Category: Reflections

More Van Halen – Live on TV!

I was a huge Van Halen fan in the 70s and early 80s. I even liked some of the stuff they did when Sammy Hagar joined them. But, I much preferred the David Lee Roth period. Their self-titled first album shook the entire music universe.

Since the passing of Eddie Van Halen earlier this month, the internet is full of tributes, covers, memories, and concert footage. I was sifting through some of that when I discovered this gem! Eddie Van Halen lived the American Dream, rags to riches, putting in the sweat and hard work to succeed at his dream.

Filmed for Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2015, nine early Van Halen songs clearly illustrate why Eddie Halen was perhaps the best. This video features David Lee Roth reunited with the band! Alex Van Halen is on the drums, and Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son, is on the base. And … this video ROCKS!

As one fan put it so eloquently …

Don’t cry because he’s gone,
Smile because he was here.
And we were fortunate enough to witness it

Jack Rajinder

Sophie Conquers Point 19

Loyston Point (or Point 19)

Labor Day, Sophie and I decided to hike to Point 19 on Norris Lake. Norris Lake was formed in the 1930s when TVA constructed the Norris Dam on the Clinch River to control flooding and generate power. The dam is a straight gravity-type dam 1860 feet long and 265 feet high. It has a maximum generating capacity of 126 megawatts.

I have many great memories of Point 19. When I left the military. I fell in with a group of guys from Clinton, Tennessee, and we would fish off the point, swim, camp, sometimes have bonfires and drink a few beers.

Back then, when the lake level was down, we could drive around the shoreline to the point if you had 4-wheel drive. Sometimes, I would hike it on foot. Had to watch out for copperhead snakes, though. Or, you could park at a gate and walk in on an old, partially graveled road. This trip, Sophie and I opted for the latter.

It is about 1.5 miles to the point via the old road. When I was younger, I hiked it several times, carrying a cooler full of ice and beer. Not sure I would want to do that now. We met one couple who were on the way back out. The had given up before reaching the point.

Sophie stopped to sample some of the vegetation on the way in. I guess she is somewhat of a survivalist.

I was amazed at how high the water level was. I remember it varies a great deal depending on the amount of rainfall in a given period, but often it was a good twenty or thirty feet from this ledge to the water below. There used to be an old rope attached to that old tree that we would swing out on. Sometimes it was a long time before you hit the water.

The water level was up in the trees on the other side of the point.

The town of Loyston

Over to the left in this picture sits what was once the town of Loyston. The inhabitants had all evacuated when the dam was built. While I have never personally seen it, I have been told that during dry seasons, when the lake gets really low, you can sometimes see the tops of old grain silos sticking out of the water. It is usually pretty deep. Right off the ledge where we would jump, I have been told it averages about 400 feet. Rumor has it that back in the day, stolen cars, once they had been stripped of anything useful, were pushed off the ledge never to be recovered. Could be just a local legend, though, who knows?

Sophie didn’t care about any of this though. She was just having a blast rescuing the sticks I threw into the lake from the ledge!

While I didn’t get any pictures, I was amazed by the number of boats of all shapes and sizes that sailed on past us with Trump 2020 flags on them. Most of them waved as they went by.

I couldn’t help but think how good it felt to be home … back in East Tennessee!

If you enjoyed this little outdoor adventure post, please take a few minutes and check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here!

And, if you like reading a pretty darn good action-adventure story, check out my award-winning novel, Montagnard.

The Wisdom of Grandfathers

Something that I think we are in danger of losing as our society turns more toward social media and texting for communication is talking to and gaining wisdom from those who came before us.

Erwin Klippel

My Grandfather Klippel was a pretty handy guy. He worked for Remington Arms in Ilion, NY, as a gun assembler, and if memory servers me correctly, he built the prototype for the Remington Model 1100 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun.

As a young man, he’d gone out west to study to be an airplane engine mechanic, but unfortunately, had to give that up to come home and help on his family’s farm. But he could build a camp, drive a truck, pour concrete, raise chickens, or tell you where to dig your well. And he had an endless supply of witty, often whimsical comments and stories to tell.

He played semi-pro football, and I understand he was also quite a dancer and rode an old Indian motorcycle around, at least until he met my Grandmother. He also taught me how to split wood with an ax, which incidentally helped me to embarrass a lot of bigger and stronger guys when it came to ringing the bell with a big hammer at state fairs. Looking back, I am glad they didn’t get too upset by that!

