It was a glorious day today.  The weather was bright, there was a strong breeze and the temperatures were down.  I slept until seven and was in the car on my way to New Tripoli by eight.  I took the back road, through Werley’s Corner and Lynnville.  I’d forgotten about how beautiful the barn architecture is in this part of Pennsylvania.  I’m certain I probably didn’t think of barns as being beautiful when I was fifteen and aching to be anywhere else but here.  But they are.  Simply beautiful.

As are the Blue Ridge Mountains.  But I knew they would be and was not surprised.

I stopped at Ebenezer Church, where the choral group I was in as a teenager practiced and then followed the road out to Lynnport.  I turned down the lane I lived on and slowly past the house I grew up in.  The Old Lynnport School house has a new belfry with tiny little windows.  They chopped down the beautiful weeping willows years ago, but I was still happy that the house was standing and in good repair.

The silver bridge is long gone, too.  When I stepped on its replacement I startled a Blue Heron, a White Egret and a team of ducks.  They all took off and settled a few hundred yards downstream.  At the same time, right above me, was a Sparrow Hawk and in the distance a soaring vulture.

I followed the lane around a corner to this abandoned schoolhouse.  I remember in high school becoming involved in a history project to restore the structure. But why restore this one when we’ve the beautiful Claussville Schoolhouse a few miles away?

I returned to my car, determined to fulfill the final goal on my list. When it came to forging, climbing and clamoring, as a child I was fearless.  Today, as I dove into the shoulder-high weeds, I wanted to find the abandoned slate quarry, and that child, again.

And, as promised, here’s my Mom’s recipe for Orange Mousse.


  • 16 oz. cottage cheese
  • 1 large orange Jell-o (6 oz)
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (20 oz)
  • 1 can mandarin oranges (15 oz)
  • 1 Cool Whip (8 oz)

Drain fruit.  Mix in dry Jell-o and cottage cheese, and then fold in Cool Whip until blended.  Chill.