Happy Saturday! It’s the LAST Weekend In March Already! Can You Believe It?

Mar 29th

It is Friday night and I’m starting today’s post for you now so it’s done.  No telling how busy we’ll be, or how early, in the morning.    The weekend adventure began yesterday after work.  Typically I take a longer route, but it’s more scenic, less traffic, and certainly less stress.  That wasn’t the route I took though . . . no, in my excitement to pick up my Grandson I took the supposedly SHORTER route . . . um, yeah. Best laid plans and all that.  See this picture?  Yep, that was my view for well over 45 minutes in a 2 mile stretch of road, during which I reached the breakneck speed of 3.7 mph once.  The rest of that time I was moving anywhere from 0 mph to about 2.1 mph.  For those of you who live in a city or experience this every day, it wouldn’t be a bit deal, but for this gal who lives 15 minutes from the nearest grocery store and doesn’t really deal with REAL traffic very often, it was traumatic. (yes, that was drama – nice, uh?)  I was pretty irritated with myself, not realizing that the military base traffic gets out earlier than usual on Fridays, then felt bad about that when I got past the base and saw that there had been a terrible accident and that was the reason for the slow down.  It was pretty bad and I pray that those poor people were alright.  The rest of the drive down there was a combination of medium to heavy traffic, some drizzle, and moments of rain that was coming down so hard that I couldn’t see for stretches of time.  I was very grateful to pull into their driveway.

After a little visit with my son before he had to leave for work, which was a pleasant surprise since I thought he would already be gone when I got there, I was served a lovely dinner prepared by my daughter-in-law.  I haven’t had much opportunity to sit down and have one-on-one conversation with her, and it was wonderful as always.  While we visited there was a very anxious, every excited little boy ready to hit the road, so after a bit we decided to go ahead and go . . . as you can see, he was QUITE excited to be going.  It is so funny though, at that age distance doesn’t mean anything at all, so we had a little round of “Are we there yet?”, “Not yet.”  “Are we closer?” “Yes, but it will still be awhile.”  “Are we there yet?” . . . you get the point.  Eventually we DID arrive, and a very relieved to be THERE little guy had a difficult time winding down. 

After snack, story and a reprieve from bath until tomorrow because of the late hour, we finally were getting settled down for sleep.  This is a little blurry, but he’d just blown a kiss goodnight to the camera for his Mom.  I missed the kiss, but you can see the blur of movement from when he was done.  Sorry D.  I tried to get it, and he wouldn’t do it again right then.  Maybe tomorrow?  Speaking of tomorrow . . . let’s see what we are celebrating!

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day – today we celebrate small business owners.  People who, by hard work, dedication and countless hours nurturing and growing their dream business, deserve to be applauded.  Especially in the current economical situation where it appears that free enterprise and being independent of handouts and government dependency is punished through higher taxes, increased minimum wage wars, the insurance mandate, etc.  The demanding workload, and when the business first starts, lack of hired staff, often turns out to mean long and late hours, missed family events and time gone by with those that they love that they will never get back.  It is worth it though, to have something you love to do, that you built with your own two hands, and living the American dream, in spite of the road blocks that are put in the way.   New businesses have always been a vital, not always appreciated, part of the U.S. economy!  This seems to be something that the individuals we need to vote OUT of office, and think about when voting new people INTO office, need to take into account.  All of the programs out there right now aimed at the “give me something free” part of their voter base, those programs need SOME source of funding.  Business, small and large, and people who actually have a sense of pride and work ethic, are the folks working their fingers to the bone so that all of that hard earned money can be thrown around the way it has been lately.  It’s time for a lot of people to recognize where it comes from and show some appreciation.  (sorry, hot button issue) One pretty awesome thing about small businesses that I have always liked, when you call them on the phone, you get a live person.  I hate those long, complicated, annoying, circuitous phone tree systems.  For crying out loud! Just answer the phone! Mom and Pop shops?  Yes, they answer their phones!  They also know their products, since they created them.  You won’t reach someone on the phone who is doing their customer service from some other country, who has never used the product, or who doesn’t speak or understand the language you do.  Yes, this is a real peeve with me.  Today appreciate your Mom and Pop business owners – shop in their stores not just today, but every day because they are the folks keeping our neighborhoods alive. 

Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day – There are some things that just defy the word creepy, and being a resident of the Niagara Falls area on March 29th, 1848 would have been one of those creepy defying days.  On that day a truly remarkable and rare event happened.  Niagara Falls ran dry for about 30-40 hours.  How?  Here’s the interesting thing . . . my first thought was that it froze, but that wasn’t it!    On that day in late March, a gale force wind had been blowing from the south-west for several days before an ice dam occurred at the mouth of the Niagara River.  The weather was clear with an air temperature of about 46 degrees Fahrenheit.  The wind, which was blowing over the entirety of Lake Erie, combined with massive amounts of lake ice which was pushed into the mouth of the Niagara River.  There was so much ice that the river couldn’t handle it all, so it began to jam up at the entrance.  The jam became so dense with hundreds of thousands of tons of ice, that it became a water dam, which severely restricted the water.  One of the first residents to notice the silence was a farmer who left home for a walk along the river near the American Falls and realized that the usual thundering roar of the falls was absent.  He took a closer look and realized that the amount of water flowing over the falls was down to a trickle.  Residents woke up on the morning of March 30th to an eerie silence, realizing that something was wrong.  People were drawn to the falls to find out that the river was reduced to a trickle.  The Bridgewater Mills on the Canadian shore had to be shut down because there wasn’t water flow to run it!  By the morning of March 31st, more than 5,000 people had gathered along the banks of the river, all the mills and factories that depended on the water were at a standstill.  The riverbed was quickly drying, with fish and turtles left to flounder on dry land.  Many people made their way into the gorge to the riverbed, seeing articles that had been laying on the river’s bottom, hidden for 100’s of years.  Souvenirs picked up included bayonets, gun barrels, muskets, tomahawks and other artifacts of the War of 1812.  Others walked out onto the river bed that only hours early had been a torrent of rapids and would have resulted in certain death.  It became a tourist and media event.  People on foot, on horseback, or by horse and buggy, crossed the width of the Niagara River.  It was an historical event that had never occurred before, and hasn’t been duplicated since.  A squad of soldiers of the U.S. Army Cavalry rode their horses up and down the river bed as an exhibition.  Below the falls, workers from the Maid of the Mist were able to venture out onto the river bed and blast away rocks which had normally been a navigational hazard to the Maid of the Mist boat since it’s beginning in 1846.  Understandably the silencing of the falls caused a lot of anxiety and fear amongst the residents, and many believed that this event was the beginning of a doomsday scenario.

On the morning of March 31st, the falls remained silent. Many 1000’s of people attended special church services on both sides of the border.  With each hour that passed, the level of fear grew, until the night of March 31st when a loud, low pitched growl and groan was heard coming from upstream.  This was quickly followed by the return of the normal flow of water along the Niagara River.  A wall of water surged forward at a surprising speed, again covering, probably forever, what had been exposed for a brief historic moment in time.  The return of the roar of the falls reassured the residents that all was going to be alright with their world, and they could breathe a sigh of relief and return to their normal activities.

Honestly, unless you live near Niagara Falls, there’s no way to really celebrate this day, but it is a truly interesting piece of history that I wasn’t aware of until now.  I hope you found it to be as intriguing as I did!


This Day In History

1848 – Ice jams stop the flow of water over Niagara Falls.      
1886 – Coca Cola is invented.

Food Celebration of the Day

National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day – A Hollywood insurance man turned caterer, Harry Baker, created chiffon cake in the 1920s by enriching sponge cake with a secret ingredient: cooking oil.

Fresh Lemon Chiffon Cake
Passion Fruit Chiffon Cake
Classic Chiffon Cake
Chocolate Chiffon Cake
Mocha Chiffon Cake
Banana Chiffon Cake

The morning started very early, especially in light of how tired everyone was, so now there is bacon crisping in the oven, waffles staying warm in the oven, bath time is done and we are nearly ready to greet the day!  I’ll let you get on with your celebrating while I get on with mine!  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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