Tuesday, October 13, 2009
We had a great time on our days off. We drove up to Pennsylvania and our first stop was Penn Collegewhere I worked for the last 18 years,until we went on the road in 2007. I visited with some of the great folks that I worked with and got to see all of the construction underway on campus. Wow, there is a lot going on there. I had to take a couple different routes to get to my old office as they have the opposite end of the building tore up.
While I was on campus visiting, Linda walked up to her son's house (a few streets over from the college) and spent time with her daughter-in-law and grandkids. She had a good time playing with them and finding out what they've been up to.
We left Williamsport and drove north to Mansfield, where my mom lives. There was a drastic difference in the coloration of fall foliage between the two towns. There are some large mountains (at least for the east coast)and a valley that seperates the two regions. When I used to have a house in Blossburg (a small town between Williamsport and Mansfield)and would drive to work at the college, it was not unusual to encounter two or three different types of weather in the 50 mile drive. Temperatures could vary by as much as 15 degrees. It could be calm in Williamsport but as soon as you drive up and over the mountain, through "steam valley", you could run into a snow storm or perhaps ice.
This temperature difference has a big impact on the fall foliage. The trees closer to Mansfield were on their way out....starting to lose leaves and the best colors were gone. In the Williamsport area, they are still about two weeks or so from seeing maximum colors. Odd, huh ? In any event it was a pretty drive and one that I never grow tired of. After traveling to other regions of the country and exploring the unique topographies that each region has to offer, I still fall in love with the beauty and versatility that Pennsylvania has to offer.
We arrived at my mom's house about 3:30. She was really surprised to see us and was just finishing up a batch of peanut butter cups when we got there. She is in the thick of candy making.....It's craft show season and some of the busiest shows are coming up in the next month and she is hard at work every day creating yummy treats that my brother takes for his display. He has bees, from which he creates all sorts of honey products and he also taps lots of maple trees and makes maple syrup products. My 84 year old mother is licensed to make all these wonderful items out of her house and when we visit sometimes we have to play "guinea pig" for her new treats....man, it's a hard job but someone has to do it. Being the perfectionist that she is, there is a always a dish of "rejects" and guess who got to bring them home. Yep, twas us....pretzel bark, peppermint patties covered in dark chocolate, pretzel rods, peanut brittle and fudge. The drawer we keep our "sweet stash" in is now filled to the brim with lots of goodies. She cooked a yummy supper for us of brussel sprouts from her garden, along with other veggie dishes. After supper we made her play tour guide and go with us to see some exciting things going on in the area. I'll talk about that more in tomorrow's post. When we came back from our sightseeing jaunt, we had a slice of a pumpkin cake that she had made....it was so moist and yummy ! Linda loves to look at all the magazines my mom receives and this time she found a recipe for pierogie lasagna that sounds really good that we want to try. We have two bags of pierogies in the freezer that are just dying to be turned into this new concoction.
Left moms house this morning and made our way back to New Jersey, stopping to have lunch with a friend of mine. Arrived home a little before 6:00....all settled in with our treats and ready to go back to work tomorrow.