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Along Several fronts

Where in the world is Jeff Berthiaume.

I hooked a big one in the Republic of Palau.

We are hoping he may be on his way home. With the rapidly growing Corona virus and Pandemic fears, we wonder, will he arrive home on the date scheduled. Jeff has been away the entire month. He’s made stops in Sydney, Australia, Wellington, New Zealand, and, most recently, the Republic of Palau. He’s had the opportunity to do a little fishing and send some photos. Thanks Jeff, I attach a few of them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palau

Location of Palau
Wiki Photo Rep of Palau
This guy needs a dentist.
Fellow Govt. employee Matt and boat Captain
NO, I’d rather be here on Delmarva in the winter.

Another hop across the Ocean.

Zoe, Ana, Mia & Dax

The wife and daughter Kathryn flew the Atlantic to help Sam, Captain, USAF get through a rough week with the flu, Masters level paper due, Husband away on a deployment, and four wee ones, seven and under.

Storm Dennis, EU Satellite view

Thanks to the winds of Storm Dennis, my two ladies made what is usually a six-hour flight in under five hours. In contrast, those traveling in the opposite direction took as long as eight hours. Their description of what was a harrowing landing in Ireland, sounded like something I’m glad I didn’t have to experience. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_Dennis

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Both Sam and her USAF Captain husband Zed are graduates of the USAFA. Sam is a Support Services officer, and Zed is a pilot. They are presently stationed at a NATO base in Germany and live a few miles away in the Netherlands.

Crown Alley in the Temple Bar Area, Dublin
Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

The ladies survived their child care experience and arrived back home safely a week ago. The girls did get to spend twenty-four hours in Dublin, Ireland during a layover. Even in the heavy rain and wind at the time, they got to walk about the Temple district among the inversely pointing umbrellas. Rumor has it they also indulged in something called a Guinness, whatever that is. https://www.dublintown.ie/temple-bar/

On their return the girls arrived on time in Philadelphia, where I met them. Kathryn retrieved her car from the parking lot and headed south towards home. She would be at work erly on Monday morning. The wife and I headed north towards Staten Island, NY. We had a family Funeral Mass to attend the next morning for a deceased Brother in-law, Rest in Peace Mike. To say the little lady was a bit disoriented from the jet-lag, and sudden obligation, is an understatement. One week later, I think she’s back in the necessary time zone. When all is normal, she’s back quilting, that she has resumed.

We had just returned from this same flight route on New Year’s Eve. Six of us spent the holidays with Sam and Family in Garmish Partenkierchen, Germany.  During that trip we touched feet or tires in Germany, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Lichtenstein and England. What goes around, and goes around, and goes around.

Next up for the little lady is a house sitting stent in Connecticut next month. The few, the proud, the Marines, have nothing over this lady and her endurance. Me and the dog will keep the home fires burning.

Ben along the waters of the Wicomico Creek.

Sleep well my friends, the elections are coming up, vote early, vote often.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Semper Fi , theRooster

Longevity and Adventuring

For the past five months, I’ve worked for a local Nursery. I spend two, sometimes three days a week as a driver and companion to one of the past owners. For the sake of this blog, I’ll call him HL. This man is the kindest and most pleasant man to spend a day with. I must also mention, he’s quite witty and shares a lot of history with me.

This is not my first rodeo doing this type of thing. Back in the late nineties, I was a driver and aide to the late James Brady and his wife Sarah. Jim was the Press Secretary to President Reagan at the time of the assassination attempt on March 30, 1981. I’ve written a blog in the past of one little tidbit during that time. Jim was another one of those people with a unique wit.

HL’s son is now in charge of the nursery business. In the early twenties HL’s father immigrated to America from the Netherlands as a Bulb salesman. He got this whole nursery thing started. The nursery as it’s known today started in 1962 with the first propagation in one unheated, deep cold frame.

Logo
https://www.chesapeakenurseries.com/bout

HL loves traveling about the Delmarva Peninsula, looking at land, specifically farmland, as well as historic homes and buildings. We’ve also gone to the Pokomoke Discovery Center, where we learned about River Otters and the Harriett Tubman Underground Railroad Historical Site.

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Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Nathional Park
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On an other day we ventured to the Assateague National Seashore MD, VA

Moving On

A past Thursday found us at a long time employee’s Retirement and Birthday Party. The Company electrician was hanging up his non-conductive Electrical Plyers for a well-deserved cruise in the Carribean with his wife of 64 years, Judy. Kern was also celebrating his 84’th birthday that day and ending his 48’th year at the nursery.

