September 15, 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt 8/24/2013: These Sandals Were Made for Walking…Where???



Hugs for my sister Nancy Lee on her September 15th birthday…







The wordpress daily prompt for August 24, 2013, is These boots are made for walking…


As soon as winter releases its cold to a warm spring, and sandals become comfortable footwear, I dig a ragged but solid pair of sandals from the back of my closet, where they were relegated while Old Man Winter blew his chilly bitter-cold breath over our community.

These sandals bear fond memories.


NOTE: These sandals are making more fond memories this September 2013—yesterday (September 14) they walked Nantasket and Duxbury beaches in Massachusetts. They plan on  trekking many more beaches before we leave New England. The sandal photos in this post were taken September 6 at Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island on the third day of our New England travels.

In 2003 my husband and I traveled together for 85 days in a “tin can.” That was how we referred to our vehicle of the day, which took us from our retirement home in Laurel Mountain Borough to the coastline of New England.

I’d decided I wanted to walk as many mainland beaches as possible between East Lamoine, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I excluded the beaches on Maine’s islands to decrease complications—the KISS rule.


I chose East Lamoine, Maine, because seven generations ago a French Revolution émigré wed a third-generation Downeast Maine English-Irish pioneer. These were my ancestors, and two of the characters in my historical romance novel-under-construction.


Ending my walk at Wallis Sands Beach (actually in Rye, New Hampshire) was a no-brainer. I spent 11 years of my childhood in Portsmouth (29 Spring Street and 108 Spring Street), and many summer hours at Wallis Sands Beach.

I was joined at Lamoine Beach by some new-found relatives I had just met. Xxx des Isles and I are probably (more…)


September 12, 2013

Lighthouse Cruise on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS is now located at Carolyn’s Online Magazine.

After reading about the lighthouse cruise I invite you to visit the new site.



Hugs to Nancy, Justin, Kirsten & Debbie




All Aboard

The Ava Pearl is about to depart from Quonset Point for a 30-mile 95 minute cruise featuring 10 lighthouses in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.


The major land mass Ava Pearl circles is Conanicut Island, the location of Jamestown.

Ava Pearl is a brand new state-of-the-art high-speed catamaran seating 150 passengers. My husband Monte and I were among a group of about 50-75 sightseers who took the tour on September 10, 2013.

The day was overcast, slightly threatening a storm. Still, the temperature was comfortable. I wore my sweater because I knew ocean breezes could be cool.

Before boarding the boat the lineup for the unisex restroom (in the registration building) was constant. However, a notice said there were three restrooms on the Ava Pearl for the passenger’s convenience.

In line, people were friendly. While walking up the ramp to board a woman asked me if I would take a picture of her and her friend with her Canon camera. It wouldn’t click. It must have recognized me as electronics illiterate. So I took her picture on my camera and recorded her email address.

The ride began quite breezy. I stood beside the rail taking pictures.

Beaver Tail Lighthouse taken from the boat

Beaver Tail Lighthouse taken from the boat

Beaver Tail Lighthouse taken during a visit on land

Beaver Tail Lighthouse taken during a visit on land

I knew my skirt was blowing up some, but it was worse than I imagined. According to Monte my skirt blew quite high. Fortunately, I wore a bathing suit underneath because we’d visited Beach #2 in Newport before driving to Quonset Point, so I wasn’t worried.

A man nearby smiled when I lowered my camera.


“I took a video of you,” he said. “I’m putting it on Facebook.”

What harm? No one would see my face,

“I’d like a copy of that,” I said, handing him my business card with my email address on it. He agreed to send it to me. We’ll see…I recorded his email in case he fails to follow through on his part.

Meanwhile, Monte told me he’d seen the wind attack my skirt and decided to take a picture. When he did everyone laughed more.

“I’m wearing a bathing suit,” I said to Monte. “Perhaps I should take off my skirt and just wear my bathing suit. It might be less suggestive.

Once out on the open water the breezes diminished and things calmed down. But as we reached the southern tip of Conanicut Island the sea swells began rocking the boat like a baby’s cradle. I expected the passengers to begin crooning Rock-a-by-baby at any time. I love this wild sea but I hope any storm waits until after this cruise to develop. I lost my balance and almost fell, but caught myself by grabbing onto the edge of a seat.


