If You Live Across the Street from the High School You Are Never Bored

We live across the street from our high school. Great place to be. I have the girls’ lacrosse/field hockey and softball fields right there and I attend a lot of games, despite not knowing much about any of them.

We can also watch the marching band practice, walk on the track, go to swim meets…art fairs…and it goes on and on.

The latest event, to mark the start of school, was a festival of food trucks held in front of the school, yesterday afternoon and evening. Food trucks are a common sight in the city – lots and lots of people eat lunch from one every work day, and you can get about anything. Nowadays they go around to festivals and the like, as well.

From our house, here was the view:

We walked over and paid our (minimal) admission fee. There was food, food, music, food, food, silent auction, picnicking, food, kids running around, food, people waiting in line for food, food…

It’s fun to live in a place like the one where I live!

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the insubstantial

It is what holds the pieces of your life together.

Walk Around the Park

The other day I was telling my friend John N. about a great walk in the Fort Washington State Park. He’s done the roads there, but not ventured out into the wilds. I told him I’d take him around the loop to show him the route. Later I started to think – how long will it be before we can get together to do this? In the meantime, John is missing a really nice walk.

I was at the park on April 17 and I decided to photo the route. I think it will be enough guidance for John to try on his own if he wants.

Background – this circuit is about 2 miles. It’s part of the cross-country course run by several local high schools in their meets. I became familiar with it running charity cross-country 5K events in the park. Now I go there and do it on my own – sometimes running and sometimes, like today, walking it. The route is composed of a big loop (the one I am showing today) plus a smaller half loop covering much of the same ground and including the dreaded Power Line Hill. We’re not going up that hill today but I will point it out.

The weather was off-and-on rain showers and quite mild the day I took these pictures. OK, John, here goes!

1. Park in the lot next to the bird watching stand and the bathrooms.

2. Go over to the bird stand and start down the hill, aiming for the two benches down there at the bottom.

3. Head down the trail.

4. You’ll come to this fork. Go to the right. And as a note, if you went left, you’d end up on the Green Ribbon trail by the creek. Nice to know this as it’s a good way into that part of the park. And notice the rail line – here’s a good view of it.

5. Now just go along the path. It’s easy to see. It parallels the freight rail line on the left.

6. Keep your eyes open and look to the right when you see the power poles. This is the Power Line Hill. In an actual 5K race this hill comes along about 70% of the way through (the race start is in a different location than where I started). Believe me, this is a killer hill. Looks pretty easy? Remember, it ends way off up there in that open area.

7. Keep on going along the path, until you come up to this bird house on a pole.

8. You veer off to the right – the path is still clearly visible.

9. Look, beach volleyball on the right.

10. Keep going along the line of brush until you see this signpost.

11. Don’t be startled if a train comes along while you’re in this section. I’d say about half the time one passes while I am here.

12. Follow the arrow on the sign and veer right, keeping pretty close to the brush. You’ll see birdhouses all over the park, by the way. And the baby trees have plastic sleeves around their trunks so that the deer can’t eat them.

13. At this point your aim is to get over to the park road that is in front of you (past the pink trees – hard to see in this picture). You can angle over or you can go straight to the pavement.

14. Once on the pavement, you head to the left.

15. When you reach the intersection, you’ll turn right. I always like to do a loop around the little island first…

16. Walk down this road a short distance, until you see the signpost on the left.

17. Now we are at my favorite part of the loop. Pick up this little trail going into the woods.

18. Follow the trail up the hill. If I am running, it takes me about two minutes or so to get to the more level section.

19. At the fork, go right. If you go left, you will end up on the upper park road and you’ll eventually end up at the same finishing point, but – the dirt trail is just more fun.

20. This section of trail skirts the brush on the right, with the overnight campsites on the left. You will see several groups of picnic tables and so on. And at times, the trail gets a bit vague. Just stay along the edge of the vegetation.

21. When you see this bench and the power pole, it’s time to get on the paved road.

22. But wait – I will show you where the Power Line Hill exits – look to your right and down the line of poles.

You say, So what? OK. I’ll walk a little way down it.

