The entire time I was growing up was spent touring battlefields, following my brother John Boy through thickets and up the steep side of mountains while he read to me from some guidebook he picked up from somewhere. I have a very specific memory of following him through a hayfield as he pointed out all the sites of interest that he, at six feet tall, could see while I, at five feet tall saw nothing but hay.
Honestly, if there was some cheesy history display or map, we were there. Somewhere there are 459 pictures of me and my brothers on every canon on the Eastern Seaboard.
But – really – I’m not bitter.
Sunday started out as an excursion to Rockingham County for a brief visit to the Green Valley Book Fair, a quick stop for bulk products at the farmers’ market and a nice, relaxing dinner at Mrs. Rowe’s (formerly Evers, for you locals). I was almost happy when Dirtman told me John Boy was going to come along.
Then I remembered. John Boy does not read. He pretends to read by buying a novel every five years or so. And he will buy books, but upon closer examination you will see the books are merely lists of statistics or maps or black jack strategy.
But it was too late. Dirtman and John Boy had already hijacked my perfect relaxing day and I had played right into their devious plot by agreeing to head to Rockingham County where only the week before John Boy had discovered there was an electronic map outlining the Civil War battle movements in the Shenandoah Valley during 1862. (Ya know that look kids get when they find they’re going to Disney World? That’s the look John Boy got on his face when he found out there was an electronic map outlining the Civil War battle movements in the Shenandoah Valley during 1862.)
So here was the “equitable” plan as it was presented to me: First we visit the electronic map outlining the Civil War battle movements in the Shenandoah Valley during 1862 (EMOTCWBMITSVD1862) since it probably closes before anything, then “of course, Honey, you can visit Patchwork Plus and buy fabric! It’s your day!”, then the farmers market, then Green Valley, then lunch and then, perhaps, even a movie.
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you My Day:
This is me finding out about EMOTCWBMITSVD1862.
This is John Boy hoping this is not the EMOTCWBMITSVD1862.
Let me tell you something about Rockingham County, more specifically about Dayton: There is a huge Old Order Mennonite population there. I think this was the moment I knew there was to be no Patchwork Plus (run by Mennonite women) or farmers’ market (run by Mennonite farmers) and, I had a feeling, no Mrs. Rowes (used to be run by Mennonites when it was Evers).
But there was Green Valley, but I won’t bore you with the details of the cute baby knitting pattern I scored (no I’m not, nor is anyone I know. But it’s a good, standard pattern so that if anyone is, I’m ready).
“I’m not really hungry yet,” I sighed after Green Valley. Both Dirtman and John Boy had conspired to eat a hot dog from a vendor in the parking lot so, of course, they’re not hungry yet.
What to do? What to do?
“I know what let’s do! Let’s just knock around a few Civil War battle spots and that’ll work up an appetite!” John Boy innocently suggested like it hadn’t been planned all along.
Someone has an agenda that is not so much pro-Obama as anti-Republican.
Yup – another field. Fortunately, no trail. (Why is John Boy under the marker? Long story -- don't ask. But rumor has it, if you knock three times on the marker, a voice will tell you all about Abraham Lincoln.)
Someone want to explain to me why a place called O’Charley’s doesn’t have Guiness on tap?
So join us next week, friends for Sisiggy’s Revenge or it’s working title: Jeanne goes thrift shopping for lots of pink frilly girlie things while Dirtman has to sit and hold her purse.