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April 26, 2015
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View From the Train

Dancing snow devils

Pausing as I step out of the front door, looking up through the barren trees, the cerulean blue of the morning sky peeks at me. The word “cerulean” is derived from the Latin caelum, meaning heaven. Upon crisp mornings like this, it is heaven I am viewing for sure. The long, harsh winter is slowly losing its grip on us. Patches of the promise of spring can be seen through the snow as the earth awakens from its slumber. There is no doubt that the spring in my morning step these days is due to the earlier dawning of the morning light.  Read more

Be prepared

The Boy Scouts of America celebrated their 105th anniversary this past February 8. As an Eagle Scout and the father of an Eagle Scout, I embrace many of the teachings of the Scouts, especially its motto: “Be Prepared!” These two simple words have always stuck with me and have helped me in many ways to always have Plan B in the back of my head, just in case things don’t go as planned—which often they don’t.  Read more

If you have nothing nice to say…

I notice the tip jar on the counter of a deli where I get my coffee before I head into the office and most days just give it a glance and walk away. Today I stopped, looked at the girl behind the counter and said, “exactly what do you expect a tip for?” To my surprise she had a lengthy answer; obviously I wasn’t the first to query this. “Well it’s for things like saying good morning, giving you a napkin, making sure your change is correct and wishing you a nice day.” Then came the most sincere smile I ever saw; she was looking me right in the eyes.  Read more

The space ship

One of the nice things about riding the train is the diversity of people you meet as you travel. The Upper Delaware is a resort destination and the weekend home to many who come from the city for an escape. We are still home to many of the traditional ethnic diversities that made the Borsht Belt famous in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Over the decades, new ethnic groups have added their particular flavor and flair to our area.  Read more

Things that go bump in the night

We set the clocks back this time of year, thrusting us back into the darkness of the morning. My morning has me out of the house before 5 a.m. each day. There is a different world outside my door at that hour, an eerie world of wildlife with night vision. Sometimes, I cringe when I hear the crunch of the leaves, not knowing what creature is out there in the dark. Sometimes, at the edge of the property, it’s just a pair of glowing eyes staring at me; or there are the screeches, howls and other things going on in the dark.  Read more

‘My dog ate my homework’ And other excuses

Fall brings the changing of the foliage to the Upper Delaware Valley. Along with the falling leaves come the “slippery rail” excuse for train delays. It seems, according to New Jersey Transit (NJT), a locomotive hauling seven train cars filled with passengers, can have issues with traction because of leaves falling on the rails. The condition is so serious that trains run at reduced speeds during this time of the year to gain traction on the rail. I asked a seasoned conductor if a train ever derailed because of this “slippery rail” condition. He said “Are you kidding?  Read more

Never too old to just listen to the music

During the last train ride up from the city together with my son, he commented, “I don’t know how you do this trip.” I tend to agree with him with the exception of what lies at the end of the ride besides my home and my hammock, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the premier concert venue in the northeast. You see, I live a short 20-minute ride from there, and I love live music. Growing up in Brooklyn, there were many venues for concerts, yet I never had the money to go, or all I could afford was the “nosebleed” section.  Read more

Slipping into darkness

The first day of summer is a joyous time of the year, plans of long days, warm nights, fire flies, reading books in the hammock, building sand castles on the beach. All the plans of summer lie ahead and the excitement that goes with them, waiting to unfold. The commuter, however, as much he or she enjoys the beginning of summer, knows the joy will be short lived. Every day after the longest day of the year we lose eight minutes of sunshine. Every day comes closer to slipping back into the darkness. To the commuter this will mean eight months of dark mornings and even darker trips home.  Read more

Father’s Day

She responds to me with, “Oh… Daddy,” when I tell her how cute she looks in her PJs with her pig tails swinging down the hall. She is doing a quick skip as she leads me to the kitchen and can’t keep in the excitement of what she has prepared (with help from Mom). “Sit Daddy, sit,” she instructs, and like the good waitress she unfolds the paper-towel napkin she has held over her arm till now and places it on my lap. She is hopping in place with excitement. I can’t help but notice the smile, the rosy cheeks and the twinkle in those big brown eyes of hers.  Read more

Showing our colors

One of the joys in my commute is listening to a segment called “The Pledge” on Steve Andrew’s morning drive show on WSUS radio. Each day of the week a group of either first or second graders from local schools repeats the Pledge of Allegiance as it is recorded in their classroom. Personally, this brings me back to my own school upbringing where this was a daily occurrence for my first years of school.  Read more

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