Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Nearer and Nearer

            As each day swiftly slips into another, slowly, the realization that I am growing older becomes more intense. Waking up with painful joints, occasionally grunting when I bend over, and I get frustrated when I can’t think of a word I want to use or wonder why I went into another room are all symptoms of the imperfect body that I now reside inside. My tonsils were removed when I was five years old, and I have worn eyeglasses since I was in second grade, so the inkling that parts of me didn’t function correctly was already with me. They were just never as pronounced or “in my face.”  Over the years, it has been more obvious.
            Surgeries for carpal tunnel and a pilonidal cyst were unwelcome reminders of frailties of my mortal flesh. Slowly, time has marked the the scorecard in its favor. Cuts, bruises, and broken bones have been bookmarks of my travels down the path of time. Gradually degenerative changes in the joints have left deformities and bone spurs accompanied by aches and pains.
            Fillings in my teeth and a partial plate are hidden in the annals of time, mark the passing of years. Testing and x-rays are the writing and photographs recording those changes in my life. So far, two colonoscopies have made internal journeys and a third is planned for six months. I was told after my last that it would be three years until my next, but with the pathology report, my gastroenterologist called and gave me the great news, six months instead. One of the sample biopsies must have been border line. It was just another indication of the aging process and the vulnerability of this degenerating tent of flesh.
            It is all part of the way we are created. From the fall of Adam and Eve, mankind has a set number of days. My life isn’t all doom and gloom. I look at my past and see my path festooned with blessings and the sunshine of love; children, and grandchildren. My future steps are directed by the sunshine of my children and their children. These footsteps fall in the natural cycle that God has created.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Mixed Feelings

            Over the past several weeks, my daughter Anna has been moving some of her long accumulated and much hoarded hope chest to her new home. She is soon to be married and creating a home of her own. Just as she has filled my home with her bargains of pots and pans to other necessities for a good wife to change a house into a home, she has filled my heart to nearly bursting over the years. My other children still have loving places in my heart, but Anna has lived with me for a longer period of time. Occasionally, the friction of two differing opinions has frayed those cords of love, but it has never severed them.
            Yesterday, we began to move mountains. The Bible says, if you have the faith as a grain of a mustard seed, you can move mountains.  Well, that happened. Decorations, foodstuffs, and other supplies were taken to our church where the wedding and reception is to be held. Two trips of my car and her SUV has nearly emptied my house of stacked bins, stored boxes, silk flower arrangements, and bags of all sorts. I can walk in my living room without following a maze. The living room has been a workshop and storage area for months. I can now see the top of the dining room table, but it somehow makes the house seem empty. I had gotten used to the clutter.
            For the longest time, she was sure that she would be without a mate; an unloved spinster, until she met a wonderful young man who loves her fiercely. When she was in the UN-wedding bell blues, I was snooping through a local antique mall. I wasn’t looking for anything special, when I saw a tatted lace cap. It was crocheted and shaped almost like a ladies nightcap with tatted chains of off-white patterns across the top. For some reason, I was drawn to look at it. The tag said that it was a wedding cap from the early 1900’s. I bought it for Anna. It was if God directed me to it to help lift her from the funk feeling of being unmarried. I can’t say that the cap gave her the faith to continue, but the belief that she was still loved allowed her collect and build a mountain of things for her home.

            Not too far in the future, those feelings of being loved and wed will be fulfilled. I will gain a son and he will gain a loving wife. A new family will be created with the hope for a new generation and for more grandchildren.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Wal-mart Watch

Have you ever watched the way people walk? I was enticed into watching shoppers walking by my seat in Wal-mart as I waited for a prescription to be filled. I began to study them as they moved along. Most of the time, age had little to do with the gait of those who strolled past. Some shuffled, others stepped lively. Many of the older folk grabbed a shopping cart, leaned into it, and hustled inside to collect their groceries. Some of the elderly leaned on the carts for support and nudged the cart along. But those who turtled along were not confined to the older generation. Some of the young people barely oozed by, scarcely lifting their feet.

