An Uninteresting Life??.....Impossible
Oct 1, 2007
|From Ray Behrens (COE) Campground, near Perry, Missouri, 123 miles NW of St. Louis
Today we started our tenth month of being full-timers in what I thought was a very appropriate way.....by touring Samuel Clemens', a.k.a. Mark Twain, home & hometown of Hannibal, Missouri.
The homes of himself & his friends who were portrayed in his writings as Huck Finn & Becky Thatcher, along with his father's offices & a museum, have been grouped together into a tour. The facilities seem to be on a slow pace of being totally restored, but they were far enough along to sufficiently portray the essentials.
The tour starts-off in the museum using quotes from his various writings to help in recalling the essence of his experiences. An idea integral in his writings of which I took a strong sense was one that we all personally experience in which our memories amplify the actual events & circumstances of our childhood lives.
There was a quote much to that effect posted on a display of which I thought that I had shot a photo, but apparently not. One quote that I did capture so that I can quote it here verbatim was taken from his notebook & "The Refuge of the Derelicts". That quote goes as follows:
"A man's experiences of life are a book. There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy." I love that idea!!!!!!!
While touring the properties & reading the various quotes & mementoes, I had a yearning to re-read some of his books that I am sure I read as a child. The yearning was there as I toured, time will tell whether I make the commitment to fulfill it.
After leaving the Twain properties, we toured the town of Hannibal. It lies immediately on the banks of the Mississippi River & has that easily recognizable look of a river town. Our sense was that it is a town that has not been maintained or rehabilitated to its potential.
It lies between high-altitude lookouts on both its south & north sides of town. On the south was a Lover's Leap perch, while on the north was a lighthouse high on the hillside.
While we were standing on the Lover's Leap area, I looked up to see a large bird soaring above us. I pointed it out to Vicki. Only upon her exclamation did I realize that it was a bald eagle.....our first sighting of one in the wild.
He soared so majestically, first continuing beyond us before turning to come back past us. We then lost him/her for several moments before suddenly seeing it flying directly above us, & then watched as it soared to the north side of town to the vicinity of the lighthouse.
I fumbled with the camera, but must confess that I was so enamored with just watching it that I was not able to get a photo. The sighting was unquestionably the highlight of recent days.
Being close to dinner time when we were leaving Hannibal, we decided that tonight would be an eating-out night. We had some groceries that we needed to get into the refrigerator without letting them sit in the Jeep while we ate, so we decided to drop-off the groceries & then eat at one of the restaurants in this lake-resort area.
The first place we went was closed on Mondays. Asking the campground hosts for ideas, they reminded us of a place that we had seen Friday while doing laundry.
The place apparently has a very good reputation in this area; the only issue was that it's building burnt down over Labor Day weekend. They have now reopened under a circus-type tent. The hosts had very good things to say about it, so we decided to give it a try.
When we got there we found that they were serving a very limited menu. We decided that the chicken fingers were better than any other options that we had in the area, so we ate chicken fingers, onion rings, & cole slaw under the tent. Our waiter told us that the owner already has architectural plans for his new building, but he (the waiter) wasn't sure of the timetable for rebuilding.
So it has been a day of reminiscing the adventures of Mark Twain, seeing our first-ever majestic bald eagle, & having dinner in a quasi-circus tent.........and so we have begun our tenth month of this lifestyle by which our life experiences are (figuratively) writing a book, just as Samuel Clemens suggested.