I continued to take pictures, switching sides of the boat as needed.


September 8, 2013

Start of a New England Vacation



Hug for Jordan


We finally made it. We are en route to the New England coast, and are inviting you along to enjoy our escapades.

Neighbor's dog wanted to go with us.

Neighbor’s dog wanted to go with us.

We had a rocky start. On Monday morning, when Monte went to get mail, the car belt light went on. He didn’t dare drive the car far if there was a serious problem.

On Monday night our computer died. I had to connect the printer to my laptop to print the business cards I wanted so I could spread the word about my novel-under-construction, and I went to the neighbor’s to use their wi-fi to complete my Beanery Writers email task.

On Tuesday morning Monte headed to Greensburg to solve the car problem. En route home he stopped at the computer shop and dropped off the computer so it could be repaired while we traveled. He also stopped at the car rental business where he was offered a satisfactory price on a rental car, so he arranged for us to pick up the car on Wednesday morning.

When my neighbor Dan called late Tuesday evening he offered to go to Latrobe with Monte, at 8:00 a. m., to pick up the car.

We managed, somehow, to be on the road by 12:25 p. m. Start mileage was 6,032.

While leaving Laurel Mountain Borough Monte stopped to talked with two Borough council members who were discussing road problems with a road specialist.

We exited the Route 30 exit from the Borough, tired but relieved to be on our way. Part way up Laurel Mountain Monte realized he’d left his car insurance card behind, and he didn’t think he’d locked our car.

He made a U-turn on the lower side of a small hill crest, and didn’t  understand why I was nervous at this.

“Nothing’s coming,” he said.

“How can you tell? You can’t (more…)

September 5, 2013

Rt. 30 (PA) From Latrobe to Laughlintown: Photos


Often while a passenger in the car I use the sports setting on my camera, often achieving some pretty good pictures.

On June 14, 2013, I shot scenes through the car window while traveling east on the Lincoln Highway, Rt. 30, between Latrobe and Laughlintown in Pennsylvania. Monte drove the car at 50-plus miles as I shot the following photographs. I invite you to take this journey with me as you view the following photographs.

Rt. 30 at the western edge of Latrobe, with a view of the Chestnut Ridge

Rt. 30 at the western edge of Latrobe, with a view of the Chestnut Ridge

An airplane landing at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport

An airplane landing at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport


August 27, 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt 8/24/2013: These Boots Were Made for Walking…Where???



Hug for David, once our German exchange student



The wordpress daily prompt for August 24, 2013, was These boots were made for walking…


Looking up at the elderly couple I smiled and said “Americana.”

It was the second week of November, 2000. My husband Monte and I were in Germany. On Wahlberg Mountain, to be specific. And I was belly down on the stoned path attempting to photograph the scene far below us—Tegernsee Lake—through the tall grasses at the edge of the path.  

After I snapped a couple of shots I looked up and saw the couple, amusement dancing in their eyes. I had to say something, and my German is pretty well non-existent. So “Americana” was all I could think of saying.


We were in Munich for a two-week visit with my son Nolan, who was studying on a post-doctorate program at Ludwig Maximilians University.

Before we left the states I’d made a list of the things I thought would be interesting to do. Of course, my list is always longer than our time, so we couldn’t do everything.

My list included two items I hated to sacrifice to time:

  • going to the top of one Alp mountain
  • spending the night at a farm.

I chose the farm.

With our son along as a guide, we traveled to the village of Rottach-Egern, which is approximately 35 miles (in a straight line) from Munich. By the time we arrived it was pitch dark, which created much interest as we attempted to find the farm. Finally, success.

The “room” we rented was a mini-apartment on the second floor of the farmhouse. Of course, the couple didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak German, but Nolan managed to get us settled quickly so he could return to Munich.

As we approached the farm I noticed something—a string of lights rising high into the air. What luck. We were about a two-block walk from an Alp—Mt. Wahlberg.