What caused me to observe the shoppers entering and exiting the store in the first place was the footsteps that I have only seen by young men in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas. It is difficult to describe, but I will try. It is a double bounce step; a sort of a hesitation mid-step of the stride as it lifts the foot off of the ground, then the action pushes it farther onto the ball of the foot. It is the pause in the mid-step that drew my attention to those male patrons of Wal-mart.
Then I began to take notice of the parade of shoes that continued to march by my vantage point. Many people in work boots lumbered along. A few young men even managed to do the local double-bounce step. A lot more shoppers entered wearing sneakers of all brands, designs, and colors. The shoes were laced up with bright colors of fluorescent orange, hot pink or electric green. It seemed as though black or white shoestrings are no longer enough.
Penny loafers, mostly in brown, have not gone out of style, nor have the lace up Oxford, dress shoes. Sandals for both sexes appeared, as well as flip-flops that adorned many feet, although some shoppers needed to cover those feet with thick socks and boots.
A new trend that I’ve noticed is wearing shower shoes with socks. I’ve seen people wear them in all sorts of weather.  Deluges of rain with streams of water or inches of snow on the ground haven’t discouraged the people from wearing them. I wonder if they wear them for comfort or if it is because of laziness. I am not sure that even if I asked I would get an honest answer. Flats, pumps, and stiletto heels were welcomed to shop with equal invitations. Only the unclad, bare feet are turned away.
Next, I must mention the people who use a cane. They were assisted by the third leg for balance. The people who needed the canes were the elderly or those with casts or splints. Some shoppers were wheeled inside riding a wheelchair with a basket across their lap. Someone strode behind them to assist their shopping. I do want to mention the patrons who ride along in the electric scooters. More and more people I see in them are overweight. Like the age old question, which came first, the chicken or the egg, I would ask the same question, which came first, the weight or the need to ride the self-propelled carts.  

Finally, I want to address polished toenails. As a child, I was raised to believe that women who painted the toenails were loose women. It was many years before I allowed my daughters to coat the nails of their feet with polish. Poking out in sandals or flip-flops, unclad painted toes marched in front of me in more colors than found in a package of M & M’s. Some of the nail polish wasn’t thick enough or didn’t go far enough to cover the claws beneath the paint. (See the comment on thick socks and boots.)
On my black metal perch, thoughts registered in my mind and began to write my imaginings on a Sub-way napkin.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What to Write About
            As I sit here at my desk, I need to pass something along to the readers of my blog, but the cogs in my brain don’t seem to be meshing and the engine seems to have stalled. The transmission won’t engage to move me forward, so I will do what I’ve been told when a blank page stares back at me without anything on it, start writing.
            Half written manuscripts surround my chair like offerings left at the altar. Unfinished thoughts, waiting to be made complete, shaped into completed stories for me to share. They are samplings of my creative spirit and soul, incomplete, but not forgotten. They are merely set aside until the ideas ripen and made ready to harvest.
            I just placed my usual morning postcard selection to share on Facebook. They are kept in a large shoe box at my side. Each card is a treasure of the past, a memory of someone in my life. The pictures and photographs on the front transports me to places that I may never visit or to places that no longer exist and I am glad to see them all.
            There are cards from loved ones that are no longer here on the Earth, but their words still echo on the mortal plane by the notes on the reverse of the cards. The wide variety of subjects presents a feast for the eyes and the writing on the back stirrings for the heart and mind. Birthday postcards, Christmas cards, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Valentines, but there were no Halloween cards. I find that telling of today’s society, where Halloween has become a much “revered” holiday and Thanksgiving has been relegated to a scarcely celebrated one. Being thankful isn’t a priority in America anymore. It is only considered a feast and football day, while Halloween and the dark side is promoted. Fascination with vampires, werewolves, and the occult is on the rise. Being grateful for the things that we have has become less important. It has transformed America into a country where its citizens demand their “rights” and do their best to shirk their responsibilities.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Reading and Sharing

            This past Saturday, I was invited with several other writers to visit Ligonier Gardens to read selections from our work to the older generation that reside there and call it their home. It is a clean and beautiful building on the Loyalhanna Creek. The views out the windows were something that draw the eye outside. Mallard ducks waddle through the lawn, claiming the creek as their playground.

