Summer on the Lake

lake house 1958

The original summer bungalow.

Wow, where does the time go. I have been in northern NJ for two weeks. Oh my gosh I can’t believe I have stayed in one place so long. My niece gets married this weekend and then I will be on the move again. It has been fun to be at my sister’s and her husband’s house on the lake. It has been many years since I spent the Fourth of July here.

My sisters and I grew up on this lake. Originally it was owned by my grandmother Arnold and then my father. Each Memorial Day weekend we opened the house for the summer. My mother and the three of us would come here from Delaware for the summer. My dad would come on weekends. It is a very different house now than what it was then. It is hard to believe that this house has seen three generations in it.

When we were young it was a summer bungalow. It had a wood stove for heat, no insulation to speak of, running water and electricity.  There was also an outhouse in the garage and bath houses to change in. We spent a greater part of the day in water. It was a wonderful way to grow up.

the other side of my sister's home

Same house in current time

Today this house is lovingly owned by my sister, Ginny and her husband, Frank. It is a permanent year round home. Although it is their home we are always invited to come and enjoy the lake. Each of us girls has brought all those that are important to us here. I have come in the winter and in the summer. I love coming here and sitting on the grand front porch and look over the lake.

This year my niece, Adrienne and her fiancé, Jed had a Fourth of July party here. There were a few people from Germany and they wanted to show them what a typical and classic 4th was like. We grilled burgers and hotdogs. Everyone had to try out the new paddle board. We ended the day seeing the best fireworks I have witnessed. They were grand.

What made the party special for me is that a long time friend of mine from Philadelphia was able to come up and join the festivities. I treasure my friends. I treasure the time I get to spend with them, no matter how limited it might be. It was so much fun to catch up with Chris. We never run out of subjects to talk about. I like her company because we talk about what is important to each of us and it is respected. I am thankful for my friends.

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Today my sister, Ruth and her husband, Joe and my other niece, Brittany and her husband, Trip arrived. Tomorrow it is time for another picnic and even more people will be showing up. I am camped in my Roadtrek in the side yard. Elsie is with me. We are a team. Because of this sweet little home everyone has a bed to sleep in tonight. I like the fact that when I need a time out I can disappear to the side yard and hang out in my RT.

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She is in the back forty

I feel very thankful this week for family. We may not always see eye to eye but I think we always have each other’s back. Even if we disagree, we are always talking again, because we are family. When Jim died my sister, Ginny was on a plane to come to me when I needed someone most. That is what family and friends do for each other and I am so thankful that I had someone to rely on.

Shortly after the wedding I will be on the road again. I am planning on heading back into Canada. I want to see Nova Scotia and then I will be heading west and slowly towards home. More to come.

Today I am thankful for family, good friends, my kitty and my RT.

(127) Dad and the Girls  July 1955

Dad and the three sisters

Janet, Brittany, Ruth, Trip, Ginny

Janet, Brittany, Ruth, Trip, Ginny

Travels in New Jersey

Morning on the Lake

Morning on the Lake

I am still in New Jersey. I just can’t seem to stay out of hospitals. This morning I am sitting in the waiting room of the Morristown Hospital waiting. My brother-in-law is having a procedure done today and I am being my sister’s waiting buddy. Right now I have a lovely view of the trees. This is what you do in life. You support others. Even if the hospital is not my favorite place, well, here I am. At the moment this is the only place I could think of being. This day I am being thankful for a good medical system and all those people that work within it. I used to be one of them.

Duck on the Lake

Duck on the Lake

Eastern Blue Jay

Eastern Blue Jay

I have been really relaxing and enjoying my time here. The days have been a mix of rain and sun. For my western friends get this…they had 5 inches of rain yesterday. That is half of our annual average. I figure they need to build an aqueduct across the U.S. and send the water west. Well, that is not going to happen.

Jed, Adrienne, Janet, Ginny waiting at Shanghai Joe's

Jed, Adrienne, Janet, Ginny waiting at Shanghai Joe’s

Saturday I went into NYC, had a foot reflexology treatment in Chinatown with my sister and my niece, Adrienne, followed by the most delicious soup dumplings at Shanghai Joe’s. When I was younger NYC seemed to be so overwhelming and it was a major adventure to go into the city. Sunday we drove in and Adrienne’s boyfriend, Jed waited for us. It doesn’t seem to be a major event anymore. Even though I like the city no way could I imagine living there. It was fun to spend time with my family.

view of the Delaware & New Hope Toll Bridge built in 1814

view of the Delaware & New Hope Toll Bridge built in 1814

Sunday I spent in Lambertville, NJ on the Delaware River. This is a quaint little town that started as a mill town. Today it is known for it’s antiques and art. It also has one of the longest hiking trails in NJ. It follows the Delaware-Raritan Canal. When this canal was built it carried supplies and goods. Today it is a major outdoor recreation area. When I drove into the town I had a moment of longing for my road bike. There were bikes everywhere. Lambertville was the end of a bike race. It was a busy place.

