Monday I woke up to an inch of snow covering everything within my view. Again! Will winter never end? By the time I had to run the dog to the groomers the new snow was gone but the old snow is still covering everything but roads, sidewalks and parking lots and it’s as hard as concrete. I know this because I tried to move a pile of snow yesterday after my dog discovered he can climb the snow pile in his pen as good as any mountain goat could do. If you want to see an old lady freaking out, come by the next time Levi tries out his new climbing skills. They could easily lead him to a Great Escape to the other side of the fence where his nemesis, the neighborhood tabby cat, runs free and tries to tempt Levi into a steeplechase.
Tuesday I woke up to an inch and a half of new snow covering everything. Yet again! But this time it stuck around all day. Not to fear. It didn’t keep me at home. I had a lecture to attend on the mystery of NWA Flight 2501, a brand new DC-4 airplane that disappeared over Lake Michigan in 1950 and to this day has not been found. The author of the book Fatal Crossing, Valerie Van Heest, presented the program. She’s an underwater shipwreck explorer and researcher who has spent over a decade every spring teaming up with world reknown author and marine archaeologist Cleve Cussler to find the DC-4 using sonar equipment on loan from an agency that Cussler founded.
The film that was part of the lecture had a lot of vintage and recent videotaped interviews of people who’d help clean up the beaches after the crash, along with men who were in the coast guard who’d gone out to look for survivors in vain, and of family members who were left behind. It was a sobering fact that none of the debris that washed up on shore two days after the plane disappeared was bigger than a suitcase and that none of the many body parts that washed up were larger than part of a torso. They knew it was a torso only because it had a belly button.
They’ve searched three-fourths of the target area where Flight 2501 supposedly went down during a storm, factoring in the current patterns just like they are doing now to find the missing Malaysia plane debris. As I said, they haven’t found the DC-4 in this area known as Michigan’s Bermuda Triangle---yet---but they did find and document seven shipwrecks and they are going to start looking again when the ice is off the lake. While researching the lost plane Valarie found a one line notion in a coast guard log that said they had buried all the cremated body parts in a local cemetery. With more research, she found the unmarked burial site and the fact that none of relatives were told about this final resting place. At the end of the film it showed a memorial stone that finally marks where the remains of the victims are buried and the large stone lists the names of all 58 passengers and crew aboard. A well-attended memorial service was held 62 years too late but it did bring closure for the family members that attended. As Valarie put it, they went looking for an airplane but they found something far more valuable. It was a fascinating lecture---hearing the details of the detective work that is used to find old ships and planes under water. If my Michigan friends ever get a chance to see one of her lectures, don’t miss it.
After the shock and awe of that lecture it was a surreal experience to be running errands as if nothing I’d just seen had affected me, but that’s what I did and at one point I nearly caused an accident. It didn’t help that it was one of those days where I had to repeat stuff I’d already done which always puts me in a bad mood. Old people like me don’t have time for déjà vu days! For example, I bought a new set of sheets and had to return them because the pillow case was missing and I wasn’t about to pay $29.00 for a twin set and not get everything included. I also had bought a steamer pot for the microwave, unpacked it and found it was chipped. If I wanted to buy chipped I’d go to a flea market. Then I had to go back to JoAnn’s, a huge fabric and craft store, because I misread the dye lot on some yarn I bought and what I thought matched, didn’t. Note to self: time to make an appointment with the eye doctor.
And so it goes here on Widowhood Lane. Another half week gone, another half week and maybe Weight Watchers waiting for me tomorrow. Yes, fatty-fatty-two-by-four is thinking about going to the land of group support to lose the pounds her Winter of Boredom helped put on. ©