Cultural Travels – Part 3

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As I mentioned in my last post I was not quite ready to leave Bucks County, PA without completing the last place on my list – the home of an author whom I have long admired.

The spring blooms, the sunny, warm day and a surprise arts and craft show set up under tents made for a wonderful visit. Photos will show the best overview that I could give you.

View through the pagoda to the welcome center and gift shop
Pearl S. Buck Welcome Center and Gift Shop
Pearl S Buck Sculpture with a Child
Pearl S Buck Conference/Cultural Center

The last stop of the day was at the request of my sister, Jan. The Aldie Mansion built in 1927, in Great Gatsby style of the roaring 20’s, is now under the auspices of the Heritage Conservancy. It is used primarily as a historic wedding venue. From the exterior, it is impressive and beautifully maintained as are the fabulous grounds and patios surrounding it.

Front of the Aldie Mansion
Backside of the Mansion
Aldie Mansion gardens and stone patios.

Aldie Mansion Teahouse

As we said our good byes to Bucks County, PA, both of us felt the same sentiment, “Oh, what we would have missed if we hadn’t fully satiated our hunger for these last two places of interest!”

Jan and Sue inside the Mercer Museum. Thank you to our excellent docent, Gloria for offering to take this picture. Greatly appreciated.

Cultural Travels

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Culturally Fulfilling Travels

The weekend after Easter my twin sister came to visit. As always, we had a fabulous time together. Just a stone’s throw away northward to Bucks County, PA our travels took us. Our forays together usually include elements of exploring art, architecture, books and gardens and seeing landmarks of interest located in Main Street Historic Towns. It’s what floats both of our boat loads of interests.

We discovered Doylestown, PA just two hours north of where I live. What a gem, especially in terms of what we set our sites on seeing when we go on a “Sister’s Travel” excursion. Our first stop was the Mercer Museum, which was built to house Henry Chapman Mercer’s collections. He was “a noted tile-maker, archaeologist, antiquarian, artist and writer, a leader in the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts Movement.”

His museum is a “six-story reinforced concrete castle” designed by the man himself completed in 1916. It was built by just eight men over four years. Inside you can see artifacts from 60 types of arts and crafts of the period. Here are a few pictures outside and inside the castle walls. So impressive it was that we hope our two brothers in the building trade will someday take time to go see it and the primitive tools used to build the colossal castle.

Exterior Mercer Castle
Inside the castle walls looking out at some of the roofline
One of six stories of castle staircases – Yes! There is an elevator!
Writers loft in a castle, anyone?
As tempting as it is – this author likes brighter environments to write more lighthearted stories!
A glimpse inside a room with sewing artifacts at the castle. All 50,000 artifacts of pre-industrial tools and implements of 60 types of crafts which are stored in the Mercer Museum are individually numbered.

Our next stop was conveniently located across the street, which we enjoyed seeing with a walkabout – The James A Michener Art Museum is filled with a permanent collection of Pennsylvania Impressionistic paintings as well as a great range of revolving artist exhibits and they offer art workshops for children.

Exterior of Michener Museum of Art
Labyrinth on Michener Museum’s grounds. Bordered by spring flowering trees getting ready to pop any day! Lovely.

In the next post on AllThingsFulfilling.com I will share more information including another castle with a fantastic art attraction all on one gorgeous not so very small land plot.

There is so much to share, one story at a time, with our readers on AllThingsFulfilling.com about our visit to Buck’s County cultural and art attractions. See you back here in a few days time!

Sharing Art with Children

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My love for books and art often leads me to visiting the local library and local fine art and craft galleries when I travel. It is fun for me. My ten year residency in Colorado kept me somewhat in tune with Western art. When I was in Montana this summer, it was fun to revisit the works of artists who are located in the western part of the country,

I witnessed how very young children can enjoy art, too! I walked into the Rialto Theatre in Bozeman, MT and abstracts of horses greeted me. “Neigh, neigh!” a dear little sixteen month old girl, my new grand daughter whom I have finally met, shouted out as she pointed to the equines in the pictures! Frankly, I was surprised she recognized what it was in the abstract. But even the littlest ones, they often don’t miss a thing!

Once finished with the exhibit at the Rialto, next stop was a fabulous fine art gallery on Main Street I had heard of but had never visited before -, Montana Trails Gallery. My daughter-in-law, Meghan, my granddaughter Charlotte, and I had a grand time looking at the exquisite collection and stayed as long as a toddler could tolerate being contained in a backpack.

Once again, my little granddaughter shouted out “neigh, neigh” when she saw the horse paintings and bronze sculptures, “Baa-baa,” she said to the sheep in the pictures, and “moo-moo” to the cows. Ok, in her sixteen-month old experience and opinion, the “doggies” were mislabeled as wolves and foxes. Ah well…perhaps next time we return the labels will be corrected, I think in jest, with a big smile on my face as I remember her sweet little voice calling out to all the “doggies,” and her hands pointing to them as we walked through the gallery.

