Monday, October 4, 2021

Magical Saturday

This past Saturday was a beautiful day for an "off the beaten track" drive across the Delaware River into New Jersey. The weather couldn't have been better even if it had been custom ordered!!

"Off the beaten track" roads offer more than just beautiful scenery; they offer a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of traffic, housing developments and the noise that seems to get worse every year.

This particular road, one of my favorites, is hard packed. Just me, my camera and "off the beaten track" taking time to amble down the road on a beautiful Fall afternoon. 





Happy Fall to all!!!

Namaste,
Chris





Sunday, September 5, 2021

Kindness


Kindness is the only
non-delusional response
to the human condition.
                     George Saunders


Namaste,
Chris

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Monday, February 15, 2021

Winter

 


For more than a few years, we've had hardly any snow and certainly not a good snowstorm. That changed earlier this month when two storms arrived back to back. Finally, some real winter weather! 

In case you haven't guessed, I am a die-hard winter person. Neither cold nor wind deters me when winter weather arrives. 

However, it's been my experience there are more summer people than winter people. Die-hard summer people hate the cold, wind, ice and shoveling snow when a storm hits and leaves us with several inches of the lovely white stuff. 

The following came to me in a recent email from First Sip. It's a perfect explanation as to why I love winter. It also speaks to us during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's from Katherine May and her timely memoir: Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times.

Winter is a time of withdrawing from the world, maximizing scant resources, carrying out acts of brutal efficiency and vanishing from sight; but that's where the transformation occurs. Winter is not the death of the life cycle, but it's crucible.

Once we stop wishing it were summer, winter can be a glorious season in which the world takes on a sparse beauty and even the pavements sparkle. It's a time for reflection and recuperation, for slow replenishment, for putting your house in order.

Doing those deeply unfashionable things - slowing down, letting your spare time expand, getting enough sleep, resting - is a radical act now, but it's essential. This is a crossroads we all know, a moment when you need to shed a skin. If you do, you'll expose all those painful nerve endings and feel so raw that you'll need to take care of yourself for a while. If you don't then that skin will harden around you.

It's one of the most important choices you'll ever make.

~ Katherine May

Namaste,
Chris



Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Autumn is Almost Here!!

I can always tell when Summer is on its way out and Autumn, my favorite season, is on its way in and that's when the fields around where I live begin to fill with a wild flower commonly referred to as tickseed.

I live in a fairly rural area and the many fields I pass, many make way for these beautiful yellow flowers. They can also be found above ditches by the side of the road. Sadly, their duration is short-lived, probably no more than two weeks but in the meantime they are beautiful to see!

Namaste,
Chris 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Durham Grist Mill & Furnace

Durham Grist Mill
It's another beautiful day on this Labor Day weekend, perfect for a ride in the country. Traveling back roads that meander through parts of Durham Township, we stopped at the Durham post office, which is located in the former Durham Grist Mill, which was built in 1820 on the foundations of the Durham Furnace.

"The first furnace was put in operation in 1727 in an area about one and a half miles up from the river precisely where the present gristmill now stands in the Durham Village center. The water power of the creek that flowed past the furnace was used to operate a number of forges and in working a huge bellows that produced the blast.

Former Entrance of Durham Furnace
"Important product was produced at the Furnace. A stove similar to the famous Franklin Stove was produced in Durham in quantity. The "Adam and Eve" stove was manufactured in 1741 onward . . .. The Furnace also produced shot and shell for the armies of George Washington during the War for Independence.

"The iron ore found in the hills of Durham was not of first class quality and the location of the Furnace vis-a-vis higher quality ore and good transportation lead to its demise, and thus ceased operation in 1791."
(Source: Durham Pennsylvania Historical Society, "History of Durham Township")

Namaste,
Chris

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Not All Who Wander . . .

… are not (necessarily) lost!*

There are two favorite sayings I've quoted often, which is how I remember them. Above is the first.

My dear friend Jan recently celebrated a birthday and I always treat her to lunch. But this year I added something special. A road trip to a place I knew she’d never been. Her only requirement? Bring your camera.

I’d been to the mystery destination with my husband more than a few years ago but didn’t remember how to get there. Several weeks before her birthday, I Googled the destination and downloaded the directions to my cellphone.

It was a gorgeous day for a drive in the country with the sun high in a cloudless deep blue sky. I picked her up just before lunch and we ate at one of our favorite restaurants. Lunch for both of us was a delicious New York wrap.

We proceeded north to our destination. I also had a map of the area (Yes, I know, What’s a map? and/or You used a map!?!?). I guess I forgot to mention I’m a dinosaur who also happens to be tech savvy but loves to use older technology, in this case? A map! So sue me!

We’re driving for a while until it dawns on me we’ve driven too far. I pull off to the side of the road and check my map. Yup, we missed our first turnoff long ago. Yes, I checked the map before we started and was fairly sure, (operative words) I knew how to get there. Yeah, right! (As a side note, this will not be the first time I will be lost . . . today.)

I locate the turnoff we missed long ago on the map and turn the car around to backtrack. (I know what you’re thinking. The directions are on your cellphone, dummy! And if they are why are you using a #$%#@ map? I don’t have a good answer let alone a viable and believable excuse.) Again, so sue me.

We turn off and it’s déjà vu . . . all over again! We’ve gone too far! Pull off the road for a second time and this time I turn on my cellphone!!! Yes, I know, I should’ve done that hours ago. Yes. And. No.

Before our second turn around, we pass a small, but quaint rustic farm stand along the country road we’re traveling. We stop to check it out and it’s run by two friendly, lovely young girls wearing masks (like ourselves per COVID-19) selling an array of beautiful farm-grown vegetables. Enticing deep forest green cukes and zucchini, purple and green peppers, gorgeous tomatoes that make you want to take a bite out of them or make a tomato sandwich, fresh picked corn, raspberries, blackberries as large as the tip of your thumb, cantaloupe, and at least two types of melons and more. All nicely arranged on old, rustic wooden tables. Jan and I bought several ears of corn, a head of lettuce, blueberries and a melon.

Back on the road, we finally arrive at our destination and Jan is amazed at what she sees. I pull off to the side of the road (this is getting to be a habit) and we grab our cameras. The site looks almost the same as the last time I saw it but you can tell time has taken, and is taking, its toll. (I apologize for not divulging the destination but I don’t want the owners’ privacy to be invaded. I hope you will understand.)

On our way home we realized had we not gotten lost, we would never have seen, let alone traveled, some of the most beautiful country roads. More importantly, we would never have stumbled upon that lovely farm stand.

The second quote? Paraphrasing Emerson’s famous quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” I prefer to say, “Life is about the journey . . . not the destination.”

Namaste,
Chris

*Not All Who Wander Are Lost may refer to: J.R.R. Tolkien's poem, "The Riddle of Strider" from The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring.