Weekend Hodgepodge

This weekend was supposed to be mostly work with little time to play. BUT, the weather was sooo gorgeous, I couldn’t bear to be inside staring at a computer screen, knowing that the sun was shining, breeze was blowing and spring had sprung outside.

Jumbars Brownie Sunday

Friday evening we had a last minute visit with one of my sisters over dinner at my parents house. We enjoyed some meatless lasagna, salad, Jumbars dinner rolls, and broccoli. The meal was topped off with Jumbars brownies, topped with natural vanilla bean ice cream, and a dollop of espresso fudge. Mmm.

Tober & the Sardine

Saturday morning started with a bit of amusement as Tober was supremely fascinated with this illustration of a sardine. Too cute.

Running Sneakers

I recently began the Couch to 5k running program, in preparation for the Dirty Girl Mud Run in May, so I went for a run in the brisk morning air on Saturday.

Food Co-Op Logo Sketches

Saturday afternoon was occupied by Bethlehem Food Co-Op business. First, I spent two brain boggling hours with the other designers, trying to finalize and whittle down our numerous logo options. Then, I met with a few other cooperators to discuss a feasibility study at the Wise Bean.

Daal

For a hearty and inexpensive meal on Saturday night, I whipped up a batch of red lentil daal (recipe coming soon!).

Girl Scout Sunday

Sunday, groggy from the daylight savings time change, I headed to a place I rarely go- church. It was Girl Scout Sunday, so the members of our troops volunteered to be ushers and host a coffee hour at the church where we meet as a thank you to the congregation.

Coffee Hour Table

The girls did a great job distributing bulletins, reading liturgy, collecting offerings, and providing food for the coffee hour. I prepared a vegan coffee cake to serve.

Green Pond

Sunday afternoon, I couldn't bear to be indoors, so Kevin and I set out on a geocaching expedition to some of the prettiest places in Bethlehem Township. The first cache we found was located on the shore of Green Pond. Tranquil, although it did smell a bit rank since the area is frequently flooded.

Louise Moore Flowers

Next, we went to Louise Moore Park and had a picnic, having brought some sandwiches from Martellucci's. Signs of spring abounded, and we were happy to see the large community garden.

Monocacy Meadow Railroad

Next, we followed our geocaching GPS to Monocacy Meadow, a small but pretty park that is a popular fishing location. We found a multicache and took a walk along the railroad tracks.

Housenick Park

The last park we visited was Housenick Park on Christian Springs Road, one we had never been to before. It is an absolute gem! This is a relatively new park, still being worked on, and is a fascinating blend of history and nature. It is large and beautiful; 55 acres of rugged terrain, abandoned estate buildings, and the Monocacy Creek.

Sprout

It was so refreshing to see the tufts of green popping up through the layer of dead brown leaves.

Sun flare

We explored the rugged outlying areas of the park, finding several geocaches.

Archibald Johnston Home

Another fascinating part of the park is the Archibald Johnston home, abandoned and disintegrating atop a hill. It's a beautiful structure, full of intrigue and faded elegance.

Archibald Johnston Home

After a bit of research when we came home from the park, we learned that Bethlehem Township has hopes to restore this grand building that was once home to the mayor of Bethlehem/Bethlehem Steel Executive Archibald Johnston.

Crazy Tree

We found our last cache for the day within this crazy tree on the edge of the park. It will be exciting to see the improvements as the progress of fixing up/restoring this land continues.

Through the reading we did about Housenick Park and Archibald Johnston, we also learned a lot about a current conflict between Central Moravian Church and local environmentalists and township residents. As it turns out, the downtown Bethlehem church inherited a large stretch of equally beautiful land directly bordering Housenick Park. Instead of preserving or conserving the land they were charged with by a Johnston relative upon her death, they have entered into discussions to develop this land into apartments and business properties. After seeing the land and realizing what development would do to the environment (especially the already stressed Monocacy Creek!), the atmosphere and the dwindling open space in the area, I sincerely hope the church acts as responsible stewards, finding someone else to properly care for the tract if they cannot themselves. I cannot adequately explain the conflict or intricacies here, but I encourage you to learn more about this possible poor decision in the works, and let your voice be heard if you want future generations to enjoy the great natural spaces we have in our town. If you’d like to read more about this conflict, click here for a recent article in the Morning Call.

* stepping off my soap box *

I am so glad to have stepped away from what could have been an glum indoor weekend full of chores and tasks to enjoy the great outdoor areas we have in our back yard. Supposedly, next weekend will be similarly nice out, so I’ll have to make sure to work hard this week to play hard next weekend!

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