finding my way, go with the flow, Just do it, leap of faith, learning, life goes on, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography


I’ve never taken a trip as long as the trip I’ve just returned from, so I’m not an expert at knowing if it’s always a let down to finally get home.  But it was. Maybe it was the fact that I felt like I limped home, what with the broken trailer jack and all.  And feeling dirty and smelly and dying to take a nice hot shower, and finding no hot water, that wasn’t fun.  The water wasn’t stone cold, but it sure wasn’t what I had in mind.  Then I went to my son’s house to pick up the mail that I had had forwarded to his house while I was gone, imagining bringing home a whole box of mail to sort through, and he had exactly FOUR pieces of mail for me.  In five months!  The post office had been returning all my mail as undeliverable.  There was no replacement credit card waiting for me (I never did find the one I cancelled but didn’t think I’d really lost it, just misplaced it).  There was no dividend check from Publix, just a letter wanting me to make my ‘new’ address official.  My primary care doctor had become a specialist while I was gone, so he couldn’t be my primary anymore, which was disappointing since I liked him a lot.  And I now needed to find a new doctor asap since I had just taken my last blood pressure pill.  Maybe that’s what made me so frustrated with all of this, no more BP meds.  I might have thought that the lesson I’d learn from all this would be to never go away again.  But no, my immediate reaction was to want to just run away… but then there is the issue of the broken trailer jack.

I woke up yesterday and started tackling the problems.  First I called my go-to plumber, Billy the Sunshine Plumber.  The first time I needed a plumber here in FL I called them because their name cracked me up.  They are absolutely great, which is why I called them the second time I needed a plumber, and now this is the third time and my uncle is now a believer.  Not only did they solve my problem, but they installed the kitchen faucet I’d bought before I left and then forgot about.  But better than that, they suggested I call UHaul for my trailer jack problem.  UHaul couldn’t help me but they told me to call Rentz LLC, and I bopped over there and they fixed it on the spot, the best $55 I ever spent.

I’m feeling better now, maybe it’s the nice hot shower.  Or the fact that I got a new doctor, and my credit card will be delivered soon, and Publix knows where I live.  Just another example of needing help and finding it, and finding out just how nice people can be.

a second look, finding my way, learning, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology, travel

Helping hands…

By now we’ve established that I hate, hate, hate, to have to ask for help.  I feel as if I shouldn’t have taken on this trip if I couldn’t handle the details by myself.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t have figured out the issues that have come up on this trip without help from others.  But what has really surprised me is that lately I have also found myself asking for help in the grocery store, and just out shopping in general. And usually the item I was looking for was right there in front of me all the while, but it seems that I wasn’t ever going to find it on my own.

Fast forward to the other day when a young sales girl saw me wandering and asked if she could help me find something.  Instead of my usual immediate ‘no’ I told her that what I’d really like to find is a bag with some sort of outside pocket for my camera, which is by no means dainty, and room enough to carry the basics also.  I had given up on finding something with easy, quick, secure access to the camera, and so far the camera bags I’d tried left a lot to be desired also.  She led me over to the Vera Bradley section, which I had already wandered through, and showed me this crossbody bag, which can be worn in back or swung to the front.  When in front the largest zipper section has easy access, and it’s perfectly sized to hold the camera.  Three other sections are great for the rest of the necessities.  And the fabric is waterproof, and pretty!  I felt like Goldilocks, I had tried many, but this one was just right!

And then there is getting help from the internet.  I looked up my new iPhone with it’s three cameras to see how to use it.  All three pictures were taken from the exact same spot, but one with the extra-wide angle (top), one with the regular wide-angle, and a close up shot also.  Just to see how it worked.  A dial of sorts comes up for you to select your preferred shot, but that will take more practice.  I approached PF Chang last night from the ‘wrong’ I thought maybe they had abandoned their signature horse statue.  I needn’t have worried.  And the sunset was nice as we left…9-26PFCHANGCLOSE9-26PFCHANGfeaturemed

By the time this posts I should be back on the road, heading south!



'scene' along the way, adventure, coping, family, finding my way, leap of faith, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

The ups and downs of this trip…

At one point I was thinking of writing a post and saying that I need to be more level-headed.  I meant that literally, because despite my best efforts at leveling the camper I always feel like I’m walking up and down hill once I’m in it.  But now I find myself  here in PA where nothing at all is level, so it’s a moot point.  This is what I’m talking about…9-24levelheaded

I stood in someone’s driveway to take this picture.  This is the road to my daughter’s house.  You come up the hill and make that hairpin turn, and continue up the hill to the top and make a sharp left into her driveway, which goes straight downhill again.  I’m not sure the van could pull the camper up that hill, and since there isn’t a level spot on her property to park it I didn’t have to even think about trying.  And going down that hill isn’t a picnic either.  I can’t believe that these are the roads that my grandchildren learned to drive on.  The first time I went to FL I didn’t like it because I thought it was too flat.  Flatness has it’s advantages it seems.

But this is the reality of life, in this part of PA anyhow.  I went in search of a covered bridge today and was negotiating hills and turns like this one, except they were skinny two-lane roads where you found yourself encountering oncoming trucks as you crested a hill or came around a turn.  And when I found the bridge, which was in the middle of the woods, there were signs declaring no parking, no stopping, and that it was a tow-away zone.  Really?  There was a place to pull off, but no ability to get a better perspective for photos at all.  I turned tail and went back to my daughter’s house after that.  Thanking my lucky stars all the way that I wasn’t towing anything.9-24coveredbridgeThat is how it works a lot of the time isn’t it?  You’ve avoided disaster, or just inconvenience, but by the skin of your teeth.  No brains or talent on your part, just dumb luck.  Or maybe someone is looking out for you.  I suspect it’s a little bit of both.

