Today, around 11:00 a.m., I was on my way to visit a friend in Sewell, when I drover over an overpass over Rt. 42, the highway to the shore. It was a log-jam, not moving, and cars were spilling off onto the exits all around my town which is bordered by Black Horse Pike to the North, 42 to the South, Rt. 130 to the West and 295 to the East. I decided to call my friend and cancel and go to Pakim Pond instead. I'm happy to report that Rt. 70 (which can also become blocked) was not crowded, and the drive to the circle where you pick up Rt. 72 which fast, sane, and peaceful. My dog and I listened to NPR enroute.
There was a great gardening show, "You Bet Your Garden" and they talked about a subject dear to my heart. So many conventional thinkers are slaves to the green grass lawn, when there are many attractive and more natural and more appropriate alternatives. A caller was trying to rid his shady, sandy, yard of wild violets. He had poisoned everything, the dandelions, the buttercups, but he wasn't able to kill the wild violets. The gardener subjected that since his shady, sandy yard was in no way appropriate for a green grass lawn, he should embrace what grew there and was both beautiful and edible instead! I didn't know the wild violet was edible but I wanted some for my shady and sandy backyard which is a natural woodlands landscape style, as is my front. I have things that survival well without human intervention in the kind of environent natural to my property, sandy, shady, and dry (I don't waste water). I have holly shrubs, rose of sharon, day lillies, Chinese money plant, lily of the valley and many other fragrant and beautiful plants. Which brings me to my "places to go" segment:
On Friday, two friends and I were trying to think of a fun place to go that was not the seashore, due to traffic conditions, and we decided to go to Peddler's Village in Pa. I had never been there before. Now I am not a big shopper, though I do like to browse craft stores and get ideas for things to make. After about 6 stores, I sad on benches under shady trees and enjoyed the marvelous landscaping, and I mean GORGEOUS! The flowers were in full abundant glory, and the arrangements around special and beautiful trees were simply magnificent. Peddler's Village itself is much like Smithville, near the seashore, but the landscaping alone is well worth a visit. Sit in the white gazebo and let the flowers entertain you!
On the subject of beauty, the stained glass windows at the Train Depot Cafe in Woodbury have long enchanted me. My father did stained glass work and I have always admired it though it is too hard for my hand strength or my interest and too dependent on machinery for my personal preference. That's why I love painting - just a brush, paints and the canvas. Anyhow, I finally asked the folks at the cafe where the stained glass came from, and it was The Iron Buttterfly, which I browsed on-line. Simply stunning art-work in glass.
Today, my dog Trixie and I enjoyed two walks around Pakim Pond in Brendan Byrne State Forest. It was COOL and peaceful and always utterly magical in beauty. I met some people there who offered my dog water and me a sandwich which I didn't take because I had already eaten lunch, but their generosity and hospitality was warming and inspiring. I praised them for their good sense in coming to the woods instead of trying to wade through the mass of cars on the way to the shore. They told me they were from the shore and escaping the crowds!
On another subject, have you seen the tv show ALONE? My sister called me and I binge watched all 7 episodes last night. Ten men are stranded on the shores of a wilderness area of Alaska and challenged to remain as long as they could, till the last man, with their choice of ten items to help them survive. They seam to have chosen, ax, saw, knife, tarp, rope, pots, fishing nets, and were also burdened with camera recording equipment. If they remain, they win $500,000. By the episode where I fell asleep, only two men were left. What would be on your list of must have items to survive in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest? I chose ax, rain suit, first aid kit, sack of oatmeal with dried berries, scout cook-kit, rope, tarp, knife, mospito net, firestarter flint, book of edible plants and mushrooms, That's eleven, I know. I couldn't decide which one to jettison. Anyhow, it reminded me of the first settlers and what they were up against, and an abiding interest of mine, log cabins. One, Lucas, was in the process of building a log cabin, when he stopped and built a canoe instead. I was so disappointed. If I were in the North and it was late fall, I'd get a log cabin ready asap. It reminded me of the very early Swedish cabins, outside of Swedesboro, near Salem, and down in Greenwich. They are short but sturdy and built to withstand snow and time.
ps. I'll add photos tomorrow