L-R Father -Son- Kern
The table is set.
They came to say goodby.

So this old writer is still staying busy, gathering material, as he moves around the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Oh, and did I mention, HL buys lunch each day, there is a story in that process at most every meal. I’m thinking I’ll have to start a Gastro info blog from time to time. Have a great Sunday everyone.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

theRooster

Bricks and Things

A couple we consider good friends, who live down south in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, were recently at a wedding in Leadville, CO. The wife of the couple is a fellow blogger, who goes by the handle as Merling Muse, life in the mountains. Were the husband a Blogger, it would have something to do with trains, I’m sure. They recently made a cross country trip to attend that wedding, and blog about it along the way.

The trip brought back many great memories of a trip Uncle Bob, (wife’s brother, who is no longer with us) and I made in 2010 via Rt#50 all the way. Miss you and that “First One Today” Bobby !

So, bloggers post, and those who get to read them can comment about that post. On occasion I get a bit wordy, My response to Anne was so wordy, I thought I’d steal from it and make it a post.

My response to Anne’s Blog

Our daughter Sarah was married on 7/2, in an Anglican church built in 1733, which sits on the bank of the Wicomico River. Bricks in the church were baked in the same kiln as a home we lived in for five years 20 years ago. They were shipped here by boat from Williamsburg, VA. A bit of Brick History, should you be interested: https://brickcollecting.com/history.htm

Mom helping daughter Sarah get ready for her walk down the aisle.

Mary Agnes and I have been to Leadville, and have long thought of returning for the train excursion. Mary Agnes was enamored with Molly Brown, thus the trip to the high back then. https://mollybrown.org/about-molly-brown/

We did take the train ride to Silverton that year. https://durangosilvertonrailroad.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw__fnBRANEiwAuFxETx5mCHb8ZdUybu40BWcIvcIeVb8SjGjsPQkvwL-Rk_I3gg4ymKeumBoCUWgQAvD_BwE

We have a granddaughter who graduated from USAFA, class of 2012 (Samantha) and for four years made trips to the Rockies. Brother-in-law Bob Romspert and I delivered Sam her car to her at the start of her junior year.

We used old Route #50 to cross the country and only hit an Interstate when we had to cross the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Great memories with a now departed companion of that awesome trip and our time together.
https://www.roadtripusa.com/the-loneliest-road/

For me, the highlight of that trip was stumbling upon Bent’s Fort.

Congratulations to the newlyweds Anne & John.

I Continue

Daughter Sarah, her beau Greg, daughter Kathryn, wife Mary Agnes and yours truly The Rooster, spent the better part of a week in San Antonio, TX not long ago. The reason, Sarah’s son, and our grandson Thomas, (Tommy) was graduating from Air Force Basic Training at Lackland, AFB. We also spent a couple of meals with nephew Noah, a 2018 graduate of the USAFA who is in Drone training. Here’s a site on the subject if interested: https://www.aetc.af.mil/Flying-Training/

As you read this Tommy is now at Sheppard AFB, Texas for further training with the Air Education and Training Command.

So there you go, something to read and possibly follow up on a trip of your own one day. There’s lots to see in this great country of ours. Get off the Interstate, travel the back roads and small towns and meet the people who make this country what it is. You might just wind up in Allen, MD one day.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Fox dies in the Coop

This bit of news from France was posted on the “BBC” web site and forwarded to me by daughter Kathryn. I share it with you. Apparently, the young Fox, are not sly.

Chickens ‘gang up’ to kill intruder fox on a French farm

13 March 2019
Caged battery hens
Getty Images
According to the farming school, hens, will easily confront an animal that lacks vigor.

Chickens in a school farm in north-western France are believed to have grouped and killed a juvenile fox.

The unusual incident in Brittany took place after the fox entered the coop with 3,000 hens through an automatic hatch door which closed immediately.

“There was a herd instinct, and they attacked him with their beaks,” said Pascal Daniel, head of farming at the agricultural school Gros-Chêne.

The body of the small fox was found the following day in the corner of the coop.

“It had blows to its neck, blows from beaks,” Mr. Daniel told AFP news agency.

The farm is home to up to 6,000 free-range chickens who are kept in a five-acre site.

The coop is kept open during the day, and most of the hens spend the daytime outside, AFP adds.
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Despite what you think, chickens are not stupid.

When the automatic door closed, the fox – thought to be around five or six months old – became trapped inside.

“A whole mass of hens can arrive together, and the fox may have panicked in the face of such a big number,” Mr. Daniel told the regional newspaper Ouest France (in French).

“They can be quite tenacious when they are in a pack.”


