Archive for Monday, June 16, 2014

Musings from the Hill, June 19

June 16, 2014

If Mike Davis can dodge between rainfalls, the grass will slowly come under control. I know we needed the rain but—as they say in New Jersey — “enough already.” Give us a break! Flowering shrubs gradually are burying my home: Soon I feel it will disappear entirely. I don’t like stiffly trimmed bushes. The sweep and flow of gracefully hanging limb filled blossoms appeal to me. As one rounds the hilltop into my driveway first the garage appears and then through ample vegetation lo and behold — a house comes into view. My former clear view of lake and dam from the front deck is now blocked with huge trees. Life changes and so does the landscape.

I’m really excited about the new walking trail being constructed by volunteers at Douglas State Lake. Many years ago I used to claw my way through the underbrush and various obstructions as I endeavored to cross the southern arm of the lake. A great big "thank you" to all those involved in creating a walking trail. In our canoeing days, we could lie down in the canoe and slide under huge trees blocking access to the southern arm of the lake. From there we could easily reach Hird’s old farmhouse. It still stood sturdy and staunch, almost intact. One had to carefully navigate around the broken boards covering the old well. I wonder if those boards are still broken. I have not visited the farm for many years. The last time I visited, only the cellar walls remained. Mildred Hird Olmstead was still alive. I picked a bouquet of daffodils by the front steps. Mildred cried when I told her I had picked them from her old front steps. I wonder if they still bloom today.

I wish I could thank all the volunteers personally. I wonder if they will fix the dangerous approach to the dam on the north end from the picnic tables. It is truly an accident waiting to happen. The winding approach to the dam has a handrail, but the slope is composed of sliding gravel and has no handrails to break one’s fall. I used to climb through the fence wires, but they are now wired shut. Finally I lay flat and crawled under the wire but was unable to pull myself up on the other side. Fortunately my friend Tracy managed to push and pull me up on the other side. If she had not been there I might still be there. Larry Parken used to keep his eye on my car if it was parked at the dam. The last time he helped me get under the fence he said, “You better quit taking a tramp in the woods.” We still miss you Larry!

Speaking of trails at our lakes: The last time Mary Swan and I tried to walk to the bridge on Old City Lake, we and our canes floundered along broken foot paths. We were often knee deep in water and never achieved our goal. Some young kids asked us what we were doing. We said, “We are taking a walk.” They merely stared at us and continued on their way. Neither of us had cell phones; they probably would not work out there anyway. We never were able to access the bridge.

Maintaining and constructing trails is hard, demanding work, and I am sure the entire community appreciates your efforts. Many thanks from our entire community!

It is often only when volunteers step forward that “stuff happens.” I’m glad I live in a town that produces these unpaid workers. Thank you!

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