            Ten writers shared their short stories and poetry with about twenty residents. They were attentive and seemed appreciative of our offerings. Reading, as well as public speaking takes some getting used to, to do it properly. A few readers were nervous, but after a few deep breaths, they were able to give the audience a sliver of their talented writing.
            It was a pleasure to give back to these people that helped to build and direct our country. I don’t consider myself an entertainer, but I enjoy presenting my creations for others to hear or read. I put my works on display for others.
            One story that I shared, I wrote two years ago for a Christmas display at the Mt. Pleasant Library. It was titled The Voice of an Angel. The tale was loosely based on the last words that my mother spoke. The story tells of my father Carl, at Christmastime decorating the Christmas tree for my mom. She had Alzheimer’s disease and her life as we knew it, ground to a halt and she retreated into a shell of silence.
            What she said still puts a lump in my throat. Even though it didn’t happen at Christmas, it did happen and she said, “Where’s Carl? I love him so.”

            The second tale was a description of my grandparents Miner’s out house. The two seat perch was located behind their old farmhouse. It relived the dangers of splinters from the wooden back porch, the dangers of descending the ice and snow covered cement stairs, and the icy blasts of sitting on the holes during the frigid temperatures of winter’s grip. I described the frantic search through the catalogue “toilet paper” looking for any page other than the glossy ones. I saw nodding of heads in agreement and the occasional laughter at the appropriate times. This was the last reading for the day and felt well pleased that the audience was still awake and listening.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Music Touches

            Music touches the soul of people who listen.  It reaches places that even a physician cannot touch. The music can transport back in time and across many miles to a time and place that it was heard. It can make an impression that can last a lifetime. Sometimes it can free the spirit or bind thoughts in sadness, connecting the song to a time of great happiness or sorrow. That tune will never be heard without the connection being made between the music and the actual event.
            Sometimes when a song comes on the radio in the car, there is the impulse to turn the volume up as high as it will go, shaking the windows and doors and when you do, you sing along, pounding the steering wheel. People who drive beside look over with disbelief on their faces.
            There are times when a song plays and it would be a sacrilege to turn the volume up. Those tunes are so soothing or so tender that it wraps its arms around in comfort and love. It gives an oasis of peace and tranquility.
            Certain songs are replayed over and over because they stir something inside that draws forth an exquisite emotion, whether it is the joy relished from some past experience or the depths of a sadness that it has become almost an altar where our hearts go to worship; a place of extreme sentiment.
            Often it is the instruments that make the tune memorable. I once heard a piccolo and violin that touched me deeply. The bagpipes played “Amazing Grace” at the graveside of my wife Cindy’s funeral and hearing that stirs many memories. My kids don’t like to hear it because it transports them to a very difficult time in their lives. For me, it transports to a sad time, but it is another memory. Perhaps it marks an end any new memories, but it is still a memory of her.
            Not to leave this post on such a poignant point, I want to speak of the most versatile and marvelous instrument ever heard in making music. That is the human voice. Its range is almost incalculable. Its ability to touch another person is immeasurable. It impresses by taking the written word to a level that cannot be matched. The singing voice transforms mere words into something completely different. The music supports and converts the poem into a song and the music converts and supports human emotions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