Captains Two

Rather than go with Sam’s “A Day In My Life,” I’m just plagiarizing, with her permission of course, and shall call it “Captains Two,” plus the four Greats. That will be Mia, Ana, Dax and Zoe. Enjoy the kid’s travels while in Europe for the next few years.

The Captain says:

Upon getting home from my work trip I learned it was time to pick up one of our two tables we had ordered. The table we would be picking up was in Northern Netherlands, or Holland, and was our new coffee table.

Kinderdijk was recommended to us by the man who built our table and we are so glad he did. The weather was perfect and the crowds were low. Dax and Zoe loved taking a vehicle ferry and then riding a boat to the windmills. One of the windmills we toured housed a single family of 14!

Zoe & Dax
Dax
Zoe

Next was another castle. Though the baroness was Jewish it survived WWII thanks to the wits of the staff left behind. They hid anything that could be taken off the walls in secret passageways. If they received news of German troops coming close they would begin to clean and manicure the grounds. When asked what they were doing by German troops, the staff would respond getting the estate ready for your leadership. Thinking their leadership was about to arrive, they did no harm to the property.

Dad & Dax
Zoe

And finally it wouldn’t be a Davies Day Trip if we didn’t go out of our way to see Amsterdam and the dyke system that has reclaimed the lowlands of the Netherlands.

The longer we’re here the more we want to travel. This should mean more actual travel leading to more blog posts. Enjoy! -S

Where in the World?

Son-in-law hangs out Gunners door and captures this shot (pun) leaving Baghdad, Iraq a few days ago.
Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Travels with Sam

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As most of you know, granddaughter Samantha, Captain, USAF, currently lives in The Netherlands and works for NATO in Germany. It’s kind of like living in South Jersey and working in Philly, you just don’t need to cross the Ben Franklin bridge to get there. Sam’s husband, also a Captain, USAF and a pilot is stationed there with her. To maintain their family unit, their four children are there for the European experience as well.

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Once again the lazy writer in me is using a recent post of Sam’s to share with you. I’m attempting to get a blog out every Sunday or Monday. Thanks Sam for making that possible this week. I’ll gather up an occasional picture or two and some links along the way. I’ve got to contribute something to the blog, right?

A Weekend Away

Zed and I had the amazing opportunity to spend a few days together in Europe. His parents were out visiting to help with the kids as I was away with work. Zed was gracious enough to drive me down and take the scenic route. In total we visited 8 countries in under 48hrs.

Our journey began in the Netherlands, as that’s where we live. We quickly entered Belgium where we passed through Liege, Bastogne, and Arlon. I love living in a place that holds so much history. When we first moved here we watched Band of Brothers to give us a brief history lesson. Then it was a quick stop through Luxembourg, which is smaller than Rhode Island.

France is where things became new. As soon as we crossed the border we saw the Maginot line, which I got no pictures of because my phone was away.

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From that point on I always had it within easy reach and turned the auto camera function on. We were also greeted into France by seeing nuclear power plants. Their water towers are also some of the most unique I’ve seen (a funnel, a castle turret, and a mushroom). By this time we need some food. We like to visit the local McDonald’s to see what interesting things they have on their menu. We were let down, no unique menu items. Moments away from our next country we came to a border checkpoint. When they asked us if we had anything to declare I held up the McDonald’s bag and Zed said just fast food. I’d like to think we livened up the officer’s shift.

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Wiki photo of France checkpoint into Switzerland.

Switzerland was up and is a country of tunnels. In 2hrs we journeyed through a minimum of 20. I lost count. So far it has been the country Zed and I both agree we’d like to ex-pat to, if we were rich enough to do so. Their homes are unique and there are ranches everywhere.

The homes have huge roofs (guessing to manage the snow), numerous windows, and carefully decorated gables. They even decorate the under side of the roofs.

This is St Urban’s Abbey.

While in Switzerland we were also able to participate in a Latter Day Saint Temple Session. The Bern Temple was the first built in Europe.

Liechtenstein was a surprise for me. It was also our first passport stamp since being here, we did a few euros to get it. Our goal was to see Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein (from the movie A Knight’s Tale), instead we walked into their Carnival parade.

Now it was time for Austria. We ventured through a 8.5mi long tunnel that allowed us to bypass a mountain pass. One of the most interesting things we saw was a car from Swaziland. How it got there we’re still wondering. There were also wooden huts scattered throughout and we never could research a good answer as to what they were.

Germany brought us to the end of our journey. We stayed at the base of Neuschwanstein Castle and Zed dropped me off at my work location the next morning (another blog post will be coming on that). We were able to see the Zugspitze (the tallest point of Germany) and a few avalanches.

