A Real Peach of a Community

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We can never get a re-creation of community and heal our society without giving our citizens a sense of belonging.Patch Adams

What makes a great community? As an outsider, I’ve noticed things the 2014 Winner of the Coolest Small Town in America, Berlin, Maryland has in common with Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the town I’ve called home for the past seven years.These elements are what, in my opinion, helps a community to thrive.

  • Cohesion between a strong Main Street Association and the local Council on the Arts
  • People who are forward-thinkers, not afraid of change but respect the past.
  • A strong volunteer base who want to contribute to building a town that others will envy.
  • Leaders who understand the history behind the community and what makes it unique.

Berlin, Maryland “Historically Charming & Artistically Alive & Eternally Young” has been the location site of two movies, which no doubt has helped bring notariety to the community. Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere was filmed there in 1998 and contributed 27.5 million dollars to the local economy. In 2001 Berlin was transformed into a town at the turn of the century with dirt roads, period costumes and horses and carriages for the film Tuck Everlasting. Actors Sissy Spacek, Ben Kingsley and William Hurt starred in the fictional film.

Movie producers as well as the audiences were captivated by the Victorian town center, the tree-lined streets and historic homes and museums in this small town in “Chesapeake Country.”

Want to know more about what makes a great community? Read this article,  and visit the Berlin, Maryland website. Also scroll back to the two previous day’s blogs to see more pictures. Every business in Berlin is worthy of mention on All Things Fulfilling. Due to lack of space, only a small number are featured. Each makes this community a fulfilling destination that reminds us of what it was like to live in charming small town America.

If you are a baby boomer, you’ll appreciate the lyrics of this 1972 song which you’ll probably remember from the crossroads of your life. Listen in as you scroll through these images!

 

Berlin Peach grocery signed

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storefront signed

Berlin house with fan window signed

berlin grey house withflowers signed

Atlantic hotel dining room signed

store door in Berlin autogr

Street &Trees in Berlin signed

old delivery van signed

20150808_112127 Yarn shop 2 Jans signed

 Thanks to my twin sister Jan for the photo contributions to this blog. It was wonderful to have an early celebration of our birthday by painting the town together.

Yarn shop looking out Jans signed

 

Yarn shop 3 inside Jan signed

 

 

Globe Theatre signed

Join me tomorrow as I celebrate a special segment of local artists in the place I’ve resided for the past seven years. They make up in part what is unique about the town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

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Time Marches Forward

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In all things of nature, there is something marvelous.” ~ Aristotle

During the final days of February I marched myself down to New Mexico, while my husband went off to Alaska to coach the Colorado Mountain College ski team. I’d gone to spend a little time with the birthday boy, our son!

Over the next few days I will share a few of my travels.

If you are ever in the area of Tent Rocks National Monument located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, do stop! Ecologically speaking, it is quite unique. Not even to mention the scenery. If you go, be on the lookout for “Apache tears” – rounded, clear pieces of obsidian. Hot lava created the “tent rocks” some 6 to 7 million years ago, and the “apache tears” were caused by obsidian rock abruptly cooling.

Images will much better tell the story of tent rocks! Follow me through the slot canyons deep into the park.

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IMG_20150221_123313_835Oh, the climb was so worth what we saw at the top! Thanks for entertaining me Meghan and Marc. It was great being with you and happy 27th birthday, Marc!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

The Dream of Freedom

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Every great dreamer begins with a dream. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman
IMG_20141030_135054_661There is a National Monument in Dorchester County, Maryland dedicated to the honor of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The resistance movement was a network of people who helped slaves escape and begin free lives.

Araminta “Minty” Ross, was born into slavery in Dorchester County in 1822 and later became known as Harriet Tubman when she married freeman John Tubman. She became one of the most famous agents of the Underground Railroad who risked her life returning 13 times to rescue family and friends and help them cross the Pennsylvania line to freedom. She intimately knew how to secretly navigate the tidal stream waters and was the first woman to lead an armed U.S. Military assault.

By the time of her death in 1913, she became known as “Moses of her people” for her activism in the women’s suffrage movement, the Underground Railroad, her strong faith and her founding of a home for the elderly and disadvantaged.

In March 2013, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation creating Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Tubman’s story is so rich in American history that the U.S. Department of the Interior has begun constructing a park that is to become a new National Park in the heart of the Chesapeake Country Heritage area.

The Harriet Tubman Freedom Byway takes tourists on a 125 mile driving tour to Tubman’s home and to other landmarks that are significant to the Underground Railroad story.

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There is already the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center at 424 Race Street in Cambridge, Maryland. Visitors can access resources about this American hero who was so active in the decades leading up to the civil war.

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My visit to the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center really peaked my interest in learning more about this tale of a freedom and liberation and the risks of the Underground Railroad. I am going to start with a book suggested to me by a docent at the museum called “Song Not Yet Sung” by James McBride.

Abolitionist Thomas Garrett said of Harriet Tubman “I never met a person of any color who had more confidence in the voice of God, as spoken directly through her soul.”

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For more information, please visit these websites. http://www.nps.gov/hatu, http://www.nps.gov/ugrr and http://www.harriettubman.com. Here are some photos of my visit to the Harriet Tubman Educational Center.

