THE GREEN COUNTRY

THE GREEN COUNTRY gives a glimpse of the hardships faced by the early settlers. It also shows their determination to establish a new way of life.

As a writer interested in history, it seemed only natural I should write about Pennsylvania and what an important role it played in our nation’s beginnings.
In a previous Blog entitled, THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, I had entertained the idea of leaving your home and migrating to America and what a wrenching experience that would be. My novel, THE GREEN COUNTRY is based on that premise and how Pennsylvania was settled by the Quakers, among others.
Here is the blurb from the back of the book:

“Leaving their home in England in 1683 to escape Quaker persecution, the Turner family braved the crossing of the Atlantic to establish a life in the new untamed country. The voyage and their early settlement had its share of challenges, but Rachel, the eldest daughter, held onto her promise to return to her homeland after helping her family make  their claim in William Penn’s territory of Pennsylvania. She hadn’t counted in falling in love with the pristine green country. Then her plans began to take an unexpected turn when she met an indentured servant named Jonathan.”

 

 

The Statue of Liberty

Making your way in a strange land, took a bravery few of us will ever face. The promise of freedom spurred them on.

Did you ever have the words to a song or poem running through your head all day long?  How about for a week?

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” I know them as the words to a song, but more famously from a poem written by Emma Lazarus. It graces a bronze plaque on The Statue of Liberty I felt that by the length of my repetitious thoughts, they were telling me to share my feelings on the subject.

The poem, in its entirety, is entitled THE NEW COLOSSUS. The statue, a gift from France, stands on Liberty Island. Ellis Island is the adjacent port where the federal Immigration station was housed.  Some of   our forefathers entered the port of Philadelphia, as well as Ellis Island.We are a nation of immigrants

Each one of us has an historic past of what drove those fearful, but in a strange way, also fearless souls, who gave up their ways of life, their families and all that was dear to them to make a new life in a foreign land. We honor them when we search for our genealogy to find our roots, and to seek some understanding of what it might have been like when they answered the call of freedom.

 

Find Pleasure in Simple Things

Find pleasure in the simple things. Spread that feeling of happiness to others.

Often we overlook the little things that can bring us happiness because we are waiting for that gigantic rush, when time seems to hold us in a moment of pure pleasure.

Those moments are a rarity but when they occur, we will always hold that memory dear to our hearts. It is sad, though, that we are always looking for total happiness, when in fact, there are little things that bring us happiness all the time. It may be as simple as the words to a song, a whispered word, the taste of your favorite cookie, the laughter of children, or the call from a friend ‘checking up on you.’ The list of simple things is boundless.

I once worked with a doctor who was never satisfied that he had a good practice, a lovely family, a beautiful home, and yet he felt he was not achieving what he was destined for. How tragic that he missed the things that were really important. You can make up your mind to be happy with what you have. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be trying to better your lot in life. I think in many ways we are all trying to do that.

It is also important that we don’t let our neighbors set our standards. Sure, they may have a newer car or nicer trappings in their living space, but do they recognize the really important things, like caring and sharing, and giving, and the taking part in life?

Reflect a moment and think of the things that have become commonplace, but bring you joy every day, and try to spread that feeling of wellbeing and contentment and in little ways, happiness so everyone around you can experience it, too.

 

 

The Pagoda

The Pagoda in Reading, PA is detailed in the book FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOUNTAIN by Corrie Crupi. It is an historical account, including pictures, of the area.

 

Recently I read a beautifully written book about the Reading Pagoda that my grandson had purchased on a recent trip to that PA city.

The book is entitled FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOUNTAIN by Corrie Crupi. It details the history of the now historical Pagoda and the surrounding area. It tells how the Pagoda came to be in Reading, PA.

Reading it was like reliving my past. At times it took my breath away. I grew up in Reading, in the shadow of the Pagoda, often taking the trails mentioned in the book. I remember hiking up the half rotted wooden steps from City Park to the Pagoda.  It was no easy climb. but well worth the effort, for what lay at the top of the mountain was an amazing discovery, THE PAGODA.

So many of the names of places came instantly back to me. I had enjoyed campfire outings at Egleman’s Park where Hessian prisoners had once been housed during the Revolutionary War. I often played tennis with my high school friends near Pendora Park, and I recall picking huckleberries on Neversink Mountain. Oh, the memories that the reading of that book evoked.

The Pagoda was constructed to hide the eyesore stone quarry that defaced Mount Penn. It was the hope of builder, William Witman, to replace it with a luxury hotel. When his application for a liquor license failed, he ‘gifted ‘ it to the city of Reading. The upkeep of the Pagoda has been constant challenge for the city and PAGODA-SKYLINE, INC.  Over the years it has seen many changes including added lighting, windows on the once open top floor, and a gift shop for the tourist attraction and others.

Making frequent ‘hikes up the mountain, on the road instead of the steps, I could never understand why there was no clapper in the large bell on the seventh floor of the pagoda. I have since learned it is a gong, not a bell. It was brought to life when a visiting official from Japan, where the gong had originally been housed in a Buddhist temple, brought a wooden mallet and performed a ceremony on behalf of the people of Reading and Hanno, Japan.  The mallet produced the sounds it was made for. The ceremony added a tonal conclusion to its history.

The book is a fascinating read. It is filled with great pictures, considering the times. It is well worth the effort to see the PAGODA and other historic sites if you live in or are visiting in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania.

The book is entitled FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOUNTAIN by Corrie Crupi. It ia published by R-E -P Commercial Printing, 340 Court Street, Reading, PA 19603.