Posted by: Patrice | August 9, 2010

Yikes, August 8, 2010

I am way behind on my gratitudes, not living them, but writing them.

I miss it, I do, I let myself get way too far behind.  thankfully I have much to be thankful for.

I will try to catch-up:

18-day, 3600+ mile road trip with my friend NS.

Beautiful moments on the road, I had no idea Pennsylvania was so beautiful.  The trees are a richer green tinged with blue than IN,OH, VA, NC, SC, GA and FL.

There are tons of row houses in PA, I didn’t know that.

Valley Forge is awesome.  I love indoor-outdoor museum, historical activities.  I plan to go back, and to spend at least a day walking the trails, and picnicking with family and friends – don’t know when or whom, but is now on my list.

I walked on the same floor boards that George Washington once walked on!  I stood on the same hills and ground!

The Washington Memorial chapel at Valley Forge is amazingly beautiful.  I want to go back and sit and read a book there.

I enjoyed one of the best-ever museum/historic site gift shops at the Washington Memorial Chapel.  It was small, homey and had a table with a red-checked table-cloth for sitting and enjoying regular gift shop snacks, such as hot dogs and ice cream bars – all of which were inexpensive, but also for tasting homemade pumpkin, banana and other assorted breads and cookies – also offered at extremely inexpensive prices  They even had those huge dill pickles in a jar for $1 each.  It was just so pleasant.

Oh, and the Reading Terminal Market and all its interesting stands and menu options.  Sharing lunch with friends old and new, everyone open to share food, too!  The bes vegetable lasagna ever.  slice the vegetables as thin as possible, keep the sauce light and delicate – perfection.

Finding out that I was the first person that my two closest PCVs friends met in Philly, four years ago when we gathered with 46 other folks to head overseas for our Peace Corps assignments.  This vacation truly was a “Reunion Tour.”

Seeing or meeting:

B&C P: A great couple, who make living with seeming insurmountable challenges seem ordinary and just what you do.  And, they joke and smile all the time! 

E,P&C A:  Old friends in new places, who although the years have separated end-up walking in step with ease.  And enjoying the company of their-on-the-road, passing-through relatives on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Seeing Jesus F-P and the wonder that implies.

Sister G & husband, D, Nephew J, his wife S and adorable toddlers, T&C.  And, it all seems normal that he has kids the ages I remembering him doing some completely adorable things.  Bracelet making, and eating delicious homemade fare, including MK-trip  inspired frittatas. 

Sister Deb, and husband Tony, whose house we shared for two nights as we passed through Ohio. Love her ad her hospitality.

Marci & Jeff for opening their home to almost twenty of my friends and family.  Kids all playing together in the easy-summer way kids sometimes do!  Fruit salad-laden tables.  Home-made potato salad. Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and old friends reconnecting: M & J,J,J,J H; Sister D & T T: brother, J, S, A S; Sister B & G B; Niece, D & A Z, K, N H;  Friends C & Mom and GL.

A country-right day spent with my Dad and sister J, lunch and garage sale along the way.

Easy driving on the Ohio and PA turnpikes.  Riding by the deep-set back yard of my childhood home while driving on the OH turnpike.  Stopping for a break in the old, restored PA turnpike service plazas, still miss Howard Johnson type stops on OH turnpike.

Meeting AS, NS sister-in-law and best buddy.

Visiting Dao and meeting K & M, L & new baby C T.  Great family, so nice to strangers – 🙂 Loved hanging with LT.

Staying at SR in Philly along with Dao & MO.  Meeting T and enjoying his humor – watching Project Runway together, getting the man’s view.

Not knowing the difference between fake and real apples and the laughter that can bring.

Not seeing, but thinking of former sister-in-law & fam while driving through Fredericksburg – next time will arrange to stop in.

And, last but certainly in no way least – seeing my boys and their families and friends at J’s third birthday party.  Perfect.  Homemade salsa, black bean dp and baklava – even the phyllo dough was home-made.  Loved table-top talking with women from China, Kosovo, and with Albanian and Puerto Rican ancestry.

Seeing TK, NT,T & K, J,D K; L & L K, Friends R & J; great neighbors & family – C, H, E and D, B, Z, C.

Wow- is that not unbelievable?  18 days, 3600+ miles and 60+ family and friends.

That’s just some of the great memories.

Posted by: Patrice | July 27, 2010

Tuesday, July 27

Happiness through work.

Thai food and restaurant of friend of sister’s.  Pumpkin custard and Thai ice tea – mmm, good.

Shopping bargains.

Making bracelets.  Talking crafts.

Talking to a different niece – so nice.

Posted by: Patrice | July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26

Sisters, sisters!

Seeing nephews and nieces and little teeny adorable nephews – so wonderful to have time with extended family.

My sister’s house, walking into her kitchen in early a.m. is like walking into a warm and cozy B & B.  She has great taste and decorates, oh so well.  Lots of wood and fall colors with soft greens.

Fresh kale salad!  Who knew – lemon juice, olive oil, dried cranberries, pine nuts, and Roma tomatoes – sounds odd but great.

Keeping up with exercise on the road.

Posted by: Patrice | July 27, 2010

Sunday, July 25

Meeting PCV friend on the road from Chicago to Indy.

Wrong turns, backing the Caddy into a Micky D’s guard rail – and photographing cleaning-up the bumper damage with wet wipes.

Mexican food at 10 am.

Catching-up with someone you care about.

Back on the road, loved the drive and seeing those windmills again.

Changing cars, and heading to Sis.  Great time talking in the car and driving country roads.

 Weighted hula hoop  – so much fun and great exercise, too.

Posted by: Patrice | July 24, 2010

Saturday, July 24

Walking uptown in Park Ridge IL, in town where Hillary Clinton and Harrison Ford grew-up.  Sweet downtown area, great looking art deco movie theater.

Meeting family of friends, all sitting around eating together.

Beautiful, tranquil backyards, and the time to sit in them with people you care about and admire.

Stained-glass windows on houses, beautiful inside and out.

Curved wooden banisters, 1902’s wood floors, foot deep wooden windowsills, and thoughts of previous owners.

Manicured yards and black wrought iron fences and gates.

Posted by: Patrice | July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23

On the road again!

Windmills.  Looked like hundreds of ginormous white metal three prop windmills.  Awesome.

Country roads.

Crop dusting planes flying at the window and passing just above our car as we passed through the cornfields.

Friend’s house, cozy and nice in the woods outside of Lafayette, IN, home to Purdue U.

Posted by: Patrice | July 22, 2010

Thursday, July 22

Mist over the mountains in Tennessee.

Visiting the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky.  New stair-step meditative people prayer I created.

Having things happen unexpectedly that are on my life list- love that.  This trip will lead me to at least four I am aware of.

Posted by: Patrice | July 21, 2010

Wednesday, July 21

On the road- and loving it.  Out the door early, fun conversations on the way.

All of the coincidences in planning the trip and on the road. 

Having great phone conversations with one of my sisters and my Dad in the hotel.

Returning to places that have great memories for me.

Posted by: Patrice | July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20

Very early morning, lots done by 9 a.m.

Packing for a trip is always fun.

Love my work.

Posted by: Patrice | July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19

Meditation was mighty nice.

Fun and easy blog.

Errands accomplished.

Unexpected guest stopped by, nice to catch-up with GA.

Finished a book I was really enjoying, always bittersweet!

When TV sitcom characters seem real 🙂

Bachelorette, just love watching Ali!

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