            When I soda pop came in glass bottles and had metal, pry off caps, the caps had a cork lining. Even though as a kid, I was anxious to taste the refreshing, Coke, Pepsi, Orange Crush, Grape Nehi, or the Cherokee red fizzing drink captured inside, I would take care not to bend the metal top. The cap was almost as good as the prize that hid in the depth of the caramel covered pop corn and peanuts of the box of Cracker Jacks. I would carefully pry the cork lining from the glue that held it tight against the cap, praying that it would come out in one piece. When it did, I would put the cap on the outside of my shirt or jacket and slide the cork on the inside until they met. Then I would push the cork back inside of the cap, making a badge that stuck to the clothing. Sometimes I would be able to collect several pop tops when the bin on the soda machine was full. I’d slip my fingers inside of the slot and fish out as many as I could reach. Soon, I would be sporting a chest full of medals, just like an admiral in the Navy or general of an army.
            Everyone talks about green and recycling today and yet they make everything of plastic. The glass pop bottles financed my trips to the grocery store two miles away. I would walk those two miles, collecting the unbroken soda bottles that motorists would toss from their moving cars. Carrying as many bottles that I could find, I would trade them in for another cold drink, sometimes a candy bar, and if I found several quart bottles, there would be enough to buy a small box of matches. The matches were great. I would stop in the middle of the stone bridge that spanned Indian Creek and snap one match at a time across the strike paper on the side of the box and watch as the lit match turned end over end to fizzle out in the water below.
            Now, began the trek back home. I would walk on the opposite side of the road, nursing my soda to make it last and searching for bottles on that side. When I would find one, I would carry it along until I made a cache of several for my next trip to Resh’s Red and White Store.
            Sometime I would forgo the matches and buy a package of balloons or baseball cards. The baseball cards or balloons would be tied to my bicycle and they would make motor noises as they rubbed against the spokes. When the balloons rubbed, they made a thrumming noise and the baseball cards would make a fluttering sound, but either one allowed a kid to think they were special. Neither the balloon nor the card lasted forever and they fell victim to friction.


Monday, September 14, 2015

I was asked if I had any outhouse stories. This is a repost, but what I found to share.
Grandma Miner’s House

My grandmother Miner’s home was a huge old farmhouse with four bedrooms upstairs, an attic, a full basement, a large kitchen, dining room, sitting room, and a T. V, room. The attic held cast off clothing and the school work of her eight children. A concrete porch ran the whole front of the house and a wooden porch the entire length of the back. Kids like to play on the front porch, but the back porch often impaled bare feet on dark slivers of wood. I avoided it like the plague.
If I chose to walk on the back porch, I could shorten the walk to the outhouse, but I had to face the torture of dagger-like splinters. Only in the direst of digestive emergencies or to avoid being drowned in a deluge of rain would I voluntarily traverse the dangers of that shrapnel laden minefield.
Although the unpainted wood of the outhouse had weathered on the exterior of the privy, it was special, having two holes. When Granddad built it he made the seat wide, cutting one larger hole for adults and a smaller one for kids. He didn’t want to lose a child into the putrid pit below.
Grandma didn’t buy nor believe in the luxury of toilet paper for the outhouse. Oh, no, old outdated catalogues filled the purpose. The whole way to the toilet, I would pray that there were still some dull pages left. No one wanted the shiny ones. Those pages made sharp, hard edges when crinkled for use and if they weren’t crinkled, the smooth slick, surface was little more than useless. The dull surfaced pages would soften when they were balled up and smoothed out and became tolerable, if not comfortable.
In the winter, I would put off the trip to the john until my eyes and my bladder bulged or I was about to lose control on the puckering string. I could cross the back porch. My winter boots kept my feet safe from the splinters, but no I had to face the danger of descending a full dozen of snow and ice-covered, concrete stairs. Quite a few cousins chipped a tooth, cut a lip, or earned a goose egg on their scalp in a headlong rush down those stairs. There was only a raised block lip to the steps, but no railing to hang onto or steady anyone in their trip through no man’s land.
Bravery got me to the toilet. I had to remove the lid for the hole. Frigid winter winds blasted through the wind tunnel that I had just created. It took real courage for me to unfasten my pants, push them down into a crumpled heap around my ankles, then tentatively place my unwilling bare flesh as a partial stopper for the wailing gusts of the storm.
The board seat was frigid. I was glad that it was wood and not metal or I would have been frozen to the seat, stuck until the spring thaw. The wind always found a way to squeeze through the hole between the cold seat and my warm flesh. It discovered a way to slip its icy fingers beneath my coat and caress my chest and back. Goosebumps appeared on top of goose bumps and I would start to shiver. I knew I needed to finish before my teeth began to chatter and send out distress signals in Morse code.
I leafed through the diminished catalogue pages, searching for the cherished dull paper. I was at a point of panic, thinking of the torture of the shiny page. Frantically, desperately, I flipped the leaves of advertisement, passing over the tantalizing panty and brassiere. Pictures, that on a normal day would cause boys to linger, were cast aside in the search for just one dull sheet of paper.
Aha, I was saved; one lone, dull page. It was in the catalogue’s index directing the inquisitive mind to where men’s shoes, suits, and ties could be found. A hasty tearing, the quick crush, and the smoothing of the paper was the prelude to the actual swipe of the derriere.
The return of the pants to the point they could be cinched around my waist was welcome warmth. I was hoping that the return trip to the warmth of Grandma’s house would be uneventful as I jogged up the Everest of the back porch steps.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The End of the Trail and Tale of the Tail

