Savoring the Splendor of Autumn in Easton, NY

Monday, October 15, 2018
And all at once.... summer collapsed into fall.

And just like that, summer gave its last gasp and autumn stepped up to take its rightful place in the continuum of life.  The nights are cooler, the days less balmy and the leaves are slowly but surely doing their shift from greens to gold and red.  Is it me or have any of you noticed how quickly this shift of season seems to get accomplished?  For me, the rush of this transition is like a bullhorn loudly beckoning me to stop what I'm doing and get out to soak up every sunny sky, every back road, every breath of autumn before it quickly drops every leaf, one by one, tree by tree until there is nothing left in the landscape except for the skeletons, barren in the shadows of day.  And so...we soaked up a little bit of autumn yesterday afternoon in our beloved Easton.  Anyone knows that if you truly love a landscape, you especially love it in fall and that is definitely the case when it comes to Easton.  Words are not necessary to describe the loveliness of autumn, in fact, autumn blows its own horn quite effectively.  So without further ado, I take you on our the exact order of our trip from beginning to end.  We began on Beadle Hill Road around 3:30pm and ended on Mountain Road with a number of roads in between - including a necessary stop at the Ice Cream Man (our newest addiction...their custard is to die for).   Come along with us to Easton in Autumn!

 Even in places as enchanting as rural Easton, all good things must come to an end, but what a glorious end it was.  I'm counting on capturing a little more autumn before it does it's final curtain call for 2018 and when I do, you can bet I'll be sharing it here on the blog.  Thanks for riding along and for letting me share Life As I See It.    Don't forget....consider subscribing so that when Facebook takes its final bow, you'll still have a way to follow the blog!

Escaping the Sadness of Reality In the Heavenly Beauty of Grafton Lakes State Park

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Looks can be deceiving.  Have you noticed that?  So often we're caught off guard, ripped from our perfect looking, perfect feeling corner of the world and thrown - no, launched full speed into reality.  People we know who seem perfectly happy choose to end their life, jobs that seemed secure are  abolished.  Life as we know it, lives we love and sometimes take for granted are turned upside down.  We saw that all too painfully last weekend with the horrific crash in Schoharie.  In the blink of an eye 20 lives were ended, families lost their loved ones, witnesses and rescuers left with images that will be difficult to erase.   As if that weren't awful enough, Hurricane Michael ravaged communities in Florida leaving the landscape battered and unrecognizable....and that's just the structures.  What it did to the people of that area has yet to be seen.  Everyday, most of us walk through life, navigating our to-do lists, doing our jobs, caring for our families, functioning in our own life and suddenly, reality strikes.

This is what I was seeing a couple days ago.....a beautiful, autumn-tinged world, calm and peaceful giving me a most tranquil few moments of escape.  I have a few places I retreat to when I need an escape from reality....Grafton Lakes State Park is a favorite therapeutic destination.   There was no death, no sadness, no pain, no sorrow, no devastation........just an amazingly beautiful piece of heaven on earth.  For those few was nearly perfect, perfect that is unless my mind drifted back to the awful reality of the tragedy in Schoharie.  Perfect until I couldn't help but think of the mother who lost 4 of her beloved daughters, perfect until I thought of the 17 people who were doing the right thing as they celebrated a life milestone who were now gone.  Perfection is fleeting.  We walk through life and we get caught up in trivia.  We get frustrated with the imperfections ....slow drivers, gas prices, politicians, mistakes in our drive-through orders.  How often do we focus more on the little inconveniences life presents us, but forget to focus on how lucky we are?  How much importance do we place on the wrong things, the wrong people, the wrong priorities?  How often do we look at our glass and see it half full?   So much that happened this week seems unbelievable, too horrible to be true, and that's how those of us unaffected directly feel.  I can't begin to imagine how those families, first responders, and bystanders must feel.  It will be a long time before perfection describes anything in their lives. 
I don't know why such terrible things happen, none of us do.  Clergy can't explain it.  Times like this can test people's faith and cause them to ask how God allows such bad things to happen. I imagine if it were my loved one, I'd be asking that too.  I really don't think God failed....people failed in unqualified driver in an unsafe limo.  Unimaginable tragedies happen daily.  I have friends who can attest to that.  And while it pains me to know these friends have experienced such profound loss and devastation.....having the tragedy strike so close to home helps keep me grounded and reminds me daily to be thankful for God's blessings and grace.  It can be so easy to forget.  It's easy to whine and complain and find fault.  Nothing can make the reality of Schoharie or Florida go away, surely not a blog post by me or anyone for that matter.  But what I hope is that in this sometimes discouraging time when the media is filled with negativity and despair, that the serenity of an autumn day at Grafton Lakes State Park might provide a moment or two of reminder that God is most definitely at work in the world.  And a beautiful world it is!!    Please keep all of those affected in the Schoharie crash and in the path of Hurricane Michael in your thoughts and prayers and while you're praying for them, say a prayer of thanks for the blessings in your own life.

A Picturesque Road Trip Through the Past and Present of Carlisle NY

Sunday, September 30, 2018
Some say three's a charm, but when it comes to keeping track of visiting a favorite destination, I say the more times the better and that's the case when it comes to Carlisle NY.

To be perfectly frank, natives of Carlisle will probably look at the photos in today's post and point out that not every one of them is precisely in Carlisle.  Some are in Seward, or Sharon or surrounding towns, all in Schoharie county.  While we may not all agree on what road is in which town, I'm pretty sure we'd all agree this is some pretty beautiful countryside, made even more beautiful by the fact on this particular day the weather conditions were optimal for photos.
 Although we almost always drive past the Carlisle Rural Cemetery, this day was the first time we've ever driven in.  There were some really interesting headstones, and some very, very old ones too.

 And then there's the buffalo............ let's just admit it now.....I go for the buffalo.

 Sometimes when it comes to road trips, it's just the view ahead of me that makes me breathless.

So maybe it was the clouds that day, or maybe it was the old, worn and ragged barns, and maybe it was the windy country roads or the lazy buffalo....I really can't say why I love Carlisle and its neighboring towns.  But I can say (and I think you can tell) that I love everything about it.  So far we've explored it in the winter and summer....I'm looking forward to going back soon to see it in all its autumn splendor.  You can be sure when I do, I'll share it with you here at Life As I See It.  Thanks for stopping by.  Come back soon!  Don't forget you can subscribe to receive each new post in your email.  Keep your eyes and ears open....there's so much to see in  your own corner of the world too!

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