archived blog posts
After ten years of blogging with the best of them, I retired my blog, "just sayin'" in the summer of 2019. But with so many fond memories and pictures stored on its pages, I couldn't just hit the DELETE key and be done with it. Alas, I decided to archive the little darlings and leave them at their same address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I had to pick a favorite of all my posts, it would be the two covering my trip to England with my father in the summer of 2014. You'll find the first of those posts down below.
The Trip of a Lifetime: Part One
Taking Off for Heathrow!
Never in my wildest imaginings did I ever come close to how incredibly amazing our trip to England would be. Even sacked with massive jet lag and a grueling wait through customs at Heathrow, Dad and I were thrilled to find Hannah waving at us as we finally emerged through the gate. Oh, what a heavenly hug to finally wrap my arms around our beautiful daughter who’s been traveling Europe all summer! With her, at long last we met Aaron Bradshaw, her back-packing buddy, and … Steve Kirk! Steve, along with his wife Lydia and their three kids, would be our hosts in Parham for the next four days.
I must confess to more than a few goose bumps as Steve turned into their property which housed the 390th some seventy years ago. Spotting that control tower – the same one Dad flew over on so many missions – was positively surreal, like stepping back in time. I could hardly wait to visit the museum which it now houses.
Just so you know, writing may now be my profession, but I’ll never find the adequate words to express how unforgettable our visit was with Lydia and Steve and their three adorable children – Fliss, Tommy, and Betsy. They’d decorated their home both inside and out with American flags and “welcome” banners to boot! Shortly after we arrived, Lydia served us a traditional “Sunday Roast” with all the trimmings - including Yorkshire pudding. SO good. We were astounded to each have our own room in their lovely home. Can you imagine having that many guest rooms?
Lydia had planned a wonderful itinerary for our visit, including plenty of time at the Parham Airfield Museum located there in that historic control tower. Earlier this summer, they celebrated a grand re-opening after a large addition was built to showcase more of the 390th memorabilia. It’s a fascinating museum, and the passion of the docents who volunteer their time is contagious from the moment you enter.
Just as I’d expected, Dad was quite the rock star once he set foot in that historic building. Visitors clung to him like Velcro, asking questions, wanting his autograph, and having pictures taken with him. Meeting Lydia’s father Peter Kindred (standing) who oversees the running of the museum, was such a treat. Peter is a walking, talking historian who loves sharing his knowledge about the 390th and those who served on so many acres of his family’s farmland.
Later, a reporter from the Suffolk BBC interviewed both of us, and we got to hear portions played on the radio the next day. What a joy to be able to stand back and experience all this with my father! And if that wasn’t enough, they threw a belated, surprise 91st birthday party for him! Check out that cake with his picture on it.
The next day we visited Framlingham Castle (above right), the iconic 11th-century structure that was such a welcoming sight for the crews of the B-17s as they returned to base from their bombing missions. On a side note, Dad’s brother, my Uncle Ralph, researched our family’s genealogy several years ago and traced us back to Sir Roger Bigod, the Earl of Norfolk, who built the castle. Small world, eh?
Other stops on our itinerary included a delicious lunch at a pub called the White Horse Inn. The cozy ambience was exactly as I’d envisioned the pub where “Danny” and his friends visited in my book. It was also where we had our first taste of Sticky Toffee Pudding. Yum!
Tuesday evening we ate fish and chips in the quaint village on the North Sea called Aldeburgh (which, pronounced to our Yankee ears sounded just like Oprah, keeping us confused to say the least.) Afterward Steve and Lydia took us to see The Late Edwina Black, a “whodunit” at Aldeburgh’s summer theater.
To read the rest of this post, click HERE.