Thursday, September 30, 2010

Accidental Brothers

Those of you who've read my blog probably know that I have two kiddos: Emily is 16 and Liam is 10. Andy also has a son, Iain, who is 2 months older than Liam.

Emily and I moved in May, while Liam stayed in Erie to finish out the school year with his dad. When we all moved in together in July, I'll admit I was anxious. The boys had spent time together, and seemed to get along, but living together (and sharing a bedroom) is a whole different can of worms.

As it turns out, apparently, I had nothing to worry about.

The boys have taken to each other as if they've always been together. They refer to each other as "brother," and they're almost always up to something.

It makes me very happy. Iain (the blonde in the photos) has always been an only child, so I worried about how he would take to having two new kids in his life. Given Liam and Em's age difference, life has almost been an "only child" type of experience for him as well.

So it's very nice for me to see them enjoying the fun that having a close sibling can bring. And I'm thinking it's pretty cool for them, too.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Silence and Respect

Yesterday, I mentioned that two of my favorite subjects (bugs and cemeteries) are abundant here. The bug photos from yesterday's post were all taken in my yard. For cemeteries, I do have to leave the property, but I don't have to go far.

I'll admit that my knowledge of Civil War history is basic at best, but I'm interested in learning more. There are some incredible monuments around the battlefields themselves. I'll share some shots of those in a future post. Many of them are actually quite heart-rending. There is also Soldier's National Cemetery (sometimes referred to as Gettysburg National Cemetery), where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, only about 10 miles away. More on this one later...I don't really feel that the photos I took there do it justice, so I want to make a return trip one of these days. For today, I'll share shots of Evergreen Cemetery, which borders the National Cemetery and also has much historic importance.

One of the largest graves is of the founder, or as his stone says, "proprietor" of Gettysburg, James Gettys.

The Gettysburg Women's Monument is also found in Evergreen Cemetery. Women of Gettysburg worked ceaselessly taking care of the soldiers who innundated their town. Their homes were turned into field hospitals and they had very little respite from the misery that surrounded them.

Here you can also find the grave of Jennie Wade, who was the only civillian killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. She was shot by a stray bullet while in her kitchen. Her gravestone says she was "making bread for Union soldiers."

And of course, in almost any cemetery with older graves, one can find monuments that make you pause...especially, for me, the children's graves. These are a lost art it seems.

And I'm not sure if this is intentional, but check out the middle spire on this one....not sure if it was intentional, but it looks like a skull to me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Some Things Don't Change

I still like to take pictures of bugs. And cemeteries. Luckily, there's an abundance of both here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Long, Strange Trip

9 months. I haven't updated here in 9 months. That's a record, even for me, but my energies have been focused elsewhere. And when I consider the symbolism and meaning for humans of the term "9 months", I can tell myself that I'm giving birth to a new creation, and in fact have been reborn myself.

Nine months ago, I was coming out of a very dark place, and deciding that no, I wouldn't have a nervous breakdown after all. Given the events of last Fall, having mental health issues that would have required professional intervention beyond counseling or some happy pills was a real possibility. I skated right up to the edge of that, but was able to pull back in time with some help.

And how life has changed in the past year. If I'd had a crystal ball and had forseen my future, I still wouldn't have been able to believe all that has happened.

After living in Erie since 1998, I've moved. We're now down near Gettysburg in a tiny town called Fairfield. It's a beautiful area...lots of mountains and we live on a glorified pond that we call Lake Turner. I spend a lot of time pondering the incredible fact that I can drive through the heart of a Civil War battlefield to get to the grocery store.

I'm still not gainfully employed, which needs to change very soon, but it's been nice to have the time to be able to be home with the kids as Andy and I blend our families. He's a wonderful friend, and so obviously the person I should have been with all along.

He also cooks a mean lasagna.

I've been taking pictures again, which has been fun, and I'm interested in interacting with other people again, which is another change. Who knows what the future will bring, but it's nice to find myself enjoying the ride.