Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 28, 1898

My grandmother, Hazel Alfreda Thompson Evans was born to Seth Campbell Thompson and Mary Olive Fisher Thompson, "Papa and My dear little mother," on this date in Coolspring Township just kitty corner from the Coolspring Church. The house was made the "Showplace of Mercer County" by her grandfather, Edward Campbell Thompson, a Civil War veteran and sheriff of Mercer County.
As a sort of re-gifting today to me, I was looking at our bookshelf downstairs this morning. I saw a book, The Re-Creation of Brian Kent, Wright. It is very old and I wondered was it written by Harold Bell Wright, the author of The Shepherd of the Hills. That was the name on the title page, but the real gem were the names on the flap. Mrs. Mary E. Fisher and above it read "to Grandma from Tad"- I have no idea who Tad is, but below Mary's name was written,"To Hazel from Grandma" A re gifting from 1919! Plus, I'm inspired by The Shepherd of the Hills, so it will be fun to read another book by Harold Bell Wright. The book itself is in good shape.
Grandma had a little sister, Arvella, but somewhere along the line, a hired hand remarked about a girl wearing overalls, "Well, you're a little Jim" And Jim stuck as her nickname. They were five years apart with a strong sibling rivalry. I don't believe Grandpa Thompson ever used the name Jim, but he blew on the fire of their competition. My mom said she would over hear him as he was giving money to one, "Now don't tell Arvella." or "Don't tell Hazel"
Mary Olive died when Grandma was seven and Jim was two. The girls were very pretty, but I'm sure it was hard on Grandpa Thompson with running a farm and two girls for which to care. Grandma talked about her mean German grandmother, that was Hannah Barnhart Thompson, she married Edward after the Civil War, Sept. 1865. I have the date, record somewhere. It was in Sharon, PA. She was from Clarksville, now Clark as was Edward- his mother being the one who was widowed by Charles Koonce, of Tara fame.
Soon Grandpa Thompson married a school teacher, Miss McMillin- I have to look up her first name. Later her sister married Grandpa Evans father, his second wife after they moved from Pittsburgh to Coolspring Township, so she was Aunt Eva to my mother, even though she also was a step grandmother. As yet another aside, Great Grandpa Evans was the choir director for Coolspring Church. I could write a whole blog on Coolspring Township.
Grandpa Thompson, and Mom called his second wife, Grandma Thompson, had a son Burdell. They made a big fuss over him, because Grandma Thompson was old when she had him. Years later, he committed suicide on the farm. Grandma Evans didn't talk much about him

that I can recall. My mother loved his daughters, Wilma and Verna Mae.
I think because Grandma was seven when her mother died in 1905, she was considered almost an adult. I know they had no grief counseling then. She may have had more sympathy from her mother's family. They wanted her to move with them out West. She cried, but Papa couldn't let her go. My sister has the letters they wrote to her from California.
I'm sure this is getting too long for a blog post. As you can imagine there is much information. Grandma has been dead for twenty five years. She was confused in her last days. She thought baby Katie was my oldest sister's baby. She thought my dad had died not her son, Bill. She had a stroke and quietly died in August 1989. My mom and dad were with her.
Before my mom died six years ago, we both missed Grandma more and talked a lot about her. She had funny sayings. In the winter, "you needed to get out and blow the stink off." She never got strange to her ear names right, Herman was Norman, HoChi was HoJo, Toni, her great granddaughter, was Tonya- which made the grandfather irritated, "Toni, Mom, Toni."
Grandma is buried beside her beloved June, her youngest daughter, who died in 1962 of uterine cancer at age thirty three. A very tragic death that affected our whole family for many years. June, the month was also Grandma's favorite, as well as lavender for color, violet for flowers. She put kitty litter around her violets and they were extraordinary.
Happy Birthday, Grandma! We miss your jolly self!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Poland, Ohio
 I'm going to post pictures from our day yesterday in Poland, Ohio. I wrote last year about our trip to Poland Forest. A little more than a year later, we made it back as a whole family with Mary Ellen.
Many events scheduled in New England this weekend, that made me wish I could jump in that transporter. Lobster weekend in Mystic, Connecticut, David's second cousin's daughter in the lead role of Legally Blonde at Oyster River High School in New Hampshire and a praise night at church in Massachusetts, not to mention celebration of Jersey shore come back after Sandy with Southside Johnny in concert at Atlantic City. Even if we lived in Norwich still, there is no humanly way to have done all that. Life is like that, huh?
We enjoyed Poland and the feel of New England with the old homes, the people looking like when we lived there and the weather. I told David, I wanted to go to New England this weekend and that this was pretty close. We both smiled as we commented almost together, "Even down to the weather."
Since I was what my mom used to call owly (out of sorts, crabby)

