The Joy of the Routine

If you follow my poetry blog, you know that each week I take a day, or part of a day (or sometimes parts of two or three days, depending!) to devote to writing poetry. I’m currently in year two of this practice and 2018 is: Day Trip Poetry Marathon.

I like to leave home and do this activity in a suitable place, which for me has usually meant a library.

For the past year or so most of the time I have gone to Brendlinger Library, Montgomery County Community College, in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. As a county resident, I can check out books and enjoy the library as much as I want. And I do enjoy it – I like the atmosphere and being around students and books.

Each week I park in the lot in about the same place. It helps in finding my car if I don’t vary things too much, plus – we are creatures of habit, all of us, and this is one of mine – parking in a certain spot.

I take a photo and send it to my husband to let him know when I have arrived. Over time, I’ve got a lot of photos of the same view. Take a look – here is an array from March 3 – November 2, 2018.

Time passing in a very tangible way…

If you are a real fan of the parking lot saga, look here for a previous post I did back in February, the same thing…only a different time…


Art Drop-Off November 1, 2018

Oh, dear, it’s been a while since I have visited with you. I apologize. A lot of a lot of a lot has been going on and none of it worth documenting here, in this, my occasional record of daily life. But…

On November 1, I did my ten-mile walk. I try to do one once a month (another thing that has been neglected in the last couple of months). But the beautiful weather got me on my feet and moving.

I did the walk at the Pennypack Rail Trail, my favorite exercise trail. You may remember it from many other posts. If you’d like to know more about it and my route, look at this post from the past – I’m not going to repeat the details today, but just show you what happened.

I dedicated this walk to leaving a clay tile every mile or so. Let me explain – the walk begins in the middle, goes out 2.5 miles, back to the middle, and then on to the other end 2.5 miles away, and back. So there is some criss-crossing. Prompted by each mile marker as I came up on it, no matter the direction, I left a tile nearby, but not within sight of another one.

Well, maybe I should not have tried to explain. Here’s the gist of it – Art was dropped off. A really nice walk occupied my morning (I left at about 8 AM and finished about 10:45 or so). Here’s the evidence.

Here is the whole gang, photographed at home before I left.


First tile. In a former train control box.

On a bench, nearing Moredon Road.

At the bridge, Shady Lane, near mile marker 0.0

Bench, overlooking a tributary of the Pennypack Creek.

Bridge, crossing Pennypack Creek.

Bench, just past Terwood Road.

Stone. Just a big stone.

Bench, overlooking the floodplain and Pennypack Creek.

Bridge, crossing (can you guess) the Pennypack Creek. You can see the creek winds back and forth across the trail many times.

At the little red-roofed house, about a tenth of a mile from the finish. Look, you can see a pink Claudia taking the picture of the tile.

All right! There you have it.

Ten miles, ten tiles!


Art Drop Off September 3

On September 3, we collected the final symbol we need for the magnetic car sticker prize in the Montgomery County (PA) Trail Challenge with a walk on the Skippack Trail. And today’s symbol – the turkey.

We had not been on this trail before, though we’ve been to Evansburg State Park (in fact, we’ve done their permanent orienteering course) and the Perkiomen Trail – both of the trails listed on the sign as connecting with the Skippack.

This trail is located in a formerly very rural area now lurching through population growth and development. It’s not too far from our house, though it’s not close at all, but on weekdays it could take an hour or more to get here, with traffic. My husband lived further out up Skippack Pike when I first met him 30+ years ago and at that time I could zip up the road to visit him in good time. Now – lots of traffic lights and new houses and people.

This trail reflected the changing landscape. Some portions were very countryside-looking.

However, at no time were we out of shouting distance of a suburban neighborhood (and not a loud shout, either). The trail passes through a major township park complex with ball fields and picnic shelters. We parked the car in the middle of this park and set off for the center of the town of Skippack, about 2 miles away or so. Skippack has made a name for itself as a trendy touristy gift and artsy place to shop or to eat a meal, and it’s been doing that for as long as I’ve known the place.

I left one tile on a bridge right in town.


At first I was going to leave it here, but then I got a look at the wasps’ nest and all the wasps! and moved it along the rail.


Right outside town is the fire training center. This structure is used to train firefighters in a variety of situations. It’s interesting to see the various doors and windows that can be opened or shuttered to create different fire conditions. I’d like to see a training session in action. I guess I could; we have a similar structure in our township.


We left another tile at the pond located maybe midway between the park and the town.

And the final tile was set on a bench in the park, next to one of the many ball fields. By this time the weather had cleared and the sky was a beautiful blue.

I am interested to come back and take the trail toward Evansburg State Park next time.

Canary Melon Vine Update

Check out our guys the Canary Melon vines…they are putting on some length.

Art Drop Off – September 2

On September 2, my husband and I took a walk on the Power Line Trail in Horsham, PA. We’ve traveled many miles on this route over the years, but we usually come on a weekend, and in cloudy or cool weather, because it’s a trafficky distance from home (but easy on open-road weekends) and it is very exposed, not good on hot sunny days.

And that is because it is a trail that follows giant power line towers. That’s why it’s called the Power Line Trail! Now it all makes sense, right?

