Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nebraska and Iowa

DAY 23: We got off from Sidney, NE, at about 9:30am. I spent some time blogging and Ellen wanted to do cards. Unfortunately, we’ll soon lose an hour, when we enter the Central Time Zone, so it will be 10:30am effectively. We have 580 miles to go! But if we can average 55mph, including pit stops, we could be in Marshalltown by 10pm tonight. That will be a long day, but not unheard us for us. We are on Route U.S. 30 toward Ogallala. Right now it is an open road, surface is good. Virtually no traffic. We’re listening to a Mozart symphony and rolling along at 60+ mph.

Later: It’s now 1:35 CST, we’ve been on the road three hours and have traveled about 150 miles. But with the time change, our average is only 37mph or so. However, that should gradually improve. At the moment we are on U.S. 83 north of North Platte, NE. We’re about to take 92 east across central NE and eventually will rejoin U.S. 30. We’re doing this because U.S. 30 (and I-80) dip south and then come north again, so we are taking the more direct route. We are coming up into a belt of heavier snow that fell over the weekend. The road still is wet and slushy in places. We just passed a snow plow that was cleaning up the edges. I hope this is a good idea! It may slow us down. Oh dear!

We stopped in North Platte at a Casey’s General Store for tea and donut. I just had lunch out of our basket in the car- cheese, bread and P&J sandwich. Ellen had a quesadilla left over from our Mexican meal last night and split that between us.

Later. It’s now 5:30pm. We’ve come across 92 and, indeed, it was often snowy and slushy, and we lost time. On top of that, we somehow missed the intersection with Route 30 – we were both distracted for a moment – and went 15 minutes out of the way. So now we’re in Columbus, NE. We are about five hours from our motel in Marshalltown, IA, at best. So it will be a long day’s drive!

Much Later: OMG we got into our motel at 11:30p.m. We made a major mistake north of Omaha, NE and got inadvertantly caught up in the loop around Omaha, and went way out of our way. We drove 622 miles – 13 hours on the road, plus one for the time change. But we ended up getting a decent night's sleep.

DAY 24: We left Marshalltown at about 8:30a.m., and decided to go via my old home town, Anamosa, Iowa, where I went to high school. My mother is buried there, and the town hasn’t changed all that much since the 1950s. It has grown, but the downtown looks much the same. My high school building is now a Middle School, but it’s still there. The church where my dad was pastor has an addition, but the front looks the same. The parsonage where we lived is now the church parish hall, but it looks much the same.



And most amazingly, the woman who was choir director when I was in high school, 1946-50, Betty Remley, is still living – she is 94 years old, and “doing great.” In fact she retired from her role as choir director only a few years ago! We had a lovely visit with her. Here is a photo of Betty and Ellen:


Now we are at my brother's place again. Ellen has gone to the Encore showing of the Live from the Met HD The Enchanted Island. I stayed home with Stewart to look at some family photos his daughter discovered in the basement back at his house. Quite an amazing trove! Here are two finds - both taken in 1910. One is of my mother, Olga Winter, arriving at Ellis Island on the Grosser Kurfurst out of Bremen, Germany, on Sept 26, 1910. She is the 9-year old girl above the word "NEW" at the bottom of the photo.


Here is the Grosser Kurfurst:


The other photo is of my father's family. He is 14 years old, second from the right.


One of the miracles of my existence is that this little German immigrant girl who in 1910 was headed for Canton, Ohio and this boy in Alabama managed to find each other, fall in love and get married!

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