today and my niece is coming over for a cool night beside the fire with hot dogs and s'mores, I'm writing quickly. Pictures tell the story tonight.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday- a flashback
I had wanted to write a fun piece on my memories of Patriots Day in New England, when I lived in cold New Hampshire thirty years ago. That drawn out spring as they celebrated the 18th of April for the "shot heard around the world." Spring that dragged, but those hearty New Englanders had the Boston Marathon, taking a holiday.
You know what happened yesterday at the Boston Marathon. It is all over the place. A tragedy marring a wonderful celebration of freedom. Children killed. A coward bombing a public event.
Amidst all the posts for Boston, I noticed one about the mother of Teddy Foltz and her boyfriend. The attorneys are petitioning for separate trials. I'm sad for Boston, but every time I see Teddy's name or face, tears well up in my eyes. As I wrote before, the system failed this little boy. Two school districts and several times he went to the hospital for various maladies, like frostbite on his feet, no one further investigated these incidences.
The terror and abuse have no more revelations when I read about the pending trial. It shocks and sickens me. I cry. We lose children every day to abuse and killing. If they are not physically killed like Teddy, they are murdered in their souls. If they grow up, they are likely to be monsters to children in their lives. No statistics here, so site me on that.
The children lost at Sandy Hook and in Boston, yesterday, are tragic losses, indeed. I am in no way downplaying their deaths. I think, though, they had happy lives with parents who loved them. If you saw them, you would no more feel sorry for them or fear for their lives the day before the tragedy than any other child from stable homes.
We have to look beyond and see the Teddy's and his twin brothers. We have to look beyond the smiles that children seem to have naturally, even when the life they have behind close doors is horrible. Children are forgiving. They love their abusers or the enablers to the abusers, because they have no other compass. Children love their families.
Just as now, we have to be on the alert of suspicious characters in public events, we need to have radar up for the every day abusers. Pray for teachers, public health workers, other adults and yourself, that diligence in getting to the bottom of  the evidence of abuse, neglect and stories of cover up. We need to pray for noses for the facts, not letting go, like a dog with a bone.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Enchanted Jewel

Since I will be having my first official book signing in Poland, Ohio this Saturday, June 28,
I decided to post from my old posts. This one is from 2012.

I had driven around the Forest. I observed the parking lots and even sat in one to chart. I read about it in the Vindicator. I longed to explore the paths as I gazed at the map at the entrance. I hoped to go in the fall with my dog, but could never excuse the time away from the family or chores at home on a day off.
Last Saturday, I decided we needed to do this and I bribed Katie and David with Chik-Fil-A, which isn't far from Poland Village. That name, alone, sounds mystical. The houses are old, many exhibiting Scotch half windows. (Half windows to avoid paying full tax on the glass- can't find it on Wikepedia, so must not be as common a name as I thought.) We drive past the seminary, where President McKinley studied. Modern houses have been built on this lane as well. Poland seeps small town yesterday.
We ate in the van, not knowing picnic tables were not far from this entrance. We wandered on the trails, then looked at the map, as I did want to witness the bluebell meadow. As I mentioned yesterday, the violets were magnificent. The Forest with wild trees, undergrowth and muddy paths impressed primitiveness.

