Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

Father's Day here was a nice one. It was not that much different than most Sunday's with the exception there were presents! As we do on most weekends, Ann and I arose early to go for a bike ride on the W&OD Trail. When I mean early, I mean like 6:00 in the morning. Even getting up that early by the time we did everything we needed to do before we headed out, we didn't actually leave the house until 7:45. Ann has missed the last few weekend rides and it showed. Oh the whining and complaining that ensued over the the first part of our ride. We stopped at Ashburn Road, which is 3 1/2 miles from where we start and Ann was ready to turn around and go back to the van. I talked her into continuing. but only after much discussion. As we rode into Leesburg I noticed a few trees along the trail had been blown over by the recent storms that have come through our area. The only reason these trees were not blocking the trail was that their benches had gotten tangled with other trees propping them up as it were, but that was the only thing holding them up. I assume the park authority will be along to take them down shortly. As we pulled onto the sidewalk that leads from the Trail to the Douglas Community Center, there was a fallen branch on the sidewalk, I managed to steer around it, but Ann wasn't as fortunate and took a tumble. She wasn't seriously hurt. A skinned knee. It doesn't show up all that well in the picture below as Ann has already cleaned it up a bit. I caught an earful though, as if it was my fault. Ann did calm down pretty quickly though and all was well.

On the way back we stopped at a Luck Stone Quarry overlook that is not quite halfway between Leesburg and Rt 28. I thought it would be a good place for Ann to take a break and to fiddle with her helmet.

Since we ride on the weekends, we've never seen the quarry in operation. It spans either side of the trail.

The are benches to rest at the overlook. All have been donated or sponsored by Friends of the W&OD Trail.

I liked the inscription on the plaque, so I took a picture of it. Below Ann takes a break at the overlook.

After we finished our ride we returned home. After cleaning up we took a ride down to The Son's condo. His garbage disposal wasn't working. Luckily all the needed to be done was hitting the reset button and it worked again. Good thing since that's the extent of my garbage disposal knowledge. We watched some Euro 2008 soccer at The Son's place before returning home. He came by later for dinner consisting of steaks and corn on the cob. After dinner, Ann and The Son gave me cards and presents. Daughter#1 also had sent along a card. Daughter#2 didn't send a card, but did call and wish me a happy Father's Day. The Son gave me a very generous gift card from Amazon and Ann gave me a book that I have wanted since seeing it reviewed in Newsweek.

You really can't tell from the picture, but The book is entitled 1948 - The First Arab-Israeli War by Benny Morris. I've always been a big reader of 20th century war book be it WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc. The Arab-Israeli wars have always interested me although I'm not exactly sure why. It could be my love of the Leon Uris book "Exodus", which I've read about 10 times over the years. Maybe it's to get a real perspective to go along with Uris's fiction, which is based on true events, but fiction none the less. The other story that holds a particular fascination for me is the WWII battle called Operation Market Garden. It was the largest airborne assault in history as allied forces tried to seize a series of bridges across Holland from Eindhoven to the real prize, the bridge at Arnhem. The bridge would take allied forces across the Rhine and into the German heartland and end the war. Cornelius Ryan wrote a book about it and they made a movie about it with the same name: A Bridge Too Far. It was an allied disaster in the end, but a bold plan none the less. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened had Patton's 3rd Army been the Garden part (land forces) rather than Montgomery's XXX Corps. Of course history is riddled with "what ifs". Anyway I look forward to reading my new book and thank my family for making my day special.

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