November 2, 2014

November 2014 Welcome Message



We knew it was October 1st when we watched my son-in-law Michael  decorate his yard for his favorite holiday, Halloween. His décor was photographed by many viewers (mine: Ghoulish Halloween Photographs) of his creative work.  The beginning of October is also marked by the last Ligonier, Pennsylvania, farmer’s market, noted for selling only locally grown or made items. It was only the second farmer’s market I’d been able to attend this year.  Mid-October is the time for Ligonier Days, reputed to be among the country’s largest autumn festivals. The entire town is given over to the festivities, and the parade is its highlight.

I was delighted when the Westmoreland County Historical Society magazine came in our mail days later. It included my article on Flight of Valor, a music composition on Flight 93 commissioned by the Somerset County Community Band. It took me at least 3 ½ years to complete the article. I wrote a simpler article, Flight of Valor: Honoring United Airlines Flight 93 Victims , a while back but the print copy focuses on Westmoreland County (Pennsylvania) and includes much more information.

October 2014 will be remembered as the year my husband Monte and our neighbor Dan used a special deck paint on our large deck. Touted for its thickness, ability to fill cracks and crevices, and textured finish, it can also be very toxic to anyone sensitive to it. I know this because when Dan came into our computer room after they were done painting for the day his clothes emitted strong fumes, which caused my throat to immediately become sore and swell. The next morning my blood pressure reading was frighteningly high. Then, for 2 ½ weeks I experienced phantom smell and taste hallucinations. Watch for my post on the subject.

We ended October with a delightful two-night visit my brother Dave and his wife Kim in Fayetteville, Pennsylvania. Kim is a great cook who served scrumptious meals. Dave drove us on a tour of the area during which I took pictures of an old springhouse and a water wheel. After saying our goodbyes we drove to Schuylkill County where, in Minersville, we remet my cousin Bob Borinsky and met his son Michael, a delightful young man. We also visited the Pottsville Library, where we learned the death date of my great-grandfather’s brother Lawrence, a miner killed in the Lytle Mines in 1914.

En route home we stopped at Centralia, where a mine fire burns continually and collapsed a road so badly it cannot be used. It’s covered with graffiti now. At a nearby location we spotted steam spouting from the mine, showing the fire is still burning.

After that we stopped at Gravity Hill in New Paris, where even my (former) physicist husband became mystified as our car, while in neutral, rolled uphill.

We ended our short vacation by Descending Laurel Mountain in Ligonier, PA (we live at the foot of this sometime scary hill).

The bonus of our four days of travel was the beautifully warm weather and the spectacularly dressed autumn trees. Who needs to travel far and wide to experience the best leaf-peeping in the country?

November has arrived. Time to prepare for a triple-holiday season. Enjoy the first, Thanksgiving . and the inevitable first snow and cold.

I want to thank you, my many visitors to CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS, and I especially want to welcome my new subscribers. You are what makes this online magazine successful.

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