Sacred Spaces, Historical Places in Stone Arabia NY

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I thought I'd take a break (and give you a break) from the road trips and farms on the blog....at least for today.....and share something a little different.  Still in the country, and still in the Stone Arabia neck of the woods, today I want to share a bit of history in the form of a beautiful church, the Dutch Reformed Stone Church of Stone Arabia. 


We happened upon this beautiful church on our very first road trip through Stone Arabia, which wasn't difficult because it sits proudly on Route 10, just a short step away from the Trinity Lutheran Church.  The Stone Church, as you see it today, was built in 1778, it's rectangular structure built of cut limestone blocks at a cost of $3,378.  The original church, as well as the original Trinity Lutheran Church were both destroyed by Loyalists in the Great Raid of 1780 in the Revolutionary War (the Battle of Stone Arabia).
Notice the Trinity Lutheran Church to the right of the Stone Church.



On our most recent visit, we were tickled when we stopped for a photo and discovered the church to be open to visitors.  Come on inside and let me show you around!









The Stone Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  Services were held in the church until 1990.  The Register lists the church's builder, architect/engineer as Philip Schuyler but I was unsuccessful in my research to determine if that was THE Philip Schuyler. 


 Behind the church is the Colonel Brown's Cemetery, 18th century burial site of Colonel Brown and others who lost their lives in the Revolutionary War Battle of Stone Arabia.   Finding a place like the Stone Church always adds a little excitement and adventure to our excursions!  According the the Montgomery County website, the church is open on Sundays from 1:00-4:00pm.  Check it out for yourself.  

Thanks for coming along on this tour of the beautifully preserved Stone Church in Stone Arabia.  To see another beautiful, sacred space from that same time period, just a short ride away, check out my earlier blog post featuring the The Palatine Lutheran Church, Erected in 1770.  Just click the title to read the story and see this beautiful church.   To see much more of the beautiful area known as Stone Arabia, check my DIRECTORY under Destinations-NY. Come back soon for more adventures in Life As I See It.
Palatine Lutheran Church

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
{Email}
Add a comment »

The Birthplace of Benedict Arnold and Cabbage Patch Dolls - Amsterdam NY

Sunday, October 15, 2017


What do you think of when you think of Amsterdam NY?  In the 19th century, Amsterdam was known for carpet, textile and pearl button manufacturing.  It continued to be a center for carpet making in the 20th century and was also well known as the birthplace for Cabbage Patch dolls in the 1980's.   But Amsterdam began long before Cabbage Patch dolls.  The name Amsterdam was derived from the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.  Dutch immigrants were the first to settle here in 1710.  They called the community Veeders Mills and Veedersburgh after Albert Veeder, an early mill owner. After the American Revolutionary War, many settlers came from New England. Anglo-American residents changed the name to Amsterdam in 1803.  According to Wikipedia: It was incorporated as a village on April 20, 1830 from a section of the Town of Amsterdam. New charters in 1854, 1865, and 1875 increased the size of the village. In 1885, Amsterdam became a city, which subsequently increased in size by annexation of the former village of Port Jackson on the south side of the Mohawk River; it became the fifth ward of the city. The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 was an economic boom to the city, which became an important manufacturing center. It was known for its carpets. In 1865, the population of Amsterdam was 5,135. By 1920, it was 33,524. Through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a destination for immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, who initially worked in the factories.


Outside the city limits, the town of Amsterdam, along with the town of Florida and the town of Glen provide a stark contrast from the city scape of Amsterdam.  I suspect it's not these parts of Amsterdam you think of when you think about Amsterdam.  We've come to love this part of Montgomery County, so today when we wanted to pay a visit to our favorite shop in Montgomery County - the Garden Bug (The Garden Bug Facebook Page) - we had to take a drive through our favorite farm country there.  Most of the photos may look familiar to you because I've shot them during every season now.  I've gotten hooked on capturing the same venues, season after season, and I find it fascinating to compare how very different a season changes the appearance of something as simple as a barn.  Whatever the season, I think you'd agree, this area is worth re-visiting.




I loved the lime green grass on the top of the hill.



The farm on the left in the distance is the farm in my lead photo.

And yes....I'm obsessed!


An Amish farm and perhaps an outhouse with a view!





Location, location, location - what a view!

Looks like 3, but look again ... 4 grazing cows.

Also photographed in my last Amish series except since today is Sunday, a day of rest, no Amish were working on the wood pile.


Things aren't always as we imagine and places aren't always what we picture.  We often make assumptions about places, or people, based on old or incomplete information.  Sometimes things are really much more interesting than we assume and sometimes places are much different than you thought.  Amsterdam is one of those places.  I hope one day you'll venture off the beaten path and explore the back roads of Montgomery County and experience for yourself just how special this area is!  And don't forget to stop by the Garden Bug for all your home and garden needs! 

 You'll love it! Thanks for reading.  Come back soon for more back road travel on our recent trips to Schoharie, Chatham, Vermont, Easton and much more!  Don't forget...you can be sure to never miss a post just by leaving your email in the Subscribe box ......SUBSCRIBE HERE  For more blog posts about this area, check out my DIRECTORY under Destination-NY.  P.S. You should know that it's not THE Benedict Arnold....it's Benedict Arnold (1780-1849) a congressman named after THE Benedict Arnold. ;)  And....to be clear.....Cabbage Patch dolls are now manufactured in Georgia, the home state of Xavier Roberts, the inventor of the famous dolls.  Also.....facts on Amsterdam were (as I mentioned earlier) all taken from Wikipedia.

