The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Easter Vacation – Warren, PA to Chincoteague Island, VA

March 29th was the start of a long weekend getaway. We were on our way out of Warren, PA at 5:30 am, en route Chincoteague Island, VA.

We stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s in Clearfield, PA. We used an order kiosk there for the first time. We had to pay at the counter, as the cashless mechanism was off line. After eating our bagel sandwiches, hash browns and beverage of choice, we were back on the road at 7:45 am.

It was a foggy drive, with dense fog at times.

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This was the view on I-99 at Osterburg, PA at 9:06 am.

The fog was even more dense, as we descended the Town Hill mountain range on I-70 in Pennsylvania. The fog was close in, making me feel a little bit claustrophobic! The fog left us, after descending Town Hill.  Driving conditions were good rest of the way to Chincoteague Island.

The drive would have been more interesting without the fog. It is a beautiful drive from Pennsylvania to Maryland. Because of the fog we saw very little of the countryside.

We entered Maryland at 9:55 am and crossed over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis shortly before noon.

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Crossing over the Bay Bridge

The Bay Bridge is 4.3 miles long.  I suffer from gephyrophobia, the fear of bridges.  I am particularly fearful of long and tall bridges.  My fear originated many years ago, while crossing a bridge in Maine.  I was boxed in, nowhere to go.  Looking through my rear view mirror, I saw a truck closing in quickly.  It was not slowing down.  The truck rear-ended me.  Thankfully, myself and a passenger did not sustain any injuries.  We were both quite shaken, though, by the experience.

My fear of bridges has lessened over time.  I used to grip the steering wheel, if I was driving (or the door handle if I was a passenger), so tightly that my fingers would turn white. Nowadays I sometimes close my eyes, if not driving, or take several deep breaths, if driving, while crossing a bridge. I am not fearful of all bridges.  If traffic is light and I can see the end of the bridge, I have no fear.

We ate lunch at IHOP in Chester on Kent Island, MD.  Bob ordered a grilled cheese sandwich.  I had a BLT sandwich.  We were back on the road at 1:00 pm.

We arrived in Virginia, via Route 12, shortly before 3:30 pm. We made it to our hotel, the Best Western Chincoteague Island, by 4:00 pm. We checked in and got settled in our room.  We decided to go for a bicycle ride, after relaxing for a short time in our room.

We brought our folding bicycles with us to Virginia. After removing the bicycles from their carrying bags, unfolding them, and adjusting the seats we went for a short bicycle ride. Best Western Chincoteague Island is the closest hotel to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. We rode our bicycles almost to the refuge entrance, a distance of about 1/2 mile.

On the way to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, there is a very nice view of the Assateague Channel.

20180329_212421844_iOSAssateague Channel

Returning to the hotel, we ditched the bicycles and drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

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Our hotel provides several outdoor bike racks.
This particular bike rack was located behind the hotel.

We drove along Beach Drive to the Assateague Island National Seashore.

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We made it to the beach.

We ate dinner at the Chincoteague Diner and Restaurant, which is located conveniently next door to the Best Western Chincoteague Island hotel  We have eaten at this restaurant during past Chincoteague vacations.  The food has always been good.  Service, though, can be on the slow side.  I just think life is slower on an island than it is on the mainland.  A slower lifestyle is one of the reasons that we keep coming back to Chincoteague Island.

After dinner we returned to the hotel, where we spent rest of the evening.

Oh, the hotel.  I should probably tell you a little something about the hotel and our room.  We like the Best Western Chincoteague Island hotel.  This was our third or fourth stay at this hotel.  Off season a room rate of approximately $90+tax is reasonable, especially when Discover reward point gift cards are used to defray some of the cost.  The hotel location is quiet.  As is customary at most, if not all, Best Western hotels breakfast is provided on a complementary basis.  The hotel provides a good selection of breakfast items, hot and cold.  The hotel and the rooms are clean.  The hotel staff is very friendly. We selected a two queen bed room with balcony for our 3-night stay.  Best Western Chincoteague Island is our go-to hotel, whenever we vacation on Chincoteague Island.

Stay tuned for more blog posts about our Chincoteague Island vacation.

Blue Ridge Cemetery

This past Saturday I joined the Taphophile world, according to my sister-in-law.  In other words, I became a cemetery enthusiast.  Bob is my second set of eyes, while looking for burial plots.

Since early January, I have been building my family tree.  I discovered that many of my ancestors are buried in cemeteries that are within a 2-3 hour drive of my home in Warren, PA.  Some of my ancestors are buried even closer than a 2-3 hour drive.  One such cemetery is the Blue Ridge Cemetery in Barnett Township in Forest County, PA.

