It’s great to be home again.  It was a good trip, but there’s no place like home even if being home means coming back to clouds and cooler weather.  As we crossed the state line between Pennsylvania and Ohio yesterday evening we moved from sunshine to dark clouds.  Amazing.  Typical.  And temporary.  The sun is shining brightly today.

The contrast between here (the Bogs) and there (New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania) was more striking than usual.  When we left the Bogs, it was snowing:

The daffodils, hyacinths, and forsythia were blooming but the trees were still mostly bare of leaves.  The mountains of Pennsylvania were pretty similar although the redbuds were blooming nicely in the spots that obviously catch a good deal of sun.  Once through the mountains, things got much more colorful.

Plants were leafing and blooming all over the place.  I thought we might come home to find the trees had more leaves.  Nope.  The willows do but most of the other trees are just beginning to leaf.  The tulips are blooming here now, too.

Highlights of the trip:  The Jersey Shore

We had a fun day with my brother and his wife at the beach.  The weather was nice for April in New Jersey.  Mostly clear skies with lots of sunshine throughout the day.  Every once in a while the wind would shift and come from off the water, cooling things off considerably but we were sheltered fairly well so it wasn’t bad.

(Sunset on our way back from the beach.)

A visit to the cemetery

I spent a few hours at the cemetery where my mother is buried.  It was the first time I’ve been out to see her grave.  There is a temporary marker there for now.  I’m not sure when they’ll get the headstone put in.  Even the sod hasn’t been put down yet.  I imagine they will do that when the stones are put in.  (As you can see from the photo below, the section is waiting for stones and grass.)

This was not one of those “fun” trips to the cemetery.  Even without the personal loss and sadness, this would not have been an interesting visit.  It’s a state veteran’s cemetery where all of the grave markers look alike.  There are rules regarding the flowers placed at the gravesites, with flowers and other decorations being cleaned up once a week by a team of prisoners from a local state prison.  They were out there tidying up the place while I was there.

A brief hike

There is a small park at the end (or beginning, depending on which way you’re going) of the road where my sister lives.  M and I took a stroll around there for some exercise.  They have a challenge course there with things such as rock (wall) climbing and tight-wire walking.  The challenge course was closed at the time and being one of those people who tends to obey the rules, I respected the “no trespassing on the challenge course equipment” signs.

There were plenty of wildflowers blooming on the forest floor.  For some reason I didn’t take any photos of them.  I did take some of the ferns which were getting ready to unwind.

I also tried to capture some of the sunlight and shadows, as well as some of the reflections in the vernal pools.

That’s about it for the New Jersey portion of our trip.  Most of our time there was spent visiting with family.  M spent a day at the place where he worked during his sabbatical, talking with the people he worked with and making arrangements for things to be done regarding his collaboration with those people.


After leaving New Jersey we spent a few hours back in West Chester, Pennsylvania (aka Sabbaticalville).  We had arranged to meet friends there for dinner.  M and I went early so we could visit our favorite book and music store (Chester County Book & Music Company) and then walk around town for a little while.

We had dinner at The Mediterranean (pictured above).  The food was fresh and delicious, and the visit with friends was fun (as always!).

Up next:  Philadelphia.