Leaves a-Fall-ing

A lone oak leaf at the very end of the branch

There was ice in the bird bath this morning. a blanket of frost coated the lawn, and the thermometer in back of the house showed about 28 degrees. A lone oak leaf clung to the farthest end of the skinniest branch on the tree in our front yard.

I guess it’s time to stock up on ice melt and windshield de-icer, and maybe buy that snow thrower we’ve been thinking about. Or we could wait. Continue reading

Off the interstate, into history …

Ivy covers the gray stone walls of Gray Towers, Gifford Pinchot's childhood summer home.
At about the mid-point of a 450-plus mile journey home, we crossed the Delaware River westbound from Port Jervis, N.Y., to Matamoros, Pa. ate at the Perkins, and decided to see whether there might be less expensive gasoline if we followed U.S. 6 for a bit. We found the less expensive gas, but the real treasure was on the way uphill from the center of Milford back to the interstate. Continue reading

Castle Craig

Castle Craig pokes like a chess rook from a hill overlooking Meriden, C T

From Interstate 691, while enroute from home in Gettysburg to a nearly year-old great-niece I had not yet hugged, I spied poking out of the trees near the top of a granite mountain at the outskirts of Meriden, Conn., a  structure with the appearance of a super-sized rook from a giant chess set.

“What the heck is a castle doing out here,” I wondered aloud to my travel partner.

Continue reading

Recycling can be a bother, but …

Two people's reusable recycleable plastic and glass trash in Gettysburg Adams County South Central Pennsylvania
We had a compost pile when I was young. Newspapers had a variety of uses, from wrapping other waste to starting fires to rolling tightly and burning as logs.

We had a town dump where I was raised. It was a great place for weekly social gathering. It’s amazing how much business is decided — personal, commercial and governmental — at such meet-ups. Continue reading

Brother-in-Law Effect

Sign tells drivers there are no painted stripes on the road

When I was in the Navy, there was a commonly held belief that many requirements, especially if they required spending money to replace something with which the only thing wrong was it wasn’t the new thing, were caused by the “Brother-in-Law Effect.” Continue reading

Visit to a multi-market

A handful of blue plastic backpack clips
My wife and I visited Morningstar Marketplace Saturday.
We hadn’t been since at least last year, but I have a back pack that lost a clip on its waist strap, and I remembered there was a display at that particular market that probably would have it. So off we went. Continue reading

A herd of turtles

more than 30 turtles wait at the edge of a pond to be fed.
I’ve often heard the phrase, “We’re off like a herd of turtles.” The idea, I guess, is that we’re not going to be in a big hurry — another version of my mother’s special sarcasm, as in we’re about to be late for church and us kids are just coming downstairs to the car and Mom says, “ Can you kids move any slower.”

But I’d never actually seen a herd of turtles — until one day on Hatteras, one of the barrier islands protecting the coast of North Carolina. Continue reading

Hatteras: more than a line on a map

Black and white spiraling stripes mark Hatteras Light in the setting sun
For the weeks leading up to the trip, I would tell people I was going to Hatteras. When I got there, I wasn’t even near it.

The islands don’t look like much on a map, and in many places, they’re not — barely wider than the two-lane road known as Route 12. Continue reading