soothing photos

I’m asking those who love the sea to join the challenge of posting a picture of a beach. Just a picture, no description. The goal is to flood Facebook especially with some positive photos instead of negativity. Please copy the text to your Facebook (or Instagram) timeline, put a picture up and look at some beautiful pictures.

DISCLAIMER photographing the ocean and beaches and sea birds are among my favorite things. So I can’t pick just one photo I am giving you a montage of photos taken either in the Hamptons or Bermuda.

sometimes people should just stop picking at other people. this is one of those times.

I swear there is a meme for everything and this one is pretty much perfect. Why am I posting this? Because some people just floor me on social media. Facebook especially.

Backstory: a few years ago when I had my first knee surgery, I was literally just home from the hospital and practically still drooling from the anesthesia. Sitting in a daze in bed, I was mindlessly looking through social media on my tablet. I noticed this one woman posting comments on my Facebook timeline that I just didn’t want to deal with. So I didn’t say anything, I just deleted the comments. After all, your personal Facebook page is like your virtual house, right?

So the woman whose comment I had removed posted another comment in the same vein. There I was practically drooling like you can do after surgery and anesthesia and I wondered what alternate reality I was living in that this woman wouldn’t just get I probably didn’t want to deal with this? I made a decision. I deleted the new comment and quietly unfriended the woman and went to sleep.

Unfriending this person was not something I wanted to do. But when I was still sitting in bed the next day scrolling through Facebook still somewhat dazed post surgery, I knew it was the right decision. Why? Because she took the argument of the deleted comments and moved them essentially to another woman’s Facebook page (whom I also knew – ironically I introduced them to one and other) and sat there talking about me like I couldn’t see it. Kind of like they were talking on the phone only it was all playing out on Facebook. It was crazy and I decided, sanity and maturity should prevail, and I just blocked both of them so I wouldn’t have to see their online brand of crazy in the future.

Still part of me felt bad. I had known the one woman for many years. But knowing her was sometimes exhausting. The other woman was always just kind of sad always striving to belong. Also exhausting. I sent both women a note explaining why I had decided to distance. I figured I’d make one last attempt at salvaging the relationships. I explained to them I just had surgery and I didn’t want to deal with any of this right now. But if they wanted to talk about it, explain what they didn’t understand, and I would try to listen. Need list to say, that didn’t happen never heard from either, and I went on about my life. I wish I could say I missed either woman, but I don’t.

I especially don’t miss people who act like this while experiencing a global pandemic. Life is kind of stressful enough right now. What I didn’t expect was that they would do this again to someone else. I sadly thought this behavior was because of me. But it’s just them.

A very nice woman who is a very close friend has literally just had a similar experience with these two over the past couple of days. My friend had posted on HER Facebook timeline that it really bothered her that people including the President keep referring to COVID19 as the “Chinese Virus.” She said she found it offensive. In my opinion she’s not wrong.

No matter what your opinion is, my friend said it on her timeline. It’s kind of like when a lot of us don’t judge the women in menopause posting the Nametest things all of the time that says they wish they were pregnant again or what movie star they think they look like. Their thing, not ours.

To be clear, viruses do not know borders and even the CDC Director Robert Redfield agrees with this point. To keep saying that over and over puts Chinese Americans and other Asians in Jeopardy much like what happened with the Italians and Japanese during World War II and the internment camps in this country. Or the Irish need not apply campaigns and signs you would see in shop windows in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s kind of like referring to the influenza pandemic of the early 20th century as the “Spanish flu”. The virus didn’t actually originate in Spain that might’ve been one of the first places that documented it in newspapers. The COVID19 virus exploded in China, but there is no absolute that it is the true country of origin for the virus.

Well the woman I removed from my timeline a few years ago, of course had to argue with my friend. My friend politely asked her to kind of stop, and sadly that didn’t happen. So my friend just quietly unfriended her and blocked her and removed the comments. Below is the comment that finally made my friend have enough.

Now you would think that would have been the end of it. But sadly no, the other woman I had removed from my circle of friends a few years ago for chiming in where it wasn’t her concern did so again. Seriously:

So my friend unfriended and blocked the other one too. I truly am stunned at how pig ignorant people can be. It’s like these women have this whole tag team of nastiness, which is truly sad.  I wonder if either one of them gets it yet that more and more people distance themselves from these two all of the time. They are having social distancing practiced on them as a matter of keeping one’s sanity.