Janet & Chris

Janet & Chris

Chris is one of those friends where we don’t see each other for years but when we do it is like we were together yesterday. She has always had my back. I remember years ago when I was in need of someone to talk to she was there. I can call her in the middle of the night and she will be there. I have learned over the past 3 years that friends do not need to  live close to love and support you. Chris has certainly been right there for Jim and myself. I am thankful for her unconditional support and on-going friendship, and that we always have a good time together.

Roadtrek in the Garden

Roadtrek in the Garden

My cute little Roadtrek continues to attract attention. It is parked in the garden at Ginny’s home. People who they haven’t seen in years are suddenly walking by the house. The mailman almost missed the boxes because he was checking out the RV. I have taken the neighbors for a ride. When I was in Lambertville, Chris and I spent a part of the afternoon sitting inside with the doors open, talking. I had 4 people stop by and ask about it. I am now starting a guest book. Who knew I would be so popular. The reality is I am not popular at all, the Roadtrek is. If all goes well I will be driving north this weekend.

Thinking of my friends, far and wide and being thankful.

Janet & Jim in Peru

Janet & Jim in Peru

Spending Time in New Jersey

US Capitol

There is never a bad photo of the US Capitol.

People seem to be wondering where I am.  Oops I guess it has been to long between blog postings. Traveling is fun. I was wondering before I started this trip if I would get road weary but that has not happened yet. It might helping that I am stopping after a day or two of travel. Visiting friends may have more than one benefit.

After getting lost in Washington DC, I spent two nights in the beach resort of North Beach. When I grew up in Delaware, if you went to the Chesapeake you went to the eastern shore. Until my good friend, Joy moved to North Beach I had never heard of the wonderful beachside communities within a few hours drive of Washington DC. It sits right on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. the town is small and diverse. a boardwalk goes along the bay. There are wonderful estuaries there.  Joy and I spent a greater part of our day together exploring Fish Creek. It was one of those picture perfect summer days that happens in August, no humidity, the temperature is perfect and the company superb. I saw water snakes, turtles and lots of birds. I also indulged in one of my favorite foods, Maryland crab cakes. There is nothing better than those crab cakes. I have been searching for a long time to find crab cakes like these on the west coast to no avail.

Janet & Joy

Janet & Joy

Joy and I have been friends since high school. Until I met her and some of her friends I had felt kind of alone. It feels like we became friends quickly and by the time I moved west she felt like a sister. We have had a few rough patches, yet through it all we have remained friends. I feel that one definition of a good friend is, even if it has been years since you have physically been in touch, when you get together on the same side of the country, you pick up where you left off. There is no awkwardness or hesitation. Joy, is that kind of friend. I know without one doubt that if I ever needed her she would be there. Joy has been loving and supportive to me over the past years and I appreciate her a lot. So what did we do besides wandering the estuary? We laughed and talked and ate and totally enjoyed our time together. It was so good. I am very thankful for such good and enduring friends in my life.

Redwing Blackbird

Redwing Blackbird

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Blue Heron

Osprey

Osprey

I am now in Northern New Jersey.  I am staying with my sister, Ginny and her husband, Frank. They own a beautiful home on Lake Lackawanna in the hills. This house started out as the house where I spent my summers growing up. Then it was a summer home we opened it on Memorial Day and closed it on Labor Day. It was such a fun place to spend the summer. I learned to dive and swim in the lake. I discovered boys here as well. It was called the summer bungalow. Now it is a very different looking and it is a year round home. what I like most about arriving here is that I find I can relax more. I sleep better. I love the big front porch and it when I am sitting out there that I realize there is nothing I have to do unless I want to. I will be here until the end of next week.

My Sister's Home

My Sister’s Home

Even though they live in the country we are about one hour from NYC. Tomorrow we are going to meet up with my niece and go into Chinatown and get reflexology treatments and have Dim Sum for dinner. I am looking forward to a day in the city with family.