But, most importantly, he had a lot of wisdom and was always willing to share.

Never a borrower be, but …

One of my favorite stories my mother shared with me about her father involves a rusty old saw.

When my mother was a little girl, she was helping my Grandfather repair one of the chicken coops in the back yard. He needed some sort of saw that he did not have. He hated to borrow things but had little choice, so he went to a neighbor and asked to borrow that particular kind of saw.

His neighbor was kind enough to loan him the use of the saw, but the saw was in terrible shape. It was dull, the blade was rusted and pitted, and the handle was loose. My Grandfather made the saw work, and when he was done, he took it into his workshop and began to work on the saw. With my mother watching, he cleaned and polished the blade, sharpened it, and repaired the loose handle.

My mother asked him why he was doing all that. She could not understand why he would spend the time fixing a saw he had borrowed. Clearly, she said, the saw’s owner wasn’t concerned about it.

My Grandfather turned to her and said, “Ardis, always return something in better shape than when you borrowed it. Doing that can only serve you well in life.”

That bit of wisdom had a big impact on my mother, and later, also on me.

We need more people today to think like that!

I hope you will check out some of my other posts by clicking here!

Dancing Days

I guess this stay-at-home crap has me bored, and my brain starts wandering to other, more enjoyable times. I got to thinking about how much I enjoyed Ballroom dancing. I haven’t been dancing in almost four years now. Once this pandemic is brought to heel, I may have to get back into it.

And please, don’t feel obligated to read this post. I am just trying to find things to write about to fill my time.

Benefits of Ballroom Dancing

There are many benefits to ballroom dancing. You meet great people. It is fun and it is also pretty darn good exercise. I also found that it compliments martial arts training very well.

Tango with Rhonda Becker of Champion Ballroom

Competition and Showcases

For the show-off in you there are competitions you can enter and Showcases you can participate in. Somehow, I got roped into doing a little of both, and I must admit, it was kind of fun.

Cha Cha with Elise Denneny. I think we took Best Amature Couple at this competition.

I remember my first showcase! I was nervous as hell. Before the show, we tried running through our routine, a Tango to Welcome to Burlesque, and I could not get through it. I damn near chickened out. Somehow, during the performance, we nailed it!

And if that is too much, there are simple social dances and parties …

I always enjoyed holiday parties. There were St Patrick’s Day parties, Halloween parties, New Year’s Eve parties, Christmas parties … almost anytime there was an excuse!

One video clip …

You have to be careful about this. Most videos I have are to music that I don’t personally have the licensing rights to use. They were done under the auspices of the dance studio’s licensing.

However, there is one video I have that is done to some music called the Tarleton Waltz performed by Elise Denneny’s son, Jimmy, and a group of his musician friends. I believe it is safe to show it here.

Tarletons New Years Waltz with Instructor Rhonda Becker

So, if you enjoy music and need a little exercise, or just want to have a good time, once this pandemic nonsense is over, you might head down to your local ballroom dance studio and check it out. It could be just what you are looking for.

Feel free to check out some of my other posts by clicking here!

A Thought for Easter Sunday

Thoughts in Solitude

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead my by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk of the Abbey of Gethsemane, KY.  Merton was a prolific poet and writer on spiritual social themes. He lived from 1915 until 1968.

Just a little something to think about …

Suppose you were one of Christ’s twelve disciples, and having just seen him brutally flogged and crucified, you fled, frightened for your life, and hid from certain death. What would cause you to suddenly change … to step out and publicly proclaim his resurrection and preach his Gospel, knowing full well it would inevitably lead to your own gruesome death?

Would you do it for money, fame, or some other earthly reward? How much treasure would it take to get you to do that, knowing you’d never live to spend it?

Yet, these twelve disciples did precisely that, without payment, and knowing it would undoubtedly lead to their own deaths. What would make a man find the courage to do what they did? It must have been faith. An unshakeable faith created between the time of Christ’s crucifixion and their individual decisions to spread the good news. What could have happened in that short time?

I am not a Bible-thumper or any kind of an evangelist, and I have long felt dissatisfied with what organized religion has become. However, I was raised as a Christian, and over the years, I have developed my own firm personal belief in God.

