Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Break!!; small rant; Laura gets engaged

We are traveling around the old ancestors' stomping grounds and having fun in spite of the rain. We toured the quaint little town of Fairmont, WV, the SUPER cool town of Cumberland MD (Gateway to the West!), and have now checked into our hotel in Martinsburg, WV after driving 15 miles of the Historic National Road. It was really neat to just be there knowing so many of our ancestors traveled that very road during the westward movement. It is so beautiful out here I can totally see why the Hatfields and the McCoys fought to the death over this land.

Tomorrow we visit Bunker Hill, and the old cabin of Col. Morgan Morgan, who is documented to be the first white settler west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, back in 1710. I can only imagine what it was like in his little cabin on the west side of the ridge, and having nothing but wilderness between him and the Pacific Ocean. His 2nd son Zach founded Morgantown, WV, and other sons and grandsons for generations had really interesting and historic lives. 

Some stories are of bravery and principle, some are of violence and unimaginable hatred. There are those who fought in the Revolutionary war for our liberty from the British, and there were brothers who fought against each other in the Civil War;  and then there was John Hunt Morgan, who burned homes of rival settlers while the occupant familes were asleep. I cannot imagine being a mom, living such a hard-scrabble frontier life as it is, to awaken to my cabin's roof being on fire, and my door deadbolted, unable to save my children, let alone myself or my husband. *shudder*

On a more positive note, Nathan Morgan many generations later, traveled out west to seek his fortune during the Gold Rush, only to arrive and then learn (via Pony Express) that his sister's husband had died. So he made (and survived)  a return trip in a covered wagon, to pick her and her children up to take them back to Oregon with him. Once he arrived "back home", it turned out it was "her and 60 others, too" waiting to be led in a caravan of wagons, horseback - and even on foot - to Oregon and California.  So many generations later, I and thousands more of Morgan Morgan's kin are living our own American dreams, thanks in large part to the bravery and commitment of his descendants, and my ancestors.

After I load some pictures, I'll post them. 

New Topic - is anybody besides me fed up with the "mortgage crisis"? How did we even get here? I saw a post on CNN's message board that reiterates pretty much how I feel:

Posted By: TakeCharge @ 03/13/2008 11:49:17 AM
Comment: I am so tired of the finger pointing. Consumers need to wake up and take charge of their own finances. It doesn't take a math wizard to look at your paycheck and look at your motgage payment and figure out if you can afford it. It wasn't so long ago that people used credit sparingly (there was a stigma toward borrowing money) and a borrower actually knew how and when they would repay the money. Now, Americans are charging their value meals to Visa with little thought about actually paying for it. High schools should have mandatory classes covering household finances, budgeting, balancing the checkbook and avoiding the use of credit. Our sense of entitlement (which also leads to frivilous lawsuits) and the "everybody's a winner" mentality is going to kill us as a nation. If we as a people need big brother to tell us whether we can pay for something we want to buy, we are a bunch of sheep and vulnerable to being taken over by an enemy. Americans need to wake up and take responsibility for their own actions, be accountable and have some principles. The time to get back on the path that made this nation great is NOW. Pointing the finger at someone else for your troubles is not one of the qualities that made this the most powerful nations in the world. Our presidents are not what made this one of the most powerful nations in the world. It was the ingenuity, work ethic and values of the people.

Next New Topic
Laura and Greg's engagement was a blast and I am so thrilled I was able to be a part of it.
After our 16 mile long run, and church, Laura and Bobby and I went to lunch. Laura had a 1:00 pm hair appointment so the timing was perfect... 50 minutes to kill. We ordered and ate, and just as Laura was finishing up, Bobby went to the bathroom and came back with a pink envelope and said, " This is weird. There was a note for you in the bathroom." 

After reading it, and learning that she then needed to drive to Lake Anne in Chanhassan, (the place where they first met volunteering at the Miracle Kids Triathlon), she said, " I hope I remember how to get there!" And then Bobby reaches into his pocket and said, "well, I happen to have some directions to get there". 

It was perfect! She was off to go meet IronGreg. When she got to Lake Anne, IronGreg wasn't there, but IronTim and IronKaren were with another note, a gift, and directions to the restaurant where she and Greg eat once a week. 

IronGreg wasn't there. But IronNick and Iron Dia were! And they had a little gift and another note for her instructing her to look for IronGreg at the park.

But IronGreg wasn't there either! It was Steve and Jeremy from Bible study walking Zurich. But they had another note and gift and sent her to the restaurant where she and IronGreg had their first official date.

Alas, IronGreg wasn't there, either, but Ally, I and her MOM were! Betty flew in from Fargo to be a part of the surprise. We had another note, a gift, and sent her to find Greg at Plymouth Covenant Church.