The trip was amazing. A great time to spend together and see new things. We were blessed with safety and clear roads both in weather and traffic. Enjoy the few pictures I took and stay tuned for more adventures. -S

NATO 101 with Sam and Zed

I had the opportunity to go to a course in Southern Germany to learn more about NATO and it’s interactions with different nations. I learned a ton, but the best part was having a class made up of 26 nations, and not all were NATO members. To learn how Ukraine views current world issues versus Denmark is just one example. Throw in my US mindset and a Dutch opinion and dinner conversation was never dull.

Part of the course allowed the opportunity to independent study. I used the opportunity to sight see.

My trip to the Disney castle was worth it. Unfortunately pictures inside are not allowed. It is worth the ticket price. Interesting note, the castle has been a museum since 6wks after King Ludwig’s mysterious death.

I also visited Kolfel mountain in Oberammergau, Germany where the story of Hansel and Gretel comes from. The story goes that a witch lives in the mountain and there are numerous documentations of kids going out to play and never coming back.

Oberammergau is a unique village situated in a valley. When the village was hit with the Plague the town promised God that if it would stop spreading and spare lives they would always do a Passion play. The Plague ceased and the people have put on the Passion play every 10yrs following. This is the longest running Passion play in the world. It has become so largely attended that only those born in Oberammergau or those who have lived there for a minimum of 20yrs are allowed to be actors.

The opportunity to learn more about my job, but also other nations perspectives is one I am so grateful to have gotten. Not bad to get it, and see Neuschwanstein either. -S

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Getting to Sleep

How did you sleep last night? How do you usually sleep? We all can answer these questions through personal experiences we have each evening. Some of us have done the rotating shifts in our career days, remember those 11-7 days? I personally remember some 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM shifts. They seemed to screw me up more than anything.

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I’m always amazed when I’m flying somewhere and I look to an aisle ahead of me and there’s a peaceful soul, eye mask on, mouth open, a bit of spittle in view and dead asleep. “Really”? Why the hell can’t I do this. I’ve been across the pond to Europe a few times, England, Ireland and, Germany, should anyone be interested. I would be willing to bet I’ve had less than one hour of sleep collectively.

I recently got a new Fitbit. I track my steps, heart rate, for messages I get a buzz alert and the message scrolls across the Fitbit face. I’m kinda old, need cheaters to read and, never find my glasses fast enough to read the message, but it’s there. The thing will tell me my active minutes during the day, remind me to move periodically and give me a calorie burn.

What I find is the neatest thing is, it can track my sleep during the night and daily activity. It tells me if I’m awake, in Rem sleep, light sleep and, deep sleep. On getting out of bed this morning, I learned I was awake eight different times during the night. Bad weather, bad bones has been my nemeses for many years. Wasweather coming through the reason?

The below web site has a great video by Matthew Walker on the secrets of sleep. The video is a short five (5) minutes long. Hey, if it helps you gain a few more hours of sleep, take a look.

https://www.businessinsider.com/get-a-good-nights-rest-sleep-expert-fall-asleep-quicker-tips-health-science-2018-1

As for me and the Airplane, I’ve tried everything. I’ll stick to a Bloody Mary (1), a couple of movies and a three-hour nap on landing, to take care of the Jet Lag.

Have a great day, and, sleep well tonight.

A Grandaughter’s Share for the New Year

In order to put more information out in the Electronic Hemisphere, I’ve adapted to sharing loved one’s posts from the Netherlands. Thanks to granddaughter Samantha who gets to live there for a few years with husband Zed, ( I call him Sir Zedsalot), and their 4 Children, she provides me with ammunition of the written word to use. Sam has provided some great travel info and photos in this post, enjoy. Happy New Year all!      theRooster

Tasting Tray of Tarter Sauces

January 4, 2019 / Leave a comment

Though the title only really applies to one lunch Zed and I have had over the past 2 weeks it also explains our holiday break pretty well. We tried a little of a lot and saw some new things. Enjoy the long, but fun post to follow.

We spent an entire day in Maastricht, NL while the kids were at daycare. If you’ve been to Georgetown, MD imagine a European version and that’s Maastricht. Their Christmas market was still going, but everything was on sale! We rode the Ferris Wheel, walked the shopping district and ate at a small burger place named FAB (Famous American Bistro). Sharing 5 sliders and some deep fried Mac & Cheese we felt a little piece of home, except for the glass bottled waters.

The church on the left has been restored from the 1700s to its original painted color and structure. The church on the right is from the 1500s.

