June 30, 2007

Orchard Hill Farm

I think my daughter, Ruth was actually happy to see me, though she did make one of her dramatic entrances. Adam, Stephen, and I had arrived and greeted Sam in the center hall stairs when she swooped down the stairs like a bright blue and yellow field bird and said, “Daddy! How wonderful to see you.”

“Hello daughter,” I said as I hugged her and kissed her on the cheek. She made the rounds to Adam and Stephen as well, and I was surprised that she seemed to be on such good terms with Stephen, discussing favorite TV sitcom characters as Sam, Adam, and I chatted about the weather, the farm, and his experimentation with the latest apple varietals. Apparently, Ruth has accepted Adam’s mate without reservation. Perhaps my daughter has finally vanquished her demons.

As you know, dear Journal, Ruth is a wonderful cook, and we had a fantastic farm dinner that evening: a pot roast, carrots, snow peas, and lumpy bistro mashed potatoes with mixed in sautéed garlic, celery, and onion. For dessert there were two pies, rhubarb, and apple. Ruth’s piecrusts are to die for, so short they melt in your mouth, and of course, the rhubarb was home grown, as were the apples.

The next day, Thursday, Sam took me on a tour of the farm to show me the improvements made to the storage barn, and orchards. He is so proud of his large produce stand at the end of the farm lane. “It’s not a store, Isaac. I don’t want this to get out of hand. I just sell fruit and vegetables in season. I avoid using so many of the fertilizers and pesticides so that my local produce is much healthier and better for you than what you can get in the super market. I open in May and close at the end of October.”

“But, what about all the fruit you grow in my orchards?”

“The rest of the apples, peaches, and pears are still sold wholesale.”

“You know, I can’t say I miss the farming, Sam. Though I was quite successful, I enjoyed doing my art much more.”

We stayed at Orchard Hill for 4 days before moving on to Rehoboth Beach where Adam and Stephen had rented a 4-bedroom house for one week. I’ll report on our stay at the beach in my next entry, dear Journal.

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June 27, 2007

My Trip to Woodbury, New Jersey, Orchard Hill Farm, Pennsylvania, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

The trip north was pleasant, including the flight to Philadelphia, even though I had a two-hour layover in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. I took the opportunity take the tram from one section to another, and to walk through the terminal for exercise. I guess you know, dear Journal, that the Atlanta airport is the busiest passenger airport in the country, perhaps the world, and the hub for the southeastern United States. The crowds of people, and the distances you must cover to get to your connecting flight are both huge. Once on board the Philadelphia flight we sat in a queue waiting on the runway for half an hour.

When I arrived in Philadelphia, Adam and Stephen were there to greet me and to help me with my luggage. I had packed only one medium size bag, and a carry-on bag because I knew I would have to walk and drag my own luggage at Palm Beach International. Stephen ribbed me about it.

“What, a gay man with only two bags? You’re traveling for three weeks, Isaac! You should have at least three bags.”

“I know. I’m just not a good example to all you twinks.”

“Funny man. I’ll have you know I’m thirty, and can not possibly have been a twink for many years now.”

“Then be sure you act it.” I think I won that exchange.

I spent an entire week plus two days with Adam and Stephen until the school year ended, and Adam had finished his In Service days. During the weekend of June 9th and 10th the boys took me into Philadelphia where we did the Old City and the historical section including Ben Franklin’s house and print shop, Independence Hall, the National Constitution Museum, the Museum of the American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania Hospital (the oldest hospital in the Nation, co-founded by Thomas Bond and Ben Franklin in 1751), and of course, we saw the liberty bell, though I had seen it several times before. Stephen wanted me to see the new location, “Liberty Bell Center,” at Sixth and Chestnut Street. It is a spectacular setting for the bell, and I was able to learn more about it than I ever had at its old resting place.

We covered a lot of territory very fast. I enjoyed the tour, but I was totally exhausted. I definitely knew what 87 years feels like, and I slept like a baby Sunday night (12 hours).

We finally left for Orchard Hill Farm and Pennsylvania Dutch Country on Wednesday, June 13th. I will leave that part of my journey for the next entry, dear Journal.

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June 23, 2007

Ethics and Religious Virtue

The news media are not talking about the obvious dichotomy that exposes the folly in the Bush administration’s policies. So, upon my return to South Florida, I am!

Constantly reading that stem cell research is an ethical as well as a political issue, and that Mr. Bush vetoed stem cell research because of his religious and ethical convictions, I am totally mystified!* Our evangelical president will not kill a single embryonic cell, but he will authorize the deaths of thousands of American service personnel and tens of thousands of Iraqis in a foreign invasion he undertook for personal reasons that has since destabilized the entire Middle-east. There is no logic, no religious or ethical virtue to that dichotomy.

I have dealt with this and related ethical and Christian religious issues in a more logical and thorough manner in the past. See my entries for April 26, 2007, February 24, 2007, and February 20, 2007.

*Riechman, Deb, “Bush to Veto Stem Cell Bill Today.” AP in Comcast.news, http://www.comcast.net/news/index.jsp?cat
=GENERAL&fn=/2007/06/20/694377.html&cvqh=itn_bush, 10:00 AM EDT, Wednesday, June 20, 2007. Viewed 10:46 AM EDT.

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June 02, 2007

I’m Leaving Florida Tomorrow!

Correction to My Journal Entry for May 24, 2007

Thank goodness I’m not leaving today! Palm Beach International Airport has reported over 7 inches of rain from Barry so far. I’m not complaining. We needed it. Lake Okeechobee was at the lowest recorded level ever before Barry sent all this blessed water our way.

I was going to wait until June 16th for Adam and Stephen to come to South Florida and pick me up. However, they really didn’t need to make two trips to Florida, so I have decided to seize the bull by the horns and fly to Philadelphia tomorrow. That will save my grandson and his partner the long drive to Florida after the always-difficult end to the school year. There really was no reason for them to drive twelve hundred miles down and back, as I’m perfectly capable of getting myself to PBI. I will fly out of PBI at 8:30 Sunday morning and arrive in Philadelphia at 1:30 in the afternoon (a 959 mile flight). Adam will pick me up and take me to Woodbury, New Jersey for several days as planned. I won’t be writing to you for a while, dear Journal, as I will have only spotty access to the Internet during the next two to three weeks. Wish me a wonderful vacation in New Jersey, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and the Delaware shore.

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