Monday, June 10, 2013

A Memorial Day Tribute

Hey Everyone! I am a little behind the times, but I see that as a good thing. In my eyes, that means I have been spending time doing things with the people I moved home to be closer too. I might also be busy planning a wedding. Wedding plans definitely weren't on the list of things to do when I moved home, but... I believe there are some things we aren't in control of. Life is awesome!!!

One of the things on my "this is what I want to do now that I am home list" was attend the Memorial Day Parade in Youngsville. This parade is something that was near and dear to my Grandfather's heart. He only missed two parades upon return home from WWII. He said he didn't remember why he missed the first one, we have our guesses, because how do you not remember why you missed it the one and only time, but that is something we will never know for sure. The second parade was last year's parade. He was too sick to participate. In case you didn't follow the old blog, here is the post I wrote when Granddad passed away.

There is a bridge in town. Before crossing the bridge, the parade comes to a halt and a ceremony is held for the different branches and a wreath of flowers is generally tossed into the creek. I have watched from there a number of times. I have also marched in this parade, long ago when it was more appropriate for me to wear pig tails and short shorts. I tried to put my fingers on the picture of me marching with my baton, but things are still a bit of wreck since not everything is out of storage.

Back to the parade, it crosses the bridge and heads out of town toward the cemetery. I watched from near the cemetery this year. I have family that lives near the cemetery. I parked in town and walked up to my Great Aunt's house and we watched from the corner. Once the parade was over we went up into the cemetery for the ceremony that takes place around the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial.

Let's take a look...

As I was walking to my Great Aunt's house, I looked up into the cemetery and they were lowering the flag to half mast.

The local marching band approaches.

Being from Small Town USA means a good percentage of people in the emergency apparatus are family.
The above photo is no exception.

Family driving the above firetruck.

The above firetruck is the exception to the rule.

My Great Uncle, Granddad's brother, is driving the above truck.
Small Town USA is a heart warming place, especially on days like Memorial Day.

The Honor Guard from the American Legion as they approach us.

Well yes, there are friends and family in this photo too.
There is just one really special guy missing from all of these Honor Guard photos. {frownie face}

The Honor Guard making their way into the cemetery.

Not all the Veterans are able to make the walk up this hill, let alone the hill in the cemetery.
I think it is great these Veterans are still able to be a part of the day's festivities!

A look at the Honor Guard around the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Another look.

The reading of the 119 names of Warren County Veterans that passed away from Memorial Day 2012 to Memorial Day 2013.

The view of the monument and some of the Honor Guard from where I was seated.

The above and below photos are wider shots so you can see the beauty of hills or mountains. I suppose it depends on where you are from as to whether you would call them hills or mountains.

"In Memory of Our Soldiers and Sailors"
The wreath was placed during the ceremony.
HERE is the link from the local newspaper with an article about the parade.

The names of the Warren County Veterans who passed away during the last year.
There are a handful of names of this list that are special to me.
Each of these names belong to a person that was special to someone and each of these names belong to a person that had served our country so we can enjoy the things so many of us take for granted.

It was hard hearing these names read one final time.
I will always remember...

I hope each of you were able to spend at least part of your Memorial Day weekend with loved ones.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Back to 1985

Hi All! We made it through the weekend! They go so fast don't they? They go even faster when you are busy visiting and running around. Small Town Guy and I had a great weekend, but it definitely went fast with all of the Mother's Day visiting we did. That is a good thing though!!!

On Sunday we drove out to see if Small Town Guy's God Mother was home. To get there we had to drive through an area of the Allegheny National Forest, (yes my small town(s) is/are nestled right near the Allegheny National Forest) call Heart's Content. HERE is some additional information about Heart's Content. This is some place that we hiked when I was a kid. It is also one of the places that I hope to spend more time in now that I am back home. There are lots of neat trees, an old fire tower that used to be used to keep watch for forest fires. There is plenty of God's beauty to be enjoyed and taken in. Anywho. We were sitting at my Dad's talking about the drive, ok ok, I was in the kitchen and didn't hear much of the conversation between Small Town Guy and my Dad, but enough to know they were talking about our ride! Come to find out, yesterday was not the first day I had been out to the property where his God Mother lives. I was there in 1985!! Isn't that crazy! Small Town Guy's God Mother's mother would have lived there at the time.