            Nearing the last few days of the trip, the dog my traveling companion was trying to train as a service animal got homesick. It became short tempered and so did I. When the Great Pyranees grabbed a bath mat at a hotel, I wasn’t going to allow it to chew it to bits and snatched the mat from its wolf-like jaws. He wasn’t happy and nipped my hand. Bandaids took care of my physical injuries after a thorough washing.
            We continued the trip, even though I warned my companion that the dog was getting restless and wanted to go home. We saw some more waterfalls, but to tell the truth, I was getting saddle sore and restless too. But the die was cast. My companion had drawn a plan and was going to stick to it. I told her that she was obstinate, saying that it wasn’t a compliment. And like most women, she ignored me.
            Another night at a motel and the dog chose a washcloth to ravage, until we took it away and then he bit both of us. More Bandaids were needed for me and her. One of my wounds was a deeper puncture wound on the back of my right hand, next to a tendon. As we traveled the next day, the puncture wound became edematous and painful. I tried to get her to drive home, but she chose to go to the nearest hospital. That hospital looked at it and referred me to a larger hospital in Erie, because it had an orthopedic doctor on hand. Since my companion wanted to see Presque Isle anyway, she wouldn’t be diverted, but drove me to that emergency department.
            Entering the hospital, I had to go through a metal detector, just to get into the waiting area. After a three hour wait, just to get inside to an exam room to be seen, several orthopedic interns had a field day, practicing on taking a history and finally coming to the conclusion that they needed to cut and probe the wound looking for infection.
            There was only blood and serosanguineous drainage. The doctors-to-be bandaged and wrapped it, giving me a prescription for an antibiotic and for a pain killer. Finally, I escaped with papers in hand. It was late, darkness had fallen, and we had to seek shelter for the night. We were turned away from several motels, because of the service dog, although the manager didn’t say so. That would have broken the law. We were told that there were no vacancies. We finally found a room, a smoker’s room like so many motels gave us, but we were tired and glad for shelter.
            When we got up, we drove to Presque Isle, saw the Lake Erie, the light houses, and several ships before we began the much welcomed trip home. My wounded condition did cause my companion to shorten the trip by one day and several stops. Fourteen days sitting in a vehicle with a veritable wolf breathing down my neck is certainly a trip to remember. It was worse than the camping trip with seventeen teenagers, gone for seventeen days out West. At least they didn’t bite me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Old Submarine Movies

            Do you remember the old war movies when on the submarine the commander would call, “Up periscope?” Well, today is my day. I am having another colonoscopy and there will be an “up scope” but not a periscope and not on a submarine.

