November – Gratitude – Photo/Art

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Traveling to Vermont for Thanksgiving with family. (c)2018

Fireplace on a cold Thanksgiving night. (c)2018


Thanksgiving Dinner. (c)2018

Travel Recs – I Love NY App

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A street sign on the Long Island Expressway led me to the I Love NY app. If you allow it to access your location, it will show you several of the things to do, places to eat, etc in the region that you are in. You can also save certain regions as favorites or go to the region that you’re looking into visiting.

I had fun playing around on the app, and it worked flawlessly on my smartphone. I can’t wait to try it out in my home region.

Visit their website to download it for free.

The Grave Site of President Chester A. Arthur

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I recently took a drive out to the Albany Rural Cemetery outside of the New York State capital of Albany to visit the gravesite of President Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States. The cemetery is much larger than it appears upon driving through the gates. I’m told that the cemetery itself is 400 acres and I found it to be one of the more peaceful  places I’ve been to. It is spaced in a rolling way with hills and winding dirt/gravel narrow roads, large and small headstones and monuments, mid-19th century (some from before that had been moved there) to modern era as well as above ground burial areas. There is an abundance of nature with trees and creeks with natural stone walls, deep wooded areas and cool shaded spaces with benches and statuary. It felt a bit like some of the Gettysburg cemeteries for anyone that’s visited them, but I only felt the peacefulness rather than the spirits and ghost-like feelings reaching out that I feel in the Battlefields and Cemeteries of Gettysburg.

This cemetery began with 100 acres in 1841, and had its first burial in 1845, although some graves are from before that having moved from their original site at Washington Park. It is an active cemetery, and other than very famous names, I recognized my former Congressman’s father.

When I arrived at the President’s grave site, there was a groundskeeper trimming the grass. He chuckled and said to me, “My boss was right. Always weed whack over here first.” He then moved off so that I could get pictures. For all of the visitors you would think they get, there are no signs pointing the way. I did see one about the size of an interstate shield sign, but other than that, nothing. I ran into a jogger with her dog, and I asked her for directions to the President. She was not surprised that I could not find it on my own.

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Below is the Arthur family plot.

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Behind the monument with the angel and Presidential Seal is the actual grave where President Arthur is buried alongside his wife.

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It took me three tries to get the flag to wave just right behind the angel’s wings.

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I also have an affinity for taking pictures of things with a tree in the foreground.

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Some more photos from my day. The next two were where I happened upon the jogger. I saw a stone wall and flowing water and I needed to stop and get out of my car. I was really glad I did.

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This stone was under a copse of trees. There’s a stone wall layered behind it, the topiary plus a few statuary pieces. This person really liked frogs apparently. The bench right across from this has that little stone path and is under its own tree; it is also missing the seat. I can imagine that this person’s spouse or parent would come to sit and visit. Sometimes, I wish that there was a bench by my parents’ graves; something that my mother wanted to put in had she lived longer to visit my Dad.

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These last two are good examples of unexpected angles. Stand in just the right spot and it gives way to gobs of creativity and writing prompts. There is so much in the simplest photograph.

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