My friend wasn’t “slamming” the President. She was specifically referring to a term in this whole coronavirus world we live in that she found offensive.

Given the times we currently live in and everything that everyone is going through, wouldn’t you think that these two women would have better things to do than to argue and spread vitriol? What do they gain with these little Facebook games?

I am really sorry that this happened to my friend too. I remember how upsetting I found it briefly at the time. It’s like this whole sense of betrayal when people are so nasty. Then you realize no one is worth that crap.

Look, OK, we probably all have a more than small dose of cabin fever at this point. We are living our lives in a way we’ve never had to live them before. But when I look at what those who live through World War II have to say it just sort of gives you a whole new perspective.

 I can’t make people be kinder to one another. And I’m sure some will have comments about what I have written today. It’s just one of the many things I am thinking about because face it, we all have so much time to think right now. And perhaps that is part of the problem. I don’t think some people are comfortable with their thoughts.

But I don’t understand with all that we have to deal with why these two women persist in doing this? All they are doing is isolating themselves further from people within their community and showing the world how unhappy they are. And that’s the thing that we are also discovering through all of this staying at home and self isolation: we are not islands unto ourselves after all. Humans need human contact and community, and it takes a global pandemic to realize it. So try being nicer, right?

I have always maintained that social media is both a blessing and a curse. It would be nice if right now with our every day lives up-ended indefinitely if we could try to make it more of a blessing than a curse.

If something annoys you or you don’t agree with it, you don’t have to leave a comment every time. Sometimes you can just scroll past it. That way people don’t fight and friendships remain intact during a very difficult time.

Try to be kind today.

stepping back in time in chester county

A lady posted a bunch of amazing photos in a local Facebook group with the following message: “I still have a couple containers of old photos to go through. Any of these folks or places look familiar to you? This album dates back to the late 30s and 40s”

With her permission I am posting the photos here. They are all of the Malvern and possibly Phoenixville area. If you know any of the people in the photos or where the homes are located, please leave a comment.

A lot of the photos are of soldiers from World War II which I find particularly poignant. It makes you wonder who came home, doesn’t it?

The irony is the era some of these photos were taken was another time when we were doing our part for our country and staying home and growing victory gardens and living through rationing.

Anyway I hope you can help identify some of these people! I thought it would be something fun for people to do in times where it’s not so much fun during the day sometimes.

Be well.

living the covid19 life: sleepless nights

Vintage pillowcase purchased at a store now part of a mandated non-essential closure , Magnolia Cottage Shop in Malvern/Frazer.

Sleepless nights in coronavirus land. I think we all are having them. Last night into this morning was mine. A wise friend once said to me nothing good happens if you worry late into the night. So I laid there and listened to the patter of rain on the roof, and eventually drifted off.

3 AM was just when this got to me. But now here we are, it’s Friday and everyone I know and their families survived the week in the COVID19 world, so I think that is good. Think of COVID19 as the ultimate 12 step program. No, I am not and never have been in recovery. Someone I know who is suggested this parallel because this current world we live in can only be handled one day at a time.

Overnight we learned that California had issued a state wide shelter in place. Translation? #staythefuckhome. So why can’t people just do that without being told? Why are people so bent out of shape that WaWa for example stopped self-serve coffee? I mean come on, are people really that obtuse or selfish? Someone I know who had to be out briefly yesterday had remarked when they were out they noticed how people in some places seemed to act like it was business as usual. They wondered how a car detailing place they passed by was an essential business.

Things I think about include what happens to residential and retail/commercial renters? Are their landlords being kind? What are they doing for tenants? I get that a lot of these property owners have mortgages and bills to pay, but not all do and some probably have mortgages that are low enough that they could maybe offer some rent abatements? Are they?

I have a lot of friends and acquaintances with small businesses. I say a prayer for them every day. Some we can support remotely, some we can’t. It’s a horrible Sophie’s Choice situation, isn’t it?