View of Maastricht from the top of the Ferris Wheel.

Another view from the Ferris Wheel of the two really old churches.

This book store has taken up residence in an old church. The vast cathedral houses three stories of books in a multitude of languages.

Zed and Ana went shopping at Rammstein, aka as American as you can get in Europe. They saw Mary Poppins, bought discounted Christmas decorations, and visited Bastogne.

New Year’s Eve Day, we stayed local as I had about 5hours to play in between my shifts. Heerlen is where our ward building is located, but also a really neat town close to home. We enjoyed the site, shopping, and some yummy sushi before I headed back in to work.

These bricks are found in the sidewalk outside of buildings Jews lived in. They say the name, the birth year, when they were deported, when they died, and the camp they were sent to.

During the winter a sledding hill and ice rink are set up in the square.

Pock marks from bullet holes can be seen in the bell tower left over from WWII.

New Year’s Eve was quiet inside our home, but the Dutch sure know how to celebrate. The firework display was a 360 degree show that lasted from 11pm to 3am. This display was put on by everyone, but us. We were not aware that to live in the Netherlands you are obligated to set off fireworks on New Years…we have learned for next year. The fireworks set off also are not able to be purchased in the US. The rockets are large and fuses short.

Jan 2nd brought another date day where we got to test out our new GoPro at the indoor ski slopes. Completing 12 runs in two hours, we were pretty tired and ready for some lunch. Back to Maastricht we went to enjoy some Fish and Chips at Jack White’s. Here is where the title of this post comes in. We enjoyed gourmet fish with a tray of five different sauces to choose from. Zed ordered the cod battered in the traditional seasoning. I got Mackerel battered in various herbs. Our tarter sauces consisted of traditional tarter, curry lime, spicy beetroot, mango, and garlic. The mango was our favorite and the garlic made an amazing dip for the chips. It was at this restaurant we learned the best way (cheapest) to drink out is to order the largest water they have and split it. We also stopped in a costume shop to begin our Carnival costume planning. Here’s what Zed is considering.

The 3rd, on a whim we went to Trier. This is the oldest town in all of Germany with many Roman ruins still present. We ate in a historic cellar that displayed numerous crests from the region. Unfortunately both of our phones were unusable halfway through the day so we didn’t get pictures of everything…guess we’ll just have to go back. We intend to bring family as they come to visit because we enjoyed the town so much.

One of the many churches in the town. I am standing at the opposite side of the square in order to capture the full height…at least 12 stories.

Better lighting and side view of the same cathedral.

Inside the Constantine Basilica. The most interesting thing to me here was the history of the church. In the history it explains how many times the church was rebuilt (at least 5) due to different ownerships. The most recent reconstruction of the Basilica was due to “the necessary consequences from the Nazi era”. The altar is the place of the previous Roman Emperor’s throne. It was the plainest church we saw in Trier, but according to the guide “it has been divested of its former pomp and splendor. Marble and treasures have no place in it.” The guide made us wonder who was responsible for writing it due to the blunt nature of the words.

Ironically, this is connected to the back side of the Basilica. Covered in pink paint, gold leafs, and Roman statues the electoral college had ownership of the building at one time. This opens up into what I can imagine is a gorgeous garden in the spring and summer time complete with fountains and reflection pools.

Porta Nigra. The one remaining port entry gate from the Romans, there were a total of 4. This is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. My first ever to visit.

After this picture my phone died. We also saw the amphitheater which felt much life a Division 1 football stadium and the main bath house. Oh, and we did some shopping of course.

We put some miles on our shoes, checked a few stops off the bucket list, and enjoyed some quality time as a couple. Because of these small trips, Zed and I have realized we need to make a list of places to visit based on driving distance so as we have a random day or long weekend off we can hop in the car and go.

I’ll be sure to have a phone charger in the car and the GoPro always prepared from here on out so you don’t miss any of our travels.

-S

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

A Visit to Maryland from North Carolina

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The author of https://amehrling.com/ center, Anne Mehrling with husband John on the right and the Rooster’s wife Mary Agnes and, our trusty K-9, Benjamin Franklin after the Mehrling’s  stopped by on a trip from North Carolina to Long Island, NY.

 

The Rooster and his wife were so appreciative to have the Mehrling’s stop by on their trip north today. We have followed Anne’s blog for a number of years, and she has followed mine. We have been known to frequently respond with comments towards each other’s writings. Although time committments didn’t allow the visit to be lenghthy, it was wonderful none the less, in meeting the person holding the pen. Well, the hand punching the keys at any rate.

