The first day of summer. What a better place to spend it than New York City. Dani wanted to go to the ballet in the afternoon and Carrie and Topher offered to meet us in Central Park for lunch. They brought the food and Theo.
It was great to see them again and spend time with the little man. We FaceTime quite a bit and I think it surprised him to see us in 3D instead of on a small screen. We had a nice lunch sitting under a tree.
Theo is a bundle of energy. A very cute bundle of energy. And he got to run off a little after we ate.
There was even time to play with Dad.
Then it was time for us to leave. Theo walked us out of the park.
What a nice day!
There’s an old joke about when life begins with the punchline being “Life begins when the kids leave home and the pets die.” When our son and daughter were growing up we had two cats, Trixie and Tiger. Our children are grown now and long ago left home. Trixie passed away several years ago and Tiger followed three years ago. So our life should begin.
But Dani kept talking about getting another cat. One day she noticed two rescue cats in a store front. While she shopped nearby I visited the cats and immediately took a liking to a blue-eyed Snowshoe named Beatrix. Of course when Dani saw her she fell in love with her and we made plans to adopt her.
Beatrix is slowly getting used to us. She won’t sit on our lap yet but she will lay on the couch near us in the evenings. She is a beauty with a very nice personality and will be spoiled rotten by us.
If you are near the Reading PA area, we adopted Beatrix through Catworks, Inc. They are a great group with lots of cats looking for a new home. You can find them here – http://www.thecatworksinc.org
We had a chance to spend time with Theo over the weekend. Only one week after he was born and he just seems older. He’s got that sleeping thing down pretty well. But sometime he wakes up, looks at you and melts your heart.
”If we didn’t have birthdays, you wouldn’t be you. If you’d never been born, well then what would (we) do?” Happy Birthday Theo Nichols!
Our daughter Carrie was born in late March, 1986. She graduated from college in New York City, started teaching music in public schools, met a great guy, Topher Nichols, fell in love and got married. On March 1 Carrie and Topher’s son, Theodore Walter Nichols, was born. Theo is a seven pound beautiful baby.
Holding a little baby brings back a lot of memories. What a ride they have in store for them. Carrie and Topher will be great parents.
2012 was a very eventful year for us. There were several highlights including a few trips and the biggest event of the year in New York. We started the year visiting Phil’s parents in Florida. Philip flew in from Colorado to spend time with us. It was a great winter get-away. We were back in Florida in May after Phil’s mother had heart surgery and a stroke. She progressed well through the year and ended up dancing at her grandson Matt’s wedding in October.
We took a summer trip to visit Phil and Apryle in Colorado. While we were there we helped build a new home for the chickens – a luxury coop with straw walls and a picture window. Phil is still working at REI in Boulder both in the store and leading trips for clients. He was selected the store’s employee of the year. Apryle is completing her Masters in Ecology and is working at Rocky Mountain National Park on elk research.
We had a wonderful week at the Outer Banks in October with Dani’s parents. Gorgeous weather, beautiful water and lots of photos. We rented the same house on the beach as we did last year and woke to beautiful ocean views. One interesting occurrence was the large number of starfish that washed up on the beach this year.
The highlight of our year was Carrie’s wedding in October. She married a great guy – Topher Nichols – in a Central Park ceremony. Parents and about 20 local friends spent the sunny day celebrating their wedding. They live in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. Carrie is teaching music in a public elementary school and Topher works for a large non- profit in Westchester.
Carrie and Topher came for the holiday to visit, celebrate her cousin Liz’s birthday and see the Wyomissing Borough parade. The annual Wyomissing parade is a huge community event. Following the parade borough residents meet at the “Stone House” for continued celebration, contest and music.
It was a hot, sunny day and the crowd at the parade was larger than ever. Following the parade and the other borough activities Liz and Brandon had a cookout a their home.
There were no local fireworks scheduled but Carrie and Topher stopped on the way home and brought some fireworks to help celebrate. After dark, showering fountains, shooting sparks and Morning Glories lit up the night.
It was a fitting end to the holiday.
There are several well-known waterfalls in the Pocono Mountain region of Pennsylvania. One of the more picturesque is Dingman’s Falls in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Because of the floods in 2011, the road to the visitor center is closed. You’ll have to park at a small lot on Johnny Bee Road and hike less than a mile to the visitor center. From there it’s a nice stroll through the woods following a wooden boardwalk past Silverthread Falls to the main falls. With a vertical drop of 130 feet, the water cascading down over the rocks has cut deeply into the stone walls.
You’ll see lots of mountain laurel and trout in the stream. It’s a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.
Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in northern Lancaster County is a well-known stop for Snow Geese and Tundra Swans as they migrate back north. Each year tens of thousands of the white birds will stop at the lake and adjoining fields on their annual trek to their summer home. This spring we stopped twice to see the birds but, possibly because of the warmer winter, there were far fewer birds than we’ve seen in other years. The last trip there we saw a few hundred Snow Geese in a distant field but none on the water. However there was a heron that spent time posing for me.
It’s been twenty years since I last visited Las Vegas. I recently spent a few days there for a conference. The casino names are familiar but the buildings are all changed – much bigger and much more extravagant. So much to see and do it would take more than a week. The last time that I was here I had some luck at the Blackjack table. This time I didn’t even play.
We should be through the worst part but it’s been going on too long. Snow is expected this weekend and it makes our recent trip to Florida a more distant memory. While in Florida I went fishing with my Dad and son at a place called John’s Pass. Along the inlet there’s a very narrow strip of sand with a rock wall behind. While we were fishing an egret and a heron came to visit. The heron was especially bold, coming within a few feet of us. These photos were taken with my iPhone at about 5 feet. I swear if I held out some of our bait he would have taken it from my hand but I wasn’t that brave.