I can’t think of anyone not affected by this global pandemic. I have friends that live overseas and a stepbrother too. This is no joke. Yet you have to wonder what some people and organizations are thinking.

My alma mater The Shipley School has canceled the entire reunion weekend in May. I think it’s the right thing to do. Yet on one thread talking about it someone said “Damn this panic over nothing!” With those people you can only shake your head and walk away.

Other events are being or have been canceled. A Philadelphia tradition, the Dad Vail Regatta has been cancelled. The Penn Relays have been canceled for the first time in 126 years. I met the famous Olympian Jesse Owens there when I was a child.

Other cancellations include Radnor Hunt events like the balance of the fox hunting season. That’s good and here’s hoping some of their membership stops gathering at the club for events and cocktails now. I saw a photo recently of a bunch of folks at an event there and the event selfies were reminiscent of “let them eat cake” a la Marie Antoinette. Not trying to be mean. But people in clubs aren’t immortal.

Organizations Philadelphians have not heard from include the Orpheus Club. We belong and did not attend the March event because of coronavirus, and they have a spring concert at the Kimmel Center which I am somewhat surprised has not been postponed or canceled. Their events are quite popular and well, how do you practice social distancing at a large, crowded event? The short answer is you can’t. Orpheus we will still love you if you have to postpone the spring concert.

Now another organization which has NOT canceled which people are talking about is the Devon Horse Show. So many other equine spring events like Winterthur’s Point to Point has been canceled. Even the Grand National in England has been cancelled. But Devon Horse Show remains silent. Devon is a HUGE event, which makes it exactly a big kind of risk, doesn’t it? What are the show organizers thinking?

Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all non life-sustaining businesses to shut down. So it’s going to get more quiet. And yes this virus is going to cause and is causing an economic hit. I have thought a lot of the supposed bubbling economy was smoke and mirrors for a couple of years, so hopefully we will come out of this battered and not broken.

But the thing is this: we are exactly and precisely in a situation beyond our control. As in we can only control ourselves. So we need to step up. We can be selfish or we can be smart and compassionate. Now is the time to pay it forward. Even little things like just calling a friend to say hi. Checking in on neighbors.

To get through this we need to keep the home fires burning and just stay the hell home. And we need to keep our kids home and the older ones need to learn about social distancing. I think the idiots who had to go on spring break need to be quarantined somewhere and sent home if healthy.

Now it’s not all horrible. Some beautiful things have happened. Music floating over rooftops in Italy and other European countries, musicians playing from home via social media platforms, and more. And we have to give a shout out to our grocery stores who are really stepping up their games. Now if people would just buy what they need and resist the urge to hoard.

Locally there are random acts of kindness abounding which makes my heart happy and gives us all hope. From people who keep chickens sharing eggs and more. Neighbors helping neighbors.

We live in a time where the biggest positive to come out of this is people are starting to remember what is important in this life. That’s a good thing. Look I’m not Pollyanna, I can be really negative and I had a sleepless night. Just like when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 I am choosing to do my best to remain positive. We have to choose hope. We have to not let the boogie men who appear in the middle of the night when we are sleepless not get the better of us.

Look, it won’t kill us if we stay home for a while. It might kill us if we don’t. Choose life. #staythefuckhome

Happy Friday. Be well.

speed humps and traffic calming concerning summit road and carol lane vicinity in east whiteland

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I was sent this by Kevin in East Whiteland. It is for residents in the vicinity of Carol Lane, Summit Road, etc. Given the COVID19 world in which we live, he asked me to put up a blog post so residents can see and offer input. DO NOT GIVE ME THE INPUT. EAST WHITELAND NEEDS THE INPUT so please contact your neighborhood coordinator Kevin (zeek747@yahoo.com)

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The documents came with this message:

Today, we received in the mail, another round of voting for traffic calming measures in our neighborhood. The document we presented to the township last labor day finally sparked a concern and McMahon put together a plan for our streets. Unfortunately, they picked the worse day to send it out. We can’t go door to door to get support due to the lock down caused by this virus. We wanted them to wait and give us time to gather support but of course it’s our township.

It has been a battle and to be honest we are frustrated and tired, but at least we got something.

