The second leg of my late year journey has come to a close. Like the first chapter in Massachusetts, this second chapter in New York flew by much too fast, but was crammed full of additional memories.
To recap, I’m spending about two and a half weeks with each of my kids/grandkids/great-grandkids.With Massachusetts and New York in the rear view mirror, it is off to Ohio — and the first taste of winter weather on the road … not that I’m complaining.
The energy level in New York was not as high. Most of the time, I just had a six year old to deal with and he was in school during the day, although my two granddaughters, 13 and 12, spent a couple of weekends at the homestead. Angelina, however, spent 18 days being traumatized by a cat, who would unexpectedly ambush her. I think she was looking forward to the next stop. I haven’t had the heart to tell her there are two dogs there — two rather large dogs.
It was a momentous trip. I finally got to meet my newest great-granddaughter, Ivy Lynn. We celebrated by daughter’s’ 40th birthday with a series of events over he weekend. And I caught up with new and old friends at a First Presbyterian Church of Seneca Falls Coffee Hour and a Meet & Greet at the West Fayette Presbyterian Church Holiday Bazaar. I even spent one of the Sundays on the slanty side of the pulpit at West Fayette Presbyterian.
Some of the highlights …
Got to spend some time with my 99 year old uncle and my age cousin. Nice lunch and nice visit. We talked about … just about everything. He recently found his high school yearbook which had a picture of both him (first row left as a senior) and my dad (first row right as a freshman) on the Eastside (Paterson NJ) cross country team. I had never seen that picture before.
Spent a morning at First Presbyterian Church in Seneca Falls NY. Great worship followed by being guest speaker at Coffee Hour talking about my life in Maine after Seneca County, my three books, and the publishing process. Good to see and connect with familiar faces and new faces. Stopped at the gas station and Walmart and bumped into more old friends.
A safe trip back from New York to Massachusetts. Plenty of fog, construction, and cops made the trip a tad longer … especially since I bypassed the Thruway/Pike. I was reminded of the many times I had taken that route on trips to New Jersey and Wildwood. Brought back fond memories.
Trying new things. Mandi made a Ramen dish with spinach, scallions, carrots and spices. I ate it to set a good example. It was okay … but I wouldn’t go out of my way to have it again. Blessing was having a meal with family.
My daughter-in-law bought a candle. As I watched the the three flames darting, I noticed smoke rings — perfect smoke rings — with each flicker. I was mesmerized. Such a small thing to notice, but put me in awe of the bigger picture. Couldn’t capture the rings but got the candle.
A safe and relaxing trip from Massachusetts to upstate New York. Always a blessing when travel is relaxing with vibrant fall colors allowing God’s handiwork to shine.
Spent time watching Colin, doing some writing (including Sunday’s sermon), getting ready for the Meet & Greet, hugging my two granddaughters, talking a friend through some issues. Blessing is being needed and hopefully offering some words of wisdom and comfort. Both girls, by the way, are in the school play, Orange Is the New Glass. Heard all about it. Kady is part of the ensemble listening to the comedic story blending fairy-tale characters obsessed with pop culture and social media, while Ella has one of the leads — Rapunzel.
A good visit at Meet & Greet. Good to see old friends and meet new ones … and sell a few books as well. Bonus blessing … watching Goosebumps 2 with the grandkids.
Great to be on the slanty side of the pulpit at West Fayette Presbyterian with good friends. That was capped with dinner and a visit with my granddaughter Taylor, husband Michael, and great-granddaughter Ivy Lynn … our first visit. She is so tiny! Blessed.
Caught a glimpse of the famous Seneca sunsets followed by a clear star-studded night. Got to thinking about those stars twinkling here, there, everywhere — just for us. They were bright — not as bright as in Maine — and reminded me Who placed them there.
Angelina and I got out for a short walk. A little breezy along the lake but warm sun. She explored the new path. Reminded me how much I’ve missed our walks.
I surveyed the rose garden. Most of the blooms are gone but there was a pink one (DJ) still hanging in and a deep red bud (Karen) posing. Memories … beauty … simplicity.
Grandson went trick & treating in the rain. When he returned he shared his Reese candy with me. Blessing. Sharing … and a peanut butter cup.
Dinner out with Cole and Colin. Pork steak at West Fayette Presbyterian. Good conversation and good food. Always a blessing.
Visited with Constance, John, and Xandra, catching up … and scored a lemon meringue pie to enjoy the rest of the New York stay (no, I didn’t share). Spent the night with the grands so my daughter could party for her 40th. Ella and I watched Merry and Bright (a Hallmark Christmas offering) before we all settled in for Kindergarten Cop … and popcorn. It made up for a disaster dinner — Bacon Wrapped Cheesesteak Meatloaf. Bacon never cooked … meatloaf separated.
Homemade lasagna. Haven’t had it in a long time. Thanks Lynne!
Monday started with a painted morning sky that set the tone for the day. A big thank you!
I voted … first time in four years at my “normal” polling place after absentee balloting from Maine. Blessed to live in America where we have the right and privilege of voting. Congrats to all of you who exercised your voting rights. If you didn’t, don’t complain. Speaking of exercise, Angelina and I did some time walking — and playing in the leaf piles — at Taughannock Falls State Park. She had a blast just running around, pulling me up and down the trails and watching the gulls resting quietly on the boat dock pilings. Finally, a great Election Night Dinner — overstuffed turkey with all the trimmings and pecan pie (among others) — at Ovid Federated Church with Nicolle and Anthony. Ummm, ummm good.
The last day of the New York chapter of my late year tour was jammed with fun. Had a great visit with neighbors Lee Anne and Ray; revisited my great-granddaughter Ivy Lynn (granddaughter Taylor and husband Michael, too); and capped the night at the Waterloo Music Department’s Salute to Our Veterans. Ella, 13, played the trumpet in a Patriotic Parade Sequence (she’ll be marching Monday in the New York City Veterans Day Parade, live streamed at parade.uwvc.org/watch-the-parade), and both Ella and sister Kady, 12, performed America the Beautiful as members of the 7/8 Chorus. Blessed.
Let the adventure continue!
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: The choices we make every day matter. Some choices are ok, some are bad, some are good and some are even better.