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
{Email}
Add a comment »

Learning to Feel Gratitude in a Conflicted and Troubled World

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately.  Not that I haven't considered it before, I have, everyday.  I was raised in a time when I was taught to write thank you notes.  My paternal grandmother was big on things like that.  Many were big on that sort of etiquette in that time.  I tried to instill that habit into my girls - the importance of acknowledging a gift or other form of kindness - for two reasons: it makes the giver feel good and it makes you, the receiver, feel good.  Hopefully if you take the time to thank someone for something, it's not just out of obligation, it's because you have appreciated their kindness and their kindness really means something to you. Also, you are less likely to forget it. In other words, when we truly make note of someone's kindness, we feel grateful and when we take time to acknowledge their kindness - they feel good.  Know what I mean?  Sadly I'm afraid we live in a world today where so much is taken for granted.

I think Oprah made gratitude trendy in her magazine several years ago.  Today you can find rustic signs for your home with words like 'thankful' and 'gratitude' on them all over the internet and in every store and boutique.  Gratitude is definitely an IN word today.   But do we really feel gratitude?  And what are we feeling gratitude for?  If you ask a little kid what they're grateful for they'll answer things like: my mom and dad, my pet, superheroes.  If you ask an adult they might answer with things like: my job, my health, my family.  All of these are definitely things we should feel grateful for but I think we can lengthen that list and I'll explain how.  

Have you noticed that as a society we have gotten a little discouraged?   It's easy to look at such devastation and feel gratitude that it's not our own lives we're watching on TV.  But it's also pretty easy to feel down and hopeless listening to the daily news.  We seem to be a country divided in our opinions...when it comes to politics and beliefs in general.  It seems on any given day on social media people are enthusiastically bickering, and so conflicted over so many things.  Such emphasis on freedom of speech has fueled that fire, along with the safety shield of our computer screen.  What we were once afraid to say out loud, we now feel justified and emboldened to say - because we can.  I'm not saying we shouldn't have opinions, but I think all of these opinions have hardened us a bit.  We're walking around feeling  privileged, and entitled. We're convinced our opinions are the correct opinion and we're not ashamed to voice that opinion - everywhere.  There was a time when we'd keep that opinion to ourselves and respect that someone else had a different opinion.  I think I liked us better when we were softer and when the emotions that filled us were kinder and less outspoken, when instead of debating with others, we listened and respected their differing opinions.  What does this have to do with gratitude?  Well, it's kind of hard being open to emotions like kindness and gratitude when our hearts are full of anger and frustration.  It becomes easier to overlook the good stuff in our lives when we're so focused on winning debates.  Think about it.  

How can we fix this?  I have an idea.  I know we don't normally begin to focus on gratitude in earnest until November in the days leading to Thanksgiving, but I want to challenge you to focus on it early.  I also want you to lower your gratitude barometer, meaning I want you to begin to feel gratitude for smaller things.  For example, the next time you get to the front of the grocery store and there aren't long lines, feel gratitude for that.  How about the next time you're driving someplace and running late and you luck out and get all green lights or even mostly green lights - feel gratitude for that.   Why can't you feel grateful for that night that you didn't have to get up to pee and you got to sleep all night?  Maybe that person at work who gets on your last nerve actually didn't today....gratitude.  Part of feeling gratitude is paying attention to these types of occurrences and taking note of them, instead of just taking them for granted.  Admittedly, these are little things, but a few little things can add up if you put them together and allow yourself to appreciate them.  The next time your spouse throws his clothes in the hamper instead of on the floor - feel grateful.  When you're driving down the road and the sunset is especially beautiful - feel grateful.  Life is full of moments worthy of our attention and gratitude - big and small.  I believe that once we get in the habit of noticing, we'll get in the habit of feeling and that feeling might hopefully be gratitude.  
I think we've become a society of immediate gratification.  We want what we want, have more than we need, and really don't spend all that much time acknowledging how much we have and how fortunate we are.  Consequently, instead of being thankful for the small things, we've made it a habit to wait for the big stuff before we take that 'gratitude' emoji out of it's compartment....a new car....a raise.....a vacation, etc.  So today I challenge you to take a moment before you close your eyes to sleep, maybe when you say your prayers, to think about your day. Find one thing that went right, whether it's something I mentioned, or something else...even something as simple as your drive-through order being right (don't you hate it when it's not?)...just take time to get in the habit of reviewing your day and finding something to be grateful for.  Set your bar low and soon I think you'll naturally be noticing more and more reasons to feel gratitude.    You can even take it a step further and keep a gratitude journal. Write someone a note thanking them for something they did that you appreciate!  If your packer at the grocery store does a great job - thank them!  Who doesn't feel amazing when someone appreciates you and tells you?  I know a couple that makes it a habit to thank their spouse for something nice they've done for them - every night!!  What a great way to feel and share appreciation!
Gratitude is the perfect antidote for so many negative emotions.  Why not give it a try and see if it doesn't change how you see the world!  I'll get the ball rolling by telling you all how grateful I am to have you all who read and share my blog.  Knowing I can share my world with you encourages me to get out there and appreciate what I see and capture it in photos.  It helps me see the world, not just pass by it.  I hope my photos have a little of that effect on you too!  Thanks for stopping by Life As I See It.  Share this with someone you know who has mastered gratitude or someone who needs a little help feeling good about their life.  

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
{Email}
Add a comment »

Never Miss A Post - Follow by Email

Sign up here to get the latest blog post delivered to your inbox.
Never miss a post again!