There was plenty of conversation about the hiking we had done in this area on a day in May back in 1985. We talked about the people we were with, the things we found, how we hiked down in there and who knows what else. At one point we had a topo map of the area out and had more conversation about the area. My Dad said somewhere there were some pictures. I told him I knew right where those pictures were. Most of my stuff is still in boxes, but I knew right where those pictures were. I found the pictures!!
We hiked into an old logging camp. We used metal detectors to search for "stuff." Apparently I have been a treasure hunter from a very early age! Wait until you see all the stuff those grown ups carried in for us.

So top off your coffee cup and take a little stroll back to May of 1985 in an area near Heart's Content, PA.

The friends of the family and my little sister.

A clearing where the logging camp would have been.
All that orange and green stuff was carried in by the adults.

Friend of the family in front of some of the trees in the area.

Friends of the family being silly.
They were fun folks.

Me with the friends.

A look at our surroundings.

My little sister standing in front of Mom.
Check out the metal detector on the left side of the picture, leaning against the tree.

Time for something to eat, maybe?

My sister and I in a tree.

In front of my sister is a pile of stuff that we had found.

My sister and I. I wonder where my Dad was standing when he took this picture. hmm...

All packed up and time to head on out.

While there aren't pictures of us at Small Town Guy's God Mother's property, it is still neat knowing that on the day these photos were taken we stopped by that house. 

Our weekend was full of interesting bits and pieces linking someone to someone else.
We confirmed an organist for the wedding. She took my name and then started thinking out loud. It turns out she was the cleaning lady at a place my Dad worked a number of years ago. It also turns out she is related to  other friend's of the family and I went to high school with her son. It turns out she also knows Small Town Guy from his place of employment. The perks of a small town!!!

Then there was the lady I called about a house that is for sale. We chit chatted and found out she knew my late Grandfather. Putting these pieces together changed the tone of the conversation a little bit. I guess that isn't a bad thing. Now we just need to be able to make arrangements to see the inside of the house.

I hope you had a great Mother's Day weekend!!
Have a great week!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hello again!

Hello long lost friends, and new ones too! I had no idea it would take this long to blog again. Part of the delay has been waiting for some things to happen so I could have my creative space.  Still waiting. I have decided the blog will just have a different feel for awhile and we can make it about crafting, cooking, and creating, we will!!! Until then, it will be about being a small town girl and the things that go with that. That being said, I wish I had started this long ago, after I created the new blog.

While I have been absent from blog-land, and creating, I have been busy busy...busy with friends and family. People I have neglected for way too long. I also have a pretty big announcement to make. First things first.

I mentioned I moved "home." Home to where I grew up. Home to where most of my family is. Cousins, Grandparents, Dad and Step-Mom, Step-sister and family and many in between are here. Still almost two hours from my Mom, but closer. Home is two hours from where I was before. PA Route 6 is one of "home's" main roads!

Being home means I get to spend time with these people. That means I can spend the day with my buddy, who has somehow grown up so quickly.

Above Warren, at a place called Washington Park.

Geocaching! Yep, this one is magnetic!
He found it right after he told me there was no way it was there!

Being home means discovering places that have been forgotten.

Being home means getting to go to rummage sales with my Grandma and Great Aunt.
Summer isn't even here yet and we are hitting the sales already. UH OH!!!!....

Being home is soooo many things. The other day as I was leaving for work, my Grandma drove by on her way to work (not the Grandma pictured). That was a pretty cool start to the day!! Last week I was on my way through town and passed my Dad on his way to work. Little things I have missed! Little things that many people take for granted!

Now don't get me wrong, being home has some down sides to it too.
Some of the very things that I love about being home, are some of the very same things that have kept me from coming home. I am now close enough that everyone can have expectations. I am adjusting to being home. I love it. There are moments that I think I am crazy for having come home, but as long as they stay moments and don't turn into days, all is well!!!

I am house hunting. That is probably one of the things I will blog about.
I will be blogging about different things that happen and places I go. I have pictures ready from two different walks around town. It is a pretty town. There are other nearby towns that I want to do the same with.

So, things might feel different around here, but we'll still have fun and we will work toward the cards and recipes!!! I hope you will choose to join me along the way. I am going to create a Facebook page too. There I will be able to share some of the things I find for gardening and crafting and whatever else strikes my fancy. I will get the links to Pinterest put on here and get everything updated! Some of the first crafts and recipes and stories you might read will be about a wedding. OH MY! WHAT??? Yep, did you forget I said I have an announcement to make? Well....the announcement is, "I'M GETTING MARRIED!!" Yeppers, there is going to be a Small Town Guy. You can think all those crazy thoughts that are running through your head right now. I've thought them and so have so many other people. We aren't strangers. I tell the story that we were the right people at the wrong time and this is a very rare 2nd chance! {squeal}

Here are some pics of me with Small Town Guy!