Hollow Tree
We wind our way to the bluebell meadow. The river has eaten into the banks exposing cliffs of red brown dirt. A hollowed tree seemed out of a story book.
The dog kept in step with Katie, ecstatic to be with his family in all this outdoors. He loved the smells. I thought maybe he could be off leash, but he is a hound. Dogs are allowed off leash if they are well behaved. I did see some well behaved dogs.
Not too far from the Forest is a four lane highway with cars rushing. But we don't hear any outside sounds. Stepping back in time is how it feels.
It did remind me of England. Our second stop on our tour twenty six years ago, we stayed with a former exchange student from twenty years earlier. I had not seen Denise in those years, although she kept in touch with the family, addressing the letters to Father and Mother Lewis. Her home sat on acres of woods. Her husband showed David and I around the land. We saw bluebells then, as well as stood on a thousand year old earthen dam. Yes, built in 900.
The river

Wild flowers
The enchanted aura of the Poland Forest entices me to return. I want to go every day. I want my younger daughter to step into this magical place, too. For sharing is the only way to appreciate a memory.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Key to the Future

"Childhood memories rushed back at me out of the night, strangely close and urgent. Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do."
From The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom with John and Elizabeth Sherrill.
This book came out in 1971. I saw the movie with my youth group many years ago in the old Columbia Theater. I have thought of it for years, always thinking it is a movie the girls need to see. I never ran across it on shelves of video stores.
Last week at my brother-in-law's former church, we ate lunch of wedding food. They have a small corner of donated books with a basket for donation. I spied The Hiding Place. I need to read that I thought, kind of like, I need to read any classic- War and Peace, Tale of Two Cities or any Shakespeare.
But I am finding, like reading To Kill a Mockingbird, I am bond up in the story. She leaves nuggets of gold among her memories. As always when I read stories of Nazi occupation, I wonder what would I do?
So is this why I write of my childhood? I keep my family alive. I am an orphan, but sometimes my dad, mom, grandma ring through my mind as they live with me. My dad's quiet values guide me so often. I do wish I were more like him. He loved and influenced so many people. My mother, too, loved in her own way. I lean on her last four years of contentedness. I think of Grandma's jolly public presence. She found joy in so much, when her life did not often have the sources of joy. Those stories will help me with a future work?
As Corrie and her father and Betsie, her old maid sister lived simply, so in a way did I. They didn't go out to change the world. They honored God in all they did and when the time came, they were given the strength to do extraordinary feats. But Corrie is so honest. She never lied intentionally. She knew it was wrong. But one day to get ration tickets, she lied. The ease of telling a lie struck her more than that she did. She felt little remorse, and she did wonder about that.
The intrigue Corrie encountered during the occupation reminds me some of the Left Behind series. The underground, the fear of being discovered, and trusting God for all things mingled in real life for this Dutch family. Often times, I am reminded of Revelation when I hear of Hitler and his occupation.
 I am only half way through the book, but so far these are some of the quotes that struck me:

"There are no 'if's' in God's world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety-O Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!" Betsie

"Those poor people," Father echoed. But to my surprise I saw that he was looking at the soldiers now forming into ranks to march away, "I pity the poor Germans, Corrie. They have touched the apple of God's eye." 

One Jewish man, who had been a Christian for forty years, not afraid of dying. He called himself "A completed Jew!" he told us smilingly. "A follower of the one perfect Jew."

History, any history is key to the future. Ephesians 2:10- For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things H planned for us long ago.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Road Closed

 I did the Hermitage Recreation series last year as an escape  from this sign. Pipes lining my yard, mud on the street, ten foot trenches prowling up my street returned again this year. Then there is the noise, the quiet of the morning quickly gobbled up by back hoes and trucks.
I received the notice my water will be off for the day. Last year, I dashed to a friend's for a shower before work. A headache drones for a better life.