I have asked myself these questions many times over the years, typically around Easter. And I can only come up with one answer.

It would take a miracle …

What about you?

I wish everyone a Happy and Blessed Easter. And, I know we will all get through these troubling times together.

All Dogs Go To Heaven.

True and loyal friends don’t come around too often.

That’s what makes dogs so amazing. Dogs only want to please you. They will be a loyal companion to and protective of even the most loathsome and cruel owners, owners who are unworthy of such devotion and love. That is why it is so sad when the day comes that your most loyal companion needs you to do what is right by them.

A walk in the field …

Today, Sophie and I went for our usual walk in the field where we saw one of our friends with her two dogs, Charlie and Koa. Charlie is a fun-loving, ball chasing Golden Retriever, while Koa is, I believe, an older Yellow Lab mix.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to Charlie and Koa’s owner and her husband, who made the comment that he wasn’t sure how much longer Koa would be around. It seems Koa was having trouble standing, and moving around, and seemed to be “lost” sometimes.

Today, there were taking Koa for one last walk in the fields he loved to roam around in during his entire life. You could tell he was enjoying being there, but you could also tell he was ready for a rest. They had to help Koa back to the car when it was time to head to the vet’s office. It was time for this loyal and steadfast friend to be at peace.

Dog owners will understand …

Dogs live short lives. So if you own dogs, this will happen to you. I have had dogs, sometimes multiple, for my entire life. For me, dogs are simply members of my immediate family. They’ve provided enjoyment, laughter, comfort, and understanding when human friends simply walk away. So, when it is time to do the best thing for such a loyal companion, it is almost a debt of honor.

Roxie

I was reminded of the last time I had to go through this with Roxie. She was a rescued female Doberman and a beautiful dog. Roxie was a great friend during some really tough times for me. Unfortunately, she was struck by a debilitating disease when she was about five years old, known as Wobbler’s Syndrome. It is a degeneration of vertebra in the neck that typically affects young Great Danes and middle-aged Dobermans and causes a loss of coordination and balance through the legs and hips. As it progresses, it can cause a lot of pain, especially in the neck region

This disease has two paths it frequently takes. It can come on hard and fast, and there is nothing you can do except end your friend’s suffering. Or, it can come on, reach a point and level out for about two years, before coming on again and forcing you to make the tough decision.

For Roxie, the disease took the second path, and we had about two more pretty good years. She looked like she’d drank a few too many Margaritas when running, and toward the end, we needed a lot of low dose aspirin and neck massages, which she really enjoyed, but that dreaded day had to come.

For Roxie, we couldn’t go to the dog park because of the condition the disease had her in. So, we went out into the yard and sat in the sun. It was pleasant, not too hot, and she enjoyed that. I spent a lot of time massaging her neck. Then, when it was time, we went to the vet.

Roxie enjoying the pretty day.

I will never forget the very kind veterinarian. There were two shots. The first to relax Roxie and the second to put her to sleep. I got down on the floor with her as the vet administered the first shot. There was an instant change in Roxie. For a moment, it was like I had my old dog back. She rested her head on my arm as if to say, “thank you,” then the vet gave her the second shot, and she quietly went to sleep. It was an emotional experience. I felt heart-broken, and tears welled up in my eyes. But, I was also happy she was no longer in any pain.

I have Sophie now, and she is another fantastic dog. I never try to compare a current dog to past dogs I have had. They are like people, each unique in personality and the gifts they bring. I will have dogs as long as I can adequately care for them. The joy they bring to my life is worth the sad day that will always come. And that’s okay. Because, the God that I worship, lets all dogs into Heaven.

Sophie

Profile of an Adirondack Woman

Sometimes when I share some of my life stories with friends and acquaintances, I get looks and comments like “No way” or “You’re full of it.” I think far too many people spend their lives in tiny bubbles and never get to experience the fantastic world that is out there.

You’ve heard the saying, “We tend to write what we know …”

One of the many things that have amazed me in my short career as an author is the number of women who have given my first book, Serpents Underfoot, great reviews. It was my first book, and because of this, I know it is a little rough around the edges; maybe a bit too much language and a bit “too much information” in the bedroom scenes. But hey, you learn!

