Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pictures from Kanawha...

...and my father-in-law's place! Yes, that is correct, I finally outsmarted my digital camera and the laptop all at the same time and am able to now take photos and post them for everyone! So, here are just a few shots of where I am and who I am with.

First of all, this is JP. He is a doll of a FIL, let me tell you! He always makes me feel like I was his very own daughter, and I feel extremely blessed to have him in my family tree. A little bit about him: he is 88 years old (closing rapidly in on 89) and is a veteran of World War II. Yep, you heard me right. I asked him one time about what he did, and in his typical humble manner he told me about being in the US Army Air Corps (which was the predecessor of the Air Force). He had never been out of West Virginia before he served, and the next thing you know he gets put on board an aircraft carrier and sent to Guam.

He goes on to talk about going through Pearl Harbor to get over to Guam (luckily he wasn't there during the attack, although the USS West Virginia was sunk there). And what did he do while in Guam? Well, remember Fat Man and Little Boy? Someone had to help move those puppies onto the planes and get them ready to deploy. Dad was one of those guys. When he does sit with me and talk about those days, he mostly talks about his friends there, the friends from home who didn't make it back, and the fact that all anyone wanted in the United States was for that terrible war to stop. I don't have a scanner here, but I can tell you, he was so handsome in his uniform! And he still is, even at 88!

After the war was over he came back home to West Virginia and with the exception of taking my DH and the rest of his family to Florida every summer, he has always been here. He worked for 40 years at DuPont before retiring. Now he mostly just feeds the fish in the river, pets the new cat, and watches football on TV. (Oh, and let me not forget that he spoils Little Miss with all of his attention, as evidenced in the next picture.)

This is JP with his grand-baby down at the river bank that his house sits on. She has to be at his side all day long. Of course, it doesn't hurt that all the fish in the river know when they see him that half a loaf of bread is about to fall from the heavens, and she loves to feed the fish. She doesn't let Paw-Paw get out of her sight!

Next up is my DH with the Little Miss. Forgive his appearance, he has been truly sick for about 10 days now. So sick, in fact, that when I said, "You know baby, we should take you to the walk-in clinic down the road" he actually agreed. All of you wives know how severe that situation is. The doctor at the clinic is pretty sure that David has what amounts to "walking" pneumonia and put him on some heavy duty antibiotics and super-duper cough syrup. He is snoring in the bed as I type, but at least he isn't coughing right now. I think I will be bunking with the child tonight.

Next up, the view from Dad's back yard. This is also the view (or part of it) from the big windows in the kitchen, hence the reason I do not mind being in there all day long cooking! It is so incredibly beautiful, my only regret is that we didn't wait until late October to come visit. Why late October you ask? Well, all that green turns red, orange, and gold and is stunning for a couple of weeks before the trees give up their beauty to sleep through the long winter. I promise I will keep my camera at the ready tomorrow so hopefully I will get some pictures of the coal barges as they go up and down the river. It is amazing to see these huge loads of coal getting pushed by this seemingly small vessel.

Finally, no trip to Kanawha County, WV would be complete without a picture or two of the Capitol. As you can see, this one, like ours in Austin, is modeled after the Capitol building in Washington, DC. Unlike either, however, the dome of the State Capitol in WV is completely covered in gold. You heard me correctly, real gold leaf covers the dome and spire in its entirity. There was quite a bit of controversy a few years ago when the dome needed recovered. You see, unemployment in this state is epic, people here are poorer than just about any state in the Union (although I think Mississippi and Arkansas try their best to take that title every year), and the state passed the motion to spend an incredibly large amount of money to cover a dome in gold. You will find that while this decision was not the most popular at the time, just about every citizen of the state is darn proud of their building, and they should be.

A little side note about security at this building: unlike our Capitol in Austin, there are no barriers between the West Virginia Capitol and the roadway. In fact, we are pulled over into a parking spot directly in front of the building as I was snapping this shot.

So there is my little photo tour of the first few days of our visit here. Now that my electronics know who the real boss is around this joint (please, oh please don't crash computer!!) I will be putting more candid shots up the next few days. I hope everyone is doing well, and thanks for sticking with me during this non-card time.

I will admit that I went to the big craft store today and bought some new paper because I am having a card making fit right now, so stay tuned, you never know what I might try here with limited supplies! Have a great night everyone, and until next time, Happy Stamping!



Lydia said...

Oh my GOSH!!! What a heartwarming story, a sweet old man and what a lovely, lovely place. I can see why he doesn't necessarily want to pick up and leave that - it's gorgeous. Please tell the DH to get well soon. Pneumonia is a beast.

Rose said...

Fantastic photos and description of your FIL. I think I'd fall in love with him if I was a little old lady and unmarried. Hehehehe. . . sweetie pie.

Have a fantastic rest of your trip.