Thursday we went to Maria Stein, OH to the original motherhouse of the Precious Blood Sisters. This area of the country had/has a large German Catholic population and is home to the 34 cross-tipped churches. The property we visited is very tranquil and has several facets.
The first thing we did was observe the Seven Offerings of the Sacred Heart. I took a picture of Brenda taking the opportunity to say some prayers. Then we proceeded to the Chapel of the Holy Relics. There are over 1000 relics and each one is marked with the red ribbon and red wax with the church seal required for its authenticity. Ted learned his name means "Divine Gift" so now he is convinced they'll want his relic when he's gone. I told him I would send his gallstone that he has at home in a jar!
Upstairs is a museum of the convent, the Miami and Erie Canal and farm life. Grand Lake was dug as a reservoir for the canal which stretched from Cincinnati to Lake Erie and contained almost 100 locks. It moved goods in western Ohio for almost a century. A flood in 1913 damaged the canal extensively and the railroads made it not cost effective to repair. Mercer Lake became Grand Lake and is a wonderful recreational area to this day.
Next we went to Fort Recovery. Two major battles took place here. General St. Clair led the 1791 battle which was won by the Indians of the area. It was a major morale boost for them and emboldened them against the white man. With better training and equipment, “Mad” Anthony Wayne led his soldiers to victory in 1794 and opened the western U.S. to expansion by the white man. We watched a video, toured the museum and the grounds. I thought of the bumper sticker “Sure you can trust the government, just ask an Indian.” I wonder what native Americans think about immigration today!
Friday Brenda and Rick left for Indiana and Ted and I drove to Elyria, OH for his nephew’s funeral. We stopped at J. C. Penney’s to get another dress shirt and tie so he could change his “look” from Friday’s visitation to Saturday’s funeral. I had a nice slack set for visitation and a dress for Saturday. I’m glad we brought some things along “just in case.” However we were thinking more along the lines of dinner with some newspaper people.
The visitation was at St. Jude Church. The line stretched from the front of church where the casket was, clear to the back of church and out into the narthex the entire four hours. Afterwards the ladies of St. Jude Church prepared a dinner for us.
The Mass by Fr. Terry (Ted’s cousin) on Saturday was beautiful. He started by asking anyone who rides a motorcyle to stand for a special blessing. Every spectrum of humanity was represented at this gathering and that spoke to Brian’s wonderful ability to reach out to everyone. About 100 motorcycles traveling two by two led the procession followed by the hearse and more than 50 cars. Because Brian served in the Coast Guard, he received full military honors. It was a very emotional time for us. We enjoyed seeing so many relatives but not under these circumstances. There was a luncheon served to several hundred people before the casket was escorted by the motorcycles to the crematorium. It was his wife’s request that Brian take this one last ride with all his buddies.
Afterwards we drove back to the campground in Celina, about a three hour drive. We arrived in time to make Mass at Immaculate Conception and have dinner at Pullman’s Bay restaurant. It was late by the time we got home but we got outside stuff done for an early morning departure.
On Sunday we drove to Howe, IN and met up with Rick and Brenda. After setting up, we took a ride and stopped along the Heritage Trail to view some of the quilt gardens and murals. We came back to the RV for a pork tenderloin and trimmings dinner while Brenda made some potatoes and broccoli to go with it all. It was a good, balanced dinner.
Today we explored lots of RV sales and surplus places for some things we both need for our RVs. Rick ordered two new recliners and a table for in between. These will replace their sofa. We were looking for a new light fixture and a receptacle cover for the outside. We didn't find either so we bought a pack of baby safety shields to put in the outside outlets until NuWa can send us a new receptacle. Ted cut the prongs off another and shimmed the light to keep the fluroescent bulbs more secure and so far it seems to be working.
We ate at the Blue Gate restaurant in Shipshewana. In the past we have eaten at Amish Acres in Nappanee, Essenhaus in Middlebury and Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, MI. I still think Bavarian Inn is best followed by Essenhaus, Amish Acres and the Blue Gate in that order. All of the food is good but some is better and others have a better selection. You can't go wrong at any of them though.
I have pictures but our wifi is really slow here in the middle of this wheat field in northern Indiana so I'll save them for a time when I can download faster. Tomorrow is not planned out yet and Wednesday we hit the road again.
We've been gone six weeks now and the next stop is the Amana Colonies in Iowa. We'll spend the 4th of July weekend there.