Happenings in Christine's World

Short stories of life, thoughts, and feelings

Leave a comment

Seasons of Strength

Each morning I take a walk through my backyard and notice black walnuts lying in the grass and on the cement sidewalk to nowhere. Seeing the walnuts and the tree they fall from reminds me of the old place where I lived. Dan would spend each fall gathering the hundreds of walnuts and filling his wheelbarrow. At the time,

Black Walnut – Autumn’s Inspiration

I never thought much of it, but now it’s a sweet memory of him. I remember how he would bundle up in layers of shirts and then cover them with a zipped-up sweat jacket or a lined flannel shirt accessorized with brown canvas work gloves and a cap. I smile at how vivid the memory is, down to how he dressed. Who would have thought at the time how priceless the memory would be? Since his passing, I’ve learned over and over again how the simplest everyday action he did gives me the most joy and peace.

I’ve gone through one year, eight months, and three days without him, and I can still see him, with every season change, the little things he did. I can remember what he wore and how he approached each chore. At the time, I embraced his appearance and actions and never realized it until after he was gone. I am so thankful and appreciative of those memories, which console me on my saddest days.

The sayings, “never take moments for granted” and “take in the simplest moments,” have become cliches, but there is truth to those sayings. Unfortunately, we often don’t realize it until the person or the moment is gone.   

Wordsworth on Helvellyn by Benjamin Haydon

As I write this, one of the stanzas from William Wordsworth‘s poem, “Intimations of Immortality,” comes to mind. The first time I heard the stanza, I was in my early teens and watching the movie “Splendor in the Grass.” Natalie Wood’s character, Deanie, recited it –

What though the radiance
which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;

William Wordsworth –
Intimations of Immortality” 1807

Leave a comment

Beyond the Window of Pain

I’m unsure where or how to begin, so I will just write and see how the words flow.

It’s been a little more than a year and a half since Dan’s passing. I have progressed – there are good and bad days – thankfully, I have incredible support from my family and friends. I’m learning to laugh again. I am at peace and know Dan’s spirit is always near me.

So, moving forward – what I’ve been doing . . .

Research and Writing: I am working with Allenberry Resort researching and writing on the property’s history and surrounding history. So far, I have submitted four essays to them, which will eventually be published on the Resort’s blog.

Besides the writing and publishing I’m doing for Allenberry, I also publish in other venues. A project I’ve done a lot of work on is the Bosler family and their adventures in the midwest. The Cumberland County Historical Society will publish the article in the October/November journal.

Also, focusing on completing unfinished projects – one that is very important to me is the Bosler biography. It’s a book I started as an undergrad at Vermont College, aka Union Institute in Montpelier. While in Vermont, I completed three chapters.

What is interesting about the Bosler book project is that I abandoned it several years ago, but working with Allenberry has brought me full circle. The Boslers and their descendants owned Allenberry from the nineteenth century to the 1940s. The book will focus on James Williamson Bosler, who went West in the mid1800s, which led to the Boslers’ prominence in Cumberland County, PA. Bosler, Wyoming, is named for James Williamson Bosler. (Everything happens for a reason.)

Other writing initiatives include submitting articles to the “The Burg” and local newspapers as a freelance writer.

Presentations: In October, Tristin Malazzo and I will be doing a panel discussion on the “Health of History Education” at the Pennsylvania Historical Association Conference in Williamsport. Tristin graduated with me from Shippensburg University. She is the former Outreach Director at the Cumberland County Historical Society and now works for the Pennsylvania Cable Network in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. The panel discussion will include research Tristin did relating to Pennsylvania’s labor history in Northeastern Pennsylvania and how local communities engage with their own history. My topic focuses on my research on teaching history in Pennsylvania’s public schools.

National Register of Historic Places: During the Spring semester of 2020, as part of my grad work at Shippensburg University, I worked on preparing the Lincoln Cemetery in Upper Allen Township, Cumberland County, PA, for eligibility on the National Register of Historic Places. Preparing a property for the National Register involves a lot of research and documentation. The National Register, part of the National Parks System (Department of the Interior), has very stringent requirements. For more information, see eligibility criteria. I am working with my former professor, Steven Burg, to complete the project. Our goal is to submit it sometime this year to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) via PA-Share.

Websites, Podcasts, and Social Media: And there’s more: Revising my Wandering Pen website – takes a lot of time, but I’m persevering. Also, in the plans – rekindling my podcast and posting three-minute pieces on local history on YouTube. Promote my book, Silver Spring Township – considering doing another book signing – not sure where – need to discuss it with my publisher. Wegmans and CVS sell copies, and I’ve never done a book signing at either of those places. I am selling autographed copies on eBay (thanks, Mary, for the suggestion).

Must get back to posting history and historic preservation information on social media. I need to build the SEO and drive more traffic to my websites. I don’t like self-promoting, but being self-employed requires it.

Did you know I have a Cumberland County blog – I haven’t posted to it for a VERY long time. Still, you might want to check it out to see what is posted. I welcome posting suggestions and guest writers.

Wow! What an agenda! I realize what I posted is overwhelming and energetic, but it’s not all happening at once. I am pacing myself, and some of it will take a long time to complete, such as the Bosler biography. I am setting priorities and a schedule. It is really all doable as long as I stay focused. This is my job/career now – and most of all I love what I do. It is why I went back to school. AND I see life differently now – I had to redesign my life – I have to look at my health – mental and physical – I’m back on the horse but riding a lot slower.


The Widow’s Walk

I am a writer. So, I have decided to write about my husband – who unexpectedly died on January 2, 2021. The new year barely started. Since the age of fifteen, I had experienced many unexpected losses – from my brother when he was 21, to my nephew at the age of 17, and my parents in 2014 and 2018, but the loss I am experiencing now is the heaviest loss I suffered. 

This is the place I have chosen to write about my loss – my children’s and grandchildren’s loss – Daniel was a brother, an uncle, and a friend. From the flowers and cards I have received and the outpouring of love, he was obviously appreciated, liked, and loved by many. My heart is touched by those who have shared with me and the kids how much Daniel meant to them. If he knew how many people he affected in his 64 years, he would be amazed. But we who knew him and continue to love him are not surprised. 

Daniel was the type of man who would do anything for anyone – family, friend, or foe. He had a giving heart and loved people, and he was a kid at heart. As I write, I see in my memory bank the many times he carried on with the kids and had them laughing. Two of our grandchildren enjoyed locking him in the small shed located in the corner of our yard. Dan always knew they would lock him in the shed, but he played along with them anyway. He was such a good sport, and he embraced their laughter. 

There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not a mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are the messengers of overwhelming grief,
of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.  Washington Irving

Leave a comment


Images of America Silver Spring Township is now available for purchasing. The book can be purchased online at Arcadia Publishing, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. Books can also be purchased at local venues or from Christine Clepper Musser online at The Wandering Pen.

Silver Spring Township