From The Life Of Riley: Sept to Dec 2014
From The Life Of Riley: Sept to Dec 2014
The Life of Riley is a blog by Dana Thomas Weber which allows us the reader to transcend into her Life through her words so we get to live a little of the Life Of Riley she is attaining to.
Here are two of her posts from Sept and Dec 2014, we hope to bring more soon.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
One Hundred Twenty Four Years. That is how long our little yellow and white frame house has stood at it’s present location. It was commissioned to be built by a successful businessman here in town, Frank Hamilton. He owned the fine menswear shop on Main Street and would have taken the same – or close to it- route and my family and I walk when we stroll to Main Street from our front door. We are only the fourth family to reside here and, as many who cherish old homes will tell you, we are only passing through. Caretakers of the property some might say.
After the Hamiltons, the Newtons moved in. Their son still comes to visit this house he grew up in (and us) every summer. It is a good house filled with years and years of good memories- you can feel that upon entering the foyer which still bears the artistic traces left by Mr. Hamilton on the detailed hardwood floors. Mrs. Rachel Newton was a former Philadelphia women’s magazine editor before she moved here and, after settling in Emlenton, she began writing for the Oil City Derrick – a newspaper which still thrives today. Mr. Newton, worked at the Quaker State Oil refinery that was here in town until the 1980’s. Mr. Gary Kingsley, the third homeowner of this house worked there, too, as did many in town until the plant closed. All but a few traces of that industry is gone now. The bike trail runs through the site and now brings tourists to the area instead of sending the oil out on the railroad track that has been removed and paved over.
The history in Emlenton is intriguing – the natural gas industry was born here by Mr. Crawford whose natural gas company is now known as Columbia Gas. The oldest, continuously pumping oil well in the United States still pumps away here, although, the heavy industry and trains that once ran though town are gone. This is also true of most of the fine shops that once filled the still-standing brick storefronts that line our historic Main Street. The town is evolving after a slowdown and new life is being breathed into what was at one time the most prosperous little town in America. Prosperity is still here for those who have the vision that the residents before us had. The potential is unlimited here in a town with beautiful architecture to match the natural beauty which surrounds it. Visitors from this state, nationwide and beyond have traveled here for the outside adventure and recreation the region and town offers. Their feedback confirms that this little river and trail town does indeed deserve its spot as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. We should remember this when those of us who live here start to forget what riches the town still has to offer us. As modern day community leaders dedicate their time to making sure this town has a place in the future, so did the leaders of yesteryear in their own way.
Despite all of this, I sit here on my porch as I often do after my little ones fall asleep. The night sounds of the crickets and other insects drown out any nearby vehicle traffic as they probably did to the stage coaches and trains a century ago. The moonrise is spectacular and comforting in its reliability. Tonight is a Super Moon and it’s full and bright glow lights the river waterway and the valley as if it is dawn, not dusk.
I write this and think of the Hamiltons … did they bask the glow of the moon as I do each evening and allow the sounds of nature to wash away the cares of the day? I think of Rachel Newton. Our neighbors who knew her said you could often hear her typewriter clicking away in all seasons as she typed her articles on this same porch; just as I am doing right now on my laptop keys. The porch even still holds the same porch swing that she would have sat upon. The Kingsleys lovingly braced that aging wicker swing to allow it to provide additional decades of conversation and relaxation to those who make the time.
So much changes in the world around us and each day brings happiness or strife to everyone. Most of our worries and anxieties end up being pretty insignificant in the the big picture. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, however, as I sit here among the ghosts of this little town, the crickets and the moon remind me not to fret. Not much changes after all.
Old World Meets New
December is here and the lights are up at our home. It certainly puts me in the spirit of things despite the hectic alter-ego of the season.
Hanukkah would not be the same without the Menorah and the Christmas Tree makes Christmas a little more special for young and old. Holiday music, games, and feasts have become woven into our memories over the years. December bursts at the seam with tradition. A quick online search of Old World Traditions around the globe during December mentions the same words over and over, regardless of religion or beliefs:
Festive, Peaceful, Food, Song, Games, Time With Family and Friends, Community, Winter Bonfires, Sharing, Forgiveness, Lights, Blessings, Praise, Simple Gifts and Rest.
This collection of meaningful acts makes no mention of malls, credit cards, traffic, nor exhaustion. Thank goodness for those among us who keep tradition alive in this chaotic and materialistic world we live in. Without these special people in our homes, families, and communities, it appears we would spin out of control as the year comes to an end. As darkness descends earlier here in the northern hemisphere, quiet times with friends and family, candlelight, and stargazing around winter bonfires just seem right as another year comes to an end. Quaint and simple traditions provide time to reflect, count our blessings and show appreciation for one another. What a splendid gift. What more could we need?
Season’s Greetings to all and a special Thank You to Emlenton’s businesses, emergency and borough personnel, and community volunteers for bringing holiday cheer to our little town in December and throughout the year!
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The Tallest Timbers by DANA THOMAS WEBER
Is the simple life so simple?
Lacey Williams is a driven and disciplined Annapolis real estate agent who has created success from scratch. It is, however, a life she has become disenchanted with. Yearning for a simpler way of life, she follows her heart and lesspractical intuitions for the first time in order to seek out her version of a fulfilling life.
There is no turning back once she sells her home, walks away from her career and moves to a rustic cabin in upstate New York....
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