Road Trip Day 3 – Mom’s 100th birthday!


The Birthday Party wound up at Crafter’s Brew Garden in the evening, an outdoor beer garden with live music. My brother (from Chicago) arranged to play with the local band part of the evening. In the pic. above, he’s got on sunglasses and a black shirt, facing the camera. Then there is a woman with fairly long hair with her back to the camera…then (look close) my mother with a BIG smile. They had her get up and the whole place sang “Happy Birthday”. Everyone in the place was on their feet clapping and hollering. Afterward, mom “danced” with a few people as the band played “Come Together” by the Beatles – Paul McCartney said of that song “it’s gobbledygook”.

Mom having a beer at Crafter’s

Here’s mom having a beer at Crafter’s. She finished that one…but declined any more, though she had lots of offers. Crafter’s is “dog friendly” and there were some very friendly dogs there that tolerated the loud music just fine. There was also a guy with a pet squirrel there. He said the squirrel was 9 months old. It sat on his shoulder and let people pet it. Our visiting friend from Australia has been fascinated by squirrels. They don’t have them in Australia where she lives. Crafter’s has 24 craft beers on tap and dozens more in bottles.

My brother (on the left) playing guitar at Crafter’s

Here’s Dave playing with the Gary Coleman Band. My brother is on the left- black shirt and sunglasses. The guy in the back to the right of Dave is the drummer. Dave told me he can play over 1,000 songs…everything that the Beatles did…everything the Stones did….everything Petty did…Eagles, Clapton…he’s also great on mandolin.

A wider shot of the band at Crafter’s

Here’s a wider shot of the crowd at Crafter’s. There are people to the left and right of me and behind me. It was a warm evening. The high temp. in Oak Ridge was 91 on Friday.

Cloud that looked like a cat before I took the picture

While I was at Crafter’s – a spotted a big cloud that looked like a cat. I got my phone, excused myself and went outside to take a picture. By the time I got out there…it didn’t look much like a cat, but use your imagination.

This is the same cloud about 15 minutes later. Now this giant cumulus had turned into a tiny cumulonimbus and it was starting to produce some rain…but it quickly faded as we came to sunset.

Geese at Lake Melton

Back up timewise…Gayle and I got up and went down for breakfast. We are staying at a very nice motel in Oak Ridge for 3 nights – my choice – so other family members can use my sister’s house and my mother’s condo, which she still owns, even though she has moved into the retirement home. Enough people come on visits here that we kind of felt justified in keeping it for the time being. Breakfast was very nice. We left to go to my sister’s house, picked up my mother and went down to Lake Melton. We sat in the shelter and watched a flock of geese moving around having lunch.

Geese on Lake Melton

Here’s some geese on the lake. Before I got this shot…these 8 geese were perfectly spaced in a row. The lake was very calm and the wind was light – I’d estimate 2-5 mph. We saw several kayaks and a paddleboarder on the lake.

Mom opening birthday cards

Here’s a highlight of the day. After Lake Melton, we came back to my sister’s house to open birthday cards. Thank you, thank you to all who wrote cards…Mom had much fun opening the cards…reading every word on every card. We have placed the cards around the house so that guests at the Saturday night party can read them, too.

Many friends and relatives are already here in Oak Ridge and came with us to Crafter’s in the evening.

It was a wonderful day! Tomorrow (Sat.) is the big party at my sister’s house. We’ve hoping for dry weather, though there is a chance of showers/t-showers. If it’s dry, we’re in the backyard…if it rains, we’ll fill the first floor.

Thanks to Ellen, Emily, Matt and Terri for covering for me this week and next. Have an awesome weekend.

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