That cemetery is only a hour’s drive from our home.

We drove on a bumpy, dirt road for a couple miles before reaching the cemetery which is located on Blood Road.

_LG25531Blue Ridge Cemetery
Can you make out the steel pipe in front of the break in burial plots?
My family members’ burial plots are in front of that steel pipe.

We found eleven family members buried at Blue Ridge Cemetery, all from the maternal side of my family tree:

Great-Grandparents Benjamin F. (1859-1936) and Lula M. (1873-1930) Leslie
Great-Uncle Noah Leslie (1888-1964)
Great-Uncle Harry D. Leslie (1899-1979)
Great-Aunt Elizabeth R. (1897-1960) and John E. (1892-1968) Gregg
1st cousin 1x removed Andrew F. Gregg (1919-1920)
1st cousin 1x removed John A. Gregg (1933-1964)
1st cousin 1x removed Larry E. Gregg (1937-1937) (note story below)
1st cousin 1x removed Ruby A. (1918-2002) and Walter W. (1906-1992) McKinney

I plan to visit cemeteries, from time to time, at which my ancestors are buried. I chose to visit Blue Ridge Cemetery first because this is the site of Ruby McKinney’s final resting place.

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Ruby A. McKinney’s final resting place

In 1987 Ruby mailed me a blue notebook full of names and birth dates of family members, as well as a couple stories about family members.  That notebook has become invaluable to me, as I build the maternal grandfather’s portion of my  family tree.

One of the stories in the notebook is the heartbreaking story about the birth of Ruby’s brother, Larry E. Gregg.

Before leaving on our drive to Blue Ridge Cemetery, I had not yet completed my great grandparents’ ancestry profiles.  What a surprise I had, when I discovered that Benjamin F. and Lula M. Leslie are buried at Blue Ridge Cemetery!

20180324_162616561_iOSMy Great-Grandparents Final Resting Site

I plan to return to Blue Ridge Cemetery, when the snow is gone.  At which time, I plan to take photographs of each of my family’s burial plots.

 

Papalia Family Photo Session

I conducted a family photo session yesterday afternoon, my first since late December last year. My friend Janice messaged me about a month ago.  Janice wrote that she was having a surprise 60th birthday party for her husband John.  She asked if I was available to take a few family photos.  I was available and accepted the photo assignment.

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John arrived at his surprise birthday party,
accompanied by his oldest son and one of six grandchildren.

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Surprise!

All five children and six grandchildren celebrated John’s 60th birthday.

_LG25519Papalia Family

John celebrated his 60th birthday with not only immediate family members.  Some of his extended family shared in the celebration as well.

Untitled-1Papalia Immediate and Extended Family

_LG25526John, Janice and their six grandchildren

Thank you, Janice, for thinking of me to photograph your family.  You have a wonderful family!  I hope that John enjoyed rest of his birthday surprise.

Picturesque Red Barn Torn Down

On Wednesday, February 14th, a woman by the name of Anne contacted me via private message at my Linda Gross Photography Facebook page

Anne: Please contact me about photo(s) of the Cochranton red barn…thank you.

Anne provided me an email address and telephone number.

MeWould you please leave a comment on the particular barn that you are asking about? Thank you.

Anne responded this morning to my question.

Anne:  This barn has now been prepared for “relocation” on the Cambridge Springs Riverside Hotel site. Brew pub planned by Jason and Deanna Howles. It had 3 cupolas and sat very close to a narrow dirt road going up Bell Hill….very sentimental for me as sight of it meant we were almost to my grandparent’s home…now I am 78!

After a quick search for “barn” on my Flickr photo page, I found the barn to which Anne referred.  Anne’s description of the barn, as having 3 cupolas and sitting very close to a narrow dirt road, helped tremendously.  Another quick search, this time on Google, yielded the following article regarding plans for a brewpub at the former site of the Riverside Inn located in Cambridge Springs, PA.  The historic Cambridge Springs Riverside Inn was destroyed by fire in May 2017.

I wrote back to Anne.

MeI stopped posting to Linda Gross Photography in July 2015. I photographed the red barn picture to which you refer on March 12, 2016.  Picture(s) of that barn may be shared on my The Beauty Around Us Facebook page, which replaced Linda Gross Photography. I didn’t look on that page, preferring to search for “barn” on my Flickr photo site. I have two pictures of the barn. I believe it is the barn to which you refer.

I shared the two barn pictures with Anne.

