“An Animate, wakeful landscape” from Shambhala Sun Nov. 2011 pg. 11
One day recently, I was feeling a small weather system of disappointment in myself for neglecting (uncharacteristically) my written and stated goals for writing this year: my diary of the sixties, my travel book on Revolutionary War sites in SJ, and, my family history project. My shoulders were drooping with guilt and I was wondering, “Well, Jo Ann, What have you got to say for yourself? What have you done with this year?”
The only thing I could come up with was my blog: historicplacessj.blogspot.com, which as of today has had 29,941 page views, 1,083 last month, 43 yesterday and 33 today. Also, I have printed out a list of my topics. There were 160 so far. I know all this because blogspot.com (an excellent site) keeps statistics on your site and even tells you from whence the visitor traffic has emerged.
By the way, I have completed 160 entries as of the one I am posting today.
So, on that day of self-evaluation and disappointment, I felt cheered up enormously by this particular project. I write two or three entries a week, sometimes more and sometimes less. Knowing how many people stop by is a spur to write more and write better.
Although my topics are generally field trips I’ve taken to historic spots, I do make forays into other territories as well, for example, I began a thought trail in regard to vegan and vegetarian eating awhile back. I connected it to John Woolman, a noted 18th century religious thinker of the Religious Society of Friends, whose house, in Mount Holly, New Jersey, I had visited a couple of times with friends.
He was a tailor, itinerant preacher, and journalist, and an all around wonderful human being. He preached against slavery, cruelty to animals, and he exhorted others to live lives filled with awareness of the origins of things, such as that colored clothes were produced by the enslavement of people on indigo plantations, so he wore plain uncolored linen clothes and lived a vegetarian lifestyle. He wrote about this and other concerns in his diary and essays, a copy of which can still be purchased from amazon. com for $8 and an additional $3.50 for shipping and handling. I’m sure Mr. Woolman would like you to buy second hand.
Strictly speaking, the house in Mount Holly isn’t John Woolman’s house, but his daughter’s, however, it has been preserved in his honor and to keep a memorial to his testimonies in regard to peace, equality, simplicity, and integrity.
Another connection to Vegan and Vegetarian eating is the American Society of Vegans: American Vegan Society - PO Box 369, Malaga NJ 08328 ..... Egg Harbor Township New Jersey. Which I have also visited with friends.
My main topic for this essay for my blog today, however, is the Compassion for Animals/Respect for the Environment CARE Picnic which I attended on Saturday, August the 10th at Hoopes Park, West Ashbridge Street, outside of West Chester, Pa. I was a passenger and my hostess was Barbara Solem, author of Ghosttowns and Other Quirky Places in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Her other guest/passenger was Steve, a treasurer for the Vegetarian Society of South Jersey. Contact info for this group is:
www.vssj.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-www.vssj (999-8775) They are also on facebook but I haven’t visited that page as yet.
The food was marvelous: We had the usual veggie burgers but also excellent cole slaw, a slaw that I think may have been zucchini, several grain dishes, roasted corn on the cob, and beautifully carved fruits of many kinds. That’s just a few of the foods available. The deserts were delicious and my favorites were small tarts made with ground nut shells for the crust, an almond custard and slice of fruit on top, plus a wonderful apple pie. We were given several booklets with many tempting recipes to try, though I tend towards simple salads in daily eating personally.
The other great thing about this picnic was the people. Those who care about animals and the environment are often generally thoughtful people and these were no exception. They were kindly, attentive, open and friendly people. It felt good to eat cruelty free and delicious food and to spend a sunny afternoon with compassionate and friendly people.
The traffic, however, well, that’s another story. We had driven out there on Route 322 which goes across New Jersey and straight into Pennsylvania and out into their countryside. It was mysteriously jammed up on the way out so we took a different route going home. It was nothing however to the traffic I encountered during our two recent storms with caused widespread flooding in my area which is bounded by many creeks, Big Timber, Newton, and the Delaware River, Cooper River, and far too much asphalt in the form of highways.
Many of my friends, in their sixties, are health conscious. We try to eat sensibly, exercise, and enjoy the outdoors (not just for the health benefits, of course – we find the outdoors spiritually refreshing and enjoyable). When I opened my mail today, I saw this interesting list of seven things to do to help outfit your home for safety in the later years of your life. I thought I’d pass it on:
2.Motion sensor lighting
I’m not ready for most of these yet, but I would like indoor motion sensor lighting!
Happy Trails to you! Jo Ann