Journaling Our Way to Kendra’s Birthday: Day 5

by Matilda Butler on June 1, 2011

catnav-journaling-activePost #42 – Memoir Writing, Journaling – Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

Recording our Journey for Another Day: One More Memoir Vignette

We’ve now completed Day 4 of a 7-day journey to celebrate the approach of Kendra’s 60th birthday. The day had a practical element, a beauty element, and an unexpected element.

Cr-aaa-kkk

As we made our way to Olana, Frederic Church’s home near the Hudson River, we stopped for lunch at a cute cafe. Can you guess where we stopped?

I've got cattitude.

I've got cattitude.

The Mad Catter

The Mad Catter


Babe Boxer

Babe Boxer

































journaling, memoir, memoir writing, autobiographyNeed another hint? Here’s the sign for the bridge we’re going to cross. I was like a kid and kept asking, “How long before we get to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge?” “Are we there yet?”
























journaling, memoir, memoir writing, writing tipsYea. We finally crossed the bridge just before we arrived at Olana, a Moorish-style home with intriguing art objects as well as some of the landscapes Church painted and kept for his family.










journaling, memoir, memoir writing, autobiography

When we were in the home, a sudden storm, complete with thunder, arrived. Buckets of rain fell, but by the time we concluded our tour of the home, we stepped outside into a fairly dry major wind tunnel. Only a few drops of rain fell on us, but a huge blast of air made it difficult to walk. I had seen an intriguing fence composed of branches from trees on the property, loved the complexity of it, and wanted to take a video. So, although it seemed as if the storm might return at any minute, I stood with my Flip video to record the fence. You can tell how windy it was by looking at my skirt, swirling around my legs.

Cr-aaa-kkk
journaling, memoir, memoir writingAs we hurried back to the car, eager to avoid the next downpour, we were jarred by the sound of a tree cracking and falling. Sounds can be elusive and we weren’t sure where the tree was. We certainly didn’t want one to fall on us so we only felt safe when we got to our car. We backed out and started the descent on the single road that would take us back to Highway 9. But almost as soon as we started down, we found the road covered with the fallen tree. There was no way around it so we did a u-turn and returned to the Visitor Center to report the problem.

An hour later, the tree had been cut into pieces. One of the staff happily carted off some of the smaller pieces for next winter’s fireplace. And we could finally make our way off the property.

Life manages to throw us some unexpected curve balls.

Considering this incident later, I wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t stopped to video the fence. Would our car have been under the tree when it fell? Or the alternative, would we have been past the tree and then not subject to the delay that caused us to redo our schedule to see Shaker Village? Imponderable.

And another facet to our story. Two tornadoes, killing four people, touched down just a few miles from us. Was this a tiny tornado that brought down our cr-aaa-kkk? If you know much about tornadoes, you know they can be quite specific. I grew up in Oklahoma and was accustomed to them. A relative lost her home to one. I was in bed with measles but my father went over to try to help her find some of her belongings. He told me that all of the house was gone except for a china cabinet, found still standing with not a single piece of china broken. Another imponderable.

Memoir Writing Prompt

But here’s something you can ponder:

1. Write about a time when you were slowed from obtaining a goal because life put an obstacle in your way. What was the situation? What was your goal? Did it cause you to go down a different path or did it merely delay you from your original destination? Give as much specificity as possible.

Orders Go Out No Matter What

journaling, memoir, memoir writing, autobiography, writing tipsKendra and I discussed how to handle orders for our products that would come in while we were on our Kendra’s Fabulous Final Fifties Fling. Usually, when one of us is gone the other one handles the orders for soaps, teas, books, Thai silk journals, Rosie the Riveter Legacy Bandanas, etc. So what would we do when we were on this birthday celebration trip together? Kendra agreed to pack products into her car that she drove down and we transferred them to our rental car. Since we were in a rural area, we had to look for a post office to use. Here’s the one we found today and were able to mail three Rosie the Riveter Legacy Bandanas.

Join us tomorrow as we continue with Day 6 of journaling our way to Kendra’s birthday. And don’t forget, I’d like to know your guess as to the name of the town where we had lunch.

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You may also be interested in:

Journaling Our Way to Kendra’s Birthday: Day 1

Journaling Our Way to Kendra’s Birthday: Day 2

Journaling Our Way to Kendra’s Birthday: Day 3

Journaling Our Way to Kendra’s Birthday: Day 4

Journaling Our Way to Kendra’s Birthday: Day 5

Journaling Our Way to Kendra’s Birthday: Day 6

Journaling Our Way to Kendra’s Birthday: Day 7

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