Friday, June 21, 2013

Pool Fun and Summer Sun

Happy official start to summer!  What better way to show summer's skin than to have pics of cute kids in the pool. I'm also listing 10 things I hope to do/attend this summer.......

10 in Summer 2013 (in no order)

1. Readington Balloon Festival (Readington, NJ) - July 26-28
2. Peach Festival (Chester, NJ) - an annual family tradition since I was a kid  - Sat., Aug 3
3. Peach Festival (Peddler's Village, PA) - August 10-11
4. Go to the Philadelphia Zoo
5. Go to PA local parks I've not yet been to, or haven't explored in depth, including Peace Valley Park,  
    Tinicum Park, Valley Forge Park
6. Have a picnic dinner with friends
7. Take my nephews on 'dates' (for their birthday presents)
8. Eat as much potato salad, pasta salad, macaroni salad as I can, and drink homemade sweet tea as
    often as possible
9. Get to the NJ beaches at least once
10. Attend a free music night in a local park and then get ice cream

There was a plane overhead

Celebrating Stephen's birthday

Opening his cards from the kids

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Peonies:: A Haiku

Beautiful pink blooms
Overwhelming the senses
Short-lived appearance

Right outside the house is a peony bush. Each day, I'd walk out and admire the beauty of the bush, and revel in the new blooms each day. I enjoyed taking some pictures of them outside, then some that were placed in a vase for the dining room table. 

What's most fascinating to me is that the 'inside' of a peony is so grand, yet contained within a little ball the size of a bouncy ball. It reminds me of that phrase 'dont' judge a book by its cover' - in that you'd never think all that goodness could be contained in something so small. Oh, the life analogies that could be made on many fronts. I digress.

And here are some from my iPhone:

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Reminiscing:: Narvon, PA

Some of my most fond memories of childhood are our trips to Lancaster, PA area. My grandparents lived in Narvon, PA - completely surrounded by farmland. The 'A' in the middle of the image below is the street they lived on.
(screenshot from Google Maps of the street my grandparents lived on)

The back of their house butted up against a field. I can remember so many times when my cousins, siblings, and I would play outside, collecting crabapples in the oddly shaped wheelbarrow my grandpa had. I vividly remember picking up past-their-prime corn, and plucking the hardened cornels off to leave for the deer that might come by.

We also often played in my grandparents basement. It was always warm down there, as the woodstove was kept there. My grandpa collected clocks, so one entire room was dedicated to all his clocks. Many cookoo clocks were kept there, and he constantly was tending to them - winding them and making sure they were all running properly. But the basement had this white cabinet, and the kids' toys were all kept inside. There were pick-up sticks, a truck with a wagon, farm animals, and the like. Each toy is imprinted into my mind.

We also enjoyed many meals around the table. My grandparents table could (at its smallest) fit 6 people. With leaves inserted, it could fit upwards of 15. My grandparents were both great cooks; I often remember walking in and smelling something cooking. If it weren't a meat being prepared, it was chicken corn soup, a homemade pie, or a medley of spices for some dish they were whipping up. They always had snacks too - ice cream wedges in the freezer, those sugar wafers (white, chocolate, and strawberry) with the cream inside, or glazed cookies in a cookie jar!

And we often had sleepovers too. I can remember going in each room, thinking it was such a big house. The 'office' had a rolltop desk, where I got my love for desks of that kind. One Christmas I got my very own rolltop desk, and still to this day, it's in my parents basement. The bed in the room I often slept in had a shelf above the headboard. It had pegs on it, and I know this is where they say my pacifiers were kept. I used a pacifier all the time. It also was the 'home' for my little red baseball cap that I wore all the time.

The living room was a bit formal. I don't remember sitting in it too often, as we always went downstairs for playing. But there was always so much warmth in the house. We knew when we went that we'd be fed well, entertained well, and loved on well. There are times I wish I could go back to that house - smell those familiar smells, play with the toys, hear all those clocks ticking, and enjoy childhood all over again. But I am thankful for so many wonderful memories that were made in their home. And I'm thankful for wonderful grandparents who raised my dad and his brothers with a love that is rare these days. Their marriage of nearly 70 years speaks volumes of the kind of people they were. 

Family truly is one of God's greatest blessings.
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