I’ve grown to know the family through Ann’s Blog, as well as the growth of eight year old neighbor Logan and others who live close by. It’s simply amazing how the blogging world brings people together. This one short visit and life’s event sharing, paints the picture further and fills the gaps not said in a Blog.

Several days earlier I had mentioned to our eldest daughter of the pending visit. My daughter inquired, what we would do if they turned out to be Cereal Killers? No worry’s here I assured her. The only thing that turned out to be dead was their car. Seems the van they rode in was a rental with NY plates. Anne has written several times lately about their own van. It died on them once at a Funeral Home, (how appropriate)  and, most recently needed a jump to get started. Turns out this was something I cautioned her about recently. Just yesterday she wrote in an email about their coming trip the following,  “To set your mind at rest — we got a new battery for the car this morning.  Yes, it helps my mind, too”. The cereal killer got the van my daughter.

So I’ll end this Blog with a most appreciative, thank you Anne and John for taking the time out of your busy schedule to vist with us. You are more than the fingers walking across the keys. We call you our friends and look forward to returning the visit, The Rooster and wife.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

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From our house to yours, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

A trip to Connecticut

When the wife and I say we want to go home, the place we always refer to is, Connecticut. We especially loved Connecticut in the fall. We would go to football games in Storrs on a Saturday and watch Uconn back in it’s Yankee conference days. They’ve gone big time today playing D-1 athletics in a big stadium in East Hartford. They happen to be loosing a lot lately also.

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Uconn-Icenter photo

We loved watching the tree’s turn colors. Our old neighbor’s, the Anderson’s, had a giant Maple that would turn the most beautiful shades of oranges and reds.

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Not the same tree, but it could be a twin.

Neighbors would bond while splitting firewood to burn in our stoves through the coming fall and winter. The smell of smoke would permeate in the air from those stoves. Ghosts and goblins would run through the local cemetary dating back to the 1600’s. On All-Hallow’s-Eve, back in the day when the children were young, this was a place which holds memories for a lifetime. With the coming of darkness, thoughts ran wild for those sitting on the stones, while stories were told. At times even the adults were taken aback with the frightful image of a translucent ghost moving among the headstones in the rear of the cemetary. Yes Vi Cordner, you pulled a good one on us that year.

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Bamforth Rd. cemetary, Vernon, CT

I helped coach a midget football team back in the day, the late 70’s. We always had a travel game to Portland, CT. On the return home from the game we would stop at the old cider mill in the town of Glastonbury. We would walk among the trees. we could smell the apples on the ground, and the Buzzing of the Bees that never bit you in that time of the year. All those adventures are rekindled in my memory as I write this post. A few gallons of the finest Apple Cider would be purchased that day, along with a half basket of apples. Once back home, a tasty apple pie would not be far behind. Take a deep breath in from your nose, can you smell it baking in the oven? 

Glastonbury today has many farms and agricultural resources, just click on the site below to view them.

http://www.glastonbury-ct.gov/departments/department-directory-a-k/health-department/better-health-initiatives/glastonbury-farms-and-resources

Connecticut is also home for the last steam powered cider mill in the U.S.

From their web site, I cut and paste to you, Clyde’s Cider Mill:

Welcome to B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill, WHERE TRADITION IS VERY IMPORTANT

Clyde’s Cider Mill is located in the small village of Old Mystic, CT. B.F. Clyde’s started making Hard Cider in 1881.

The apples for our Hard Ciders and Apple Wines come from local orchards and are pressed into juice here at our Mill. The juice is then pumped directly into oak casks in the Mill’s cellar, where it is fermented and ages for up to 3 years. Our Ciders and Apple Wines are still, in keeping with the tradition of cider makers of long ago.

Tradition is very important to us here at Clyde’s. In 1898, Frank and Abby Clyde built the Victorian style building and purchased the machinery still in use today.

We are the last steam powered cider mill in the U.S. today. In 1994, Clyde’s was designated a National Historic Landmark.

We are open from September thru late December. With our cider press operating in the Fall.

Take a StepBACK IN TIME

A visit to Clyde’s Cider Mill is like stepping back in time. Come see the only steam powered cider mill in the U.S..

We start our season in September with our hard ciders and apple wines, jams, jellies, local honey, maple syrup, fudge, and what many people call “The best sweet cider on Earth”! Also available in the Fall are apples, apple pies, pumpkin bread, gourds, Indian corn, pumpkins, candy apples, kettle corn and apple cider donuts.