It’s also a stop on the Montgomery County PA trail challenge. We collected the deer symbol.

Power Line Trail 9-2-18 (6)

We’re not that ambitious in the challenge – we just want to get to five different trails so we can get a sticker for our cars. Yes, that is motivation enough for me, I am not ashamed to say.

This runs a total round-trip of about ten miles. We did about 4.5 this morning.

We left two tiles. Here is one of them, set at the base of a tower. Look at the size of those bolts.

This location is right across from the substation. I love the phone booth inside the enclosure. I suspect it protects a landline phone used in the facility – I am sure the electrical interference does something bad to any other kind of reception. But – I think someone had a sense of humor to set the phone inside this kind of structure. Could have used just a generic shed, right?

Power Line Trail 9-2-18 (4)

We left a second tile on another tower base.


Art-Drop Off Update – August 27

I’ve been all over the place, trail-travel-wise, and leaving evidence of my passing as I’ve gone along. I’ll do a few quick posts over the next few days to catch you up.

On August 27, I left two sgraffito tiles along the Pennypack Trail in Lorimer Park. The two tiles are set about two miles apart.

This one is on a bench that is very popular – it seems to be the right distance from the parking lot for a rest, or for people to choose when they want to sit and talk to each other.

This tile is in a spot I’ve used several times over the years – near one of the bridges over the Pennypack Creek. I do not know why that pen is there. I think it stopped for a rest and got left behind, maybe?

In Which I Go Through a Car Wash

Or let me be more clear. I was a passenger in a car that went through a car wash.

So what, you might say, and you would be right. Cars are washed every day and people are in them when it happens. Yes. But when that person is me, who is afraid of being in a car wash, well, now we have a little story.

You might also say, why not just wait outside while your husband takes the car through, and I’d say, if you saw this car wash site, which holds not only the car wash building but another whole section including a whole lot of self-car-washing stations, vacuums, cars rushing here and there, and so on, you’d stay in the car, too. It’s just safer.

And last, you might say, you could wash the car at home. Yes, I could, but I’d just rather not. I already wash a whole lot of other things at home and I don’t want to add to the list. My husband prefers the car wash for the same reason and since he’s willing to drive through it, well…you get the idea.

What’s the point of all this? Well, today I decided to photo the terrifying experience and let you get the shivers along with me. Maybe facing my fear would lessen it. maybe some day I’d take the car to the car wash myself. No, that might be too much to ask. Let’s just take things one step at a time. So…

Here we  go.

The photojournalism slant of this trip through the car wash was a success for me, because I was so busy clicking pictures I did not think a lot about the feeling of being helplessly carried along a track soaped and scrubbed and rinsed and blow-dried. That’s good.

What the car thought about it, I do not know. She (Our car is a she and she is named Cara Mia) is beautifully clean now, though, and looks really nice.

All is well that ends well, right?

A Story Without (Very Many) Words

Take a look at  yesterday’s post, and then this story will make sense to you…

Chapter One.

Chapter Two.

Wed 8-22 #303


Chapter Three.

The End. For now.

Art Drop-Off Roundup – Recent Activity

I’ve got some catching up to do as far as what’s been going on with art drop offs. I’ve scattered quite a few tiles around recently, and so, without further ado, take a look. And as a note, all this activity took place along the Pennypack Trail in Lorimer Park, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. I’ve written lots of posts about my doings here, over the years – just search Pennypack Trail or Lorimer Park, if you want to see more.

On Friday, August 17, I put this tile on the info kiosk at the Moredon Road intersection. Notice it is a repurposed train control box. Remember, this trail is on the site of a former rail line. You may be interested to know that much of the trail conversion was paid for by the sale of the metal train tracks for scrap.

(As a note, this tile was gone when I stopped by on August 21…)

And here is another tile set along the trail. Pay attention to this location…


On Sunday, August 19, I was back. Remember this location? I added another tile.

About 2 miles away, I set this tile on the bridge. It’s to the left, below the weight limit sign.


On Monday, August 20, back again. And I added a third tile to the group…

And for good measure I left this one in another box, just a small bit up the trail.


Today, Tuesday, August 21, I was once again walking along the trail. On earlier trips I had noticed that someone had lined up stones inside this old train control box. I added a sgraffito tile to the mix.

You can see very clearly what a wet summer we have had. Look at that crazy green overgrowth around this box.

I wonder if anyone has taken any of the threesome tiles – but I was not in that area of the trail today. Maybe next time…

Update on Canary Melon Land

Remember those canary melon seeds we planted in a pot, now sitting on our porch, a few weeks back? They are growing. Take a look. Here they are on August 4.

And how about today, August 14?

Conf 8-14 #101

I am sure we ought to be thinning them out. But we’re not going to. We’re not trying to get melons to grow, just enjoying the plants and how they develop. I noticed that, like squash and gourds and other vines, these guys might like to climb, if they could. One of the little plants is developing those twirly-grabby-on kind of things…

Conf 8-14 #201

Full of surprises, these little guys are. Keep on growing! I encourage them every time I go in or out of the house.

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