Our Trip – Stop 3: Feeling Stuck

We are still in the hotel in the Princeton, NJ area, and will be for a few more days. Time is running out for us to do the stuff I want to do though. Hubby won’t be back until after dark tonight, so there is no where we can go to see anything. We have laundry we must do also.

Tomorrow is Friday and then there is Saturday. Hubby wants to go to NYC, has also talked of going to a baseball game, Trenton Thunder, AA Yankee team, which is near here. I love baseball, but don’t want to waste this one-time trip I’ve had to the truer NE that I love to see baseball when there are other significant sites I want to see.

I also have less desire to go to NYC than hubby, I will go, but don’t wish to spend a ton of time there. I have little I’d like to see there, and there is limited $ to use there, so … then it goes on to what else I want to do and it comes down to it’s me against everything else. I want to see more in the Easton, PA area, and that’s 2 hours away. NYC is about 40 miles from Easton, FWIW. I’m not sure how far NYC is from here. Anyhow, it’s just that I also want to see some family historic area(s) like the Imlaydale Historic Distric here in NJ. That’s something for daytime. I’m not entirely sure where it is, it’s close to here, sort of, or closer to Easton, or something. I sound dumb about it. I am and am not. I don’t have a map so I’m out of sorts about it. We have a GPS and that just doesn’t cut it for understanding where everything is laid out in larger regions, comparatively.

Add into all of this the fact that Asa has his 8th birthday on Saturday.

I also wish to find something in the Easton/Allentown area that might still be around that was around in 1973/74, a restaurant, I have memories of some sort of place but I can’t recall the name. It likely doesn’t exist, but anyhow, it was particularly known for really good Shoe Fly Pie. I don’t know how to find anything there that has such now, I love the stuff, have made it myself on occasion, but would like to get some on this trip, to eat now, and also take a pie or two home …

The internet is great for searching for things, but not always so great for savvying out what you are truly looking for, the quality of an actual human, and I don’t have good internet in this crappy Residence Inn, though it should be better, in my opinion. Wireless is good in some hotels, and crappy in others. Here they have a box to connect an Ethernet cable to one’s laptop, we are in a three-room suite, two bedrooms and a livingroom/kitchen. Of course the box to connect to is in the one bedroom that is less conducive to be wanted by a married couple, and there isn’t another box in the whole suite. Wireless comes and goes, and is very low most of the time, limited or no contectivity a lot of the time, totally “not there” a large percentage of the time. Growl. I like to stay in the living area with my laptop and listen to music via it, and then surf, research, blog, etc. sometimes. Online streaming of music from my last.fm library radio worked 100% fantastically in Williamsport, PA at the Holiday Inn there, but here in NJ at the Cranberry Residence Inn, it just plain sucks. It’s the wireless. To plugin in the room with the box means I can’t be out in the living area, but stuck in the corner of that bedroom. That’s alright for a short project, but not what I want. I want my music! I don’t have much of anything on this laptop, I took it all off, going to be turning this one in hopefully at Best Buy, it’s got a few problems lately, and we have a 3-yr. guarantee deal on it that expires in October. So, I’m needing my internet streaming last.fm library, otherwise, it’s just Evanesence and a few other songs. Not bad, but overkill if it’s all that I can have.

I could connect my Sansa e280 to the laptop and play it but that’s moreso fussy, having to find what I want, and then I don’t want this laptop adding all that stuff to it’s music library, and I don’t want to pick stuff, just want a stream of anything that last.fm puts in the stream from my library, it’s a “radio” then, not an album or playlist like I would use at home on the desktop, or use with my Sansa (Rockbox’d) and headphones other times.

I’ve got to go, see if the internet is capable of working for me to publish this, and the baby is really being pesty, pulling my power cord out, and my battery is so weak and old it can’t live for more than a few minutes of that. Babies and laptops don’t go together. I never had a laptop with my first three babies until the youngest of them was a bit older. Babies and laptops are a hard mix to deal with. I totally just use the desktop at home now. So it’s “on the road” that the laptop come out and it’s frustrating enough with the baby, but with the cruddy Wi-Fi signal, it’s just torture. Amen.

Our Trip – Stop 2

We are now in the Princeton, NJ area, not exactly, but sort of. No reason except for centrality of where hubbies appointments are the rest of the week.

From Williamsport we drove to Easton, PA, where I was born and lived until I was 7 years old, when we moved to Williamsport.

I saw the house that was my first dwelling. The street was crowded with cars on both sides, parked, really strange at just a few minutes past 5pm, to us. The street is a One-Way street now, it sure wasn’t when I lived there and wasn’t some years ago when my hubby was in the area and went to take a few pictures for me. Anyhow, the house was unremarkable, as usual. A typical ugly Easton, PA duplex house. Well, not ugly, just plain.

There exist nicer looking duplexes, obviously from an earlier era, further to the east towards Easton, with where we had lived being on the outer western edge of Easton. Down the street from my old house is where I went to school. Across from that was the playground that was flooded by the fire department in Winter for Ice Skating fun. Both no longer exist.

There are really ugly newer than my era houses where Liberty School was located, and the playground is a playground (actually retains the lovely Liberty name) but it’s a modern to-code sort of playground, just looks so different to what I remember, of course, seeing as my memory is from pre-1973.

So many of the streets in that area are One-Way now. All those years ago, in the late 60’s, my brother was crossing our street to a friends house and a person turned onto our street speeding fastly, and hit him and caused my brother to be changed forever. It would be impossible for a car to do that today, as the traffic flows the other direction only now. FWIW. It’s so very crowded too. It just doesn’t seem that someone would want to speed down that street.

