down the rabbit hole

Do you ever wonder what happened to people? And that’s when you take a peek on social media to see where they’ve been for all the intervening years? Mind you, I’m not talking about people you were necessarily close to,  just people that were sort of in your world or circled your orbit as it were. Sometimes they were just people you sort of saw in the background.

I have done that a few times recently and it’s so odd to look at some of these people you knew once as kids now as adults, often with their own kids. Time has flown, yet the  strangest thing I’ve noticed in some of these cases is how little some of these people have changed. They’ve aged, so have I, but it’s like time stood still even if the aging clock didn’t . There they are, in poses similar to what their younger selves used to do and in similar situations. It is like Alice looking down the rabbit hole.

And then there are the people that you run into in real time. My favorite have been people that just used to know my parents and in some cases are the kids of the people who used to know my parents.  Most of the time, it’s really nice to run into these people as we shared some fun memories, but some are not so pleasant.

Sometimes you run into people whose parents used to be friends with your parents but are no longer friends with your parents.  You see these people and you say “hello” to because that’s the polite thing to do when you run into someone, especially when you’re about 3 feet or less from them. And these are also the kind of people who pretend they don’t see you, don’t hear you, or just turn their backs.  What is the point of being rude? Yet they do it. Haven’t run into some of these people in a long time except for occasional near misses on social media on other friends’ Facebook pages. Which is terrific. Who needs that pettiness and negativity?

But looking down the rabbit hole can be painful. You see people you were once close to as well as the people who were just sort of peripheral or on the fringe of your life. People change as they get older, and commonality fades. People just let go of one and other. 

Sometimes you see people who were once a very large part of your life…..until they weren’t. Sometimes seeing those people is ok, and sometimes it’s not. Because some people just hurt you when they leave. Period. Sometimes these people know they have done that, but often times they don’t because they are not thinking about anything other than their own path.

I guess that is one of the blessings of growing up and even getting older: you can choose who you wish to spend your time with.  And that is such a nice thing. Occasionally looking down the rabbit hole for me reinforces I am glad I am where I am in my life and who I am with.  Love and respect are very powerful things.

I have been working on this piece of writing for a while and put it away. Then I came back to it. I did not want to sound negative writing it because I wasn’t feeling negative.

But then I was. It’s like I was a kid again with all those raw feelings you can feel at those young ages.

Sometimes it is just hard to have grace when you unexpectedly find yourself face to social media face with someone who hurt you deeply.  But then you realize they aren’t the people really once were. And while it still hurts in a sense, in a sense you can let it go. You have nice memories, but you are both off on different journeys.

Trust me, grace and forgiveness take work, but if you don’t release it it’s simply unhealthy. Why let it fester? After all, these people you see in your rear view mirror ? They aren’t worrying about you are they?

I know some will read this post and wonder if I am speaking about them in particular. Those are the people who will never get it, and I can’t control what they think (or feel). This is just one of those things I have thought about and have actually discussed with other friends who have also thought about and/or  experienced this.

 Thanks for stopping by.



“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” -George Sand

“Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.” – Bertolt Brecht

Today, sipping tea in my little house in its own big woods on a chilly November day, I am content. There is no place on earth I would rather be.

Today is also a bittersweet day as it is a day on which my family lost two wonderful people. Yes, on the same day a couple of years apart. My cousin Suzy and my father.

Thanks for stopping by.

a walk down memory lane

 In  2009 I documented through photographs the last few months of architect Addison Mizner’s famed La Ronda in Bryn Mawr.  The tale of La Ronda even made the Wall Street Journal back then.

Putting all the drama of the La Ronda and her demolition and the upheaval the demolition caused in Lower Merion Township and across the country aside, the saddest part of the tale of La Ronda is there was a man willing to have the mansion moved brick by brick, who was willing to buy it fairly. Only he was denied that by both the seller of the property and buyer of the property.  Those people sold La Ronda to be torn down and tore down La Ronda because they could and that is kind of sad especially since they were players in the socioeconomic levels where they could actually afford to be more preservation minded.

I am not getting into some protracted discussion about property rights, what this demolition has done is leave a lasting impression on me regarding historic preservation in Pennsylvania.

Historic preservation in Pennsylvania remain a lofty ideal, but is seldom a true reality. So when you hear on rare occasions that you might not like what a developer is doing, but they are saving and preserving a historic structure on a property they bought? Well that my friends is huge and doesn’t happen very often. See ( Linden Hall post July 24  and Farmhouse Post on July 27 and Adaptive Reuse from April 2013 )

Truthfully, all these years later and salvagers are still selling bits of La Ronda. And people still write about La Ronda and what happened (reference Proper Philadelphia in 2012 )

I watched and documented the last sad few months of La Ronda, and to me it is a glaring reminder of  what   lip service preservation is. In 2009, Lower Merion Township Commissioners (including the current Board President Liz Rogan) did much beating of the collective breast and waxed long and poetically on how they were going to do things differently and how they were going to preserve historic assets.

Flash forward to 2014 and well, much like other places, it’s all been talk. Or political gob smacking…. take your pick. Now the William Penn Inn is under a 90 day stay of execution err demolition, which means it will inevitably come down.  And that is the case even though people are saying it may have had something to do with the underground railroad (and see cool photos of the place here thanks to Main Line Media News.)


Also facing an uncertain future is the historic Odd Fellows Hall and property and United Methodist Church and property in Gladwyne.  People have said for decades that there are Revolutionary War soldiers buried there.  Famous Phillie Rich Asburn is buried there and heck some of my friends have all their family buried there.  So Odd Fellows is in limbo. What is historic will survive if  the developers who are the owners, Main Line Realty Partners, do the proper preservation.  They can do the right thing if they want to.  They have in the past and truthfully the partners in these projects have done beautiful work.  Last I heard that Odd Fellows plan was tabled, but these same developers have now purchased another church, First Baptist in Ardmore.  They also bought the United Methodist Church in Narberth Now the developers are calling themselves Main Line rebuild.

3941005703_d390c4249e_oBut like I said, adaptive reuse and historic preservation by developers are the exception rather than the rule.

I do not know a lot of the preservation groups throughout Chester County as I have not lived here that many years yet .  I love the  Chester County Historical Society and they have lots of neat stuff in their headquarters in downtown West Chester and they do fun things like walking tours.

Also worth noting is the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust. Their 10th annual house tour is September 27th, 2014.


And if you like house tours you should also consider signing up for Chester County Day which benefits Chester County Hospital.  They have preview lectures starting in September which are open to the public.

Anyway, remember the La Rondas…once they are gone, they are gone.

Thanks for stopping by today!