Archive for the ‘New England’ Tag

Autumn vacations

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All of the above photos were taken while on vacation trips years ago to the upper northeast, New England, (U.S.) and Nova Scotia, Canada province area. It was in October when the orange, gold and rust colored leaves and trees were at their peak, a variation of shades and hues merging amid the landscape and natural areas wherever we traveled. These are a few of my favorite shots taken while driving through the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Main, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Nova Scotia. As we drove through these states, exploring, walking the hiking trails, seeing historic places, the architecture and style of Victorian and Cape Cod homes, pristine beaches and shores of the Atlantic it did not take long before I declared this one of the most enjoyable vacation spots and a favorite place to travel and photograph. I will post some more favorite photos from these trips in future posts.  

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Joyce E. Johnson (2015)   

This old house


This old house

“Kelly, I want you to do a cover story on that old homestead over in Plymouth.” Shauna said.

“That old house? It’s barely standing. No one wants to touch it, not even a real estate developer to determine the property’s worth or potential. They claim there is something strange about it. An old man who looked after the adjoining properties around there lived in it.”

“Yes, the caretaker. But, he died years ago, a very old man. But, there is no death record on him.”

“And his spirit still lurks around the old grounds. That’s what the real estate office says.”

“Well, you said you loved doing stories on places where things happened.” Shauna said, smiling.

Land deeds, surveys, property listings, documents of all kinds were spread across an old map table at the county courthouse. What looked like tea stain marks and scrawled signatures merged together making things nearly illegible.

The house was over a hundred years old. Records showed inhabitants from nearby properties were descendents from the original settlers.

With my camera, door key and copy of the records I approached the house, cautiously.

Tree roots grew up between rotted floor boards exposing earth and weeds, causing the entire floor to buckle in places. I hope I don’t fall through the floor to some gaping hole beneath. Paint was chipped and peeling from walls to ceiling where spiders weaved thick webs for their occupants still moving about. Windows were broken where the ground had shifted under the foundation.

A lone bulb dangled loose from a string of wires suspended just above me as I heard the patter and gnawing of rats or mice in the attic. I hate spiders, detest mice and freak out at the sight of rats.

The ceiling did not look any more stable than the floor looking like it could collapse any moment. I pulled out my flashlight. The descending sun cast shadows across things inside giving it an eerie glow. The furnishings were sparse, all of them looking like ancient pieces from a bygone era. Old, yellowed newspapers with dates so far back… Impossible! Beside them lay recent newspapers, some even with my stories in them. How can that be?

I quickly propped up my flashlight and began going through the pile. There was a scrolled up piece of parchment; a draft… Mayflower Compact?!

Floor boards creaked under heavy steps. The door was pushed open. I jumped, grabbing my flashlight and held it tightly in my raised hand; my ‘weapon’ ready.

“Oh, miss. I’m happy to find you. I read your stories in the Plymouth Sentinel. You tell a good tale. Will you write ours, about our crossing on the Mayflower? Oh, I’m sorry. I haven’t properly introduced myself. I’m William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony.”

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Footnotes: This is a story of fiction, but the real story about William Bradford, the Plymouth Colony governor can be found  here   The above photo is one I took from the road we traveled while on a trip back to New England and Nova Scotia years ago. This old house caught me eye, and I had to stop and get a picture of it. I don’t think anyone was living in it at the time. I love taking pictures of old homes, historic buildings and churches and try to find some history on the area wherever we travel, so thought it would be a great photo prompt for this story.

Happy Halloween 🙂

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

In the eye of the storm

Lighthouse in New England

 

Waves buck, lashing the sides of the boat. Wind thrashes the sea with every gust.

Did they get my SOS? There’s too much static. No contact. No connection.

The black of night pervades the skies. Rocks emerge, scraping across the hull.

I can’t see them, but feel them, tearing, ripping the keel.

A soft cone-shaped light rises from the mist. The lighthouse?

The fog lifts to reveal a bright moon. I hear the sound of a clanging bell.

I sense a presence, calming, peaceful.

The sea is stilled inside the storm that rages all around.

I am safely home.

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Footnotes; the above story is fiction, unrelated to any incident or event. The photo is one I took while on vacation in the New England states (U.S.) years ago. Because we covered so many miles and territory on this trip by car I cannot remember the exact location of this particular lighthouse. We took pictures of several of them where we went. It was an awesome trip, beautiful to see and visit.

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Roads taken

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A scenic route in Vermont, New England, U.S.
photo by:  Joyce E. Johnson

The roads that take us places, whether literally or metaphorically are ones that fill our mind and life with indelible memories to visit from time to time, hopefully happy ones. That was the case with this trip we took years ago to the New England states, where American history was charted and documented.  We have taken two trips like this to the New England states, and both were memorable with a lot of great pictures of all the places we visited like the farmland and beautiful trees in Vermont changing color as shown in the above photo. We took walks along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean of New Hampshire, visited Plymouth Rock and the restored Mayflower in Massachusetts, the waterfront of Boston Harbor, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall of Philadelphia, Niagara Falls, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island in New York,  a lighthouse in Portland Maine, Arlington Nat’l Cemetery in Virginia, and the White House, Capitol, and Supreme Court buildings in Washington DC.  Our second trip included some travel up into Nova Scotia (via ferry) visiting Halifax and cities up and down the northern and southern coastline.

Both of these trips were like a whirlwind, blurring the hours and days in too short a time to ponder the things seen. But, still it was a wonderful way to see the different culture, lifestyle, and meet the people along the way, and learn about their region’s history, or even a bit of their own. Sometimes significant things, big or small leave indelible  impressions that make that trip an unforgettable one. One of those things the trips back east did for me was to make me more aware, knowledgeable and thankful for the foundation laid by our country’s founding fathers in the USA. Those founding principles of,  ‘truth and freedom, justice, and the pursuit of happiness’ that are found written in our constitution were not just paths chartered for that time, but also ones to pave a foundation for a more unified nation today. It is a lasting legacy we can or should be reminded of.  Metaphorically there may be some roads we may not want to return to if unhappy ones, but some we need to re-visit, if for no other reason than to just be reminded of what we once had in this country, and from where we’ve come, if we still have it, or still want what we once had, and the sacrifices of those who pioneered and charted the roads we take today. I count my blessings for what I have, and for what I’ve gained by right as a U.S. citizen. But, I do not curse my country for what it cannot provide me. We may travel different roads, take different paths, believe differently, but at some time or other we intersect or meet along the way like the pilgrims and Indians when they celebrated their first Thanksgiving together. It was their coming together, the unity and sharing for that time that they celebrated, and what we should still cherish and celebrate today. It gave our ‘founding fathers’ hope back then that whatever comes, whatever befalls this country there is still a reason to hope, to hold fast to things cherished, and celebrate what we have. It is why I love the approaching time and holiday of Thanksgiving, and feel blessed that we have much to give thanks for.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

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