I had imagined my audience to be veterans and action/thriller fans. So I was shocked when I began receiving great reviews from female readers. After talking to a few readers, I understood that Serpents Underfoot had several strong female characters, and they really appreciated that.

While I pretty much self-edited Serpents Underfoot, I am working with a real editor for its sequel, Montagnard.

Beth Werner, of Author Connections, has been a professional editor and marketer for over 20 years. She served as the former Director of Marketing and Sales at Kirkus and has worked with Random House, Penguin, MacMillan, Disney Hyperion, Chronicle, Scholastic, FSG, Wiley, and others. Having read Serpents Underfoot, she commented she was also struck by the strength of the female characters in the story and how much she appreciated and enjoyed that. I believe I have carried this through into the sequel, Montagnard.

So, why the strong female characters?

In my life, I have had the privilege of knowing several strong women. Both of my grandmothers were strong women. One was the daughter of a well-known Herkimer, NY lawyer, drove a roadster, wore patent leather boots, and met the world on her terms. She was part Cherokee Indian and related to Robert E. Lee. I think my mother was a lot like her.

My other grandmother was a quiet, caring, and supportive woman. When my grandfather was drafted by the Army and stationed in Japan with General MacArthur after the war, she raised her children, worked in her garden, and was a source of strength for her husband, who was thousands of miles away in a strange land.

I was privileged to date another strong woman for several years, and while things did not work out quite like I hoped they might, I have nothing but respect for her. A medical professional, this lady took on the State Government, unethical “pain pill” clinics, and other issues in a continuous effort to improve the quality of professional medical care for her patients. She is now knee-deep in this battle against the coronavirus.

But, the strongest woman I have ever known was my mother!

Let me introduce you to her …

Ardis Gilbert was born in Ilion, NY, the daughter of Erwin and Eileen Klippel. She began nursing school at the age of 16 and graduated as an RN from Albany Medical Center in 1959. After moving to North Adams, MA, with her husband, Curt, Ardis graduated Magna Cum Laude in Mathematics and Summa Cum Laude in Administration from North Adams State Community College. She went on to teach mathematics for many years.

My mother enjoyed hiking, camping, backpacking, and canoe trips with family and friends, and jokingly founded the Adirondack Women’s Club for female family and friends who met the criteria.

A few family tales …

Albany, NY Granary Fire

When my mom was still a freshmen nursing student at the Albany Medical Center, a disastrous granary fire occurred in Albany. Many were severely burned in the fire, and the medical center was overrun. During the emergency, she stayed in an elevator with a doctor and performed emergency tracheotomies on burn victims as they were being taken up to the burn center for care.

One Crazy Old Lady

Serving a tour as a nurse in a ward that housed the criminally insane, she prepared to check in on an old woman who needed her medication. Nurses were not supposed to enter this woman’s room without an orderly present. However, there were no orderlies available. So, mom looked in the room and saw that the woman was resting peacefully and seemed quite calm. Being rather fearless, she decided not to wait for an orderly. My mother leaned close to the patient, the old woman sprang on her and began strangling her. She was amazingly strong, and my mother couldn’t pry her fingers loose. Fortunately, some orderlies arrived just in time and pried the crazy old woman’s fingers from around her neck. A few more moments and I would not even be here. It was a lesson my mother took to heart.

Hand washer escapee

In the same ward, there was a young man who continually washed his hands to the point that he would scrub the skin off them. I never knew what he did, but it was like he was trying desperately to get the blood off his hands. The doctors had to keep special gloves covering his hands and sometimes had to restrain him. During one of his more lucid moments, he was calmly walking the halls when someone accidentally let the locked door to the ward stay open a few seconds. In a flash, the man was out the door and making a dash for freedom. Seeing him go, my mother took right off after him and chased him through the medical center. She was a small younger woman but tackled him around the legs in a manner that would make any football player proud. He was, at this point, in the main entrance lobby to the medical center.

My strong female characters

While not intentional, I guess the strong female characters in Serpents Underfoot are composites of the courage and strength I saw in the many strong women I have had the privilege to know during my life. And after the reaction from my readers, I felt it essential to continue that.

My mother lost a fight with cancer almost two years ago now. But she met that implacable enemy with her head held high, and she fought the good fight. She was 78 years old. I guess these characters in my books are my way of remembering and celebrating the strong women I have known, including my mother.

The world can certainly use a lot more of them.

