Sunday, October 25, 2015

Night in the town, morning in the country

Here's an update on yesterday's posting. A number of folks seemed to think the sustainable economy section was helpful. We'll write more of our thoughts on sustainable local businesses in the near future.

The Better Half and I ate dinner and spent last night at the Grant House in Rush City. She had breakfast this morning while I settled for coffee. Last night's roast beef was tasty and I was told that this morning's bacon and eggs were also good. The coffee was full-bodied, which I appreciate better than any old fashioned watered down "farmers' cafe" bland blend I've had at other times in other places. After we checked out, we headed for Grantsburg, WI and Crex Meadows. More on that in a future posting.

Grant House exterior
Grant House exterior
Photo by J. Harrington

Back to last night, I'm pleased to report that the bed was comfortable and the room decor was of period. Neither my Better Half nor I heard any late night piano players nor children playing with a ball, the most commonly reported "hauntings" in the hotel. About the time I was falling asleep, I heard (although the BH claims she didn't) what sounded like a peg-legged pirate thumping up the stairs or along the hall. Maybe it was the piano player headed for the piano and I dropped off before he or she started playing? This morning's waitress didn't think it was a late-arriving guest.

the sitting area in our room
the sitting area in our room
Photo by J. Harrington

Continuing our chronological reversal, I learned quite a bit at the photography lesson yesterday, not least of which was that I need to spend more time with my camera and the manual in hand, simultaneously. I need to practice with different program modes and settings. Part of what I learned is that better photos can result from greater familiarity with one's equipment. I probably also need to play with my iPhone camera more or else stop using it. Too many of those photos are out of focus.

signs of haunting
signs of haunting
Photo by J. Harrington

The Haunted Palace

By Edgar Allan Poe 

In the greenest of our valleys
   By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace—
   Radiant palace—reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion,
   It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
   Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
   On its roof did float and flow
(This—all this—was in the olden
   Time long ago)
And every gentle air that dallied,
   In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
   A wingèd odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
   Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically
   To a lute’s well-tunèd law,
Round about a throne where, sitting,
In state his glory well befitting,
   The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
   Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing
   And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
   Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
   The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
   Assailed the monarch’s high estate;
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow
   Shall dawn upon him, desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
   That blushed and bloomed
Is but a dim-remembered story
   Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
   Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms that move fantastically
   To a discordant melody;
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
   Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever,
   And laugh—but smile no more. 

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Please be kind to each other while you can.