My Blueberry Popsicle Memory

To me it seems that childhood experiences often feel different as I age. By that I am not necessarily referring to things just being relative to my size. More so, I have a realization that memories I have as youngster are often similar, but different, in reality than what I experience in the same circumstances as an adult.

While growing up in Somerset, Pennsylvania, there were always many nearby places of significance to me such as Forbes Field, Carnegie Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Fort Necessity, our family cabin at the farm, and the Somerset Little League baseball field.

And today there are newer places of significance such as the somber Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville.

Flight 93 Memorial (c)

Just as my perspective of memories has changed somewhat, I am certain that young people visiting these and other places in Western Pennsylvania will see them differently than their memories as they grow older.

One such memory forever etched in my mind appears to be very similar to reality today. My father had a fascination with going to Kooser State Park which is about 15 miles from Somerset. Kooser is located in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, not very far from Seven Springs Resort. Dad loved having outdoor picnics there and occasionally we stayed in a rented rustic cabin in the state park. A blazing fire in the fireplace was always part of going anywhere with my Dad.

Kooser State Park Beach

The park also has a small sandy beach (pictured) which seemed larger in the day. Spooky, dank, smelly outhouses were available to relieve oneself and have since been replaced with more modern facilities. The memory I have most is that the mountain spring water that flowed into the swimming area was on the “Polar Bear plunge” side of cold! I speculated it to be a few degrees above freezing although I am certain it is more.

On exiting the water at Kooser in my younger days, my brother Dave was often light blue as he shivered to shore, reminding me of a blueberry popsicle. The only respite for relief from the cold while in the water was when someone left a warm spot and quickly moved away as to say “not me!”

As interesting as I find this memory and others, I know my readers have similar stories of how they recall experiences from their childhood differently as adults. As in other stories I encourage each of you to document a recollection so your thoughts not only bring a smile to your face but also to others.

My Visit Home – Somerset, Pennsylvania USA

A few days ago I returned to Ljubljana, Slovenia from a visit to the USA and my hometown, Somerset in Pennsylvania. Although several meaningful things happened during this journey, my adventures to Somerset were nostalgic and I easily lost track of time.

A Somerset County Farm

I am presently helping with the planning for a reunion weekend of my high school class. This event is a special one as it marks the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation. Even though my travel involves quite a distance traversing six time zones, it is worth it to me to contribute to the event and help make it memorable. Meanwhile, my journey reminds me of the time growing from childhood into being the person I am today.


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Creaky Floors in Vienna Remind Me of Home

Johann Strauss in beautiful Stadtplaz in Vienna
A few days ago I moved into my apartment in beautiful Vienna. Not only do I love Vienna (having blogged several times) but also the apartment is quite nice.

A beautiful stairway leads to the third floor of my apartment. The apartment has interesting uniqueness such as the beautiful 19th century parquet flooring which makes wonderful creaking sounds as you walk on it.

Just as the snowfall in Brno reminded me of home, hearing the creaking also reminds me of growing up in Somerset, my hometown in the USA.

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Brno Snowfall Reminds Me of Home

img_7635The first real snowfall of the season occurred this week in Brno, Czech Republic. Granted, the snowfall was just a dusting of maybe four inches. As it fell, the view of Špilberk Castle disappeared from my apartment’s picture glass window. Snow covered the branches of the trees and I reminisced about this time of year when winter snowfall would come to Somerset, my hometown in Western Pennsylvania in the United States

I have always thought of January differently than other months. It is a bleak time of year. Yes, the daylight hours are increasing but January also has penetrating cold and blustery winds. It is time when one’s exhaled breath drifts away in a cloud of steam. It follows the celebrations of Christmas and New Years and it seems to me to be a time for resting and recovery from them. By a burning fireplace seems to be the place of comfort.

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