crumbling by the highway


Next time you are a passenger in a car, pay attention to the sides of the road. It can be fascinating.

Take the Schuylkill Expressway, for example. It is dotted with abandoned and derelict structures. Looking for them helps break up the annoying traffic jams….but only if you are a passenger. No sight-see driving, please….

These two photos can be seen on either side of the highway when you are headed east towards Philadelphia.

The green roofed structure is some sort of crumbling mill building. It is somewhere along the river between Gladwyne and West Conshohocken. The roof caved in this winter.

The thing that looks like a 18th century farmhouse probably was. I am not sure of its exact location, but I think it is Gladwyne – it is on the other (non-river side of the Schuylkill Expressway) adjacent to the eastbound lanes.

There are buildings like this alongside many highways. I always wonder what the story is. Route 202 between Chester County and Delaware has structures like this too.

These buildings are the forgotten and abandoned. Have you seen buildings like this? Do you know any of their stories?


usps they deliver for who?


We have an awesome mail carrier. But I think the actual post office he is out of has issues. Frazer, PA in the shopping center to be precise.

We have had packages opened and resealed when they ended up being boring things like the vitamins I sometimes have to get delivered by mail because as a breast cancer survivor of a hormone driven breast cancer I need to take vitamins that don’t contain soy or other phytoestrogens and it is hard to find them at chain drugstores regularly. We have had things just not get delivered. We got a Christmas card written shortly after Thanksgiving the first weekend in March.

When something is damaged our delivery guy makes sure he speaks with us and doesn’t just leave it. Again, he is awesome and conscientious. But when we have to call Frazer and speak with Cranky the office manager it’s a different story.

Cranky is the perfect civil service type. He has his little fiefdom there and extends himself to no one, especially women. I used to think my difficult experiences were just me, except if you call the Malvern Post Office to see if they can help you and avoid Cranky they laugh almost…even they get it.

The first time I had to deal with this Cranky on a misdirected package, the first thing out of his mouth was not how can he help but rather did I try the website. And every time I have to call, he is the only one who ever answers the phone and he always says the same thing, or occasionally he says something borderline rude or even sexist. Bottom line? He never goes out of his way. If you can get to the actual postmaster you can get help when you need it and he is very nice, but this Cranky is just perpetually cranky.

I find that frustrating. My old post office wasn’t perfect, but they actually attempted customer service at the post office branch level. Face it , after you try to either get a live person if you call the toll free number of the United States Postal Service or attempt via their convoluted website how to send an e-mail if you have a problem, you would naturally think it would be so much simpler to just call your local post office, right? Face it, most of us operate under the delusion that the postal service is still that folksy place where people who live in your neighborhood work.


They lose and mutilate mail. Stuff gets pinched and when you have the temerity to actually call them, you get attitude. It’s not just things that come through Frazer Post Office, it happens all over. I don’t get how we can have nice actual mail carriers and the office people aren’t . They aren’t out in the elements, they are in the offices. They aren’t the one delivering mail when the rain is beating down.

Today I realized something I had ordered had not arrived. So I tracked the package. The tracking said it had been delivered March 13, only I was home and I never received it. So where was it? And guess what happened when I called the post office actual office and got Cranky for a change? He asked me if I had used the website to track my package!

I had had enough today so today I pushed back. Yes I was snippity because I had checked the website and THAT is why I called. You know to see if I could file a lost package report or something?

So I just have to ask: when the United States Postal Service runs their multi-million dollar advertising campaigns stressing customer service and that slogan “We Deliver for You” I always think it should be “USPS, They Deliver for Who?”

And again, I want to make it abundantly clear that our regular letter carrier is awesome. It is the office Cranky and the problems with packages and mail I am less than enthused with.

I don’t order much. I don’t order super expensive or frivolous things. I think I should get what I pay to have delivered and also get packages that are un-opened.

surveying his kingdom

DSC_3538We have a bunch of hawks, and have even seen a juvenile eagle. We are like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom some days, which you all know given   my bird photos.

This is big hawk.  It has a giant wing span and is hard to capture in photographs.  He’s shy of the paparazzi.  I was able to snap these the other day, however. I don’t think he minded. So here he is surveying his kingdom.