So take a break from the ordinary and come visit a National Historic Landmark and see the 6th generation of Clyde family making cider just like B.F. Clyde did in 1881.

http://clydescidermill.com/

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

The Day the Pilot Died

It’s a Saturday, September 1, 2018, and I have to plan my day wisely. I’m going off on a trip. I must ensure that Ben, our two-year-old Standard Poodle will be looked after later today. I shall be off to Philadelphia International Airport, shortly after noon. My wife and daughter will be arriving from their ten-day trip to Germany, via Dublin. I call Granddaughter Abby, she will be around she says, and will tend to Ben’s needs. Dang, she’s a good one, that Abby.

 

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Pinterest Photo

 

I do all the routine housekeeping chores, dishes, laundry, trash, and load it in the car for deposit at the refuse station on the way out. I dig out the vacuum, use it to clean, all is in order. The bed is made, a beautiful bottle of Chardonnay is on Ice, and the favorite glass is being chilled in the freezer.

Around 12:30 I head over to the daughter and son-in-law’s and swap cars, mine is a bit small, comfort and luggage storage are paramount for these two travelers. I transfer the bag of trash to drop off and head out for PHL at 12:45.

After dropping off the trash, I give a quick check to Flight Aware, a great App if you’ve never used it. You can check on a flight, and it shows you where it is on a map, departure time and ETA. I learn the flight is due to land in exactly three hours, thirty minutes early. I don’t need to fly, no pun intended, but I hope traffic moves well as I go up the road.

 

It’s smooth sailing up the Delmarva Peninsula to Dover, DE where I get on Route-1, a toll road, and once again traffic is rolling along quite well. Route-1 is a posted 65 mph roadway, and I hang with traffic moving at 75 mph. No problem I think, I’ll arrive in plenty of time.

Route-1 merges with I-95 in Christiana, DE, right at the massive traffic area of the Christiana Mall. There is also a lot of construction going on affecting the merge onto I-95. All northbound traffic comes to a complete stop. A plethora of ramps and roadways ahead and to the right, show bumper to bumper traffic, inching stop and go style.

95 split

I check my watch, 35 minutes until the plane is scheduled to touch down. I’m 29 miles from PHL and the GPS, after five minutes of inching long says it will be 35 minutes to PHL. After 5 or 6 minutes of this, I’m now onto the merge ramp for I-95 north; At this junction, there are lane closures to the far right. Things are not looking good.

If driving north, you can pretty much do three things at this location. You can go over the Delaware Memorial Twin Span Bridges to New Jersey, keeping to the right to do so. If you stay center to the next split, the right will take you up I-495 along the Delaware River, and this is what the GPS tells me to do. Being quite familiar with the area I choose to ignore the GPS and take the left fork, thanks, Yogi Berra. I’m going right through the center of Wilmington, Delaware. “Bingo” — I’m flying along once again, I’ll get there in plenty of time.

I-495 and I-95 merge outside of Wilmington at the Pennsylvania state line. The traffic slows down a bit here, and there is a left merge that comes into I-95 and slows things a bit more not too far up the road. I clear this point without incident and arrive at the airport with eight minutes to go. I smile at myself and say “Rooster, you done good.”

95 495 road sign

I find the well-marked Cell Phone Lot and slip into a Parallel parking spot. This will turn out to have been a good move. I roll the windows down, take out the key and put it into my pocket. I grab a book, I’ve just started to read, “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Gramm, and exit the car, a 2013, Honda, Pilot. I do a few exercises to loosen up an ailing Hip. Sitting for the past two-plus hour just did the body no good at all.

white Honda blog photo

My first alert on the phone comes in shortly after exercising, “landed” it says. I send a thumbs up. I check “Find Friends” I’m a Tech addict my wife tells me, she’s right of course. They are still sitting at the gate, and I set the little Who’s-E-Dingy that will alert me when they move. I go back to the book.

“Ding,” they’re moving. I can follow them as they move through Terminal A toward the Baggage Claim area. After a pause at the Lady’s Bathroom, they’re on the move again. It’s another fifteen minutes until I get the “Come get us” notification. I close the book, grab the keys out of my pocket and hop into the driver’s seat. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning; I’m getting my friend of 53 years back.

 

 

I fasten the seat belt, put the key into the ignition, put my foot on the brake, turn the key, turn the key, turn the key, Nothing!!!! The car is deader than the last squirrel that tried to make it across the road in front of me. What the? Ok, check everything, nothing on, I’m doing everything right, I know I am. Try again, again nothing. I work the horn, lights, windows and there is no power in the car, The Pilot is Dead, Dead, Dead.

