Enjoying many things as great-grandmother

Now that I am an official great-grandmother of my beautiful little Emma Maria, daughter of Chris and Lauren Doolin, there will be numerous trips to their home in Chicago.

Visiting with all the wonderful sights and sounds of the Loop, so-called from the days when there were old cable car turnarounds and was the official downtown area, I was drawn to the Palmer House Hotel.

This is the epitome of a grand hotel and is the longest continually operating hotel in the United States, a historic city-center landmark with a legacy of romance.

It was financed and built by millionaire real estate developer Potter Palmer and presented to his new bride, Bertha Honoré, in 1870 as a wedding present, according to folklore.

She was only 21 and Palmer was 44 when they married.

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Bertha Honoré brought her love of art from her French heritage to the forefront in the magnificent décor and works of art to the hotel. She also had met painter Claude Monet.

The Lockwood Restaurant is the place to dine on the main level, and the general manager, Oscar Perez, graciously shared some of the history of the hotel’s cuisine.

The “brownie” was invented by the chef of the Palmer House when Bertha Palmer requested a dessert for ladies attending the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.

The hotel is listed in the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Tours are available and will be on my agenda with the next visit.

While reading the Farm Indiana section of The Republic recently, my attention was drawn to the Willowfield Lavender Farm located in Mooresville, run by the Kieran and Libbe O’Connor. I can almost imagine what it would be like to walk through the fields inhaling the wonderful aroma of all the lavender.

We will plan a trip and also check into Gray’s Cafeteria in Mooresville for a sampling of their pies.

The Indiana School for Blind and Visually Impaired has a horticulture program that was started 25 years ago by Elizabeth Garvey to introduce students to the world of growing things.

This wonderful story also is featured in Farm Indiana, along with what will be going on at this year’s Indiana State Fair. See you there!

Jessie Wigh, daughter-in-law of Dick and Bambi Wigh, has written her second book, “Caye Boy Kite Day.” Jessie is a certified yoga instructor at Belize Yoga Retreats.

The stories are about the culture of the Central American nation of Belize and the carefree life of an island child and the multicultural family.

The first book was titled “Caye Boy, Barefoot Adventures of an Island Child.” Wigh will be at Viewpoint Books in Columbus from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today for a book signing, along with local artist and illustrator Andrew Young.

If you have some time to help, Asbury United Methodist Church is in need of quite a few volunteers to help with worldwide “Feed My Starving Children” project Sept. 10 to 12.

For more information, go online at fmsc.org or call 812-372-4555.

“Cabaret at The Commons” has been a very enjoyable evening with food and drinks.

The next event is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and features vocalist and pianist Carol Welsman. Call 812-376-2638 for information.

“Rock The Park” with the Charlie Daniels Band is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mill Race Park.

Also coming up is the 29th annual concert to benefit Our Hospice of South Central Indiana. Former Eagles guitarist Don Felder will headline the show at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at Mill Race Park.