Chapter Eighty Four
The Robertsons' daughter Carol came to visit for a week and she and Esther went on an overnight trip to the Longaberger Basket factory in central Ohio. HittyBelle, Hitty Carol and I went along. We started off early in the morning and stopped at a Cracker Barrel restaurant which is one of Esther's favorite places for brunch. We enjoyed getting out of the car every chance we could because the weather was so delightful. Neither Carol or Esther like hot weather so they kept commenting on how 70 degrees and low humidity were just perfect!
We started our visit at the Homestead part of the complex and immediately just had to have our picture taken in this huge outdoor basket. We were not the only ones since we had to wait our turn as other people visiting also wanted to stand in the basket and have their picture taken. The basket was about four feet tall and almost as wide with an opening in the back for people to get in. Esther sat us on the edge but stood right behind us so we wouldn't fall.
The inside of the Homestead building was lovely and seemed huge to us! There were two curved staircases leading to the second floor with shops containing many lovely items. Most everything was for sale except the baskets! We thought that a bit strange. We didn't find where to buy the baskets until the next day.
One of the shops had teddy bears dressed in many different outfits. They were fun to look at but then HittyBelle spotted this very big stuffed owl! He was sitting on a tree almost as big as the trees outside. We liked being able to get a close look at an owl without it being alive and frightening us.
When we came back down to the first floor a lady was demonstrating how the baskets were made on a set-up of equipment. She explained that all the baskets are individually made and how they take special care with them. When she was finished and left we went over to the work station to get a closer look at the equipment.
Bye this time we all needed a rest. We sat on a bench outside on beautiful well groomed grounds with a gigantic basket of apples at one end. It was almost as big as a building. Again, everyone that goes there has their picture taken beside this basket. I guess one would call it the perfect photo opt.
We stayed overnight at the Longaberger Hotel which is about a half hour drive from the Homestead but Carol didn't mind driving since there were nice four lane roads and no traffic to speak of at all.
The next morning we drove to the little town of Dresden which is on the other side of the Homestead and there we found many stores that sold the baskets. It was a quaint little town and they had plenty of baskets for sale. Esther and Carol found out that Longaberger makes baskets for just about every use one can imagine. At the one store, the lady who owns it let HittyBelle and Hitty Carol climb up in a big stack of baskets while Esther and Carol shopped. I just couldn't believe the number of different baskets and with almost every one, you could buy a pretty cloth liner and a plastic protector. Esther and Carol took a lot of time picking out their purchasses!
Before leaving for home, Carol reminded Esther that when she was a child in grade school in Ohio, they had learned about mounds the Indians had made several thousand years ago and they were in this same geographic area. We went in search of them and found two. One was called the Circle Mound in the shape of a big circle and the other was the Alligator Mound in the shape of an alligator but so big one could not see from one end to the other. These are big mounds of dirt that have grass growing on them and when we stopped to look at the Alligator Mound, there were men from the Ohio Park Service taking pictures and using ground radar to determine what was under the ground. Carol was pleased to talk to them and I know she would have liked to stay and find out what if anything they discovered. These mounds certainly make one wonder what they represented. I do hope the things we build and make today are documented so that someday, many thousands of years from now, the people will know their purpose.
It was a long drive home and we didn't arrive until after dark. Actually that made the trip even more interesting as the steel mills we passed on our way were lit up brightly at night making an interesting sight to see.
Next Chapter or Return to Beginning
Hittys Book Shelf