WTF! — Zita’s Legacy

I found this great post on a blog called Zita’s Legacy.

It is about a call she got from the school principal because she allowed her daughter to walk home from school … which, by the way, is right across the street.

Anyway, her post got me thinking …

I don’t know how earlier generations ever survived. I personally walked to school for many years … all through elementary and middle school … winter, summer, rain, snow, or sunshine (No, it was not uphill both ways, and I did have shoes). But yes, I did drink water from a hose, ride my bike without a helmet, come home when the street lights came on, played Cops and Robbers, and Cowboys and Indians. I fought my battles with neighborhood bullies, and somehow, someway, I managed to survive.

If in today’s America, a child is not even allowed to walk home from school by themselves, even when that school is right across the street … then we are doomed to extinction! If we are raising a generation that cannot cross the street by themselves, how, as adults, will they be able to make intelligent decisions, survive any kind of challenge, protect their families, or fight off terrorists who wish to destroy our country?

It is a far cry from ideas such as …

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

Japanese Proverb

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.

Michael J Fox

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Earnest Hemingway

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalm 28:7

Nothing is more beautiful than the smile that has struggled through the tears.

Demi Lovato

Anyway, that’s enough philosophical waxing! If you’d like to read Zita’s post, click below.

I get a phone call from my daughters school on Monday, it was the principle, he had left a message for me. “I know that we talked about this last year, your daughter Skylar walking home by herself. We just think that she is to young to be walking home alone by herself. We want […]

WTF! — Zita’s Legacy

I think we have already raised far too many snowflakes! I am interested in knowing what you think …

Thoughtful Solitude … A Source Of Strength!

Thoughts in Solitude

Some of my readers may have noticed I took a small break in posting to my blog. Sometimes life can take the wind out of our sales and we simply need some time to get our feet planted firmly back under ourselves. I recently found myself in such a state. That is because my mother recently passed away. This came as an unexpected, sudden shock to us all. Diagnosed with lung cancer just before Easter, she went to be with her God on Sunday, June 10th. Needless to say, my mind has just been elsewhere for the past few weeks. Solitude can sometimes be a helpful, healing thing.

While Mom will most certainly be deeply missed, the purpose of this post is not to engender sympathy or condolences. My mother was a strong woman and led an amazing life. Growing up in the small town of Ilion, NY with blue collar parents, she became a registered nurse at Albany Medical Center and then later, an excellent mathematics teacher. Quite the artist, she specialized in pastels and watercolors and was a member of the Fine Line Art Gallery for 10 years. A lover of music, she sang in choirs, and served as a choir director at several churches. Mom also sang with several choral groups and performed on concert tours in Central Europe, Turkey, at Carnegie Hall, and the White House. She traveled most of the world and much of the continental United States and Canada. She embraced life firmly standing on her own two feet and she lived her life to the fullest.

Quiet Faith

Mom was a woman quietly strong in her faith. She accepted her situation with grace, strength, and courage, and when the outcome became clear, her faith and courage made things easier for the rest of her family. How many of us wonder how well we will handle things if we find ourselves in such a situation. How do we hope to find the strength to deal with situations like this? It is seeking an answer to this question that is my motivation for writing this post. I do believe that, like my mother, I am a person of quiet but strong faith. I certainly do not attempt to push my beliefs on anyone; nor will I argue with people about their beliefs. That is what “Freedom of Religion” is truly all about … not the political manipulations we see all over the news today. I can only hope that when my time comes, I can meet it with the same grace, strength, and courage exhibited by my mother. So where does that grace, strength, and courage stem from?

Solitude and Reflection

Shortly after my mother died, my father discovered a quote my mother had saved to a folder on their computer. He shared it with my brother, my mother’s sister, and me. With the grief over my mother’s death still very new and raw, I must admit reading it brought real tears to my eyes. While it was difficult to read, at the same time, it had a very different affect on me. I suddenly understood so much more about my mother and the source of her strength and courage.

I seem to remember that my mother spent a week at some kind of retreat which I believe was held at a Trappist Monastery. It was a week spent in silence, prayer and personal reflection. Maybe this was where she found this quote … or maybe it came later from reading inspired by her experience. I am not sure. However, when I read the quote, I was struck by the simple, open honesty of the words, and the trust in a pure relationship with a loving God. I cannot help but feel that such a faith could only be beneficial to whoever kept it.