I was disgusted to see my beloved Dixie Cup building so run down. I hadn’t thought of ever checking up on it online, but it was long abandoned and looking so needing to be reduced to rubble. Most all the windows broken, and just aged and abandoned. It was a lovely living symbol when I was living there, yes, all those years ago. The Easton of my early childhood memory is barely there. It’s sad. But I don’t feel as sad about it as I do Williamsport, which I see improving, and me missing the life that I once had, the promise it had, and how I lost it when having to move. My sisters have different ideas, no doubt, as my eldest had spent her entire life in Easton and moving from there was as bad in a way for her as moving from Williamsport was for me. For my other two sisters the moves weren’t good either, I just don’t know how much either affected either one.

I’ll be trying to put together a few things about visiting some historic sites in NJ; Easton, PA; and NY City. That’s my agenda for the next few days, figuring out what to do.

It was nice driving from Williamsport to Easton today. The Pocano’s are so nice, I’d forgotten that we’d be driving that way, and it was a surprise treat. Hubby hadn’t been in that area ever, so it was new to him so a treat too.

Our Trip – Stop 1

We are in PA right now. We left early morning this past Saturday (driving) and have been in one of my hometowns since Saturday night, Williamsport. I lived here with my family from the age of 7 to 13, then we moved to FL.

That was the hardest move I’ve ever made. It killed so many things for me, and being here again is bringing up all that loss heavily, seeing the place I loved and wanted to stay my whole life long in. It’s been nearly 29 years since we left.

Our old house looks great. Apparently it had a couple or few owners until the most recent one, who updated everything immensely, but made the house look it’s best, not changing it outside, just making it nice. I can’t share the pictures online since it’s not my house to post pictures of, but I will be sending the pictures I took to my sisters who may care to see them.

Today it’s raining and I realized that I didn’t get any outdoor pictures except of the house. I’m having issues with my camera batteries, I need new ones, and just haven’t gotten them (not regular ones, recharge-able Canon for my Digital Rebel $$.)

It’s just so nice to be here and get to walk around the town. The downtown is greatly changed from the last time I walked it’s streets. They are working on bringing things back in. There are several really nice shops there, but so many empty store fronts. The library is getting a new children’s wing and though it looks so familiar on the outiside and has the same impressive enterance feel, the cases of books don’t look as impressive as I remembered and there are computer monitors all over the place. The childrens books are in the basement, as they were when I was young, but this time it was a great shock to see what has become of that section, videos and dvd’s and cd’s take up huge floor space, and then the books in there are mostly for young children, no books remain there that I would have read from the age of 8 through 13. I used to go there often, and check-out large stacks of books and then voraciously read them deep into the night.

So libraries age, it’s not that though, we looked and looked and never found much of interest like they had when I was young. Classic things, important books for young people like I read. I didn’t just read “classics” but good books they were. Maybe there are some somewhere there …

The street I lived on is paved, and wasn’t paved while I lived there, but was starting to be paved the last summer I spent there in ’79.

I saw the old haunts we had frequented as kids, the Wildwood Cemetery, the Lycoming Creek, the ravine at the end of our street. The field the had existed a block up the road is gone. Apartment/Assisted living buildings fill the once wild space. It was a way we used to cut through when going into town, or just to play there. It was a nice testament to what our street was, Rural Ave. Oh well, it’s not there anymore. The street is still there, but paved. The old houses are still on that block, but the road is paved the whole way up around the bend and goes on and on and on, past a new (to me) hospital and other old residential places, continuity of street name. I don’t remember that it did that back in the 70’s and before. I don’t really know, it was so wild and different going up the road and around the bend back then …

I got some news of the neighbors from the family that lived next door to us. They are still there, but the neighbors all around either have died or something, mostly. It was another place where I had to tell about my mother not being with us anymore. It was striking to me to look at the house, see it well cared for, remember when I lived in it, and how much it needed but my father couldn’t provide for it. He’s gone, and so is my mother. It’s there and plodding along for some more years. It’s an old house. I don’t remember when it was built precisely, but when we moved in it was supposedly more than 80 years old. It’s exactly the sort of house that I like, though the stucco finish outside isn’t what I’d want on a house –it is what that house is, and that is that.

I love this area and if we could live here it’d be great, but it’s not the right area due to traveling needs. I love smaller towns and what I love about this place is that it looks great, even if the downtown still needs revitalization. It’s not shabby. It’s river valley living, nothing like we can get where we live right now.

Overall it’s a matter of what we like, what we want, and compromises and it’s complicated. We want to move sooner than later and need to find the right situation, house, property, close enough to hub-travel for my hubby.

This isn’t a “looking for where to move” trip. It’s a business trip that we are taking advantage of PA and getting to visit all the places I never did get to go back to since leaving. I’ve talking of moving to PA for years, and it’s deep in my heart. We do want to move sooner than later, as I said above, it’s just all those compromises between two people that have to be agreed on.

Well then, today we check out and head east, we’ll be staying in Princeton, NJ for the centrality of it for hubbies business meetings, but I’ll get to go to Easton, PA, by first hometown, and see the old haunts of my very young life, birth to 7 years of age. I’ll also get to go to Manhattan on Saturday, well WE will be going, all of us, to all of this. There are some sites in NJ and Easton, PA and on Long Island that are historical ancestrally that I’d like to see as well.