We rose early in the morning and took a cable car almost to the top of the Alp—which rises 1722 meters or 1.07 miles. There was still more mountain when we exited the cable car, and a path that led to different levels.

We explored the area where the cable car stopped. We stopped at the chapel, and walked the path. And I snapped pictures of Tegernsee Lake. I hope that the couple I greeted didn’t end up thinking badly of Americans.


Monte decided he would attempt to climb further up the mountain, but I didn’t (more…)

April 25, 2013

Mount Katahdin’s Angry God. Pamola


I dedicate this post to my newest sister Pamela, who discovered me in February, 2012. Her name is just too similar to the Abanaki god Pamola, so I was thinking of her as I was writing this post.

Then, during our Beanery Writers Group meeting I assigned a prompt: Since it’s National Poetry Month the prompt was to write 1-3 poems in the time allowed. My poem was the followoing limerick:

I have a new sister Pamela 

how does she resemble Pamola 

she’d have to be ugly

and, oh, so much angry

I do not think she’s like Pamola.

Mounts Katahdin and Turner from Lake Katahdin, Maine

Mounts Katahdin and Turner from Lake Katahdin, Maine

If you look closely you can even see Mt. Katahdin today,” the guide told them, pointing west. “Katahdin is an Indian name meaning The Greatest Mountain—it is sixty miles (north or west?) of here and rises high over all the other mountains found in this region. Some Indians believe it is the home of the storm god Pamola, and it should be avoided. Often it is undetectable, because it is shrouded by a mountain-covering fog.” —a line from my novel-being-birthed, Intertwined Love.

Looking northwest from Hamlin Peak of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine

Looking northwest from Hamlin Peak of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine

Madame Rosalie de Leval, Monsieur de la Roche, and Gen. Henry Jackson were on the summit of Schoodic Mountain in Hancock County, Maine, when their guide spoke those words.

Curious, and wondering whether to add more information to the guide’s statement, I did my usual: I entered the god Pamola into the Internet search engine and took off.

Human religion and mythology almost always place the gods on the highest possible pinnacle…Zeus on Mt. Olympus, Moses on a rarefied air of a lofty peak…then there is Pamola on Katahdin Mountain, as related in an Abenaki legend.

This legend tells that the spirits of nature once held their yearly conferences in the woods but were unhappy because humans sneaked behind tree trunks to spy on them, or else disturbed them with noise and chatter in the distance. They needed a place where the animals of the woods and the Indians could not or would not go. The spirits gathered in council and soon agreed that the solution was to build a mountain. Whereupon pillar of solid rock rose out of the ground with a thunderous noise, spilling boulders across the landscape, until it towered over the older hills. Now, between mortals and the gods lay a mysterious layer of clouds. The gods could confer on the tablelands—long alpine meadows strewn with broken rocks and scrub growth—and the secrets of nature would be safe. They decreed, “No mortal shall ever climb this mountain beyond where the trees and bushes grow.”*

Thus, the Abenaki Indians consider the barren, cloudy timberline of a mountain such as Katahdin was sacred ground, a meeting place for the gods. “Do not go where men stand taller than the trees,” a proverb warned.

A view of the north basin of Mount Katahdin, Maine from Hamlin Peak

A view of the north basin of Mount Katahdin, Maine from Hamlin Peak

One of the Abenaki spirits, Bahmolai—called Pamola by less agile tongues—delights storytellers and historians. This spirit is also known as the Storm Bird, the god of Thunder and protector of the mountain. A Catholic missionary translated Pamola’s name as He Curses on the Mountain and branded him a demon.

The Indians described Pamola as having the head of a moose, the body of a man, and the wings of an eagle. Another description is that Pamola has a head and face as large as four horses, and shaped like that of a man. His body, form and feet, are those of an (more…)

February 21, 2013

Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania


Cucumber Falls was most likely as equal an attraction to the first known group to inhabit the area as it is for tourists and residents today.

The first known group known to occupy the Ohiopyle region in Pennsylvania the Monongahela, a Native American clan of the Mound Builders. They and other Native American tribes ultimately disappeared from the region following the French and Indian war that ended in 1763.