The quote is from Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk of the Abbey of Gethsemane, KY.  Merton was a prolific poet and writer on spiritual social themes. He lived from 1915 until 1968.

From “Thoughts in Solitude”

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead my by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Is that not a powerful statement of faith? I do not normally share such personal things on my blog, but in this case, and especially if it helps someone else find the hope, courage, or strength they need, I think my mother would approve.

Healing: A Trip To The Adirondacks Is Good For The Soul!!

 The Adirondack Park in upstate New York

healing

I had a need to take trip to upstate New York this weekend. I flew into Syracuse and drove up to Raquette Lake in the Adirondack Park. My family has a small camp (called a cabin in the South) at Raquette Lake. We built it ourselves when I was a young teenager. My family has a history at Raquette Lake that spans several generations, and I understand I made my first camping trip to Raquette Lake when I was about six months old.

How Raquette Lake got its name … maybe!

The origin of the name is uncertain. One account is that it was named for snowshoes (raquette in French) left by a party of Tories led by Sir John Johnson in 1776. Traveling by snowshoe while fleeing American rebels, the spring thaw caught up with them. The snow was gone when they reached the lake. They left their snowshoes in a pile on the shore.

Back to the camp …

Sometime ago, we added a screened in porch to the camp. It has two skylights. One is leaking, so I flew up to take some measurements and see what materials might be needed to repair the problem. Every time I visit Raquette Lake it seems to have a healing effect on my soul. Whenever I drive into the Adirondack Park, it is almost like someone drew a line across Hwy 28. The air changes and I can breathe freely again. It is really quite a remarkable feeling.

healing

Hwy 28 North from Utica

Once you leave Utica and head north, it is a short distance to the Adirondack Park entrance. From there the drive becomes a trip down memory lane. It is very beautiful in a desolate sort of way. You pass through small towns like Remsen, Alder Creek, Otter Lake, Thendara, Old Forge, Eagle Bay, Inlet, and then Raquette Lake.

The Fulton Chain

You pass the Fulton Chain of lakes which are eight lakes formed by damming the Moose River. The chain starts near Old Forge and ends with Eighth Lake. The next lake is Raquette Lake which is a natural lake.  The Raquette River flows out from Raquette Lake winding its way northward to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Raquette Lake has 99 mile of shoreline, making it the largest lake in the Adirondack Park. Eighty percent of its shoreline is owned by the State of New York and is constitutionally forever wild. It is truly a wilderness adventure.

The Tap Room

Once I got my measurements and figuring done, I headed to Raquette Lake Village for lunch at the Tap Room. I also need to drop a copy of my book, Serpents Underfoot, off at the Raquette Lake Library. The librarian, Carolynne McCann Dufft, a friend of my parents, was kind enough to add my book to their collection. After dropping off the book, I had a great burger at the Tap Room. The Tap Room is a historic place … probably as old as the village itself. It can be found on the backside of the Raquette Lake Supply Co. While it can get a little loud in the evenings (it is a small place), the food is really excellent and it has a genuine rustic Adirondack atmosphere.

The Library!

I should also mention that the Raquette Lake Library, while small, is quite nice. Like the post office, it is a newer new addition to the village. Other than the post office and the library, the village remains pretty much the same as it was when I was a child. I love that. Maybe that accounts for part of the “soothing” effect it has on my soul.  The village, the lake, the air, the memories … all has a calming, peaceful feeling that recharges me like nothing else I have ever experienced.

Unplugged

healing

Another positive (or negative, depending on how you look at it) is that I can’t get a cell phone signal at all when at Raquette Lake. Sometimes, if you walk out on the end of the dock, stand on one leg, each as far out over the water as you dare, you can get the glimmer of a signal. But, I could never actually make a call from that position … never mind send a text or read an email.  For me at least, that is a good thing. We all need to unplug from time to time.

Where do you go for healing?

We all need a place to go to unwind, to de-stress, and recharge our batteries. It is important for maintaining both physical and mental well-being. For me, Raquette Lake is that place. Raquette Lake provides solitude, peace, and a great rustic atmosphere. I hope you find the time to find your own “Raquette Lake.”

Also,

Personalized copies of Serpents Underfoot can now be ordered directly from my website. Just click here!