Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Activities during the month and One Half Interlude while at Home in Mt Pleasant Iowa

September 5, 2011: (A year ago today we landed in South Africa for our 2 month adventure)
Summer has slipped by. As our blog indicated, we arrived home on July 7, our daughter arrived home late on July 8, and we have been busy ever since. One of our 2 bedroom rental properties became vacant on June 1, so we began cleaning/painting so our daughter could move into that house for the next year. Last summer Cal installed siding on two sides of another rental house, so the other two sides were waiting for him to improve their looks this summer. After a few set-backs, Cherie has moved into her own little place, and the siding looks great on the other property. In the meantime I have cleaned and painted an apartment at the HUD housing project I manage. However I have had another move-out, so I by the end of this week another unit should be ready for a move-in. As you can tell, we have had a very busy summer – working!

Also, it has not rained in Mt Pleasant since we have arrived home. Areas north of us have received rain, but not the Mt Pleasant area and south of here. We are extremely dry, my flowers are drying up, the ground is cracking, and the grass is brown (all we do is mow the weeds). June was one of our wettest months on record, but July and August have been two of the driest. However this Saturday (Sept 3) afternoon we had heavy storms pass through Iowa. It is amazing how within a few days the grass is already beginning to appear greener.

Cal has had very little time to ride his bike – he knows he will suffer the first few days when he begins the ride east. At this moment we are thinking we will be leaving Mt Pleasant again on Sunday morning September 18. HOWEVER, Cal has changed his route!! Instead of going across Tennessee and North Carolina as he indicated earlier, he is going east through Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to Pittsburgh. He has decided the northern portions of these states are more level, plus there are canals to follow (knowing they will remain level). Once in Pittsburgh he is going to ride the ‘Rail to Trail’ road - The Great Allegheny Passage, to Cumberland, Maryland where it connects with the tow path along the C & O Canal and he will ride that into Washington D. C (with no more than a 1 % grade). From Washington D.C. his destination will be Rehoboth Beach on the Delaware shore.

However before we focus on finishing this ride, we have the Old Thresher Reunion here in Mt Pleasant, September 1-5. We volunteer to work on the grounds at our church food stand and each evening our Rotary Club ushers in the grandstand for the Country Music concerts. We also host guests in our home as motels are full (many people camp on the grounds).

Also before we leave we will be attending a Rotary event in Chicago from September 8 to 13. So as I mentioned, we ‘hope’ to be ready to leave on September 18!

For those of you who have not attended the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, held in Mt Pleasant, Iowa each year (five days, ending on Labor Day), I would like to introduce you to the event. Old Threshers is the reality of keeping our United States farming heritage alive and meaningful for generations to come. To preserve and celebrate our rural heritage, a working museum has been developed. In the beginning its focus was on the steam engine, which modernized farming from the horse. There are over 100 working steam engines on the grounds (many are privately owned). Each day beginning at noon there is a parade of steam engines, old tractors, and old cars. Throughout the day you are able to watch demonstrations relating to horse power, steam power, and gas power. There is actual threshing - powered by horse and also by steam engine. Baling the wheat straw by horse and by steam. Cutting lumber (sawmill) powered by steam - I am mentioning only a few of the many demonstrations. Besides the working steam engines (all must be working to be on the grounds), there are old tractors (every kind made), and old gas powered engines. These gas powered engines made work on the farm much easier – even gas powered washing machines and refrigerators.

Yesterday and today I walked around the grounds taking photos to share with you – it is just a sampling of what this is all about. Oh Yes, they do display several pieces of modern farm machinery – they also list the prices on these new pieces!! These new modern pieces are owned by friends of ours.
Steam Powered Verneer Mill

Horse Power for thresher

Horse Power for thresher

Steam Powered Threshing Machine
Old Threshers Midwest Central Railroad

Old Threshers Midwest Central Railroad

Old Threshers Midwest Central Railroad

Learning to drive a Tractor

80 Acre Campground

Future Threshers

Old Tractors

Old Cars

Steam Engines on Parade

Steam Engine on Display

Annual Horse Pull

Of course with all these people attending the Old Threshers Reunion– they need to eat, so churches and civic groups use this as an opportunity to raise funds, however it takes a crew of volunteers to do this smoothly.

United Methodist Food Stand

Our Daughter, Cherie, Working in the Food Stand

The Final Product of the Food Stand

Modern Agriculture on Display
Cal was out riding his bike again today. Thank goodness it is flat across Illinois as he has not been riding his bike as much as he should be to keep his edge – it has been very hot in Iowa.

Keep tuned! For the rest of the story!


  1. We had so much fun seeing the Old Threshers last year...too bad it wasn't during the actual festival! Thanks for sharing pics!