This weekend, in between Space Camp graduation and my youngest son’s senior portrait appointment, we found ourselves traveling to Edwardsville, Illinois, for Butchtafest 2014.
In an effort to make the event accessible to as many relatives as possible, the main festivities were moved from Sunday to Saturday, so this morning, when my son and I awoke, Buchtafest proper was over, and one of my cousins persuaded us that the best use of the time we had before we left for home would be to go to the Jones-Confluence State Park in West Alton, Missouri.
The confluence in question, where the Missouri meets the Mississippi, is the point at which Lewis and Clark began their grand adventure. Getting to the confluence is a bit of an adventure in itself, but after we had driven down the gravel road and walked the path lined with fruiting Mulberry trees, my son, my cousin, and I were at the point at which these mighty rivers meet:
After taking pictures and eating more mulberries, we made our way back to the car, then back to my cousin’s, and then my son and I set out on the the first leg of the long trek home.
Some confluences, like those of these two rivers, are easy to see, and easy to define, but other confluences are more subtle, and if you were not told, you would not know there was a confluence there at all.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a friend, Beth. She was a senior and had lived most of her life in Southern California, far from the tomato and alfalfa fields that graced so much of the landscape of Yolo County, California, where I had grown up and where she found herself for her senior year.
She was gracious enough to let me tag-along on some of her senior year adventures, but after graduating from high school, she quickly moved onto more grown up endeavors, like jobs and college, but because our paths had merged for such a brief period of time, and because of the nature of the busy-ness of that time of life, there was a lot I didn’t know about Beth — not the least of which was that she was (even then) an accomplished crocheter and knitter.
This came to my attention when (during this past week) she posted this photo of an afghan she had just finished:
along with this description:
Today I finished an emotional family and heirloom project. When we were going through Charlie’s mom’s house after she died, I found 110 granny squares she had crocheted. And a huge box of yarns that went with the squares. I started last Oct crocheting more squares. I made another 140 squares until I ran out of the black outside yarn. I even over dyed a few skeins to give me more options. I crocheted until I ran out of the black yarn Polly had. I finally finished crocheting the outside edge yesterday. Today it was washed and blocked.
The completed project, like the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, is magnificent and now belongs to both Beth and Polly.