So life puts up Road Closed signs all the time. I walked around them sometimes, maybe a block or two in my neighborhood. Or I escape my street to another destination, like Rails to Trails or Whispering Pines. Or I wait till the men go home for the night. I can't seem to wake early enough before the workers arrive in the morning.
My writing life path also became littered with Road Closed signs. This week, though, the End Road Work notice appeared, at least temporarily. Leana and Vince at Leana's Books and More changed their policy to sell books on commission, instead of buying them outright. Summer Triangle is on their shelf. A posting of two pictures garnered more likes than all my other posts it seems, yesterday.
My schedule for work came out and I'm off next Saturday. Work often puts up large Road Closed signs for me. This is a Road Opened for me to try my first display at Celebrate Poland, in my favorite town in Ohio at our favorite library. The best part of it all is the space is free. I can dip my toes into this arena with little cost up front.
Entrance to Poland Public Library
Summer stretches out as a time for detours. Detours lead to new places and pleasure. Storms pass and grass glistens with refreshing. I have had a strong feeling that July this year is my month. Viva, Summer. I love it all.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

To Speak Is Nearly Impossible

My husband's niece married this weekend in Somerset, Pennsylvania. A perfect weekend, like Hannah, provided the background for the festivities. The weather not hot or too cold, the sky blue with happy cloud shadows floating over the pastoral land surrounding the winery of the reception. Southwestern Pennsylvania possesses a rural feel different than near the steel mills or the distant mountains of Cameron County. This land inhabited longer with stone houses, but not quite owning the colonial impact of eastern Pennsylvania.
Off US Route 30 of rolling hills and history lays the field where Flight 93 crashed that distant day of  2001. Not too far from Somerset, some of the family trekked there on Sunday morning. I have been to far away battle fields before and expected nothing when I got there.
We drove over the country roads to 30 and continued on the Lincoln Highway. The long entrance drive to the pavilion continued as we wondered how long. Even in the parking lot I had no agenda, just a tourist observation. Then this picture hit me:
The wave of remembrance and reverence fell full force on me. I glanced over. Katie exited the area where visitors left sticky notes, a hand to her mouth, tears clinging to her eyes. Speech delayed to catch the croaking of my words.
I observed the sky, not quite as blue as that September day, already on a late Sunday morning, old contrails leaking into the blue. That day in September, I read the times on the board and recalled exactly what I was doing. I relived the urgency to get home that day to my family. I only wanted to be with my husband and the girls in my modest home. And the sky, the sky, I thought, I'll never see a sky this blue again, as all the air traffic halted. We all seemed to halt that day.
The sacredness of this place brought back my memories of visiting the wall in Washington, D.C. I, then, also went not out of urgency. I really didn't know any Vietnam heroes. It was a war of my childhood, but no one close to me died to affect my life. Yet the names of those who gave their lives for something bigger than themselves demand a respect we can't ignore. Palpable respect and reverence sanctify these places. I cannot ignore this aura in these memorials to a cause bigger than myself.
Aunt Twila told me Pearl Harbor is the same, as hush over the ship seen still in the clear waters is demanded. Yet, I don't think man has to demand this silence. To speak is nearly impossible. I hope these places always hold that supernatural sanctification so we never forget.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

After the cake is gone

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

I wanted to post an update on the status of Teddy's law. Right now a new bill is being written and we are pretty excited about it. As more details become available I will give you more on the status of the bill and what is in it. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Keep fighting for Teddy's Law. Keep sharing this video. Be Teddy's voice. We can't do this without you Ohio!
From Teddy's Law Facebook page

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Story of Wedding

My husband's niece Hannah is marrying Wade Evans today. I'm sure she picked this day because her grandparents, Lyle and Ellen Lyon married sixty seven years ago tomorrow. We celebrate marriage. Since I first wrote this piece for my niece Gabrielle in 2011, a lot has changed on the wedding legal scene.
What is so special about marriage?  Why in this world of living together and anything goes, do couples want to go to the altar?
I believe we all have inside us the sweetest story from time immortal.  A creation of perfection, a tragedy, a ransom and a rescue provide the plot to this story.  Fairy tales follow this story.  Classics are centered on unselfish love.  Even modern popular stories use the elements of this wonderful story.  A love unconditional that we all crave for ourselves.  We want someone to love us for ourselves and to give up life for us.  It is inside all of us.  And we all want this adventure.
Human love can disappoint, humans disappoint each other.  It is in staying together in the vows we take, the commitment we make that continues and represents the Great Story.
This Great Story is Jesus and His love for people.  He created us in His image.  He paid the ransom for our folly, our sin by dying on the cross.  He rescues those who choose to believe and stay true to Him.  And He is returning for those He calls His Bride, the believers covered in His righteousness.
The Great Story is inside us all, whether we acknowledge it or not.  We are to model His love to each other and that is why we still want marriage.  Marriage is the symbol of this love.  Inside us, we all want  happily ever after.  God put that there.
So I pray for Hannah and Wade today that they continue the Story with a long marriage of blessings and love. Love long and prosper.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Have To

My writing journey peaks and then my feelings dam the flow. I cower with uncertainty. I buoy with kind words. People who read my works give positive reviews, well, except for that one I only heard second hand. He never confronted me. I didn't meet his expectations. Ricky Nelson move over.
Between fingers over my eyes, I peer at the next book release, lingering at the horizon. They only need to finish the cover and send me the proof. Edit and then release. Release for a small anticipating audience I expect.
Yet, with West Bow Press, Main Street will have larger distribution and will be branded. That word "branded" strikes terror in my need for independence. Story, a great story, is how I want it to be known. I don't want to fit into a mold. Still for marketing, brand is needed. Summer Triangle taught me that.
The need, not so much for acceptance, but monetary relief seems to drive me. I'm settling into God's timing. I have had to learn many lessons. Going through tough times carries that common theme. "I'm learning a lesson. I hope it will help someone else."
What about the lesson, if it had all fallen in place? What if I had gone "viral?" Would I still be learning lessons? There would be downsides of success, too, I'm told. I always felt that twinge of envy with the pity of childhood actors' fame. How many truly made the transition without turbulence into adulthood? Then again, how many of us do any way? We all struggle some what with changes.
I know not to look constantly at numbers. My page views down again. My bubble of ninety some in one day returned to the earth with the normal fourteen. I write because I have to. I write more to improve because I have to. I can't give up, even if no one reads me. I just have to.
I need to go back to my identity as writer. I have published. I may not do it the way manuals teach, but by God, I'm doing it. I find I teach on Face book. I'm sought out. My gut instincts led me. I watch in wonder as pathways open with blessings. I would not trade any of this. For even in the depression, poetry arose. As my friend says, "It's all good."
Hope rises. I'm entering a writing contest because there is no entry fee. Also, the idea for the entry accessed my mind. I won't hold my breath, but I love the story and writing, well you know, I have to.
Success in this world or not, I have to write. I do write for the reader, but mostly I do write for myself. I have to.
My author picture- it's me, no glamor.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wordless Wednesday!

Summer nights, the walks I miss working afternoon turn, different than midday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday         Another post from my archives:
The system failed Teddy. His mother failed Teddy. A man without a job, too much time on his hands, raped and killed Teddy. Two school districts reported abuse and because Teddy denied any abuse, the child protection didn't investigate. He said his twin brothers gave him the bruises.
A family tried to penetrate the mother's fortress, but she defied them. The neighbors showed concerned, but the children were forbidden to talk to the neighbors. Teddy was let down by society.
I think back on stories of the Great Depression and no, I didn't check facts, so I'm going to try not to state them as such. This is my impression. The men didn't have jobs, but they tried to get work any way they could. I'm sure there were moochers, but they didn't have the government to help them out. I know, we pay into unemployment and when jobs weren't steady for my husband at Trinity Steel Car, we used the unemployment, but I had to work full time. Men get depressed without a purpose of working. FDR at least made jobs building the country. I love Pymatuning Dam.
Men back then, traveled the country looking for jobs. Many men did have jobs, like my grandfather, and could stay with their families. People grew their food. People took care of themselves. Still, I'm sure there was abuse then. There always has been. My mother and her older brother were physically and verbally abused.
Our focus in this country, now, should be creating jobs, a climate for growth. I want to be positive. The president is focusing on the wrong problems- gun control, immigration, women in combat. If men and women can have jobs, feeling useful and contributing to their neighborhoods, a few more Teddy's may not have to face the trauma of a sick, bored man and a woman desperate to find belonging in the wrong places.
We will always have ills in society. We cannot legislate morality. But as the old saying of idle hands are the devil's playground proves, I believe if we can get our men and women working again, some of the time wasted will be spent instead at a job.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Losing Control

Control, the concept, crops in my mind often lately. I am realizing, I have none. I strive to have it, even if I say, God is in control. I am not alone.
In Summer Triangle, my main character, Maria, wrestles with control of her family. I, as a mother, incorporated my own desiring of control. I wanted the clean home, but always fought that battle with time in, working full time. Maria controlled her home when she was able to go part time. But she still worried about her children. As a mother I feel responsible for the family's health, happiness, future and being godly adults.
I was talking about my dad yesterday to a co-worker. The stress of healthcare leads sometimes to unhealthy habits. He was going to smoke a cigarette. Surprised, I asked him about this, as I didn't think he smoked. He doesn't, but when stress takes over, he gives in. I recalled my senior year of nursing school, with my mother seeming to be dying, planning a wedding anyways and the pressure of nursing, I turned to Virginia Slims. Yet, the habit never stuck because my dad in his nonjudgmental manner kept it from taking over me. Dad was like Aslan, he could attack, but mostly he controlled it with love. We knew that, not with a fear, but respect of his power as a man.
As an adult, when David and I lived with my parents for a time, I sat at the breakfast table with Dad one morning, alone. He could hardly articulate his fear. He couldn't control life or how he may be as an old man, if his mind went. Having to place his mother-in-law in a nursing home weighed on him. As a family, though, with his wife also in ill health, Grandma couldn't live at home any more. I think he also remembered great Uncle Dave, an ornery old man at times, a bachelor who tried to rule our house.
Jacob, from the Bible, also comes to my thoughts. I read the account of his return to his homeland. He worried about meeting his brother, scheming and planning the approach. Esau, ran to his brother with open arms. As my children were young, I shielded them from the world, when maybe I should have embraced people more. Would more people have known Jesus if I hadn't hid? A convicting moment stirred up thoughts that morning.
The last few years show me what I always said, God is in control. We pray, but we don't control God. He wants to hear from us, but He still knows the whole scope. He knows the vase He is forming. We are to yield.
I read Job in the Bible, too, many times, trying to figure this all out. Hard times come. Like Job, we do want to know why. Job was not a silent sufferer. A cosmic bet in the first two chapters threw Job's controlled life into turmoil. At the end of the book, God does not have to explain Himself and we are not to explain Him, either. A life of control never promised. Yet, in a belief, Job prays for his friends and he is blessed. Even if we are not blessed in this life, we are to obey God and care for others.
A friend encountered a storm of large proportions. She questions religion, faith and God. In her anger, any words about faith would not comfort, like they do for believers. But sometimes, those words ring hallow for believers, too, if we are honest. One lesson I learned from reading Job so many times, is his friends should have just remained silent. We offer a hand, our hearts, but words are overrated.
Psalm 131:2 But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes like a small child is my soul within me.
Jesus said we must be like a child to enter the Kingdom of God. We need to quiet ourselves to hear the peace and comfort from God. Quit asking, "Are we there yet?" Relax and trust Dad to know where we are going.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hermitage Recreation Part 4

Techno, the little demon that tries to steal my joy in creating this post, showed up last night. I wasn't even trying to say anything about God per say, except for my readers to get out into His beautiful creation, and Techno frustrated my efforts. Katie also built our first fire last evening and of course, I wanted to post quickly to be outside. I took the lap top outside, Techno came with me. I slapped the laptop closed and gave up for the evening. When we came in, our internet wasn't working. By then, I was so tired, I called it a day.
My next chapter on Hermitage Recreation is Linden Pointe. I don't walk here often. In a way, why should I? I have to get in the car to drive across town. I have wonderful Buhl Farm Park I race to with Harrison.
Linden Pointe offers flat ground, as it had at one time been an airport on a hill in Hermitage. It sits between Christy Road and State Route 18. Christy Road at one time was a quiet country road, but with housing developments cropping up like flowers in spring, the traffic increased since Linden Pointe had even been conceived. We are a bedroom community for Pittsburgh and why not? It is lovely here.
I chose a cool day, but sunny. Even with the seventy degree temps, the sun beat hot on Harrison's black coat. We went around five, as I had to pick Katie up later and we were doing the fire event. I wanted to post about Hermitage Recreation yesterday. The trees are scrubby yet. But a part of the trail I had not discovered before is the "Enchanted Forrest." At least, that is what my old West Middlesex neighbors, whom I ran into, dubbed it. As the trees buffered the traffic sound, I had to really think, I'm not far from 18.
A few years ago, when Harrison and I tried this trail before at the end of a hot summer's day, a pond hosted many red-wing black birds. I thought of the book, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, even though at that time I had not read it. My girls liked it a lot, a middle school favorite. The pond also put to mind the end of Romain Road outside of West Middlesex in Shenango Township, where I first learned to ride a horse. A solitary pond there in a field sparked my imagination, then.
I am posting some pictures, which last night I tried to incorporate into the paragraphs. Techno played his mischief then and wouldn't stop. So, my original plan thwarted, but I hope you enjoy the beauty of the evening.
Old runway
Looking down hill to 18 to the Farrell Hospital
Inside the Enchanted Forrest
A.K.A The Enchanted Forrest
Blackbird Pond
A place to sit

Christy Road entrance 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

More Recreation

This is a live post, not from last year. Not everyone wants to walk all the time. I know I don't run. Still we need to get out and enjoy the wonderful area we live in. Wednesdays are free concerts at noontime in the old Columbia Theater park right on West State Street, Sharon.
Yesterday, I traveled downtown. The girls have learned when I say "Downtown," I mean Sharon. Sometimes, my dad did refer to it as uptown, but we lived south in West Middlesex.
The day overcast, but summer feel, provided a lighthearted mood.  One small table, the only seating available, gets gobbled up, so bring a lawn chair. The Westminster Faculty Jazz Band with special guest, Dan Heasely, on saxophone, played music I swayed to, until one of the town people offered me a metal folding chair.
Outdoor music fills me with joy. I watched the traffic, car and people. A couple strolling with their baby. A vacation atmosphere at noonday emoting jazzy and free with a gentle breeze.
I plan to be here often, since I will miss the evening ones at Buhl Park mostly. Food is encouraged with the local restaurants offering brown bag lunches for five dollars. I will check those out the next ventures to an hour of whimsey. Join me for an hour get away in Beautiful Downtown Sharon. Wednesdays, noon to one. Come on and have some fun.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

2014 City Parks Foundation Gala : News PhotoGetting as shaggy as the Lyon I know... and love.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday
I have new readers to my blog from West PA authors. On Tuesdays I post about Teddy Folz and his father's quest for laws to protect abuse children. This post is the first about Teddy, whose story broke my heart, the impetus of action. 
This is a controversial post, not for the squeamish. It lays heavy on my heart. Teddy woke me up this morning. I wanted to write last night, but I was too disturbed by the story and I got other bad news about a friend. I am a Christian and conservative, so my thoughts on solutions may not be yours. I make no excuses for what I am. I don't want to inflame, but I feel I need to write for the Teddy's in our country.
I heard this story first on the radio, as I was driving. Immediately, sickness overtook me. Then I saw Teddy's picture last night in the Vindicator out of Youngstown. Just over the line in Struthers. I've had patients on Creed Street, I know the area.
Harm can happen anywhere. In the print paper, the article on the right side reported on Brother Steven, an athletic instructor at a Catholic high school in Warren, accused of sexually molesting boys. He killed himself on Saturday. This sickens and saddens me, as well.
A line from the story on Teddy, is the ex-boyfriend's unemployment ran out two weeks ago. Now I get controversial. Men need to work. Young men. The man accused is forty three. The scenario in my mind, is he's bored, frustrated, agitated, taking it out on this innocent young boy. Teddy also has ten year old twin brothers. They are in protective custody.
The mother of the boys, isolated them from their natural father. (Who happens to live in Sharon). I see a desperate woman wanting any kind of attention and "love." Although, the accused is an ex-boyfriend. Is she so tired from the responsibilities of single motherhood and did not know where to get help? Does she work? Need free babysitting? I don't know these answers now. I'll find out more as the case unfolds and I read the comments of the neighbors.
How often are there Teddy's next door and we don't have a clue? Although, this woman was investigated often. She punished the children by throwing their toys out in the front yard when they told her about the abuse. She said they were lying. She pulled the boys out of school in October.
Evil is everywhere. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Like the Sandy Hook shootings, this is shocking because it happened in small town America and involved children. In this case, only one boy was killed, suffering over years, and no gun was used.
Do we need a change of heart in this country? Do we need Jesus? Do we need a revival? For the Teddy's, I say we do. This has driven me to my knees and I hope my Christian readers will also be so moved. God is weeping for our disobedience, our hard hearts, our thumbing our noses at him. I'm reading I Timothy. The law is not for those who do good, but those who murder their father or mother or other people. The laws are for those people who are sexually immoral.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hermitage Recreation- Part 3

Hermitage Recreation- Part 3

Along historical lines, as I left the Clarksville cemetery, I crossed the oldest bridge in Hermitage, on the line between Clark and Hermitage. ImageImageImageImageI
stopped that day and took some of these pictures. I couldn’t get the full effect of the bridge because summer foliage hid the stone arch. I anticipate returning in the winter when all is bare.
Not the same day, but easily one could make this a day trip for history,  a ride through our city’s countryside and over some roads leads the driver to the Hermitage Historical Society’s Stewart House at Locust Grove  and Whispering Pines trail on US 62.ImageImage
One can stroll around the grounds of the Stewart House. It is open Wednesday mornings 10-12, for an inside peak at this home. I did much of my research here twelve years ago on Tuesday afternoons, as I waited to give tours. Mairy Jayne Woge helped me much with the information. Some Wednesday, I’ll return to take pictures of the museum.ImageImageImageImageImage
Meandering around the house and gardens reminds me of the home in my childhood. Dad planted gardens and in the evening, I wandered around our yard, imaging the far away places on land and in time that I had been reading. Often times, I set myself in Hatfield, Queen Elizabeth, the first’s, castle and grounds. ImageImage
My mother attended a party at this house when she was a teenager. As you would guess, she told me this was a big deal. When I passed this house as a child, horses grazed the fields and I loved the setting. As I turn my gaze from the back of the house, a fishing pond lays back another yard, with a grandfather and four year old boy searching for a spot. The boy wears muck about boots, still stepping carefully over the soaking ground.
Whispering Pines Trail is another short, but woody path. Again, part of it winds in someone’s back yard.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
The trees are young, showing this was farm land, not too long ago. Yet, again I’m struck by ethereal forest, timeless green, our nation’s beginnings flowing over the asphalt path. If I had had sneakers on, I would have traveled down  Keiley Blance’s Eagle Scout project of Locust Grove Nature Trail, as it slips further into the woods. Our nation seems to be rooted in these forests of the East.
Hermitage offers exercise with history at Whispering Pines Community Park. Again to make it a workout, double backing is needed, but for a pleasant stroll on a summer evening, a ride east on 62 will take you there.