And I turn around and look back up. I have seen people crawling at this stage of things, in a 5K race.

23. Back on the route. It’s all easy from here. Go down the hill on the paved road and pass around the gate.

24. Come out to the main road. Does this look familiar? You have finished the loop!

Well, I hope that this travelogue was useful and I especially hope that John will be able to follow it, because I think he’ll enjoy the walk. I know I’ve enjoyed reliving it!

Good-bye and Hello

I tend to want to make friends with all around me, including pretty much every inanimate object in my everyday life. Especially the objects I live with. So when our stove, after 13 years, was no longer able to do the job, I wish there had been a retirement option, where it could have had a nice rest somewhere after all these years of baking and boiling and so on. But that’s not how it works. I need an oven that heats up, and a stove of this age is not worth fixing. The fact that most of it works still doesn’t keep it in service.

old-stove-9-16-small

So we bought a new stove. The old one left first. I felt sad, thinking about how much time I had spent with this stove. And I remember when we bought it, brand-new. It was the first stove I had ever chosen and made no compromises about. The glass cooktop, the nice black color, the simple controls (I didn’t want many options) – all just right.

The deliveryman for the new stove was amused as he disconnected the old one. I guess most people don’t show sadness at the departure of an appliance.

The new one came in, showing no shyness. It slid right into the space where the old one had been. Even looks pretty much exactly the same. Well, that’s a good thing.

new-stove-small

I don’t know why I feel a bit upset about this change. Maybe it’s because I still thought of the old stove as brand new, as just having moved in with us a little while ago. I remember my pleasure when I first started cooking on it – it suited me perfectly. I felt I’d done a little something about ordering my world, cooking on this stove. Where did the 13 years go so quickly?

Maybe that’s it.

Well, hello, new stove, I am sure we’ll get along fine and learn each other’s ways very soon. Good-bye, old stove, and thank you.

“And I Really Mean It…”

…said the aliens (?).

Seen on a sidewalk in Glenside, PA, on July 15. Write down that place and date so you’ll have a reference for when you read about the new people in town here!

Marks on sidewalk 7-15-16 small

You May Be Amazed and You May Not, But I Think You Might Laugh

I went to the dentist today. I park at the library and walk a few blocks over to the office. I had a very satisfying visit to the dentist, and I say visit, because I have gone to the same dental hygienist for years and we have an ongoing conversation we pick up every four months. We’ve been talking weddings for the last year, my son’s, and now her daughter’s. Plus, I did not have any problems with my teeth and now they are beautifully shiny and clean.

So, in a pleasant state of mind after my appointment, I was strolling back, quite slowly, to my car. It was a hot sunny day and I was taking my time, in a noticing mood. I looked at this building’s door…

Pope F small door 6-1-16 small

and I noticed a familiar face looking back at me. I had no idea Pope Francis was in Glenside; I thought he went back to work in Rome after being here in Philadelphia last September.

Pope F small 6-1-16 small

Look closely at the picture, near the bottom and directly under the Pope’s hand, and you can see my hand on the camera. My goodness, now I’ve included myself in this history-making moment.

I now am left to wonder at the assortment of covering-up items this homeowner has used to block sight into the house through the door – the Pope poster and what looks like a car windshield cover – and why not just get a curtain? This question is just the kind of thing I ponder as I walk along the street and see things.

But events had moved too quickly

But events had moved too quickly

But events had moved too quickly

and I have gladly

and I have gladly

and I have gladly

took secret pleasure in

took secret pleasure in

took secret pleasure in

Memories

This morning my husband and I did a run in the Ambler, PA, area. We have a route we do, starting at Wissahickon High School and continuing through a neighborhood, a condo development (where my in-laws used to live, as a coincidence), along a nature trail, and back to the high school. I left a figurine in the parking lot.

figurine small 10-17-15 1

I’m dedicating this little guy to my friends Anna, Luke, Nellie, Liv, and Rich, who moved out of state this summer. This is their old school district here.

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