Wednesday I load myself, Juliet and McKinlee into the car and head north, destination: Toledo and the animal massage workshop that culminates the foundation of my training. I get a small price break by bringing two dogs, and although McKinlee isn't the ideal candidate for this journey (way too much energy and the need to be the center of her mama's world), I'm heeding the words of my liturgy professor in seminary: work with what you've got. I will say that she responds very well to massage, so there's hope that she will overlook my attention to other dogs over the course of the week. Crossing fingers and shooting off prayers! We'll be there for five days of training
In true Anne McKinne fashion (which means that if you bear the name Anne McKinne, like my mother and grandmother before me...) I will be taking advantage of the itinerary. As I go through Cincinnati I will stop to see my Aunt Hap, my father's remaining living sibling. When I called to tell her of my plans and to make plans to see her she wrapped up the conversation with the words, "get your questions ready!" Apparently the bulk of my generation of cousins (including me) have learned the hard way that it's critical to seize the opportunity to ask about the family and its past while there's still someone to ask. This is so obvious, yet so unheeded. Number four on my pre-departure check list is to write up those questions.
From Cincinnati I will venture just slightly farther north to meet up with my friends Dana and Mike. I met them through this blog, one of the happier virtual relationships of my experience, and I look forward to some time with them. We were able to meet in the flesh last year when Ken and I were in Cincinnati celebrating Hap's 85th birthday, and I can't wait to see them again. After Dana and Mike, onward to Toledo!
But wait, there's more! The route to Toledo is so screamingly close to my alma mater that I just can't resist stopping to visit. That modest detour opens up a couple of other opportunities. Picture a Cheshire cat smile... After completing the training next Monday we'll start south with our sights on Richmond, Indiana (alma mater!), where I haven't been since my fifth college reunion in 1984. Richmond is more than the location of Earlham. It was also home to me for the two years following graduation when I worked as Youth Program Director at the YWCA. I have good memories of Richmond and my years there, so this is partly a nostalgia detour. And a chance to pop into the bookstore to scoop up a sweatshirt. There have been a lot of changes to the campus in the last 30 years, and I'm looking forward to taking a stroll with the dogs to get acquainted with those changes while indulging recollections. (Which reminds me, I need to pack pooper-scooper bags.)
My next stop will be only slightly west of Richmond, to Centerville. It turns out that I have ancestors who were early settlers of that community, so armed with a few descriptions of where they built homes and businesses, I hope to locate those sites and take a few moments for my DNA to experience a kind of realignment. If possible, photos will ensue. This is one of those times when I really wish I had an iPad so that navigating maps would be more interactive.
the log courthouse in Centerville, built in 1811 by my 3rd great-grandfather,
and reconstructed in 1952 on this site.
The whistle-stop genealogy tour will continue as I mosey west toward Indianapolis. Just south of that route are other DNA stomping grounds. I've been reading and rereading some notes written by a great aunt about that branch of the family. These are the roots of my father's father, who I never knew because he died in 1946. He was the youngest of ten siblings, and from the sound of it my father's family (mother and siblings) didn't have a lot of contact with my grandfather's family after his death. I don't even know the names of any of my second cousins. I'm hoping that will change in time. Armed with a hand drawn map that is more than 50 years old I will tour that part of Indiana as well. It is still fairly rural and little changed, and although I know that an old family mill is no longer there, I want to get a sense of that community and be able to picture it. And perhaps visit a cemetery or two.
We're almost done! Next stop, Indianapolis, where I will meet for lunch Carol, the sister of my college roommate, Mary. It may be possible that Mary will join us, but Mary is not a communicator and if she has an email address, I don't know it. Carol and I are in touch via facebook, and she has been an enthusiastic encourager of my new direction in animal massage. She has also volunteered her horses for practice when the time comes!
Breathless yet? See why I started this post with the reminder to breathe? Here's the good news. After lunch with Carol, the intrepid road crew will head home with no additional stops except for nourishment and relief.
Once home we'll unpack the car in order to pack it again for another trip, because grandson Hunter is due to arrive October 1, but that journey is its own story.
I'd appreciate your prayers for safe travel and an attentive mind while at my training. Retention has never been my strong suit, and though much of this work is intuitive, there are all those muscle groups and anatomical details to remember...