Last Night’s Wonderful Adventure

The kids worked hard on schoolwork yesterday, so we decided that this would warrant a ride to Darien Lake. Darien Lake is a Six Flags Amusement Park that isn’t too far away. The sad news is that the future of the park is totally in the dark. Six Flags is closing six parks this year, and Darien Lake is on the list. The even worse news is that we bought season tickets, thinking we could visit throughout September and even into October. Well, the park is basically closed all throughout the week now. The hours are cut to 3 hours on Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday. We decided that if the kids worked hard, we will try to make a couple of Friday nights, as we heard that weekends entailed hours of waiting in line to ride one of the few rides still open.

The first ride of the evening was the UFO….

Going up………..

and up a little more………

and then straight up!

And on the way to the Twister, of course they had to stop by the Pirate’s Ship to ssssssswwwwwwiiiiiiiinnnnnnngggggggggg back and forth………..

Ah yes, the Twister. This thing is amazing to watch, but I cannot imagine riding it! The bench goes WAY up in the air, then swoops down, doing multiple 360’s. Oh, and sometimes it goes in a forward swoop, and sometimes backwards. UGH!

We didn’t get a picture of the ferris wheel. Gads, were they ALWAYS that large? Guess I am getting way old, as my feet are getting to the point that they refuse to leave terra firma! Then, there was the Ranger…

and finally, a ride I forgot the name of…

The most wonderful part of this outing was that there were very few people there! The evening was absolutely GLORIOUS. We could not have ordered a more PERFECT evening. It was warm and not humid. The kids rode several of the rides multiple times as lines were totally non-existant.

Just before the sun was fully set, Mark snapped a pretty picture of the lake located just outside the park. It was so nice….quite a contrast to the noise and hubbub inside the park. The fountain really added to the scenery, with the roller coasters in the backdrop. Hmmm…the kids never rode any of the coasters!

And once the sun had set, the moon graced us with its fullness, making the experience even more memorable!

And now we have yet another fairly simple event etched into our memories. This was such a fun time, and since the amount of time spent walking around was greatly reduced, it was much more bearable than walking around in 90 degree weather with the sun beating down! The culmination of the fun was going over to watch the Laser show. Even though we saw it earlier this year, the kids enjoyed it once again. Tonight, the moon is covered by clouds and it has rained, making it feel so chilly and damp. I am so grateful for the memories made last night!

As an aside, I am NOT an amusement park person….going there requires a great deal of sacrifice on my part as I would rather be doing something else. When my parents were visiting last month, I asked my mom if perhaps I had always disliked parks. She said she wasn’t sure, but then went on to tell Mark a rather amusing story about me….

Seems when I was about 4 years old (remember the “Good Ole Days” when there were no “safety provisions” required?) I was riding on the Merry-Go-Round…..My mother said she was watching when I suddenly got up on the saddle, standing upright, trying to look graceful and elegant, and “performed” just as I had seen the circus riders do on TV! Mom said she was totally mortified, going between wanting to wring my neck,to concern that I was going to fall on my head! Unfortunately, or, perhaps not, this particular performance totally evades my memory!!!!!

The Beauty that Surrounds Us!

Yesterday morning, when I got up, I went outside and just somehow felt in awe of all the beauty that is there for the taking. I pulled up a chair on the porch and sat staring at the beautiful pink begonia plant hanging on the beam. I have shared a picture of two of this plant before….but, yesterday morning, the light was filtering softly through the petals. The flowers ended up looking as though they were illuminated. I just couldn’t take my eyes off the plant, almost as though entranced. That plant just emits an “aura” of peacefulness.

A little later, I decided to take my camera and try to get pictures of some of the beauty here, knowing that although I love the fall and winter seasons, the beauty will take on a new wardrobe and new life. So, here is a glimpse…just a bird’s eye view of some of the things I so love…..

This is a little stream that passes through my “front yard”. This stream runs only when the earth is saturated and can no longer hold any more water! But, I love this stream, no matter how small nor temperamental. The sounds carry onto the front porch when it runs strongly, and it has been a soothing salve from time to time.

We needn’t travel too far into the woods to find a lovely spot to just rest and leave the worries and cares of this world behind. We offer many “seats” in the woods for just such times!

A jewelweed flower…

And another!

And some pretty wildflowers. I certainly hope you enjoyed your visit. Life is so good here in the Bristolwood!

Taking a Breath of Relief….

For the past five months, I have been a bit “creeped out” by what was happening near my hometown….

There was a certain man named Ralph “Bucky” Phillips, who had been in a minimum security prison for parole violation. Bucky was said to have had a very long record of petty crimes….but, crimes nonetheless. These included break ins and thefts. He had earned the privilege of working in the kitchen, and it was there that he stole a commercial can opener and planned his escape….one week BEFORE he was due to be released.

Last June, in Elmira, Bucky was stopped by a police officer who spotted the stolen car he was driving. As the officer approached the car, Bucky shot him and took off. Thankfully, the officer lived.

After this point, there were “Bucky spottings” here and there, but no one seemed capable of catching him. In the past 5 months he has been on the lam, he allegedly broke into a gunshop and stole 41 guns. He also stole over 15 different vehicles.

Believe it or not, after this all happened, people actually were beginning to see Bucky as a local folk hero.

My brother had to have open heart surgery in June. He lives in the woods and has a few guns. When we visited him in the hospital, he said he had moved his arsenal to a “safe place”. He said if Bucky ever stole his guns and hurt someone, he could never live that down. I thought that was such a strange comment…..UNTIL all the stories about stolen vehicles and guns were released.
To add to this, my brother has a little dog named Bucky….of ALL the names!

A week ago yesterday, police were beginning to close in on Bucky. It was said that several of his friends and past jail mates had been helping hide and protect him. As police officers surveyed his former girlfriend’s home, Bucky allegedly shot two troopers. One was hit in the leg. The bullet penetrated an artery. The other trooper was shot in the back…the bullet going through his protective vest. The trooper who was shot in the leg lost an enormous amount of blood and his leg had to be removed last Saturday. The next day, he passed away. He was 32. He had celebrated his son’s first birthday just one month ago and yesterday was his wedding anniversary. The troopers were shot with what was believed to be a high-powered rifle.

From published reports, after this spineless shooting, people began to lose the sense of “cat and mouse” folk hero, and began to wish he would be captured.

Shortly after 8 pm tonight, Bucky raised his hands and came out of the woods where he had been evading the police (NY and PA, as well as FBI) since the early hours of this morning.

I am sorry that a petty theif became a murderer. I am sorry for the police officers that have suffered the loss of one of their own. I am so sorry that a wife and child are now feeling the loss of their husband and father. This whole thing is just so sad.

The fact that Bucky did all of this just with only one week of time left in his sentence doesn’t seem to make sense. But, then again, what sordid story of useless loss of life ever does?