Visiting Mom, picnicking with brothers, hiking the woods, and dinner with the gang – June 8 & 9, 2018



Brother James took this photo of Mom outside Shippensburg Health Care Center. She has lost a lot of weight and is too weak to walk, but loves her wheelchair and keeps her spirits high.




John took the day off from work so we could pal around, and since he loves the surrounding mountains of Cumberland Valley, he proposed a picnic in the woods. Michael had errands to run, and Bob some work to catch up, so it was just three of us: John, Joseph, and Camille. John drove us to a fire tower and we spread out our meal on one the first landing. Before we’d even eaten, Joseph climbed to the top, two steps at a time. After lunch Camille went up, albeit at a much slower pace. Our ancestors must have eaten a lot of goat, because we sure love scrambling up ladders and steps.




Next, John drove us to the famous Appalachian Trail, abloom with rhododendron.


Before he was called to the priesthood, Joseph majored in forestry and journalism, and like John, is most at home in the wild places. We ambled down the trail, not sure what we were looking for. At one point we talked about turning around, but felt compelled to walk a little further. When we came upon this venerable tree, we stopped and admired everything it represented. This tree was a testament to the ages, to its slow struggle to reach its place in the sun, each branch chronicling a piece of that journey in juxtaposition with companion trees long gone. We admired its resilient twists and turns, considered the symbiotic relationship between lichen and tree, and realized we had reached our destination.




We like to stay at the hotel in downtown Shippensburg and have dinner at their University Grille. Brothers, Joseph, Michael, and John joined us. If Michael is looking pretty pleased with himself, it may be because he has decided to move back to the area after more than twenty years in Colorado.


As did our sister-in-law, Darla, and brother, Jim. Jim also stays at the hotel, often just a door or a few over from ours, so that’s just fun. Darla and John moved back to Shippensburg some thirty years ago to focus on family and are the epicenter of a thriving family tribe.


Joseph, Michael, and John, looking impish.


Friday night is crab leg night at the grille, so they set the tables with buckets and crab shell crackers which John used to amuse himself while we waited for our food.

Someone finally thought to ask the waitress to snap a picture of all seven of us: Darla, Camille, Bob, Jim, Joseph, Michael, and John. Brother Bob would drive in the next day for the reunion. See navigation bar below for that link.


[Troutsfarm] * [June 2018] * [New Jersey] *[Pennsylvania] * [Family Reunion 2018]