Tuesday, June 18, 2013 (Day 2)
After spending the afternoon yesterday digging around Shelbyville’s library for family records, we decided to take a break and explore. This morning, we drove over to Louisville and toured the historic Churchill Downs, Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum and saw the world’s largest bat – of both the baseball and vampire variety – because that seems characteristic of the randomness of this trip.
Again tonight I am stuck writing in the tent after another torrent of rain, this time with the added fun of thunder and lighting. The afternoon was quite pleasant and the storm seemed to barrel in unexpectedly. Seeing dark clouds over the campsite’s tree line, my sister and I decided to use the facilities, hoping to beat the heavy, angry clouds.
We were not successful. As we exited the building, the rain had beaten us. Pouring down in sheets, we paused under the overhang debating our next move. We could either wait it out with no phones for who knows how long, or we could make a run for it.
Amidst the lightning and rumble of thunder, my sister looks at me and shrugs, “I say we make a run for it.” Never one to fear a little singing in the rain, I simply responded in agreement. As a multiple umbrella owner, I cannot recall a time I ever used one. Water has never fazed me as a resident in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”
This water, on the other hand, was like walking – fully clothed – through a continuous waterfall. With shoes in hand, we started running. By our second step, my sister and I were both soaked to the bone.
We sprinted into our tent; my sister went straight to one corner while I stood in the opposite. Puddles formed all around us as tried to figure out what just happened. Looking a bit like drowned rats, laughter bubbled up simultaneously – soon filling the tent.
“Just our luck right?!” my sister says once she is able to breathe through the side-aching laughter pains. The second night here in Columbus’ birthplace and we are again stuck in the tent soaked through and through. I reluctantly agreed that it was just our luck. However, unlike the previous night, the rain did not last all night.
As the rain turned from an incessant drum tapping to a pitter patter, I opened the tent’s screen. Instead of seeing storm clouds, my eyes met a large rainbow. The semi-circle of color was entirely visible above the tall trees. It looked like it was only our campsite that could see the whole rainbow unobstructed – as if it was painted in the sky for only our eyes to see.
It was not the most vivid rainbows I had ever seen or the most “picture-perfect.” But it was ours. A beacon of light among the jumble. Symbolic of our search for our roots. We may have to “wade” our way through a stream of unrelated people, places, dates and events in order to find that one – that rainbow – that connects us to our past. At the end of which we will not find a pot of gold. No, our prize is more precious. Our reward is a story, a unique tale written for us by our ancestors. A story that has no end. Tomorrow, as we search the local cemeteries, more chapters will emerge as we continue to climb our family tree.
Things I have learned on Day 2:
- Always check campground bathroom and shower stalls for critters.
- Lizards enjoy crawling around women’s restrooms.
- Never eat at Claudia Sanders (Colonel Sanders’ wife) Dining House and ask what they are known for, the answer should be obvious….
- It is possible to get lost in a cemetery. Also it is difficult to find anyone in a cemetery to give out proper directions.
- My sister’s insistence that Louisville holds the record for “World’s Largest Bat” for two separate bats, turned out to be true. What she failed to clarify was that one happened to be a baseball bat while the other “bat” was of the bloodsucking, vampire type.