Perfect Saturday January 12, 2002
Satruday January 12, 2002 12:45:33

What's your definition of a perfect Saturday?

I have had many. Most of which, coming from different stages of my life, are vastly different. For an in-depth account of one that meets my current definition, as close as can be expected in our real-life world, read on.

Isaiah had heard us earlier in the week discussing the fact that his hair was getting "long-ish" and that he needed a haircut Saturday morning. In fact, he was looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, when I went to bed Friday night, I assumed Ruth had set an alarm and so didn't set mine. As a result of this, I didn't even get into the shower until 10 am Saturday morning.

So, about a quarter to eleven, we were all ready to go, and we departed for the barbershop, via the bank (so we could pay the barber). As soon as we were in motion Isaiah began inquiring about our destination.

"Where are we going?"

"To the bank, then the barbershop to get you a haircut, " I replied.

"But then where are we going?"

"Probably home to have lunch."

Between the bank and the barbershop, Ruth suggested, quietly so that Isaiah didn't hear, that after lunch we might go for a drive and see if we could see any eagles and I thought this sounded like a fine idea. The weather was brisk, but not cold and it was marvelously sunny in way that just doesn't happen in the summer time.

As we turned into the lot of the mini-stripmall (I think it holds six shops) the babershop is in, I suspected, based on the number of cars in front of the barbershop, that although I had shown up late and gotten done in less than an hour last Saturday, we wouldn't be so lucky today. And as we pulled into the only empty slot in front of the Sportsman's Barbershop, my suspicion was confirmed. I could tell that there was about a two hour crowd already waiting.To Ruth I said "I know his hair is getting pretty long-ish, but if we go today, we won't be seeing any eagles." She agreed with my reasoning and we made a tactical retreat.

As we left the parking lot without even shutting off the van, Isaiah began to wail.

"My haircut!" he cried.

"Isaiah, there are too many people there, we don't want to have to sit around for a long time to wait our turn."

"Take me back to the barbershop," he shouted through his tears.

"It's OK, Isaiah," I said, "We'd have to wait too long today. We'll get up early next Saturday and get your haircut then, OK? Is that all right?"

"That's OK, Daddo,"he sniffled.

Then after a perfectly timed comedic response he added "But thanks for making me long-ish."

Which caused Ruth and I to laugh all the way home.

After a lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches (nuthin' but the best here- haute cuisine every day at Chez Rogér), the three of us, and Kroger, too, went for a drive to see if we could spot any eagles. We first headed over to the wetlands preserve that is just across the Missisippi River from us. We saw a bunch of gulls and some handsome ducks, but the number of eagle spotters was far greater than the number of eagles at the wetlands preserve.

The preserve straddles the Lewis and Clark Bridge and an access road goes underneath it. We drove under the bridge to the other side and we thought we would get out and let Isaiah run a little bit. The wind, however, put a kink in that plan.

The temperature, as mentioned above, was nice running-around weather, but the wind by the river sucked the breath from my lungs. When I pulled Isaiah out of the van, he was afraid of the intense windy-ness and he and Ruth stayed in the van with Kroger and watched the gulls and the water as I climbed the arch-like structure which is the last remains of the old Lock and Dam #26 (the new one is down the river about 3/4 of a mile) to take some pictures.

I may not be a good photographer, but I am dedicated one. The ground level wind on the river made it cold, but the wind on the river 30 feet off the ground was bone chilling. My fingers were stiff and my ears were numb, but I carefully shot a series of photos from left to right encompassing the whole of the Alton area waterfront. I took each shot so that each one overlapped the previous shot by about 20-30% with the intention of stitching the 11 shots into a horizon to horizon panorama.

The results aren't exactly what I'd hoped mainly because I was lazy and let a cheap shareware stitcher do all the grunt work for me. I would bet that if I manually matched brightness and color levels, and resized the images with a quality graphics program the image would look much better. Perhaps some day I'll have the time to do so. For now, I hope you enjoy it as it is.

After I fulfilled my photographic plans atop the tower, we decided to drive up The Great River Road to try to find more eagles. It was a beautifulday for a drive with 20 to 100 foot high bluffs on our right and the mighty Missippi on our right. Although the drive was scenic, we didn't see any eagles on the way to Elsah, IL where we turned around to come back.

In Elsa, we found a small park, perfect for Isaiah to get out and run. He played hard climbing up and sliding down the slid. He got his pants muddy when he slid off the slide onto the muddy patch that is invariably found at the bottom of a sliding board. After we crossed the small bridge and looked down into the stream on the edge of the park, he ran a little more and we left to go home.

About the Author
About this Website