            The prep is the killer. The first two colonoscopies that I had, I was required to drink a gallon of the laxative and plenty of extra fluids. The stale lemon flavor didn’t fool my palate. The last one of those I drank, I couldn’t quite finish it and nearly tossed it back up.
            Yesterday was my “clear liquid day.” I wasn’t able to eat solid food, no dairy products, and nothing with red or blue food dyes in them. It has improved though. At one time the only Jell-o was lemon. Not my favorite. At one time Jell-o made a wonderful white grape. They no longer make it, but they have mango and pineapple, neither have the dyes. I bought frozen ices in mango and lemon. Sodas like 7-Up and ginger ale are allowed, as well as coffee and tea, as long as I don’t add milk.

            The newest prep they make comes as a double barreled shotgun. There are two 10 ounce bottles that are to be drunk at two times, at 6 p.m. the day before and the other four hours before the test. My test is at 7:20 a.m., so I needed to wake up and drink the second at 3:30 a.m. The 10 ounce bottles need to be reconstituted with water to make 16 ounces, to be followed by two glasses more of water.
            The 10 ounces of the prep tastes like concentrated cherry cough medicine. Drinking so much, so fast made me nauseated, but I got them down with a burp and a swallow. Now, comes the fun part, barely fifteen minutes after ingesting the “magic potion,” I became glued to the commode. If I managed to escape its clutches, I returned to the scene of the crime every ten to fifteen minutes to continue my bowel emptying ritual. It has gotten to the point that my bottom has to be patted dry and not wiped. They don’t make Cottonelle or any other paper soft enough.
            Next comes the admission to the procedure area, the undressing, the questions, and the I.V. start. It is a blessing that the insurance companies still allow a light anesthesia. Mercifully I can’t remember the testing itself, but waking up, there is more discomfort and belly cramping. During the test, they pump the colon full of air for easier visibility. They allow me to get rid of it on my own time. I sound like a putt-putting steam engine. Even though I complain, I guess that bearing these discomforts is better than the alternative of colorectal cancer.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Just a Few Random Thoughts Today

Last evening on my way from church, I had only driven about several hundred yards, when a mother deer ran across the road, followed by three fawns. It made me smile. It was a mother with her triplet babies. Just that fact would have made me feel good, but on another level, it was special to me. After the death of my wife Cindy, nearly thirteen years ago, I noticed that when I was really feeling in the dumps and depressed, a deer would appear. Sometimes it was as I drove, in my yard, or in the field across the road from the front porch from my house. It was as though God was using them as a messenger, saying, “I’ve not forgotten you.”

Today is Labor Day. My daughter has to work, but I was invited to go to a party. I this is the first time at these friends’ home, so I am unsure of what to take. I decided to make two cheese balls, one of which is my favorite and the recipe is one my wife used to make.
The recipe needs an eight ounce block of softened, cream cheese, a medium chopped onion, two tablespoons of boiling water, and two boullion cubes; either chicken or beef. I prefer the beef. Dissolve the cubes in the water and mix it together with the cheese and the chopped onion. I like to roll it in shredded cheddar cheese before serving to make it a ball, but it can be served without the cheese, just as a dip.
The other cheese ball I want to make is using an eight ounce bar of softened cream cheese, chopped fried bacon or bacon bits, horseradish, and grated cheddar cheese. Slowly I add the horseradish to the cream cheese until I like the taste, then I add the bacon and cheese, mixing it through. Then I roll it in more shredded cheese.
I serve the cheese balls or dips with crackers or pretzels. Both make excellent vehicles to eat the cheese balls.

I guess the thing that tied both incidents together was the uniting factor of my wife. Love you, Cindy.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Daytime Darkness

            Parked at the edge of a state forest in northern Pennsylvania, the view beneath the thick stand of evergreens was limited. The boles of the hemlock trees grew straight and tall, pillars to support the tight, dense canopy overhead. The trunks of the trees stood closely together and soon faded in the darkness and disappeared in the gloom.
            An occasional shaft of light pierced the needled thatch overhead and shot onto the thickly matted carpet of debris that accumulated over the decades. The brown and castoff needles lay inches deep, carpeting the ground with a soft, spongy mat. It allowed anyone walking on that forest floor to do so silently, cushioned by the layers of needles.

