I moved back into my childhood bedroom! A little bit of old mixed with a little bit of new and Chaz made himself at home. I had never realized that the first rays of sunshine to hit our house each day shine right through my corner window. I woke up early each morning at daybreak – the sunlight assisted by an army of frenzied songbirds. I quite liked it.
It was suburbia that really threw me. I felt as if I was walking through a half deserted movie set… traces of people everywhere, but little contact with them. I took many a late night walk adjusting to the elbow room and order of it all. The New York City unwind takes time.
I am blessed to have a delightful relationship with my father. He is warm and generous; creative and sensitive; and heck, a lot like me! We enjoyed each other’s company from day one. We had a lot to accomplish in the next few months… this wasn’t an ordinary Spring…
I put my belongings neatly in the backyard shed and got to work sorting through four generations of accumulated garbage in the basement… my stuff, my brother’s stuff, my mom’s stuff, my grandmother’s stuff, my dad’s stuff (he’s off the hook because he lives there). Our basement had carelessly become the dumping ground of STUFF for years and years and we — my dad, my brother, and I set out to sort through it and clean it up! Spring cleaning like never before!
We rented a 30 cubic yard dumpster and filled it to the top! I’m not proud of the footprint left behind, but many valuable lessons were learned about the material world and the joy of letting it all go!
We cleaned out, rebuilt, and reorganized the entire basement! Yes! (Only to fill it back up with all of my “stuff” from NYC, albeit temporarily.)
I returned home to find my beloved city flat broke and crime-ridden. Stay alert! Doors and windows locked if you go for a walk! Bike in groups on the city Greenbelt! No going downtown, even in broad daylight! After living in NYC for 21 years, one knows a thing or two about watching one’s back. I admit, I didn’t believe it and resisted every precaution. I blamed a fear mongering media and an overly sensitive public for blowing it out of proportion, but the reports kept coming in daily. It seems that as New York got safer, the rest of the country got much more violent. It was a sad fact that I had to accept. I still love my hometown and hope to see its peace and pride restored one day very soon.
My friend Larry owns a cabin at the very top of Central Pennsylvania known as The PA Grand Canyon because of the Pine Creek Gorge – a 1450 ft. deep canyon forest that is the product of the last Ice Age. There is a renowned 64 mile Rails-to-Trials bike path right down the center… we rode 40 of them. A 0% light pollution factor during the night makes for incredible star gazing. Astronomers from all over the world come to this sparsely populated land to catch a dramatic glimpse of the Milky Way Galaxy. I can attest – it is mesmerizing! The area is also sought after for natural gas which is extracted using the horribly destructive process of ‘fracking’. It was the subject of a frightening documentary called ‘Gasland’ – filmed right where I was standing. Haliburton trucks rolled by every 15 minutes… cashing in and eventually destroying this gem on earth.