Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lake Travel,...

Lake Champlain lies between New York and Vermont and extends northward into Quebec. It is approximately 108 miles long, with a maximum depth of 400 feet. The lake is named after Samuel deChamplain who arrived here in 1609. It was the site of many events during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Perhaps the most famous is the Battle of Valcour.

In more modern times people in the shoreline communities needed to travel. The lake steamers came into being. This is an artist's rendition of The Vermont, the first steamboat on Lake Champlain. And according to the back of this antique post card from Basin Harbor, Vt, it was built in 1808 and entered service on the lake in 1809.

The builders were John and James Winans. The back of the post card states it was 120 feet long, with a 20 ft. beam and and engine of 20 hp.
Years later the second Vermont steamed back and forth on Lake Champlain. This photo is in my family collection. Perhaps taken by either my grandfather or grandmother.
The next steamer on the lake was The Ticonderoga. The "Ti" survived and is on display at Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT.

The date on this panel of gauges shows 1906, the year of my mother's birth.
Here is the diningroom aboard the "Ti". It steamed from Burlington, VT, to Ticonderoga, NY with stops at several lake shore towns including Port Henry, NY and Westport, NY. My mother told stories of my grandmother taking her on the Ti to shop in Burlington.
A few years ago I visited the Shelburne Museum specifically to step on board the Ti and feel the times of the past.
When the Ti docked in Westport there is a story of a fiddler playing music and this little girl dancing a jig for the passengers as they boarded the boat.

This little girl was my mother!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Hot Biscuit...

This morning a friend and I decided to drive to Ticonderoga for some errands. The fun side of the morning was going to breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants.... The Hot Biscuit Diner.

In warmer weather you could take your coffee to the front porch and read the paper while enjoying a rocking chair.

As you walk through the front door the first thing you notice is the map. Each pin represents the home town of people who have eaten at the restaurant.

Usually we go on a Sunday morning and the booths are always full. This was late on a Saturday morning, so there were only a few people still there eating breakfast.

After ordering breakfast I walked around and admired all the great items to look at.
There is even a section of one wall devoted to "The Duke"...

The next time I'm at The Hot Biscuit I want to ask about this picture. It really captured my curiosity.
I wonder how many meals were cooked on this antique stove?
If you want a pie or other bakery items to take home they are waiting for you as you leave...

First to arrive was my friend's cocoa. A mountain of whipped cream adorned the top!

She said her breakfast was excellent!

I know my breakfast was wonderful to the last bite! The bacon may look over-cooked, but I always request that my bacon be "well done"... so I was completely happy with my plate of good food. Eggs over-medium, english muffins with grape jelly and bacon,..well done.

And of course the "dessert" of any breakfast for me.... good coffee!

The Hot Biscuit is now ready to cater your events. They have tents, outdoor kitchens, ... whatever it would take to make a special occasion perfect. But for me,... it's always breakfast!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Life Waiting,...

This morning on my way home from having breakfast with a friend, I drove by this river. I was thinking of all the life that is natural to a river and wetland area. For now it is silenced by winter's snow and ice. But in a few weeks the leaves will bud, the ferns will be loosening their curls, the "peepers" will be singing during the springtime evenings.

Ducks will once again be swimming along with a family of babies trailing behind ...

Perhaps even some people will enjoy the peaceful river as they float along in kayaks,...

It is a good time of year to think positively about the coming warmer seasons!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday at Home,...

The past week has been busy for me with my granddaughter's high school basketball season winding down. Her junior varsity team finished with an excellent record and her last game of the season was especially good for her.

Now it's time to relax a bit with a week of school winter break. Our weather is that great late-winter mix of clear blue skies and warming temperatures. I didn't need a jacket when outside to fill bird feeders. This is the view to the northwest from my deck, just a few minutes ago.

And looking down the hill through the woods to the hayfield below... this is where I often see deer. But they are usually on the move and by the time I get my camera they are out of range. The sunlight is shining brightly through the pines.

I guess a message is sent far and wide that the feeders are full again,... the birds are flying in,...
Chickadees are usually the first to arrive, ...

Here's a little pine sisken peeking around as if to say "thank you, mom!"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Sunday Drive,...

This photo is dated 1931, Lake George on the back. Pictured are my mother on the right, my grandfather in the middle and my mother's school friend on the left. A Sunday drive at that time in history meant getting dressed up in your finery! Perhaps a dinner out in a restaurant.

Here are my grandparents and my mother's friend Anne. At the same location in Lake George, NY.

A few years pass and by the mid-1930s my father, (on the left), was now part of the Sunday outings. This was taken at Ausable Chasm, a tourist attraction in a nearby town. Everyone is still dressed up and looking very formal.

By the early 1940s my grandfather had passed away, my mother and father were married, and with friends, would still go on Sunday drives, but in a much more relaxed setting. Note the picnic basket and gallon thermos jug in foreground. My grandmother was often invited along on the picnics. Clothing was more informal. But my father was still wearing his hat. That hat hangs on a peg at our camp and my son, his grandson, always wears it when he goes out fishing. I still have that picnic basket!

They would find a back road, pull off for a picnic, and the men would read the Sunday paper while the women would spread the blanket and set out the picnic lunch.

Families and friends enjoying time together, a simpler time. Long before the shopping mall, video games or the internet. Perhaps even a better time?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Making Progress!...

At 5 p.m. this afternoon the sky was colored a brilliant peach and blue. It was still daylight. It's a great feeling after a winter of much snow and cold temperatures to finally see the sun setting later in the day.

Hurry spring!