Friday, August 17, 2007

Elijah is Here--Not There!!

Elijah came down to Woodsong with the Eiler Grey groupies, and he has stayed on for his week with grandparents/cousins in Southern Illinois. Samuel came out to Woodsong from town to join him and the rest of the gang staying here. One night when Geri Ann and friend Allison came from The Mix with us, there were 12 sleeping here, and quite frankly I am not sure who slept where--but I know the living room floor was occupied.

The next day the rest of the cousins (Trent and Brianna) showed up briefly here and for an Eiler Grey concert. When Eiler Grey (the stage name that our granddaughter Leslie has chosen) and her gang left on Monday, Elijah and Sam were the only grandchildren here until they went to Sam’s house while Gerald and I went up to Sesser to Geri Ann’s first softball game for Johnston City Middle School. After the game, we picked Sam and Lige up for the night at the farm before our planned trip the next day.

We slept late on Tuesday except Gerald, of course, who was out in the garden early on gathering produce to take along and share. After cereal, we loaded the car and headed to Saint Louis and on west to Lake Saint Louis.

We forgot to take pillows to travel, but that didn’t stop the boys from sleeping--because they had stayed up visiting the night before naturally. After sleeping, watching scenery, watching videos, making phone calls, etc. Elijah and Samuel grew bored and reached the “Are we there yet?“ stage. At that point, they kept us entertained as they played with words to discover that no one can ever be “there.” You can be almost there, but you can’t be “there,” because you are always “here.” So when we finally got to Brian and Mary Ellen’s house we weren’t “there,” but we were “here.”

The boys were invited up to visit with their cousins Trent and Brianna and to help break in the newly installed swimming pool just outside the Taylors‘ back door. That activity happily occupied us for the rest of the day with breaks for lunch and supper. Lauren joined us in the evening to spend the night with Brianna. Since we had big plans for Wednesday, I was impressed when the kids all headed to their downstairs bedrooms at a decent hour. I figured they were worn out from all that swimming and ready for sleep.

Little did I know until we were almost home yesterday how late some of these jay-whos stayed up. But we will not go into that. Mary Ellen had gone down to settle them, but I think she went to sleep before they did.

Our Wednesday adventure was to explore the St. Louis City Museum that Mary Ellen’s family had discovered on a school field trip. Gerald kindly took up to a lovely seafood restaurant at Union Station before we hit the museum. After we said goodbye to the gold fish there, we hurried on because Mary Ellen assured us there was much to do at this unique museum. It was indeed an amazing experience.

Artists/craftsmen have recycled Saint Louis history in this downtown eleven-story building with a school bus sitting on top of it as though about to drive off the roof. There is an airplane up there too on the outside. And all kinds of slides, climbing chambers of spiraled wire taking you up to these weird masses of junk. This is just on the outside. Actually just a small part of the outside stuff.

Inside, we were immediately awed by the beautiful mosaic tile floor of bits and pieces making fishes and sea creatures swimming under our feet. Great columns were at the entrance made of small brown gears placed together--often with a recycled marble in the middle of the gear. They were beautiful. Other tall columns were made lovely with recycled bits of glass. Huge sea monsters, serpents, whales, and dinosaur-like creatures abounded throughout.

Four or five stories of the building were gutted and then filled with unbelievable beauty and intrigue--storefronts of historic buildings, hiding places, climbing places, catacombs, dungeons, staircases of recycled materials, slides, lovely statues, ugly gargoyles, advertisements and a rescued Big Boy, collections of marbles, rocks, pottery--often just the tops, past cigarette packages, pin ball machines, and on and on. There was a battered grand piano with the top missing--but it was in tune and the children were encouraged to play it. Sometimes visiting pianists come to present concerts on it.

Although there were young brave slender parents there with little kids, we felt our 10 to 14-year- olds were the perfect age for this museum because no way could we have possibly gone through all the narrow holes and scary climbing places they went.

After we tired out wandering and seeing the never-ending sights, we were able to sit and people watch while our kids had adventures climbing things we really would have not wanted to watch. Where we were sitting, we saw children go into a hole in the floor beside us. We felt as if we saw them go into a rabbit hole and disappear forever because we never were able to figure out where they came out.

There was a circus on one floor that our kids attended, and a couple of them came out with drawings they said an elderly man had made of them. We saw the area for the much younger kids and a lady doing crafts with a table of them and other nooks with adorable old-fashioned child furniture for them to sit on. There was a little train for the youngest children to ride also.

We stayed almost to the 5 p.m. closing time, and then we had to say good-bye to Mary Ellen and the Taylor kids as they headed west and we headed east across the mighty Mississippi into Illinois and home. Since we were already part of the way home, the trip passed quickly. We stopped in Johnston City, found out the middle-school had won their softball game, and took Gerry and Vickie and Geri Ann out to supper with us before we dropped Samuel off at his house, and brought Elijah back to Woodsong. We were here--not there--in time for an early-to-bed night’s sleep.

No comments: