snowy with a chance of frozen meatballs

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With the weather forecast for a snow storm, I decided to travel to the Barn (my secondary residence) a little earlier than originally planned. As I loaded the car this morning the rain started to include a few frozen droplets. The roads were clear and travel was uneventful. I drove through Dunkin Donuts purchased a cup of coffee and continued traveling west thinking I am going to beat this storm. I still had grocery shopping to accomplish so I stopped in Shop Rite. Wow, when I came out of Shop Rite there was snow everywhere. Oh, no that is what I forgot a snowbrush. wait, CD case is a good substitute. Car cleared off and as I pulled out of the parking lot I realized I forgot two items my daughter had asked me to pick up. How did I do that? Duh!! Should I go back in Shop Rite or wait and go in the little grocery store in town? Ugh, I don’t want to get out of the car maybe I will call my daughter and tell her to pick it up herself.

The highway now snow-covered resembled a slip and slide. A big truck stopped right in the middle of a lane. Not good! Praying “Lord, please keep the idiot drivers away from me.” Oops! “Forgive me, Lord for calling them idiots but please keep them away” Felt bad for the truck drivers – “Lord, help them to get their destination and home to their families”.  Safely in town, I decided to run in Pecks and get the two missing items – frozen meatballs and grape jelly. “Hi, Ann. You made it.” It was my across the street neighbors. Greetings are exchanged and I left the store.

It is 3 miles from the start of my road to the Barn and most of it is up hill. It is truly uphill both ways. This isn’t the city or the burbs. This is wide open spaces, trees, a few houses and very little traffic unless you count the wildlife – deer and bears. I stay in the middle of the road and proceed very slowly.  And then it happens, the tires are spinning and the car isn’t traveling forward. It is sliding backwards. Car stops. Not sure what to do. I turn on the flashers and sit a moment. A car coming the other way slows down, rolls down their windows and ask if I need help. “I can’t make it up the hill and I don’t know what to do?” the older gentlemen suggests backing down the road and pulling off by the power line gate until the snow plow comes down. “we are going into town. We will tell them to send the plow truck.”  I make it safely to the side of the road remembering that my neighbor will be coming by at some point. I sip my coffee and decide to check my email  and settle in to wait for my neighbor or the plow truck. Within five minutes there are my neighbors. They gave me a ride. A few hours later, my neighbor and I ventured back to the car and I was able to get further up the road but still can’t get up the last big hill. I gathered more items from my car and came back to the Barn. Car is safely in a driveway of a house that is empty and for sale. Tomorrow is another day. And I can’t complain I am inside, warm, have food, water and I was truly blessed today. Not just by the kindness of my neighbors but by the timing of seeing them in the grocery store. That was a God moment. To think God used frozen meatballs aIMG_1722nd grape jelly. 🙂

Travel Tuesdays – S2E4 – USA

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One of the current quizzes on Facebook is “which states have you visited?” I have visited 44 states. It is easier to list those I haven’t visited opposed to listing those I have. I haven’t visited Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, Idaho or Hawaii. So a visit to the Deep South, the far North and Hawaii are in order to be able to say I have visited all 50 states.

Each area of the USA has amazing sights to see, regional food to taste and interesting people to meet. Many times while traveling I have marveled at the very size of the USA. Let alone the diversity. To me it is amazing the concept of the United States of America works at all. Some would argue it doesn’t work but it does work on some level.

Some of my favorite spots are:

Grand Tetons

Black Hills

Outer Banks

New York City

Washington DC


San Diego

Lancaster County, PA*


*where my girls and their guys live 🙂

Personally I think the best:

  1. way to see the USA is by car or train (on my bucket list)
  2. places to eat are where the locals eat and the local cuisine (within reason)
  3. places to stay are with family or friends







Oh, this is random but…

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1. The other day was my mum’s quarterly care meeting. She resides in an excellent long-term care facility near my sister. Last Tuesday wasn’t a day that I could travel in that direction, so I was conferenced called in on the meeting. Everything is status quo – mum’s health is stable, she is participating in some activities, she is a delight, so cooperative. All I could think of was the Bill Crosby skit about “this is not the woman I grew up with”. Towards the end of the meeting a staff member mentioned there was a little confusion recently. Oh! It seems that they kept trying to get my mum to fill out the absentee ballot to vote. She kept insisting she couldn’t vote.  She finally informed them she isn’t a citizen. Or as my brother always said “she is an alien.” If you are a citizen, please don’t forget to vote tomorrow.


2. Today I spoke to a group of high school juniors and seniors from Connecticut at the Tribute Center. I actually spoke to two groups because it was 56 students and their chaperones so the group was divided in two.  The interesting thing that happens when I or any of the docents speak to groups in gallery 5 is that other visitors to the Tribute Center stand around and listen. After my first presentation as we were switching groups and I was instructing the students to sit on the floor (I was already sitting on the floor), something fell on the ground in front of me. It was a little pin that said Danish Firefighter. I glanced up and a man said “for you”.  I said to him “thank you for what you do everyday.” He nodded and left.


3. After the second group, a woman came over to me and said “may I give you a hug”. She hugged me and then she said “I lost my son this year. Thank you for your words.” I looked at her and said “can I give you a hug.” We hugged. 🙂


4. As far as fall television – I like “Madam Secretary” and “The Mysteries of Laura”.  Scandal is getting on my nerves and I gave up on “How To Get Away With Murder”. I may subscribe to HBO for the month of November to watch “The Newsroom.”



the love of wonder

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Recently, I read this poem by Samuel Ullman. May you also have “the love of wonder”.

Youth is not a time of life – it is a state of mind, it is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over love of ease. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair – these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. Whether they are sixteen or seventy, there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and starlike things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite for what is to come next, and the joy and the game of life. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair. When the wires are all down and all the innermost core of your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then you are grown old indeed. But so long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from man and from the Infinite, so long you are young.