'scene' along the way, gardens, history, home, learning, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Shaking it up…

Canterbury Shaker Village was the destination yesterday.  I was so distracted by the dramatic sky that I didn’t spend a lot of time wishing for a prettier day.  Well, when it was raining on us and we were taking shelter under a crab apple tree I may have wished for a better day.  But the porcupine in the tree was kind of fun, but he just plain wouldn’t say cheese so I don’t have his picture.  And we munched on huckleberries that were growing on the apple tree like a trellis, so it wasn’t all bad.  A sprinkle here and there was as bad as it got.

We took the guided tour of the village and that was well worth it.  The volunteer guide was terrific, and it was quite amazing to hear of the accomplishments and work ethic of the Shakers.  I was lamenting that I had been so distracted by the dramatic sky, which doesn’t always translate into great pictures, that I didn’t think I had taken any interior pictures.  Thankfully there were a few.

The organ was purchsed for use during their raucous prayer meetings, but it was too tall and they debated whether to raise the roof or drop the floor.  As you see they dropped the floor, because raising the roof would have cost them dormitory space above the meeting home. 
This is a three hole outhouse.  Using an outhouse seems bad enough, but using it three at a time really boggles the mind.

The rest of these are just the grounds of the village.  The members lived in dormitories.  They were issued 120 garments each upon their arrival in the village.  These were their only possessions.  Their laundry facility was amazing.  The Shakers invented the first washing machines and sold them to hotels and hospitals around the world.  The garments were washed, dried, folded, and returned to the proper person by a system of baskets.  They were delivered by the children of the village, to the proper building, identified by letter, room number, closet or drawer number, and the initials of the owner.  Very efficient.

And if you are paying attention you may be wondering how a religious community that practiced celibacy managed to have children on the premises.  Shakers took in orphans and educated them as well as trained them in trades.  They were not automatically considered Shakers, because the belief was that you couldn’t make a decision as important as that one until the age of reason, age 17 – 21.  The more I learned about this group the more I admired their practices.  Each person worked at a job to benefit the whole, in 30 day shifts, and everyone rotated through every job required.  In that way no one was stuck in the less pleasant jobs and these rules applied to everyone, including the elders of the village.  The guide didn’t elaborate on the perceived benefits of celibacy, we’ll all have to ponder that one…Shakerouthouse2Shakerouthouse3ShakerredbuildingShakerredbuilding2shakersculptureShakersistersshopShakerskyShakersky2ShakerfeatureShakerdoorShaker1

'scene' along the way, Camping, finding my way, friends, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, sunset, travel

Southern sky…

Far be it for me to argue with a life-long hiker/backpacker guy, but we had a disagreement on which way was east and which way was west.  The only color in the sky at sunset seemed to me to be in the east, which he insisted was the west.  I will always doubt myself, especially when it comes to talking with someone who did all that camping and always found his way back to the car.  Eventually.  But last night the controversy was decided.  The sun sets in the south!  And I can prove it!lastsunsetlastsunset2

'scene' along the way, adventure, finding my way, friends, Just do it, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends

Buzzards Bay…

Why wouldn’t someone want to go to a place called Buzzards Bay?  I knew that I wanted to head there eventually, so as I left the scenic stopping point along the Cape Cod Canal I headed a little further down the road and found Buzzards Bay Park.  I didn’t expect to find the boat that I had been taking pictures of near the Sagamore Bridge to be approaching me again, but past the Bourne Bridge heading for the railroad bridge.  Either I drove really fast or he wasn’t going quite as fast as I thought he was.BBbournebridgeBBsameboatBBsameboat2BBrrbridgeI was down the canal and on the other side last winter when I was attempting to take a sunset picture with the railroad bridge standing behind the Bourne Bridge.  Now I had found the railroad bridge itself.  Not only that, I was hearing a train whistle and I got excited to think that the bridge would come down and we’d see a train come over it.  I had missed it by just a little a few weeks ago when I was sitting outside having dinner with a friend not far from that location, and here came a train right behind the restaurant.  Hardly worth taking a picture, but I tried.dinnertrainI had several nice conversations with other observers over the idea of whether a train was heading our way or not.  Turns out it wasn’t.  One gentleman was from the Pacific Northwest and he said he’d been on the east coast for a year and he loved it.  Wasn’t sure he wanted to leave.  Another man was able to identify the mystery critter that ran across the path, from the rocks at the edge of the water and into the brush.  It was a mink, he said.  I’ll take his word for it.  No picture, sorry.  And lastly there was a woman who was from the area and had experience with riding the trains that used to travel in the area in the summer.  But, as usual, the conversation took this twist and that twist and we wound up talking about quilting, and living alone, and making do with tiny houses.  Every now and then I would look up and see a sailboat, or a tug boat, or I’d think about the scenery beyond the railroad bridge, and take a few pictures.  Eventually it was time for her to get back to her bike ride, and I headed back to the pop up, quite pleased with the day’s events.  Nice talking with you Charlene…BBsailboatBuzzard'sBayfeatureBBrrsailboatBBrrtugBBrrtug2