Can you see that ring? Perhaps we can talk about it another day too.
The center stone is black diamond. Who knew?!? I didn't!!

These pictures were taken on my Dad's deck.

Being home means a second chance!

I had no idea that moving home would change my life so quickly, but I will take it!
I love my family, friends, and Small Town Guy and am thrilled that I get to spend time with them and share in things I have missed out on! First up, summer!!!

I hope you all are well and I am looking forward to being here again!!!

Hugs!!! (as always)
~Just A Small Town Girl Jen

Friday, February 22, 2013

HEY!!! I hope some of you reading this are some of my "long lost blog friends" from my old blog Creating With The J's!! New friends, or old ones, WELCOME to everyone!!!

I haven't blogged since December. There were some life changes, hence the new blog! I am back. It may be hit or miss at first, because there are still some pretty big details, ok, one really big detail, that needs to be worked out. I will get there. At this point, most of the things that lead to blog posts, well it is all in storage. Hopefully those days are numbered.

I did decide on the new blog name though and have finally figured out this first post! The blog name came pretty easy once I sat down and got serious about it! This first post, we've gone round and round!

I AM a small town girl. I am a small town girl that has moved back home to the small town(s) that I grew up in and around. There truly is no place like home! For those of you that are coming over from The J's, yes, I came home by myself. All those neat projects and hours of hard work have been left behind. Moving on and moving forward, means finding more walls and yard space to transform right???? I am hopeful of such.

I, in no way, considered where I lived before now to be the big city, that was always Pittsburgh or Cleveland. However!!!! Having been home for awhile now, it was the big city compared to here. There is something refreshing and promising about small town stores and it really is quite sad to watch them struggle to keep up with "progress."

Coming home means I get to enjoy things that I have missed out on for way too many years. Yes, that choice has been mine, but boy do I have a list of things I intend to do this year -- things I haven't done in awhile!

This means I can spend time with my nieces and nephews, something I have definitely missed doing.

They are crazy, but then again, aren't we all????!!!!????!!!!

I also get to spend time with the rest of my family.
I have contemplated sharing pictures, but all the pictures would be older. Believe it or not, my camera hasn't taken a single picture in over a month. I guess it is time to fix that problem!!!

I am closer to most everyone in my immediate family. While I am closer to my Mom she is still a couple hours away, but that drive time has been shortened. My Dad, my Grandparents, (step)Sister and other members of my extended family are all nearby, as well as some friends.

I do have a crazy commute to and from work, but my boss is cool and we have worked something out so it isn't as bad as it could be! That means I still get to see all my crazy friends once or twice a week or every other week. It also means, that when I need something from a store I don't have here, I can just make plans to get it while I am in "the big town" for work.

Cleveland and Pittsburgh are no longer my big cities. My big cities are now Erie and Buffalo. My Mom is in Buffalo. There is a Hobby Lobby in both towns so I am good, once I have driven AT LEAST an hour to get there!! Here's to hoping I don't get up some Sunday morning and decide it is a good day for a drive to go to Hobby Lobby, driving an hour or two only to get there to be reminded they are closed on Sunday would be a whole lot different than driving 15 minutes.

I was going to share my "bucket list" of things to do this year, but perhaps that will be a post all its own and one we can revisit often.

We will still have plenty of paper crafting going on around here, and all those cookbooks still need blogged about. I just need to get it all out of storage!

I will leave you with a few more pictures and a couple links back to the old blog just so you can see what will be coming this way!!!

Coming home means no more driving long distances on snowy roads to be home for the holidays!!
This picture has good roads, but just think of driving through an area like that and the roads are snow and ice covered. Yep, that is definitely one thing I won't miss!!

This is the view of the "extended back yard" at my Dad's.
Definitely a good view to come home to!!

If you are coming over from The J's, Moon Pie Magic Mondays will be coming back!
I am going to rerun the first couple here so everyone is on the same page, and that will help with not having my stuff. :)

Here is the link to a family recipe. The story of where all the recipes came from can be found here.

With St. Patrick's Day approaching here is a link to last year's St. Patrick's Day Cards.

And here is a link to a Cricut Project.

That is all for now!
Thanks so much for stopping in. I am glad you stopped by and hope you will follow me and share me with your friends. I am still contemplating whether or not I want to do a facebook page associated with the blog. I guess time will tell and we will just take this one step at a time.

There are plenty of good things to come, both here and in life!!
Have a great day everyone!!!

Hugs ~ Just a Small Town Girl (Jen)