Parked a few slots to my rear is a gentleman in a new Dodge pickup. I approach, ask if he has cables, and can give me a jump. Yes and yes he says. He saddles up inches from the driver’s door. I pull the hood latch, climb over the center console, no small feat for this seventy-five-year-old geriatric and exit the car. I pop the hood, and we hook up. I give it a few minutes to pull some power from the big Dodge. I return to the passenger’s side and once again climb the mountain that is the center console, and I return to the driver’s seat.

 

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Wimpy Jumper Cables

 

Into the ignition goes the key, I say a silent prayer, turn the key, and nothing happens once again. I’m thinking the big guy up above can’t hear me over all the noise from the big jets landing and taking off. I hit the horn, dead as a doornail. I holler out to the kind owner of the Dodge, let’s just let it charge for a few minutes. He gives me a thumbs-up. I sit for what seems a good five minutes. I get a text from the girls, “?”. I ignore it, try the key one more time, still nothing. “Crap,” I say.

I exit over Mount Console once again; I jiggle the hook-up on the Pilot, my new-found friend does the same on the Dodge. We chat a bit with the hope that more time will make things right. I learn he is from Lancaster, PA and picking up friends from the Mid-West. I’m all set to get more info on him when his phone rings. His guests have arrived, he must leave. He tells me he’s sorry, we unhook his cables, and he’s gone.

I call the girls and explain what’s been transpiring. I suggest they grab a cab and join me. They do and are with me in a matter of minutes, and fifteen dollars poorer. We hug, it’s so good to see them. I feel inept. These two have been up since ever, riding in a three-seat across airplane and are now standing in a parking lot in the ninety-degree heat with no promise of getting home any time soon.

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I make a useless call to AAA. It’s a holiday weekend you know. Philadelphia is always busy. I’m told, even more so over a holiday. William, very nice, very apologetic, very unhelpful dispatcher tells me the bad news. The best we can do sir is have someone there between 7:00 and 10:30 PM. It is now 5:45. I get an incident number and am told to cancel if something works out.

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I call the airport to inquire if roadside help is available. After some cockamamie story, I’m told NO, not to the cell phone lot, sorry. I murmur unprintables under my breath while daughter Kathryn rummages through the storage box under the rear seat. She brings out a set of heavy-duty jumper cables. Now we need to find a savior to hook up with.

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Heavy Duty Jumper Cables. I taught this Lady properly!

 

The daughter is entertaining the idea of getting a hotel room for the night. I’m going to try one more thing. I call the airport police. The dispatcher says she will check if one of the cars has a set of cables. If so she will send one to my area if they are available. Is this hope, I wonder.

I’m holding the cables, and I see him, a man in “Black.” He is a Black man, with Black Button down shirt, Black Pants, Black belt, shoes, and socks. He has a Black pencil mustache. “Need a jump,” he asks. I explain the previous attempt by the other good samaritan and his having to leave. My new friend says, “let’s give it a shot.”

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He returns to his vehicle, a Chevy Suburban, of course it’s Black! Once again as the previous Dodge owner, he pulls within inches of the driver’s door. We hook up the heavy-duty cables, and life once again begins to trickle into the Pilot, I hope. After five-plus minutes I climb once again over Mount Console and assume my position as Pilot of the Pilot. I turn the key, nothing. There is hope though, dashboard lights in all the colors of the rainbow come on, this is a first. I shout out the good news. Let us wait a bit longer my Man in Black says. I exit once again.

We chat, “a member of the cloth,” I ask. He chuckles, “no, Real Estate,” he says. I learn he’s from Pennsauken, NJ just down the road from Willingboro, where I went to High School. I reminisce about days gone by, fifty-six years worth to be precise. Time passes, the girls leaning on the guardrail close-by. After what seems like an eternity we agree to try once more. I’m feeling right about the life-blood that has been flowing into the pilot.

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Once again I climb over the console and assume the position, I’m feeling really good about a start this time. I make sure AC, radio and any other electrical draining devices are off. My foot is on the brake; I turn the key,——ignition, it starts! Thank you Lord, there is a Savior, and he is, All Black. There is a Rugby team from New Zealand of the same name, in case you didn’t know. They bought a beer for the wife some years back in Ireland, during the World Cup.

 

I leave the Pilot running, exit once again, over the mountain and through the door. We unhook, his phone rings, time to go he says, my pick-up is ready. I give this kind sole a massive hug of thanks, and we say good-bye.

Daughter Kathryn returns the cables and loads their luggage to the back. We call the Police and AAA and cancel future service calls. We are off to Eden, how appropriate is that name on this night. Eden, Md, God’s Country on the Eastern Shore, here we come.

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elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.