Oct 25, 2012

True Colors

By Susan Knight
 
 
Everyone always asks me, “Do you miss Pennsylvania?”

My response has always been, “I miss the people.”

I stand corrected.
 
I do miss Pennsylvania—in autumn. How happy I was to learn my sister’s induction into our high school’s Sports Hall of Fame was to take place in October, just as the leaves lose their chlorophyll to reveal their true colors. I bought a plane ticket. Family reunion, here I come.

My journey home began in Bucks County, a rural area about 40 miles northwest of Philadelphia. I lived there for over 30 years. I met with former ward members and forever friends in happy reunions.

I drove around back roads with a bosom friend, and feasted on autumn light and color—food for the soul.
Bosom friend at Haycock Bridge. She writes short stories and this bridge sparked a
murder mystery in her mind. I can’t wait to read it.
Yes, these roads are almost wide enough for two cars to pass each other


I wanted to get some pictures of the covered bridge that appears in my novel.
As I left Bucks County to head to Chester County, where I was born and raised, a tear trickled down my cheek. Everywhere I looked was a fond memory. Except for my dear friends, there really is nothing there for me anymore. My children all live in Utah now. I allowed myself a few seconds of grief, but headed south, on another narrow scenic route.


Scenic Route in Chester County
The roads are only two lanes in Pennsylvania, so the canopy of trees along the side of the road enveloped my car like a warm coat of many colors. My tears waned and my smile waxed.

During the week one day I met a dear friend from high school and she took me along old haunts from my childhood.

A leaf-strewn path at Hibernia Park



 
Spackman's Pond, where I would go to think, write poetry, play my guitar and write songs.
 
 
I'd sit on the dock and hang my feet in the water in the summer and let the minnows nibble on my toes.
A family reunion, going to church in my old ward, the Hall of Fame banquet, little high school reunions with friends—all these events warmed my heart.

Do I miss Pennsylvania? Oh, yes, I surely do. I know that now. My heart is still there. I give myself permission, after this trip immersed in nature, friends and family, to say “back home” instead of “back east.”

Pennsylvania is where I’m from. I lived there over 50 years. The people and places there shaped me into who I am today.
Looking down at my hometown from the north hill near where I grew up.
 Utah is home now—a new adventure; a new phase in my life. I love it here, too.

Closeup of the mountains I see from my driveway
 
 
 

14 comments:

  1. Breathtaking pictures. I can see how you were inspired to be so creative. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Jenny. I'm still there in my mind. I'm sure I'll come down off my autumn in PA high all too soon.

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  2. All of our present concepts of "home" will eventually be swallowed up in our experience of returning to our heavenly home.

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    1. Very true. While here on earth, I'll enjoy all my homes, physical and metaphorical.

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  3. Love, love, love the pictures...so beautiful. I look forward to visiting there some day. Thank you for sharing. Great post!
    hugs~

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    1. Kari, thanks for posting. I hope you get to go there, too. There are only two good months for weather there: October and May. Pick one and don't stray :)

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  4. THANKS FOR SHARING THESE LOVELY FALL PICTURES. COMING FROM UTAH, AND NOW LIVING IN AZ, I SURE MISS THEM!

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I've never been to Arizona, but I'm sure it's also a beautiful place.

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  5. Thanks for sharing Susan. I remember how much I missed Oregon when I first moved to Utah, nothing was green enough, there was no ocean etc. Now, twenty years later, I can't imagine living away from these beautiful mountains. Every place grows on you if you give it a chance.

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    1. Thanks, Geanie. I do love Utah. I just never realized I missed Pennsylvania. I didn't think I did. Not at all. Now I know :)

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  6. Wow are these pictures beautiful!! The covered bridge looks like "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" bridge! Love it!! This is wonderful, Susan. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous scenes and thoughts!

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Amy. I have so many pictures of that bridge--and another one, too, that was right down the street, a block away from my old house. PA has lots.

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, Bob. I had fun taking them.

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