The name Ohiopyle is derived from the Lenape Indian phrase ahi opihale, meaning it turns very white, a reference to the frothy waters of the nearby Ohiopyle Falls.**

Photo by Monte

Photo by Monte

Cucumber Run is named for the abundance of one species of magnolia tree, the cucumber magnolia (Magnolia acuminate), that still is found in the watershed.** Another explanation for its name came from a friend: (more…)

August 26, 2012

The Jelly Beans Restaurant (Painted Post, N. Y.)



Painted Post, New York

While fruity candy remains a universal favorite…candy makers are (creating flavors) to satisfy what scientists call kids’ “yuck factor”—the yuckier the better. …hamburger, horseradish or even grass, all of which are replicated in…jelly beans fashioned by Jelly Belly after Harry Potter’s favorite sweets, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans…1


     On our travels to Heuvelton, New York (beginning of May 2012) Monte and I registered at a motel near Painted Post, New York. It was not quite 4:00 p. m., so I selected a movie to watch. I expected it to be a typical two-hour flick that would end at dinner time. However, it was a double-length film that lasted until 8:00 p. m., too late for dinner. We gave up on the movie and drove a few miles to Painted Post to locate a restaurant recommended by the motel desk clerk.

It didn’t take long to locate the Jelly Beans Restaurant. We both ordered breakfast items—Monte, a veggie omelet and I, corned beef hash and eggs. Their food portions were generous and good. They even have horseradish sauce.


     The Jelly Beans Restaurant is a community restaurant with good food and a good atmosphere . Employees had painted spring flowers on the window glass. Hand-made banners hang from the ceiling. A painting—comprised of hands—was created by early, elementary school students.

     The waitress mentioned that a groups of students dine at the Jelly Beans Restaurant during field trips.

“They each have their own money and pay for their own meal,” she said.

One such group presented the restaurant with a creative (more…)

August 23, 2012

Sailboat Ride Checked Off My Bucket List



(Photographer: Monte W. Holland)

It wasn’t on my bucket list.

In fact, it was never even a conscious desire.

One day, while visiting Lakeside, Ohio, I admired the rainbow-colored assortment of sailboats beside the beach.

Later in the week my husband Monte and I had shared a sandwich and soup in the Lakeside Hotel restaurant. Our table was in front of a window with a great view of the sailboats.

While swimming one hot afternoon  I checked out a section not surrounded by ropes.

“I guess this section is for the expert swimmer” I said.

“Pretty much,” he said.

During our conversation we saw a sailboat tip over. It lay flat on its side.

“Do the sailors know what they are doing? I asked, expecting that the lifeguard would have to jump in the water to rescue them.

“I hope so,” he said.

On the next very sweltering afternoon I sat reading on the pavilion of the dock, trying to catch the wafts of a minimal breeze. I kept glancing up to watch the colorful sailboats on Lake Erie.

A thought flitted across my mind: I’ve never (more…)

August 12, 2012

August 7th: A Celebration of Lighthouses Part B




Monte at Cape Cod’s
Highland Light

On August 7, 1789, the Lighthouse Act was signed, along with the commissioning of the first federal lighthouse in the United States.1  This act provided for the establishment and support of lighthouse, beacons, buoys and public

This is a continuation of the post  August 7th: A Celebration of Lighthouses Part A, which can be read at


On our boat ride to the Isles of Shoals we passed the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle, New Hampshire.  This station was established in 1771. It was the first light station established at a military installation of the British colonies of the present United States, the 10th of 11 light stations established in the colonies before the American Revolution, and the first lighthouse in the American colonies north of Boston…The lighthouse was transferred to the federal government in 1791, and in 1793 President George Washington ordered that the light be maintained at all times, with a keeper living on site…A new 48-foot cast-iron lighthouse tower was erected in 1878 on the same foundation as the previous tower. In fact, the new lighthouse was actually assembled inside the old one, which was eventually removed…5


We visited Nauset Lighthouse in Eastham on Cape Cod. I have distant ancestors from that community. However, my direct ancestor removed to Trenton, Maine, before 1836, when 21 residents of Eastham wrote to the Boston Marine Society asking for (more…)

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