On the road, week 1

Butterfly garden in State College, Pennsylvania.

Cogitation 40/217 Saturday 5 October 2019 Travel is fun, even when heavy traffic, road construction, adverse weather conditions, and weariness enter the picture.

One is grateful for new vistas, safe arrivals, and precious interactions with people.

Just like the cream that rose in the bottles of milk from my grandparent’s Jersey cow, many, many years ago, visits with friends, old and new, in their home communities brings the joy of travel to the very top, separating out the best part of the batch.

Such was the first leg of our multi-week trip to north eastern USA, parts of Atlantic Canada, and Ontario. Henceforth, week 1.

Ohio, Interstate 30

We left home in Indiana on a foggy Monday morning and stayed overnight at a motel in Ohio, en route to State College, Pennsylvania.

Late bloomer greeted us at a rest stop along US 30.

Pennsylvania, Route 80

Tribute to the Seneca Nation at a rest stop near Sharon, PA.
How sweet it was to get off traffic-heavy US 80 and find our way to lunch in the village of Foxburg, PA.
View south of the Allegheny River from the Allegheny Grill. We shared a lunch of salmon and salad, complemented with a chocolate and espresso from a nearby chocolate/coffee shop. No time for the winery. On our way rejoicing.
We’re on interstate 80, either at or near the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Fall is making its appearance.

State College, PA

We’re taking in the scene on a walk in 80 degree weather with friends Frank and Evelyn Pope in State College. We covered 8 miles by the end of the day, including a stop on campus at the Creamery, a famous ice cream shop. Rules: one size, no mixing flavors.
I think this is a view toward Mount Nittany from one of our walks in State College.
From The Snetsinger Butterfly Garden at Tom Tuder Memorial Park, dedicated in recognition of the volunteer service of Robert “Butterfly Bob” Snetsinger, PhD, 2011.
View across campus from the entrance to the university’s botanical garden. Garden blooms and vistas below.
A wedding venue overlooking Nittany Valley.
Leaving State College en route to Lansdale, PA.

Landsdale, PA

A path through the woods at Dock Woods Retirement Community where we are staying with long-time friend Marcia. We had dinner with a number of Marcia’s friends and also had lunch with long-time friends Hubert and Mary. The hours have been filled with fine food, laughter, reminiscing, a bit of commiserating on what it means to grow deeper in our encore years, more stories, more laughter, a special birthday party last night.
Hickory nuts, hickory shells, overlooked by a walnut. Hubert said he has enough hickory nuts to keep him cracking all winter.
A tasty sliver of cake complemented the extraordinary meal with family for friend John’s 80th birthday party. We’ve covered many miles with the Parker family for more than 40 years, coming to learn that friendship knows no end.
John Parker surrounded by grandchildren at his milestone birthday party. Delightful crew.
Wreath that Marcia and her daughter Lisa crafted, among other decorations, on Marcia’s front porch.

This morning we had scrambled eggs, bacon and an English muffin for breakfast. Marcia had some preserves from the Small Batch, Big Taste company. One was Habanero Honey Peanut Butter. It’s an interesting mix of two strong flavors with the mildness of honey. I like it; I like its intensity, even though it would not be my every-day-go-to breakfast staple. It will not put marmalade, blackberry and strawberry jam out of business.

Time for another coffee.

That’s a slice from Week 1. Next destination: Boston.


4 thoughts on “On the road, week 1

  1. Hi John. I’m enjoying your weekly blogs. Just wondering if you could answer this question for me? Tomorrow I am on a panel of 4 talking about Technology, at our church. I am the oldest and the youngest is 16. One question is “How can technology be used for the glory of God and extension of his kingdom? I am reminded of how our church services were like 65 years ago. When I spent the night at Grampa Benders I would go with them early to church, as they were the caretakers. I remember it being very cold when we arrived. Do you know if it was heated by wood in those days? Any ideas? Thanks, Ruth

    Sent from my iPad



    1. Hi Ruth. So good to hear from you. Grandpa Solomon, whom we called Pop, fired up the furnace with wood. We sometimes rode to church with them and Grandma would give us a mint with the caution, “Eat it before church.”
      As to use of social media, I’d want to listen to the 16-year-old, before I’d have anything to say. What I’d have to say applies to all media: listen, respond with courtesy, seek common understanding, where disagreements arise reply with understanding, empathy, and affirmation befitting the other as a beloved child of God, even in the face of a rejection of your point of view. With social media too many people end up being used by the medium rather than using it for good purpose. All the best!


  2. My question has been answered. I was wondering where you are at in your travels. Now I know. Looking forward to hear big about your next week.


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