Here is the barn, as it stood on March 12, 2016.

_LG20125 4x6Cochranton Red Barn
March 12, 2016

The barn has now been torn down.

I telephoned Anne and informed her that I had found pictures of the red barn to which she referred.  The reason Anne contacted me was to ask if she could purchase a print of my picture.  I am emailing Anne a copy of the picture, free of charge, so that she can make the requested 5×7 print.

I never know what sharing a photograph on the Internet will bring to me.  The sharing of a barn picture made MY day today, which happens to be my 62nd birthday, as well as the day of a woman whom I know as Anne.

A Lot of Grazing Going On

First there were four deer that would wander through our yard to graze. Now, only one deer, the smallest of the four, wanders through our yard.

_LG25471Grazing in front of our shed

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Walking past our wood pile

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This deer comes around most days and sometimes more than once a day!

_LG25469There is grass to graze on in between the bushes.

_LG25468Peek-a-Boo
I see you!

I hope that the other three deer are OK.

My Maternal Grandparents

I am a member of the Facebook group “Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness – RAOGK USA”.  My husband’s sister, who has been researching her ancestry for many years, suggested that I join this group.  She wrote that the group members are helpful.  I agree 100%. 

I shared this picture with the group. 

This is my maternal grandmother, when she was about 58 years old.
The picture was taken professionally and has been retouched.

I requested the group members of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness – RAOGK USA to compare the picture of Grandma with a much earlier picture of a woman with a man.

This picture:

I was of the opinion that both pictures were of my grandmother.  However, I remember Grandma only with white hair and worn up, way off her shoulders.  I never met my grandfather, as he died one month before I was born.  I don’t recall ever being shown a picture of my grandfather.  I was looking for reassurance, when I asked members of the genealogy group for their opinions as to whether or not the two women are the same woman.    

I received many comments.  The consensus was that the two women are one and the same.  

One group member asked if anyone in the next generation bears a resemblance to the man.  In response to the question I shared a picture of my uncle.

 

This is Uncle Bob’s high school senior picture.  He graduated in 1944.

I definitely see where my uncle inherited his eyebrows, which adds to the probability this couple IS my grandparents.  The group member who asked if anyone in the next generation bears a resemblance to the man in the photo booth picture left this comment:  “Oh, heck yes! Uncle Bob got the chin, facial shape, and a modified version of his father’s nose.”

I feel assured now that the photo booth picture IS a picture of my maternal grandparents!  I wish I had more pictures of my grandfather.  It is so nice, though, to have this one picture!

I asked, too, for assistance in dating the photo booth picture.   The consensus for the date was late 1930s to early 1940s.

Kissing Cousins

A few days ago I shared with you my evolving interest in genealogy and a genealogy book entitled “The Bowser Family History”.  Yesterday I discovered a second connection to Mathias Bausser, Sr., and I discovered that my great grandparents, Daisy Ethyl (Johns) and Lewis Harmon John, are “kissing cousins”.

First Connection

 

Mathias Bausser, Sr. (8th great grandfather)

Mathias Bausser, Jr. (7th great grandfather)

John Bausser (6th great grandfather)

Julia Ann Bowser (5th great grandfather)

Sarah Flenner (4th great grandmother)

David Cousins (3rd great grandfather)

Sarah Emily Cousins (2nd great grandmother)

Daisy Ethyl Johns (great grandmother)

Estella Mae John (grandmother)

My Mother

Myself

Second Connection

 

Mathias Bausser, Sr. (7th great grandfather)

Mathias Bausser, Jr. (6th great grandfather)

Elizabeth Bausser (5th great grandmother)

John John (4th great grandfather)

John J. John, Jr. (3rd great grandmother)

James M. John (2nd great grandfather)

Lewis Harmon John (great grandfather)

Estella Mae John (grandmother)

My Mother

Myself

My great grandparents are cousins because siblings, John Bausser and Esther Bausser, married into my family. Lewis and Daisy John share a common grandfather. Mathias Bausser, Jr. is Daisy’s 5th great grandfather. He is Lewis’s 4th great grandfather. Lewis and Daisy are 5th cousins 1x removed. They are 6th cousins 1x removed also because Mathias Bausser, Sr. Is common to both of them. Mathias Bausser, Sr. is my 8th great grandfather, when tracing my ancestry from my great grandmother. When tracing my ancestry from my great grandfather, Mathias Bausser, Sr. is my 7th great grandfather.

I still need to trace my paternal family tree. My paternal ancestry is found in “The Bowser Family History” genealogy book as well.

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