We were still celebrating the impromptu Mother Birthday Season on Thursday.
I know now why people have kids when they are young and not old. Two-year-old Graham loves going up and down Great-Gran’s basement stairs. Over and over and over again. Babies and toddlers wake up early, loudly and frequently. I’m in the basement, so I catch the THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! of little feet, but mostly miss out on the crying from Graham and Baby Elliot. I’m also far enough away that I don’t hear Matt snoring or Sarah poking him to make him stop snoring.
We Steinhoffs like to eat, so we loaded into two cars and headed up to the Pie Bird Cafe in Fruitland. Good home-cooking at a reasonable price.
After breakfast, Adam, Carly and their two boys headed in one direction and Matt, Sarah, Malcolm, Mother and I headed north into Perry County. Just about the time we got to the Altenburg Museum, the skies opened up, so we spent more time there than anticipated.
Steinhoff name shows up on 1901 plat map
Gerard Fiehler showed us a new acquisition: someone had donated a huge framed Cape County plat map from 1901 or thereabouts. It was full of names you’ve heard: Houck, Juden, Alt, Lorimier…. Then, down near where our property in Dutchtown is today, there is a plot marked W Steinhoff. Mother said the deed listed the property having been in the Steinhoff name long before we bought it, but this proves it.
Malcolm got to pull the rope that rings what used to be the church bell in the original Altenburg church that became a school and is now part of the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum. We drove down to show Malcolm Tower Rock, but it was raining too hard to get out.
Largest herd of deer I’ve seen
We took Rt CC, which led us over the ridges that I’ve written about before. We popped out near Proctor and Gamble where we spotted the largest herd of deer I’ve seen in SE Missouri. There had to have been at least a dozen of them. Matt stuck his head up through the car’s moon roof to shoot this with my telephoto.
It’s worth clicking on to make larger.
Lost interest quickly
It didn’t take them long to lose interest in us and go bounding away, white tails flashing.
Foggy at the lookout
Malcolm was small the last time he was at the Trail of Tears lookout. The rain had just let up when we got there, but the sky was still gray and hazy. We could barely see across the river.
Are we in the clouds?
As you can see, it was just as foggy behind us. Malcolm wanted to know if we were in the clouds. We said we were, but it’s not like when you are in an airplane.
Both boys wanted to meet different friends and family members, so they took off. I headed out for dinner, then stopped to chat with Altenburg museum director Carla Jordan and her husband, Doc.
Dad would have approved
When I got home, I could hear laughing and carrying on as soon as I pulled in the driveway. Everybody was gathered around the table snacking and drinking wine. It was voted the best part of the Early Birthday Season.
Dad died August 7, 1977. It was a great to hear laughter around the kitchen table on this week. Dad would have approved. In fact, I’m pretty sure he was there sharing the moment with us.
Elvis, who died on August 17, did not make an appearance. We didn’t care.
[Editor’s note and update: I got my Elvis dates mixed up in my original post. We flew out of Memphis the day after Elvis died. I picked up copies of the local papers at the airport, then took them back to show the photo staff how poorly the Memphis media covered the story. After we critiqued their work, I pitched the papers. I don’t like to think how much those papers are worth today.]