Saturday, July 19, 2014

PA - Rest and Work

So much has been happening in the past couple of weeks that I am behind in my blog entries!  And, I keep doing more things that I will write about later.  Here are some thoughts about last week.

Linn Run
I am so pleased to have been able to visit my friend Carol Jean at her house in Linn Run State Park near Ligonier, PA.  I saw in the park that Pennsylvania has won awards for their park system.  I am not surprised.  I have long been a fan of the parks and been impressed by the care and services offered.


This park, as many others, was donated by the Mellon family.  “After the Rockefellers, the Mellon family has contributed most generously to the growth of the park system.” (  In the Ligonier area Richard King Mellon donated the land.  The land had been heavily logged before the donation, so current trees and bushes are not original to the land.  However, there are now lots of Mountain Laurel (which bloomed a couple of weeks before my arrival), huge rhododendron (blooming during my visit), pine and other trees.  There are many paths blazed with paint, picnic area, cabins, and many other amenities.

Mostly I love walking through the beautiful woods.  Carol Jean and I hiked and talked for two days running and had the trails basically to ourselves – an advantage in taking a “weekend” in the middle of the week.  I did feel my calf muscles in a different way after those hills and the sometimes rocky path.  The weather was gorgeous – sunny and mild for July.  Perfect days.
We also visited Fort Ligonier which was built in the time before the US was a country.  It was important during the “French and Indian” War which was really between France and England and raged worldwide. 

What a refreshing way to unwind and get a break amidst all of my traveling and meeting people/congregations.

3 Churches
Sunday, July 13 I was liturgical leader and preacher for two PLUM (Pittsburgh Lutheran Urban Ministry, a cooperative ministry made up of eleven congregations) churches. My home congregation, East Liberty Lutheran, is part of PLUM, but this Sunday I was at Christ Lutheran in Duquesne and Trinity in Mt. Oliver.  The services went well and I was warmly welcomed.  Maybe because these churches are part of my home base, I didn’t remember to take any pictures! 

Monday, I participated in Trindle Spring Lutheran Church’s Vacation Bible School.  This church is five miles from Mom’s house in Mechanicsburg.  I ate dinner with them and then did some activities with 3 groups of children in their rotation.  Fun! 


My siblings, Mom, some other members of the family, and I gathered on Monday, July 14 to bury my father.  We had had the memorial service after his death in April, but his cremains were not yet ready at that time.  We had to juggle many calendars to get a date but were able to have the interment ceremony at Fort Indiantown Gap Cemetery with full military honors.  Dad had been a long-time member of the National Guard in addition to serving in the Army in Germany and Korea.  Sad but beautiful – again gorgeous weather.  We shared a meal with friends and family at the Farmer’s Wife Restaurant afterwards.  Duane (Dad) will be sorely missed by many; may he rest in peace. 

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