Wednesday, August 06, 2008



Or - can you define Summer Vacation?

Remember when you had to write those boring papers? Then “My Summer Vacation” morphed into “What I did over the Summer” to show sensitivity to the kids who did not get a summer vacation. Well, when you retire, your summer vacation is simply what you did over the summer that might possibly be different from what you do in the spring, winter or fall. For me, that usually involves going up to the Pocono Mountains to visit family and see if
the old family home is still standing. Of course, I know it is, or I would have heard about it since last time I looked I was one of the owners… But most important is going up to see my Aunt Kathryn and a cousin or two. It is when I make my annual pilgrimage to the local waterfalls, little as they may be – they are still better than anything we have here at 25 feet above sea level! With luck, there might actually be something blooming if you time it right in the spring or early summer, or there are the beautiful leaves if you go in the early fall.
If you read my earlier post, you will see that my summer vacation time this year was spent sitting in an arena with a couple thousand other people listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for 6 days. And all I can say beyond what I’ve already said is, “Wow," still. I have dedicated myself to “doing right” and have pretty well stuck to it in spite of my natural inclination toward laziness. But when you take a vow in front of His Holiness, it is done with determination in mind, not my usual- well, maybe later attitude…
Anyway, the point of this post is to share with you all, strangers and family, or strange family, who ever – the rest of my trip to Pennsylvania, and a few pics. I know, it has taken me long enough to get around to it, but I have had several papers to write, a cat had surgery (again) and had to do my fall house cleaning in the summer before we brought the cats home. (Think flea bombs???) And then - computer problems. Sigh.........
So, picture wise – remember the tiny wooden bridge the GPS took me over? Followed by another one lane bridge, but at least it was steel and concrete. Then there were the long lines to get inside the arena. A fellow blogger posted this pic of His Holiness depicting the wonderful infectious sense of humor he has. Thanks Philip, I love this shot. Cameras were not allowed inside the arena, this is of him arriving.
When the teachings were over, we headed up the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the house in the mountains. I was so amazed to see the rhododendron were still in bloom! The roads were lined with them. Usually we are up there for the Mountain Laurel and the rhododendron is just beginning as we come home. Our first night there, we met my cousins and Aunt Kathryn at the Bear Creek Inn for dinner. This is my only shy cousin! NOT!
The next day, we cleaned the little apartment and did laundry in the morning, then rewarded ourselves with a quick run thru Hickory Run State Park, just a few miles away. This is where the road goes thru the water. It is not very deep this year. This is the van right after going thru the creek and is parked next to some rhododendrons. I included this to show the size of these bushes. (This is it, Lynn!)

Then we spent the next day taking care of some business further out in the Poconos, having dinner with some cousins from the other side of the family who were in from Ohio, packing back up and heading home on Sunday to clean up the mess left behind in Virginia. (Read dead fleas!) We were gone less than 2 weeks, but it is amazing what can grow when you aren’t looking! This was my garden when I left... True, I hadn’t had the time to weed the garden or do a number of other things – the day I planned on doing yard work got taken up with other chores. These baby gum trees are only 3 weeks old! I cut them down to the ground or pull them out at least once a month and I think it only encourages them!
It has been busy since we got home. Snuffy seems to be doing well. He went back for his 2 week check up yesterday and his tongue looks good. He still loves his baby food, however, and if it makes him happy and helps him keep his weight on, I will see to it that he gets it!
Gotta get back to work. I am still working on my BIG paper… and I can just imagine His Holiness looking over my shoulder. But he is smiling………