 11th street bridge. Sue and I retraced old 66 from north of Catoosa to Santa Fe, New Mexico back in October 2009. Read about it HERE.