Gettysburg, Day 3: My 60th Birthday!

I think I’m going to do this post as a kind of photo essay:


First, I came out of the shower this morning to find this display in the middle of our sitting room. Again, totally taken by surprise (maybe partially because I almost forgot it was my actual birthday–it’s felt like my birthday all week). Diamondqueen knitted me three cupcakes (no, they’re not edible treats, but they look good, don’t they?). There was also a card from Diamondqueen and a handmade shrinky-dink necklace: a pendant showing Civil War soldiers facing off with flags in their hands that say “60” and two dangles of a cupcake and balloons. She also gave me cash and a trivia card game that asks questions centered on the number 60. (All this when the trip was supposed to be the gift.)

Mom had sent along a card showing me as a baby, with 60 dollars inside, one for each year (with a comment about a million dollars not being enough, which made me tear up). J.Hooligan made a red, white, and blue bracelet for me to wear around Gettysburg; that would have been plenty, but inside his card was fifteen dollars cash. That boy knows how to give presents.

Even S.Hooligan, who lately acts as if she’s never met me, sent along a hand-drawn portrait in which I look younger than 60 and almost female. (S. still insists I’m a boy.) Lots of merriment to get the day started.


Perkins was crowded, so I guided Diamondqueen to a diner-like restaurant just up the road. Had great French toast and scrambled eggs. Not sure who the dude is photobombing my picture–I was trying to show off my necklace and bracelet.

We drove a few miles up the pike to New Oxford and one of my favorite antique malls, Golden Lane. I had over two hours to explore at my leisure and pick out things to buy with my cash. Diamondqueen swept through the place in minutes and spent the rest of the time walking to get in all her steps for the day. When I returned to the van, she was sitting there watching videos and knitting.

Here’s what I bought at Golden Lane. I decided to start collecting small pottery and stoneware jugs, partly because they’re usually affordable but not always easy to find. I broadened my preferences to include crocks and pottery bottles when I happened on a booth filled with really old examples:


By the way, the little rabbit is a candle holder I bought at the Dobbin House gift shop after lunch yesterday. Not old but terribly charming. The bad light doesn’t do these pieces justice. I was really happy to find all of them.


Because we no longer have Friendly’s Ice Cream shops nearby, I try to hit them when I’m traveling. No, I shouldn’t have it, but it was my birthday and I insisted. Yes, it was delicious, and I’m glad I got the smaller version.


Although it was clouding up, we wanted to go back out onto the battlefield again. I wanted to return to the Triangular Field to see if we could attract the same EVP activity as last evening (described in this post–the photo above is actually from last night at dusk). We walked all the way to the bottom of the slope and got nothing but a few random words. However, I’d started playing the video on my camera from last night, and at one point my voice is saying to the spirits something like “Make that cannon noise again!” Immediately a stern voice from Shannon’s phone app responded “NO!” In other words, the two electronic devices seemed to be speaking to each other. That certainly gave us pause; the timing was perfect.

We also stopped at the Wheatfield and a few other spots but got no activity but the random words. It kind of disproved one theory we’d been tossing around: That somehow the app was programmed with a GPS function that would throw out appropriate sound effects, such as cannon explosions on a battlefield. (As Diamondqueen pointed out, that would be rather sophisticated for a 99 cent app.)

I still hadn’t visited one of my favorite landmarks, the gatehouse to the Evergreen Cemetery, so we drove up there despite growing clouds and a chilly wind. We’d been strolling along, reading gravestones as we made our way from the cemetery to the old gatehouse entrance, when a fine rain began to fall. Soon it was coming down at a good pace, so we duckjed under the gatehouse to wait it out. We still got pretty damp, though. And I just washed my hair this morning:


By that time it had been a long day. We were tired and wet, so we returned to the inn and napped. Around six we took umbrellas and walked a few blocks to the center of town to look in any shops that were still open and see some of the houses along Baltimore Street close up. The rain had let up, so it was a nice walk.

I was getting really hungry, and I suggested we see if we could get back into the Springhouse Tavern at the Dobbin House for a great club sandwich like I’d had yesterday. This time, though, Diamondqueen and I planned to split that monster. We walked all the way back up to Steinwehr Avenue and found we had to wait only 20 minutes to get a table. The place was packed, but it was a fun atmosphere. This basement bar/eatery in an 18th-century building looks as if John Adams and his crowd could show up at any minute for a mug of ale.


I know, it appears as if I spent my entire birthday eating, but it was only three meals (if you count ice cream as a meal, which I did today).

After a nice walk back to the inn with a few stops at souvenir shops, we took a brief ride to the northern section of the battlefield near the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. Now I’m sitting with my computer in the little red-walled hospitality room of an 1829 house, looking up at a period brick fireplace. Diamondqueen is in our room, watching baseball. I’m tired and ready for a little needlework before bed. What a fantastic birthday!!!

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