            It was easy for me to see how the Native Americans could stealthily approach the game they hunted or to approach an enemy, making less noise than the whisper of a breeze. The permanent gloom that resided beneath the foliage rooftop allowed the hunter to be just slightly more visible than a shadow moving from tree to tree.
            This natural forest and some of the rough terrain that I saw left me in awe of how our forefathers found ways to traverse and survive the dangers of the wilderness. The wild animals, the harsh climate, the ruggedness of the land, and the attacks of enemies were a constant concern and claimed many lives, yet still they came. Some were drawn by adventure, some trapped, and some wanted homes and land. Others were explorers, wanting to know what was on the other side of the mountain or river. Many were soldiers, claiming land for the governors and kings. Missionaries and preachers sought to introduce native people to the kingdom of God and salvation.
            Whatever their reason, immigrants and settlers joined the tide to move west, into a vast unknown world, carving homes and farms as they went. They sought freedom and relied on themselves and the land around them to survive.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

More of the Bed and Breakfast

I want to say more about the peacefulness, solitude, and beauty of the Rockgirt Bed and Breakfast, before I move on to more of the trip across Pennsylvania. From the entryway of the huge brown and green home, the downstairs spreads out in both directions. To the left is the comfortable living room with a wide window seat, large overstuffed brown leather reclining chairs that huddle around a fireplace. Multi-paned windows and glass doors with a multicolored stained glass transom allowed an unimpeded view of the wooded hills outside. Mission oak tables topped with lamps helped to decorate the room.  Hanging overhead, classic craftsman lighting of beige colored stained glass added soft ambiance to the room.
Just off this sitting area is the game room. A green flannel clad billiard table claimed the center of the large room. It had windows that filled three walls. Attention to artistic detail suffused this room as well. Vintage clothing and other memorabilia decorated the walls.
On the other side of the living room was a sitting room/library area, complete with a deep sofa, a fireplace, and a roll top desk. Shelves of books wait for avid visitors to select and read if they desire. The walls of the library hold sepia print photos as part of the delight for the eyes. A window seat allows guests to have light enough to read and to also have a wonderful view of the pond and trees beyond.
Passing through the library, guests enter the dining room, large enough to hold two square dark wooden tables that can accommodate eight guests each. The walls display marriage licenses of Mary Beth and Tom’s ancestors. The fireplace is decorated with framed antique Valentines and clusters of small figurines. A rounded breakfront china cupboard, filled with family heirlooms of china, sits in one corner. A deeply inset window well exhibits crystal bowls, vases, and candle holders. The entire downstairs walls are wainscoted with dark handcrafted wood. The ceiling of the dining room is made of the same wood as the walls. Hanging from the ceiling are a pair of brass and glass chandeliers.
A spacious kitchen of handcrafted cabinets and small breakfast nook filled the next room. It’s a bright room with white painted walls and wide countertops. A pantry, laundry room, and Mary Beth’s work room are the next rooms. The work area is her retreat to work on her art projects.
Outside, redbrick walkways meander around the house through beds of lilies, coneflowers, hosta, coleus, ferns, black eyed Susan, and  bleeding hearts.
Upstairs, the Queen’s room was the bedroom to which I was assigned. Overhead the twelve foot age darkened wooden ceiling was supported by two by eight joists. Each time I looked around the room, I saw something new. The queen sized bed was covered with a velvet patchwork quilt as well as the daybed sitting at one side. The hearth of the fireplace held a bouquet of dried phlox. A peacock plume was nestled in a corner at the bathroom’s mantle. Just outside of the bathroom, in the hallway, was a nest of shoe lasts and shoe stretchers.
Most of the time, my senses were being pleasantly overwhelmed with the unique, unexpected, and nostalgic items from the rich heritage of Mary Beth and Tom. Many of the items on display for the visitors’ enjoyment have sentimental attachments for them, but have chosen to share this treasure trove of memories with their guests.

To see more of this delightful home visit