Tuesday, November 30, 2010


So far, I love winter.  The darkness, the cold, all of it - I think that December must be the most mysterious month of all.

Here are some photos from the drive back from Wellsville to Cranberry TWP.  The snow was melted by the time we got south of Erie.  There's no snow at all here now, just rain today, but it's supposed to snow on Wed. and Thurs.

Here are some random leftover shots from Wellsville.
We'll be going to NYC this weekend.  Aunt Mil died and we are going to her funeral.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

View from the window (Wellsville)

7AM Sat. morning (Wellsville)

Corning Glass

A really fun and special place ...
More photos on the Flickr site.

Thanksgiving in Wellsville

Leaving Cranberry TWP ...

Tables in Wellsville ...

At the new Wellsville Art Center ...

Me (with hat hair) and John ...
Talking around the fire ...
Finally eating ...

Other photos from the yard ...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Correction: Sutton WVa

The West Virginia town I stayed in last week on that dark, rainy night is SUTTON (not Summit).  I found this photo on the Wikipedia entry for Sutton, WV.  I drove down that street, looking for the motel, and found a man who directed me to the Elk Motel.  It's the Elk River that runs through Sutton.

Another tidbit: In the motion picture The Silence of the Lambs, the victim Clarice Starling autopsied was found in the Elk River.

View from the window

8AM, Monday

Jubilee and the fireplace

She's getting used to it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

the drive north

Hell of a ride.

By the time we got to northern Florida, even though it was still warm, the colors of autumn were apparent.  I love the mysterious low country of Georgia and SC - vast grasslands with rivers running through them to the ocean.  Turned the A/C off somewhere in SC.  Charlotte NC looked to be in prime autumn color: red, orange and yellow.  It rained most of the way.

At Exit 1 (not sure if I was at the northernmost last exit of NC or the southernmost first exit of southerwestern VA) all traffic was forced off of I77.   The interstate was closed!  I stopped at a McDonald’s and next to me was a man in a very old car (older than mine) who was talking on a cell phone and looking at a map.  He looked like he knew what was going on and told me that the highway was closed down because of an accident on “the mountain”, and there were 200 cars or more in a pile up.  The only thing to do was to take a small, windy road that ran parallel to the highway and over the mountain for about 30 miles until we could get back on the highway.  So that’s what I did - creeping along with every other truck that was taking the detour.  It was actually very pretty country, but a lot of fog.
It took at least 2 hours to go those 30 miles, and then I took a wrong turn in WV that took me about 50 miles out of my way, so that it got dark and I still had 200 miles to go.  Really dark.  Nothing around but dark, dark mountains.  I almost stayed in Charleston, but the exit I got off at looked so ratty I decided to move on.

It is not easy to drive those WV mountains in the daylight.  I found myself in the middle of nowhere - actually it's probably the best of WV mountain country - but raining and dark, it was impossible to find my way around.

Somehow I ended up in a little place called Summit.  One of those little towns in the holler of the mountains.  It felt like I had stepped off of the grid, out of my comfort zone of highway fast food and motels, and into unknown territory.  The twilight zone.

Jubilee and I stayed in Room #2 at the Elk Motel - $35 a night, very clean.  DOT (Dept. of Transportation) trucks were parked before the other 8 or 9 rooms.  I walked through the driving wind and rain to a "Family Restaurant" next door.  The people I met there seemed poor but friendly.  The waitress was studying a "Criminal Justice" book, hoping to get a better job at a prison.  The food was oversized, fatty and very salty.  (In my opinion, poverty in America is tied to the food problem, and freeing themselves from that trap is integral to the empowerment of the poor, but that's another discussion)

I had wanted to explore the town some more before I left.  There was a river running through it, and an "historic" section.  But it was still raining in the morning and I decided to make the final stretch into Cranberry TWP.  The DOT trucks all started their engines at about 4AM, and let them warm up for 20 minutes or so before leaving, so we got an early start as well.  But I have to say that I slept surprisingly well in that little place, with lots of good dreams.

I want to go back to Summit, though, on one of my return trips.

It is winter here in Cranberry TWP.  So many shades of brown, refreshingly cold.  John is glad to have us back and the little apartment is snug as a bug.

(The car ran like a new car the whole way.  I have an angel at my side - a cousin, "Doug"(my mother's sister's son), who died many years ago at an early age.  A couple of years ago I decided to bring him along on my road trips to watch out for my car.  He's been good.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Florida - Autumn 2010

(A controlled burn of sugar cane across from John Stretch Park on the southern rim of Lake Okeechobee.  About half way across the state of Florida.)

Jubilee and I are gearing up for our trip back to Pennsylvania.  Other than a few more loose ends to tie, we are ready.  We’ll leave Monday or Tuesday at the last.

Our time here has been a mixed bag.  It took awhile to get settled in, adjust to the change in climate, solve some problems (like the screwy electricity in the house and the gas leak in my car).  Jubilee, for her part, was jubilant and glad to be back in familiar territory.  She swam in the pool, greeted old dog friends, and dutifully guarded her cherished back yard.  I was busy.  Probably too busy.  Most every day I was driving all over PB and Martin counties taking care of old clients, mostly snowbirds recently returned to Florida, and their computer dilemmas.  There were a couple of projects to which I was committed - and I feel satisfied that those were completed.  I made some money.  I got to see friends, had a few good lunch dates.  I got to see Eric and Dawn at a picnic that we had at John Stretch Park.

I haven’t had an internet connection while here, and that too has been a mixed bag.  Mostly a blessing though.  I have had to snatch time at Starbuck’s or the library to do necessary stuff, and that has sometimes been a hassle - one more place to go, one more thing to do.  I'm at the library now.  But I have felt free of the “news” and endless internet surfing that I can fall into.  I’ve had more time and space in my life for little moments of just sitting.

I haven’t taken a lot of photos.  Here are some ...

That last photo is what I took at a red light of some sky writing.  Every morning when it was clear (most of them) a plane would write words in the sky during morning rush hour.  It was visible for several miles from I95 and West Palm Beach, and lasted for about 2-3 hours.  It read "God is Love".  I'm not sure what I think about it. 

I’m looking forward to getting back to the adventure, John, and winter.