Off the beaten path in Pennsylvania

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My first trip to Pennsylvania has been awe inspiring. We are staying in a Bucks county – north of Philadelphia and spring here is gorgeous. The trees are flowering and tulips are in bloom. We spent a day in search of the 12 covered bridges of Bucks county armed with a map and our cell phones. The county visitor guide on the web has turn by turn directions to get from bridge to bridge but we decided to start in a different order – I would only suggest this to those who don’t mind getting lost and taking a few wrong turns. We did so and happened along some really cool spots we may have not seen otherwise so our “off the beaten path” self tour worked for us! This included a very cool bar and grill called The Raven’s Nest where we stopped to eat a home cooked roast beef sandwich and have a beer. We got some great directions from some locals on how to head to our next bridge. Friendly people in Pennsylvania. We hit 6 bridges the first day, each were unique and beautiful. Their settings were all different and we spent some time appreciating the beauty of their surroundings – the woods, the creeks, the old Levi Sheard grist mill by one was a site to see, the stone used to make the walls is incredible. The drive itself is beautiful through the forests and taking in some very old homes and a bit of countryside. A very relaxing way to spend an afternoon. We plan to hit the other 6 in a couple of days. Possibly hitting the wineries staggered in between.
Check out the website here covered bridges

May Flowers

What a relief that spring has finally arrived in the Midwest. My backyard is alive with Snow Flowering Crabapple Trees in full bloom. Their branches so heavy they slightly droop under the lovely weight. Today the pale petals are starting to drift to the sidewalk and greening grass below. I wish they would stay longer. Much like the lilacs I knew growing up – their sweet time ends too soon. I long all year for that first tiny bud, that fragrant token for winter’s penance. I feel it should linger just a bit longer. After all, the cold, dark Winter seemed to last forever. It would only be fair to enjoy the delights of spring a little longer, wouldn’t it?

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Lunar Eclipse from Nebraska

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     I sat alone parked on a country road on a chilly Nebraska night and watched the Lunar eclipse. It was a serene and beautiful night. I don’t suppose many are willing to venture out on a weeknight at 2 a.m. just to watch and capture a few pictures of the moon but I had the time and the desire. It was well worth the effort. I drove to the outskirts of town and found a lonely hill to perch on. Behind me I had a gorgeous view of the Omaha skyline and in front of me a dark field with a red moon glowing overhead. I bundled up in my winter Barn coat and hat. I noticed there was still a bit of snow left along the dirt road from the weekend’s spring snowstorm and I shivered as I took in the view. I snapped a few shots of the eclipse every few minutes. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to capture the moon and I had to fumble with the settings on my Olympus quite a bit. I’m new to photography and am realizing I have a lot to learn. I didn’t want this outing to be all about getting the perfect shot but more about enjoying the experience so I put “Ms. Perfectionist” aside and just went with the flow. I listened to the sounds of the night. I could hear an owl in the distance and the faint sound of an occasional car on the highway below. I breathed in the night air and felt totally at peace. I have no fear of the countryside. Odd that I felt safer there than in my backyard in the city. There is something about stargazing and moon watching that always soothes my soul. I remember once I playfully invited my then husband to come out on a gorgeous summer evening and watch the stars with me – he looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. He shook his head and told me no as he went back to watching tv. Disappointed I went out to our backyard filled with flowers and fireflies and watched alone. I’ve done a lot of stargazing alone since then. I think of all the millions of people gazing at the moon tonight and I wonder what they are all thinking. It’s hard not to feel a bit lonely and insignificant under such a magnificent sky. It’s hard to not want to share it with someone. Yet I have hope that somewhere out there someone is looking up thinking the same thing. Somewhere someone gets that same feeling by looking at the stars that I do and would rather look at a night sky holding my hand than a television any night of the week. Someone who will spontaneously grab my hand to experience life with me and we can count stars together. Until that time I am not afraid to drive out on a gravel road at 2 a.m and find my own moments of peace and happiness. Here’s to the next Lunar Eclipse and hope!