The home of the brave… in??? of course, now I remember, the land of the free, in our case Northeastern PA. I hope, and of course sincerely wish, that your July 4th was one of nostalgic remembrance of our national struggles, in the past, in the present, probably in the future; which of course, we shall overcome, or did someone else use that? No matter, I think he stole it from an old Southern song.The point of this, if it is such, I enjoyed one day off, did remember why, and hope you did the same, or even better.
What did we do on that memorable day in our national calendar, somber reflection, watch a village parade, or add a day to our vacation time? Knowing us, as I am sure you do by now, your razor-sharp perception quickly honed in on the correct answer, we took a day of vacation in addition to my week off, due me as an employee benefit.
That being said, we could have visited many of the artifacts from the beginning of our country now residing in Philadelphia, but we didn’t, perhaps on some more propitious occasion. But no, we migrated to that land of sea and shore, to say nothing of the boardwalk, which is, of course, Ocean City, New Jersey.
Our choice of place and time was close to being great, but not, unfortunately in our case; we stiffened our upper lip, accepted the finality and infidelity of weather, and dealt with a cold and windy day. Fortunately, it was not a dark and stormy night, I just had to say that. Forgive my addiction to clichés, it is a weakness I admit. Our last day at the campsite bombarded us with rain in the morning; however the God of weather gave us an armistice in the afternoon and the clouds left us, at least partly. Old Sol did favor us most of the week and we did soak up some rays on the beach.
This year, we departed from our traditional norm and stayed at a different trailer campsite. Our site was impossible, perhaps even impregnable to set our trailer into. Fortunately, our situation was not unique.
The owner, the stout chap that he was; owned a backhoe with a trailer hitch mounted in the front of the vehicle. With this configuration, spotting our trailer was child’s play, assuming one with an adequate training in the use of this vehicle, to set us on our site upon our arrival and out as we departed the sunny shores and tempting boardwalk of Ocean City for our journey to home sweet home, a.k.a. Coopersburg.
How is your German today? If so, here is a couplet for you; “Regnen Tropften, auf mein fenstern cloptfen.” or in English “Raindrops dropping on my window.” That they did, however, the rainbow, if you looked for it in a symbolic sense was, with time at my disposal, and being restless caused by the inclement weather, decided to fix, repair, and improve our trailer anticipating another trip in late August.
While in NJ, we took a side trip and visited the Somers Pt. Atlantic County Historical Society. We enjoy little outings such as this with some personal surprises for me at this one. We were talking with the volunteer who was showing us around, finding that she was of Swedish ancestry as am I. More than that, she had visited Bornholm Island, Denmark, the home of my Danish ancestors, and she thought very highly of it. Her companion in the museum was also of Nordic descent, sort of old home week. We learned that many of the residents in this area are also of Scandinavian descent. Small world indeed.
The forthcoming trip at the end of the next month will be a joint venture in traveling, this time with friends of Marge, whom I had never met. Upon our return to normal life in Coopersburg, we were very angered to find obscenities scrawled on our driveway. This nasty greeting was perpetrated before, last time done in paint.
Our neighbor, who was a slum landlord in Allentown has children somewhat older than ours, and teenage boys often gather there. Naturally, I suspect one or more of these delinquents as the desecrators of our drive, but alas, can prove nothing. White Trash all in my opinion and, naturally, I reported the latest incident to our one local police officer, also notifying him of the dates of our next absence, not that I believe this will do much good, just stating something for the record; at least I hope this is duly documented in writing. We had no further incidents, so perhaps the local police had a little talk with the likely offenders.
Margery as our head (and only) cook and menu planner, has for some time now, wanted to buy a home freezer to aid her in having more diversity in her familial role. Of course, I want to please her but did wonder about the additional cost of purchasing a freezer and the added electricity it would need to run. We have been partners in our life together for about 15 years and to tell the truth, I should be more responsive to reasonable requests; so we bought our first freezer. I believe that my concern for cost as a first priority is a value I picked up from Dad. It isn’t a bad value at all, but in a marriage, sharing is more important and I can improve in this dimension of our life together.
Summer will soon be ending, and with it, more fresh fruits and vegetables; I am certain that Marge can use the freezer to take advantage of this summer seasonality. All of us enjoy eating beef, Western beef of course, as that is popular in the East, and vice versa for reasons unknown to me. With the freezer, we can buy larger quarters of beef, maybe even a small half. Costly? Sure at the butcher shop, but worth the cost with the variety of cuts readily available and already paid for. Marge had a good idea, I am glad we got this freezer. It lasted at least 30 years though it was not self-defrosting, which was messy and a lot of trouble particularly as we aged. We bought a new one, and the Power Company took the old one away for recycling and gave us a check for $50.
After Marge died, I kept the freezer for a while, but it no longer made sense since I cook very simply, and having a freezer was only a temptation to stock up on food that would be frozen much too long to taste good. It is now gone to freezer heaven via the Power Company, and I do fine with the one that is part of my refrigerator.
After we married, I signed up for a woodworking class in Syracuse. It was poorly equipped and poorly taught. As I mentioned before, I signed up for an excellent course in Allentown and enjoyed working with wood until we moved to the present house, where there is no room for my tools, though now I have a lot of time. But, back to July past; I refinished some of our wooden chairs and they look really fine.
Suburban living in a brick ranch-style house suited us, though the 1/2 acre lot required lawn mowing in the summer and the rain this month stimulates growth, but inhibits mowing. So, I could not make hay while the sun shone, as the proverb goes, but I did cut grass in the sun when available. In the photo above of the house and present owner, you can sense the uneven character of the lawn. Were it not for the downturn in the economy, and my perception of being in a dead-end job, I would like to live there still. At this stage in life, I would have to rely on help to mow grass in the warm weather and remove snow in winter; so with that perspective, the move to Las Vegas was a good decision.
Louise enjoyed an extended birthday this year. It was so extended that it crossed the border into New Jersey. Marge and I, and Ingrid brought some presents to present to her on her actual birthday. We also went out for birthday dinner at a nice restaurant in Ocean City. Upon our arrival home, she did have some presents waiting for her from family members. Louise had a small party with some of her school friends later in the week which completed her birthday for this year.
The oil shock of last year has slowed the economy in our area, as it has in most of the country; resulting in much reductions in new customers for PP&L. Attrition is now the word of the day, no new positions, and no replacements for retirements, death, etc. The only good news is that there have been no layoffs and/or forced retirements.
Another month gone by, not exceptional but pleasant. Our children are growing and learning, we shared vacation time together, bought a new major appliance and continued to enjoy our life in Pennsylvania.
P.S. Above images from Google Images