The Year is Complete!

Please feel free to look back through the 365 days of 2010 sunrises, but "a year of getting up to meet the day" is officially completed. There will be no more new posts.


Thank you so much for visiting.
A one year blog project in which I share a process of transitions: emptying of the nest, reacquainting with my rusty intellect, plowing onward with my first full length book, entering the second half of my first century, and generally reflecting on life.

(see Dec. 29th, 2009 entry for further explanation)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

plenty of Pennsyvania

sunrise:  6:54
Wayne, Pennsylvania

For some reason, I got it in my head years ago that I love the state of Pennsylvania.  Maybe it was the musical about Amish country that my senior high school class put on.  Maybe it was being designated as an honorary assistant scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the summer of 1979, or my subsequent visit to that city and the Three Rivers Stadium.  It could have been the names of the three rivers that gave the stadium its name - the Ohio, the Allegheny, and the Monongehela.  Maybe it was the many scenic trips through a glorious river valley in Pennsylvania, on the way from Rochester, NY toWashington, DC when my kids were young.

In any case, yesterday and today have only reconfirmed my assessment.  After a wonderfully fun surprise 50th birthday event in Philadelphia last night - glowingly moved surprisee, funny tributes, great band, late night dancing, a solid cadre of the Whiffenpoofs for a great acapella performance, reunions with some truly treasured friends - we made our way out to the suburb of Wayne, where J's cousins have a home.

Philadelphia itself is a charming city, with an old colonial feel that is distinct from Boston's but equally evocative of another era's charm.  

Today I took a walk around Wayne, PA.  There is a rail trail about 1/2 mile from our cousins' home, where I went with the company of Riggs, my surrogate dog for the dawn ramble.  J's cousin is a former football player for UVA, a bright, gracious, funny, and physically imposing human being - extra large.  Riggs the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a suitable foil to his owner.  And yet, he was more gentle and well behaved than my errant mutts, a fraction of his size.

Gentle as he is, he certainly raised eyebrows as I passed other walkers and runners.  No one was going to mess with me today.

Rail trails are one of the great ideas of the century, in my book.  What a fabulous use of property no longer suitable for its former function.  On my way down the path I was thinking this would be another of those places where I only get to see evidence of the sunrise rather than the sun itself, but then I turned around and there it was.

I love the variety of flora around here.  That is one thing I do miss in the state of Maine.  We don't have nearly the depth of plant species.  The landscapes, shrubs and trees are so intricate and rich and gloriously beautiful as you move into more southern climes. 

I remember visiting the rain forest in Belize when the kids were teenagers.  That place made Pennsylvania look like it had nothing going in plant life.  Talk about variety of species.  Birds too.  There are no vast stretches of oak forest or hemlock groves.  Everything is a mass conglomeration of EVERYTHING at once.  It is impressive to see.

But Pennsylvania has enough variety for me to be impressed.  That senior high school musical that we put on in 1978 was called "Plain and Fancy."  The big chorus number was called "Plenty of Pennsylvania," and I still remember most of the words.  They sang about the state "where anything grows .... all you need is some seed and a plow or two, and a bull who's keeping company with a cow or two..." 

It's still making an impression.


  1. Okay, I'll admit I'm prejudiced about any pictures that involve trails... But these pictures are astoundingly beautiful. I dream of taking pictures... someday... maybe.
    I agree with you about rail-trails. I would put them in the top ten developments of the last century. They are so incredibly useful and enjoyable.

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