Sunday, June 30, 2013

George W. Childs Park

The George W. Childs Recreation Site is a former state park that is the site of a number of cascade waterfalls along Dingmans Creek. This picturesque park is a part of the Delaware Water gap National Recreational area and includes expansive hemlock groves and cascading waterfalls along with a picnic area, comfort facilities, and a short hiking trail along the falls.
It is located in Dingmans Ferry in Delaware Township, Pike County, Pennsylvania. The site is named for George W. Childs a noted philanthropist, whose widow deeded the land to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1912. The site contains three main waterfalls: Factory Falls, Fulmer Falls and Deer Leap Falls and is a few miles upstream from Dingmans Falls and Silverthread Falls. The site is also host to the ruins of Joseph Brooks' 19th century woolen mill.

This where we parted. He went to take pictures. I went to hike.

There were several ramps and steps to climb up and down as to stay on the trail and to avoid the wildlife of the woods. We were warned of Black Bear. Personally, I would have loved to see one out in the woods. A few times, I went off the trail and found solace amongst the Forrest.

I spent some time looking up towards the heavens and wondered if my brother could look down upon me.
 I questioned the presence of God then looked around me. The woods so perfect. The waterfalls so powerful. There must be a God.

We met up here on the final leg of our journey.
Sites along the way included; uprooted tree.
and Joseph Brooks' 19th century woolen mill.

The site is also host to the ruins of Joseph Brooks' 19th century woolen mill. About 1826 Joseph Brooks, a Welshman who had immigrated to Philadelphia built a woolen mill of stone, 3½ stories high. He employed about 80 workers.
His sheep, though, were devoured by wolves or died from eating poisonous laurel. Supplies, operatives, and materials such as expensive raw wool, had to be brought in from Philadelphia, and the finished products shipped down to this city by wagons, a trip which took 10 days. Brooks died in 1832 and the mill was abandoned, the ruins are still visible.







Bloom and Grow

Everywhere we went this weekend, I saw hundreds upon hundreds of these tiger lilies growing in gardens, on borders of homes, around mailboxes and just off the side of a road. These lilies represent a life I once had and lost. I planted four gardens that contained a variety of flowers including the lilies in this picture. These lilies are hardy and spread each year producing more and more of its beautiful flowers all summer long. I started with a few and they blossomed in just a few short years that filled the gardens. I can't but wonder how they are this summer. The house and its surrounding property still belongs to me though I have not been there in two years.
I tried to grow these flowers out of pots on my current balcony without success. I miss the days were I could knee down on the lawn and dig my hands in dirt. Maybe one day?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Search Within

Sitting here on the balcony overlooking the enclosed atrium of my hotel room, I am listening to the soft voices of children laughing, the humming of the air conditioner, and splashing sounds of the pool. 

The decision to escape to the mountains came on Friday morning after being blasted by a patient, as I walked through the doors of my workplace. I had a difficult workweek along with my Dad being taken to the hospital, and an emotional funk I could not get out of. I sat at my computer and made reservations, called my husband, and told him after work that day, we were going to the mountains. I am a firm believer in self-care. The workday went from bad to worst and by the end of my day, my two worlds collided, I was emotionally drained. It took less than 30 minutes to pack, fill my water bottle, and grab a bottle of wine and my down comfortable, and out the door and into the truck for the ride North. 

There are a select few hotels I escape to. This particular hotel was not one of our usual spots, but it was close to George Childs’ Park with a hiking trail and waterfalls. I am really really particular of where I will rest my head, so the Quality Inn reservation made me a little nervous. I took the last top room suite with a balcony overlooking the atrium, and the suite had a King size bed with in room hot tub. The cost was cheap. Red Flag alert. We pulled up. Checked in. Made our way to the room. OK., the room was passable. It was large. The bathroom clean. The carpet needs to be replace, and the room was outdated. Passable. 

The hotel in general is fine. There is a really nice pool, atrium, and club on premises located off of Main Street. The hotel is under new management and is being redone. I am sure by next year the room will be updated, as well as the price. 

Today we drove out to the Park for my husband and me to hike, Bill to photograph. I kept walking, as he made stops for photo shots. We eventually caught up with each other at the end of the trail. There were signs all around to caution us of Black Bear territory. I would have loved to spot one, however, bears are more afraid of people, than people more afraid of bears. I passed by some old early 19th century stone mills, and took in the sounds and smells of nature. As an introvert, I get my energy from within and walking through the woods connects me to my inner self and grounds me. I let my mind wonder. I felt calm and at peace. The waterfalls were magnificent and powerful. How could there not be a higher power? I sat and stared up through the trees, and watched the white clouds pass by and thought of heaven. There must be a heaven. There must be a place where my brother and grandparents traveled to upon death. I thought of 1997 and how my life began to spiral out of control in the years after. Drug addiction within my own family. Another death. Became a grandparent. Married a son off. Saw another son enter the Navy. A divorce after 23 years of marriage. New career. Remarriage. Depression. Trauma. PTSD. Therapy giving and receiving. Trying to keep it altogether. Stress headaches and vomiting. Setting boundaries. Grieving an old life. Trying to accept a new life.
After our hike and drive through the mountain roads, we came upon a pub known as 570. We sat outside and enjoyed a cold drink and delicious lunch. I had chicken pot pie loaded with fresh cut veggies in a wonderful tasty sauce. My husband had pulled pork. After lunch we drove some more than stopped for ice cream. We were back by 5p and Bill hit the hot tub and I took a nap. I awoke to the sound of children, opened that bottle of wine, took my computer and out on the balcony to write. (wine was terrible and I poured it down the sink)

As I sit here and listen to the children play in the pool, I wish some of those children belonged to me. I have yet to figure out how to live without them constant in my life. How can I learn to be an adult without children? I guess it is a process.  For now, I envision them swimming below, laughing and playing.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I Want the Sound of Silence

Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a presumptive contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations.

Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations. This term is sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism, complete love, or "mother's/father's love." Each area of expertise has a certain way of describing unconditional love, but most will agree that it is that type of love which has no bounds and is unchanging. It is a concept comparable to true love, a term which is more frequently used to describe love between lovers. By contrast, unconditional love is frequently used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms and between others in highly committed relationships. An example of this is a parent's love for their child; no matter a test score, a life changing decision, an argument, or a strong belief, the amount of love that remains between this bond is seen as unchanging and unconditional.

Conflict and Emotions

We like the quote by psychologist, John Gottman, “When you’re furious, you can’t be curious.” Conflict is all about emotions, and when a person is off balance emotionally it becomes extremely difficult to engage in constructive responses to conflict. You can lose sight of your objectives and become focused on how the other person has wronged you. Retaliatory responses kick in and you are no longer interested in solving the problem as much as punishing the other person.


I am struggling with all of the above. I love unconditionally in all matters, but betrayal. Betrayal feels like a direct blow to my sense of self. Then, the conflict follows. If I feel as though someone has done me wrong after I have given several chances, and they are aware of the hurt it creates, I feel betrayed. Some of you reading this are probably thinking, "get over it already or that is not right".  I am who I am whether someone agrees or not. When hurt, I shut down. It has been my defense mechanism since I was a small child. I have done a lot of work on that part of myself, and I took a chance allowing some people in only to be hurt again. I guess it is not a surprise that I put up the same defense mechanism. How or why I learned this way to protect myself, I do not know, but I have some idea. If you never have a voice. If you are always afraid. If you cannot trust. If you feel alone within yourself. If the little girl inside never grew up. If you seek validation. If you do not feel a part of. Defense mechanisms help you to survive, but with the survivor comes depression, anger and isolation.

I question everything. High intelligence has a double edge blade. No wonder they say, "ignorance is bliss". How I wish ignorance sometimes. I sit out on my balcony looking over at the hills and trees, listening to the sounds of the birds chirping, children playing and traffic rumbling, watching the hawks glide freely in the sky and I wish I could go with the wind far far away from my own mind, which never stops thinking. . How I wish for silence. How I wish someone could stop me from thinking. What I realize is the silence has to come from within not from without. I will never find my voice, let go of the fear, learn to trust, grow up or seek validation from the outside, because it is an inside job. I am shut down right now. I will put the mask in place to do my job, pretend to be and/or feel like someone I am not, and survive another day. That is all I can do for today.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

New York New York

If you want to enjoy the City of New York without the high price of lodging and parking, then I recommend staying at the Sheraton in Weehawkin NJ. Less than a two hour drive from Montco, complete with Panoramic Suites with Panoramic views of the city, with a ferry just foot steps away and packages that include parking and breakfast is the best deal at just a little below three hundred dollars.

 I researched this hotel and its location several months ago and placed it on my bucket list of places to stay and visit. What drew me to this hotel was its close location to New York City and the fact it had its own dock for the ferry. You cannot beat 37 dollars round trip for two that takes you from hotel to midtown. Not to mention its spacious rooms and view across the river where you can lay in bed and see the Empire State Building or the New World Trade Tower.

Saturday morning we took the ferry over to midtown, hopped a cab to Times Square (8 dollars) then took the City Sightseeing tour bus to downtown (97 dollars). 

We toured places such as So Ho, Little Italy, Chinatown, Washington Square, Battery Park, Lower east Side, New York University.

We saw the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Staten Island Ferry (free), some damage from Hurricane Sandy along the Hudson River, Brooklyn Bridge among other bridges, Tenement's from the early 20th Century.

We walked in Rockefeller's Square, walked briskly passed American Girl Place and Lego Store for fear I would actually walk in and drop a few hundred dollars on stuff my grandchildren love. We saw Radio City, Madison square Garden and every freaky looking character that meets the eye.

 It is amazing that you can walk through the neighborhood where the consulates live and the United Nations where they work and end up in sections where homeless tent cities stand, people beg and needle disposal boxes.
We stopped for a quick bite at the Irish Pub.

The wine was awful (cheap brand or end of a bottle) and the Shepherd's Pie was delicious.

Yes. These are people on the Hudson paddling on Surf Boards.

After we ate at the pub, we decided to walk back to the ferry. The ferry was around West 37th Street and 7th. By the time we reached the river and the ferry landing that heads back to Weehawkin, my toes were screaming bloody murder, my ass cheeks hurt and the sunburn on my nose could light up the dark. Those few steps from the ferry to the hotel felt like ten miles and as I layed upon the soft comfy bed waiting for darkness to fall so I could view the beautiful lights from our Panoramic Suite with its Panoramic View, I fell dead asleep until morning.