Our issues can be fixed with basic traffic calming measures and most of my neighbors impacted the most by this speeding traffic, don’t support any major or drastic changes to the intersection.

It’s important for everyone to understand that these are not harsh speed humps. These are speed humps that are similar to Sidley Ave or Monument Ave in the Borough. The neighborhood traffic calming committee, McMahon and the township followed the PennDot Traffic calming Handbook so everything is legal.

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a note of thanks in uncertain times

Rev. Abigail from St. Peter’s in The Great Valley

One of our region’s oldest churches did something today that was really nice. They broadcast their service on Facebook Live.

Thank you Rev. Abigail and St. Peter’s in The Great Valley. I have to say it was a lovely service.

I am not Episcopalian by birth. I am Roman Catholic. I have never joined a Catholic Church since I came to Chester County because I have lost faith in the religion of my birth, sadly.

That is not to say I don’t have my faith and belief in a higher power because I do. I often think about maybe an Episcopalian church because among other things, my stepfather belongs to my first St. Peter’s, in Society Hill. (The Society Hill St. Peter’s will live streaming via Facebook live at 11 AM. ) I went to grade school at St. Peter’s at 3rd and Pine. It was founded in 1758.

St. Peter’s in the Great Valley pre-dates St. Peter’s in Society Hill by quite a few years. It was founded in 1704. It was originally I believe a missionary parish of the Church of England. It’s one of my favorite churches in Chester County, truthfully. Every time I have visited I have found it so peaceful.

Today St. Peter’s in The Great Valley had a lovely virtual service. Part of the reason I am writing this post is to say thank you to Rev. Abigail Crozier Nestlehutt. It was a nice, calming thing devoid of fire and brimstone. But it contained messages of community and hope. And an expression of faith that COVID-19 or coronavirus will not destroy us. I looked at her biography on the church’s website and she is a native New Englander. I think even I needed a nice calm dose of New England practicality this morning.

So Rev. Abigail, thank you. Also thank you because this was the first religious service that resonated with me in many years.

People it’s a beautiful day outside. Practice your social distancing and soak up some sun! Take good care and thanks for virtually stopping by.

the joseph price house in exton is in really bad shape.

Yes again, I am writing about the Joseph Price house in West Whiteland Township. It’s really starting to deteriorate badly in my opinion. (And I say that from observing it across the street today- I have not been invited to be on the property so I would not presume.)

This house is on S.Whitford and Clover Mill Roads in Exton. The Joseph Price House in West Whiteland Township.

(Here is a wonderful little slide show presentation on prezi. )

This house is historically listed. It was built in 1878 and altered in 1894 by the house namesake inhabitant at the time. It was altered from a Gothic style to a Queen Anne style.

I was also told in the 1990s it was separate apartments inside and there were also cottages around it which were rented out as well.

In the 1950s and 60s there was a large barn there that was a sale barn for cattle run by Bayard Taylor —a blog reader told me that. He knew because his mother did bookkeeping for that business while she was in college.

This house is not completely deserted I am told there is still a caretaker who still lives there. However, this house has an uncertain future at best and nobody seems to know what will happen to it. Which is a shame because it’s very cool.

There are so many amazing houses like this throughout Chester County from all eras of time.

I am told the house is owned by two people in Ambler. Chesco Views confirmed that today.

This afternoon I had some time so I pulled into the business parking lot across the road on Clover Mill Road. I took some photos from across the road and I just looked at the house. It has been historically listed since the 1980s. And yes I know I’m being repetitive, but it just blows my mind that these gorgeous houses that are historically listed not just locally but nationally rot like this.

Things are just crumbling and the property also seems to be quite the haven for dead car bodies.

Truly (and sadly), the house is becoming so decrepit, more decrepit. I really wish these owners would sell to somebody who could restore it.

It is just so crazy to me, as this could be the most fabulous property. It’s big enough and there is enough land left that it could be a great restaurant or even a boutique bed-and-breakfast which is not a stretch considering there is one up the road from it on South Whitford – the Duling-Kurtz House and Country Inn.

Anyway, I continue to be obsessed by this property which is not for sale. It’s just that this is a historically listed property (since 9/6/1984) and is this demolition by neglect? I really hope someone will save this place.

#thisplacematters