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This museum also has information about other early prominent African American people in fields of law, journalism, medicine, arts, math and science, music, military/government , dance & theatre.

IMG_20141030_133059_040This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her publication “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected” please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

Treasuring Art

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 “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”   ~ Chinese proverb 

At a thrift store recently I came across an art print of Thomas Moran – imagine my delight! It seemed like a God thing – the image was just sitting there waiting for someone who’d appreciate it to pick it up . I gave in to my desires and purchased it – a real deal. I am very grateful to have the Moran art print hanging on my wall. He was one of the greatest illustrator and colorists of all times.

Every evening the week before last, I had been watching Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.  http://bit.ly/182xh1NMoran’s name was mentioned as one of the top landscape painters of the 19th century who ventured west. I learned he traveled to YellowstoneNational Park from the Hudson RiverSchool in New York, in the summer of 1871, to document on canvas what others described as a place where “hell bubbled up.”

Many artists traveled westward in the early days of the founding of the U.S. National Parks and they continue to be favorite places for artists who are seeking inspiration. Artists still go to paint, photograph and write about the dramatic landscapes in these protected government lands which are far more unique than many other places across the United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson described the National Parks as places where “God is more easily found in nature than in the works of man.” 

Lots of people find personal fulfillment in poking around in thrift shops. You never know what treasures you might find. I scored!

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow!

Stone Preservation

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“We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them or build with them.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Beautiful stone creations with historical value – things to preserve rather than destroy. Building with stone goes back centuries. Along with our culture’s growing passion for geneology, there has been an increasing interest in the art of preserving stone monuments and markers in America. Even the finest historical markers and structures made of rock, like cathedrals, churches, castles, bridges and roads need attention because their integrity becomes compromised due to land development, weather, neglect, acid rain and vandalism.

Jonathan Appel, is a stone conservator who has been working in graveyards to preserve monuments and markers in Civil War areas, such as in Frederick, Maryland. http://bit.ly/18ApKGI. Finding fulfillment in preserving our country’s history on holy grounds, he trains others to become monument conservators through workshops.

Last weeks blog about the building of rock sculptures for a unique, personal reason left me feeling uplifted, because one man’s efforts became an community building event. stone_sculptor_at_workOut of all the statues, obelisks, monoliths, pillars and plaques that have been created to memorialize the spirit of beings, all over the world,  I hope an overwhelming number of them have been placed to remember positive spirits who have existed on earth.

If you did not read the blog or watch the video about community efforts to support a grieving man and his art, visit this link. It’s an interesting story. Let me know what you think. http://bit.ly/145b3xc

Please return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com . Our blog tomorrow is about a special angel and how that angel has inspired a blog that I believe deserves special mention for it’s beauty.

Hiking the PCT with Strayed

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You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
~ Dr. Seuss Oh the Places You’’ll Go

This week I’ve hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s a place I never thought I’d visit. I hiked it with author Cheryl Strayed
and saw bears, rattlesnakes, a Texas longhorn bull and more.  At times throughout the journey I felt desperation set in, unimaginable fright, gratitude, inspiration, relief and grief.  Strayed’s thoughts of accomplishing what she set out to do, were familiar.

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No, Strayed was not alone  in her story, good authors always find the company of readers who appreciate what their characters have gone through and can often relate. I decided to travel along with Strayed by reading her book, so that when she shows up in Steamboat, at the Bud Werner Memorial Library http://bit.ly/16nUuYj  on April 11th, I’ll able to envision exactly what the Pacific Crest Trail looked like.

Wild is exactly the kind of book that reminds us why even when things are scary and uncertain, it is best to push through it, and accomplish the goal. Then we can look back and find the lessons within, and how challenges help us to rebuild our life.

Seuss’ words of advice are well-meaning. We need to do better job of teaching children there are so many fulfilling places to see and things to do in this world, and not to let obstacles stop them.  Books teach children and adults that we  never travel alone, there’s always a path thats been traveled and beaten before us.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance

You’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.”

~ Dr. Seuss Oh the Places You’ll Go

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Art Rocks! Rock Art Books

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“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it”~Michelangelo 

Yes, Art Rocks! It adds personal fulfillment to my life. Visual arts, literary/language arts, performance arts…it’s all good! Art is part of our American culture and arts and crafts are unique from each country around the world.  

Since I have moved to the western part of the United States, I have visited places where rock art rules. Petro glyphs, geological digs, caves and cliff dwellings indicate human existence that goes way back in time – interesting stuff! Trying to decipher crude symbols for common words is fun and all part of examining our ancient culture. 

Do you have a rock hound, historian, paleontologist, geologist,a fan of Native American culture or artist in your life that really digs looking at and reading about rock art? There are a number of excellent books on the subject.
Click for info & ordering

During my Thanksgiving visit to Bandelier National Monument, I discovered a nice assortment in their gift shop.  If you ever want to see a great  historical site with authentic rock art, visit Bandeliers, a real national treasure in New Mexico. http://1.usa.gov/10XO7LB.

 

 

 

Many of  independently published books about rock art and native American culture can be ordered in time for the holidays through e-commerce (internet shopping).

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com

and author Sue Batton Leonard, author ofClick here for info & ordering.