It was Pastor Dan who met her there though. He had another note, a gift, and he took some time to pray with her. At long last, he led her to the sanctuary, where  FINALLY, IronGreg waited for her. She later told us that she burst into tears at the sight of him because she'd been driving all over town hoping he'd be at the next place! 

I don't know too many details, but I did hear that he got on one knee and proposed, and she said yes. 

Sweet. She is a prize. He is a prize. I am so happy for them both!! I love you Laura and Greg!!!!!


Bill said...

Amen to the post by "TakeCharge" (I caught your first post of "spring break", which you apparently posted on accident, so it was all I saw. Beautiful!

I honestly wish that Bear Stearns wasn't bailed out by anyone and that the Government hadn't dumped all of that money into the banks last week.

It'll hurt for a while, but dammit, folks gotta learn somehow. And bailing everyone out is not the answer.

brendaj said...

I agree with you on the lending crisis. And what a great engagement story!

21stCenturyMom said...

I am listening to E.L. Doctorow's The March right now which is about Sherman's march through the south during the Civil War. What a bloody, brutal, horrible time that was!

As for the credit issue - please send that message to our President who is wracking up what will ultimately be a 3 TRILLION dollar debt. Responsibility starts at home, non?

Congrats to Laura and Greg! What a cute story.

Laurie said...

Wow, what a great engagement story! Congrats to Laura and Greg!

Iron Girl Nyhus said...

Take lots of pictures on your trip. And... we are honored that you were a part in our engagement! We love you too!

Supalinds said...

That is a really sweet engagement story. I had tears in my eyes!

Cy said...

Jenny- Yes indeed a big sigh on the whole lending crisis that will cripple our economy... there’s always finger pointing, but agree that people need to take responsibility for their incompetence.
Thanks for detailing the engagement story. I saw the wonderful news on Laura’s site, but was anxious to hear the whole story. What a fairytale-I love it!! Have a wonderful trip!!

Tri-Dummy said...

Do you realize that you are very close to the Dumbster Family?

It would be nice if you guys could pass through the metropolis of North Platte, Nebraska!


I saw your pic with Tri-Mama and Lana on Lana's blog and Biguns, too. You gals were looking HOT! WOW! You, my dear, are definitely no longer an Athena.

KC said...

The trip sounds fantastic. Fun AND educational!

TJ said...

Sounds like a great trip. Can't wait for the pics.

I'm with you on the credit crisis.
It's time for folks to accept responsibility for their own debt. The plastic in our wallets is gonna take us down before the plastic in the landfills. I'm constantly seeing adds on the benefits of recycling. But I don't recall a PSA promoting the benefits of living within your financial limits.

Cliff said...


I was at Boston over the weekend and CNN did interview on two couples who ended up selling their house, declare bankruptcy and live in a trailer.

One of the husband said that he spent his whole life working hard and this is what he ended up with. I have mix emotions when hearing their stories. On one hand, it is sad to hear theri financial sitaution and the stress that they dealt with.

On the other, it makes one wonder how stable can one rely on finance for having a good life.

I like that engagement story :). Very creative.

Fe-lady said...

I hear you on the foreclosure thing! If I could not afford to make payments on a house (with variable rates...WHO does that?) I would have saved or worked two jobs (which I have) until I COULD!
Only in America we are supposed to feel sorry for people who are basically lazy-assed "VICTIMS"!

Comm's said...

I was a part of one of those 'scavenger' proposal days. For my part it was fun.

Steve Stenzel said...

That's a great proposal! And what an all-over-the-place post!

triguyjt said...


it must have been incredibly challenging to go out "west" for morgan and others... by the way. i love morgantown..

congrats on the engagement..great story

i gotcha on the lending situation..too many people got mortages for homes they had no business affording. someone with 60 thousand total income getting a home valued at 350 grand... come on...

Nytro said...

AMEN to the mortgage comment. When Benny and I went in for our home loan and they told us how much we qualified for, we were flabbergasted. I asked the mortgage dude just how it was that we were qualified for THAT amount of a loan when I - who haven't taken math since I was a junior in high school - know that with our two paychecks combined, we'd NEVER be able to afford a loan of THAT magnitude. so, yea... the banks gambled with a lot of people's moneys and their "blindness", but really... it doesn't take an MBA to know that just because you qualify for a $500,000 loan means that you can AFFORD a $500,000 loan.

greyhound said...

I think I might be running a substantial risk if I made Mrs. Greyhound drive all over hell and creation looking for me. She might have done it back in 1989, but now she really knows me.

Lana said...

I totally agree with you on the mortgage crisis! UGH! America has become sooo irresponsible.

Thanks for the story on Laura and Greg's engagement! That was so cute! And there sure was a lot of IRON involved in it!