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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Massachusetts to New York State

Now that I've introduced you to Lucy, I'll briefly touch on the past few days...then I think I'll be caught up and can resume writing about events and experiences as we go along. 

Saturday we returned to Ross and Lorna's house in Massachusetts after picking up our new Travel trailer and visiting my cousin Kim and her husband Brad in New Hampshire for a couple of days. We're so grateful to Ross and Lorna for letting us unload our pop-up at their place and use their driveway as a staging area for moving into Lucy. Their generosity made it infinitely easier for us to make the switch, being able to take several days to sort through our belongings and decide what to keep, what to give away and what to discard, and then where to place everything in the new trailer. I can't imagine how difficult that whole process would have been if we'd had to do it at the dealership or at a campground. Thank you, Ross and Lorna, for your generosity and're the BEST!

Sunday we wanted to attend church in the area. On our earlier trip,tp R&L's house, you met their daughter Kirsten and her Husband, Allan Taylor. Well, Allan is the Ministrr of Music at the First Congregational Church of Westfield,,so that's where we decided to go.

1679? Can you imagine that a congregation has been meeting together to worship God for that long? That's over 400 years!!

I caught this shot of the beautiful nave as the choir was coming in and getting organized. That's Allan near the center, just before he sat down at the organ.

The service was wonderful and the music was beautiful. Afterward we went up to say hello to Allan, and he showed us the inside of the tracker organ. I'd never seen one inside before! The tracker organ is an old design, not often seen. The keys and pedals are connected to the pipes by mechanical means rather than electric.

Monday morning eldest brother Ross and baby brother Curt drove to Connecticut to visit middle brother Kim, who lives in the same town, Manchester, where they all grew up. Here they are starting out:

The three of them had a wonderful time. Thy all went out for lunch together to a cafe that Curt remembers from his childhood. He said it was just the same as it used to be. The waitresses still dress in the diner uniforms that were popular in the 50's, the decor is the same, and the menu selections were right out of that era. It's Kim's favorite place to go, and I imagine they all felt like kids again there.

While they were gone, I worked on placing lots of my things in the new trailer, and Lorna took,care of some of the things she needed to do in the house. It was a very productive day!

Tuesday Lorna and I did a little,shopping, picking up a few things needed for the new trailer. Now that I have an oven, I need some baking pans! Curt got new tires on the truck. Ross's neighbor Ray recommended a place that offered terrific deals. Here's Ray, who can do anything, receiving Curt's suggestions in preparation to weld our bike rack onto an attachment for the back bumper of our new trailer. It works great!

Since Ross and Lorna have fed us so many terrific meals . . .

. . .last night we took them to a favorite dinner place...the Tavern on the Hill. We had such a wonderful, delicious, relaxing last evening together, watching the sun set behind the mountains as we dined. I didn't want to interrupt the ambience of the evening to dash out and photograph the sunset, so a couple shots of the beautiful flowers growing outside will have to do.

This morning, Wednesday, we packed up Lucy to set out on our first REAL camping trip with her. We couldn't believe how easy it was and how quickly everything came together, compared to the pop-up. We're really going to enjoy this last half of our trip...even more than the first!

You may remember that when we left Ross and Lorna's house in July, Ross sent us off with a nose flute (nasenpflagel) concert. He spared us that today. Instead, he appeared on the porch with a bagpipe chanter and sent us off with a rousing rendition of Amazing Grace, and a few Scottish tunes. There's never a dull moment around these Shirer guys!

It was a long day driving today. We headed westward into New York State. The sky has opened up a bit. There are broader vistas here than in the New England states. 

And, when towing a new trailer, there's always a bit of a learning curve. In our case, we're learning what will stay where we put it and what needs to be secured a little more carefully. When we stopped for lunch, we saw that we had had a slight mishap in the trailer. It involved a  plastic box placed in an overhead cupboard containing a brand-new glass bottle of pure maple syrup (bummer!), sesame oil, extra virgin olive oil, and soy sauce. It would probably be a tasty blend in a saucepan, but it wasn't so appetizing on our pretty floor mat. We'll see tomorrow if we can get it out of the mat (unlikely, we think). Another shopping trip to a housewares department might be in order. Ah, well, if that's the worst that happens, we're doing well. And only one small cut (so far) from the maple syrup bottle. 

Tonight we're camped in a KOA campground near beautiful Watkins Glen, New York. We're in the Finger Lakes area, surrounded by vineyards, beautiful waterfalls and gorges, and near the renowned city of Corning, with its famous glass museum. We're planning to spend a few days here, and then we're not sure where we'll travel next. But we'll fill you in as soon as we know!

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