Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Home Again, The First Week, 6/06-13/2017

This is our first time back in Chester County, PA, in over two years. Our first order of business was to pick up a lab work orders from our physicians for our annual (in this case bi-annual) physicals. Our sweet doggie, Sadie, and I made appointments for grooming; Sadie at the Dog House and me at The Village Salon (both in Thorndale). It's always a real pleasure to see my hairdresser (Linda) who has taken care of me for many, many years! 

Thursday night, we joined my brother, Mark, and his family to celebrate Eileen's birthday at Sake Hana in Avondale. Below are their two oldest, James and Nikole, with their mom; grand-daughter Addison and Eileen; JohnMark and James enjoying sake; and youngest daughter Jordan and her friend, Kierstyn

We have been to this restaurant many times in the past and love their food (sushi and Japanese entrees)! 

Friday night we had our close friends, Joan and Skip, to our place for dinner. It was fantastic to see them again after two years, although we always stay in touch. 

One of the other traditions for us when we are in the area is to visit the graves of loved ones. Buried at Grace Episcopal Church (www.gracedelaware.org) are my first husband, Tom (January 1948-September 1982), and my mother (July 1924-April 1985). My dad (July 1924-April 2012) is buried at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bear, DE.

I learned that a dear friend, Joan Reese (May 1952-June 2017) that I had known since the 1970s died on June 7. We had exchanged messages recently and had planned to get together during our visit this month. I was so sorry and so sad to hear this news. Another close friend, Connie, and I went to her memorial service. It was wonderful to see her sisters (Joyce and Karen) son (Joshua), and his children (TorinPhoebeElijahNorah, and Tobias,) but such a very, very  sad occasion. Rest In Peace, my friend. You will be sorely missed by so many. 

By Sunday, all of us needed to spend some quality time with nature! We went to nearby Hibernia County Park for some hiking. 

The 990-acre park was a 19th century iron plantation. The original owner of the property was George Harrison, a weaver, who owned the property from 1744 until he sold it to Samuel Downing in the 1770s. Downing built the first iron forge on the West Branch of the Brandywine to convert pig iron into bar iron. By 1850, the Hibernia Forge included two forges and heating furnaces, a rolling mill, grist mill, the mansion and several houses for employees. Today there are historic ruins and the iron master's house can be seen in the park. 

The original house was built in the 1770s, but additions and modifications were made over the years by various owners. In the early 20th century the mansion was redesigned to emulate an English county houseTours of the mansion are conducted on Sundays and some special holidays ($3/per). 

Also located near the mansion is the barn used today by staff for maintenance, etc., at the park. 

We stopped at the Ranger Station and got some information about the hiking trails that originate near the mansion. We followed the Forge Trail along Brandywine Creek. 

The Children's Fishing Pond is for use by children less than 12 years old. There is a limit of 5/trout per day with a minimum size of 7". All other fish are catch and release. We enjoyed seeing several families of Canadian geese here.

Nearby is the original site of the saw and grist mill as well as one of the tenant houses

From the overlook, we got a glimpse of 90-acre Chambers Lake. Canoeing, kayaking and fishing are popular activities.  

Sadie cooled off in the lake (whenever John would let her!)

We saw some Amish enjoying the park in several locations. 

It was a very pleasant afternoon at this park. For additional information about this or other Chester County parks, check out their website: www.chesco.org/1743/Hibernia-Park.

We had our physicals (all is well!) on Monday. And began preparations for our day trip to NYC scheduled for June 14. It was a very busy week!

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