And lastly during my visit, my son and I took in the art scene at the Bozeman Art Museum. Unfortunately, with my faulty calendar reading we missed the plein air “paint out” two days prior. But on Monday,we did catch up and saw all the works of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters hanging, still wet with paint, at Bozeman Art Museum. I was familiar with a few artists such as Dave Santillanes, from working at the world-class Wild Horse Gallery in Steamboat Springs a few years ago. And the work of Chuck Marshall was familiar as well as Kathy Anderson, who is now represented by West Wind Fine Art, LLC, another superb fine art gallery where I worked when it was in Vermont. If you’d like to see the results of the canvases from the two hour “paint out,” I invite you to visit this link I have posted. Some of the paintings are still available for purchase.

Now, I’m back to East Coast art, which I enjoy immensely too! With the diverse landscape and culture in the United States of America, opportunities abound to share all kinds of art with the next generations. Sydney Gurewitz Clemens once said, “Art has a role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.” I wholeheartedly agree!

Valuing The Future

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As a life-long library patron, anytime I visit a library I have never frequented before, it’s like library week all over again. I recently visited one in the western part of the U.S.

Bozeman, Montana has a wonderful library. A good indicator of valuing future generations is a willingness to invest in good community resources for learning, information and gathering spaces which inspire discovery.

Located in the fourth largest city in Big Sky Country, the Bozeman Library is light-filled! In a place where winter is long and cold, an active library where one can find connection through book groups, children’s reading programs, at the library coffee shop and at special library sponsored events, is well appreciated. Sometimes getting involved in library activities can become a “life-saver” for those feeling disconnected or isolated.

Interior Bozeman Montana Public Library
Children’s Library Area at Bozeman Public Library

Art abounds both in the interior and on the surrounding grounds of this and other public libraries around the country.

Through books, we are given the opportunity to fly off to places and meet people we ordinarily wouldn’t! So never discount the value of books and the importance an author feels to engage with others through the written word.

Overdue Recognition

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’Twant me, ’twas the Lord. I always told him, “I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me,” and he always did. ~ Harriet Tubman

Happy New Year from AllThingsFulfilling.com. Let’s start 2020 with a topic that warms my heart because it magnifies the humanitarian efforts and the importance of a freedom fighter of the past, Harriet Tubman. I am so happy the recent release of the movie “Harriet” has been so well received because her bravery and contribution for the betterment of her people through the Underground Railroad is important to our country’s history.

Over my Christmas hiatus from blogging, I came across a book that further puts the spot light on Harriet Tubman. The Good Ol’ Ship of Zion (Christmas Escape, Part 1) is just one chapter among others in the book Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva  that helps educate, inform and inspire the public about a woman whose recognition is long overdue.

Make 2020 the year when you take your family on a good ole road trip to Dorchester County, Maryland and expose them to a very important part of our nation’s history at the new  National Park dedicated solely to Harriet Tubman! And while you’re there, stop by Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge! By the by – there is a bench along the Tubman Trail on the Blackwater Refuge lands where you can take a respite from your travels. Seek out the bench that says “We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”

Holiday Books

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Happy December 1st everyone. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I recently began spending time at the Charles W. Lightner Library, a Christian Community Library. What a wonderful assortment of titles – currently 6,300 but who is counting? The number is constantly increasing as new books are acquired.

As I browse the shelves, I see so many titles perfect for family reading. The chances of the whole family being on the same page together when it comes to faith and spirituality is increased when Christian book titles are on the bookshelves of the family library.

Here are two publications which will reinforce your family’s determination to put the focus back into Christmas where it belongs. Pre-holiday reading is recommended!

  • 7 Days of Christmas: The Season of Generosity by Jen Hatmaker
  • Advent Conspiracy by Rick McKinley, Chris Seay and Greg Holder

You, too, can join in on the Advent Conspiracy. I have! I’m participating in a group discussion with the local United Methodist Church in Bel Air.

Keep your eye on AllThingsFulfilling.com.  In the New Year there will be more recommended titles because there are genres of books that can make a world of difference to individuals and family alike who want to live more fulfilling lives. Click here for one more title to add to this short list! There is a meaningful chapter about Christmas in it you will not want to miss.

Post Script:  Ever since I entered the media world as a blogger and writer ten years ago, I have taken about a two-week hiatus, through the holidays, from posting writings. This year it will be a little different. I am dedicating myself to a whole month of quietly observing the holy season and to the renewal of spirit. When the New Year rolls around, 2020!! I will be refreshed and rejuvenated.

Merry Christmas to You and to Yours.

 

Self-Fulfilling Action

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We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than through our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we accomplish goals.” ~ Stephen Covey

 

It’s the season of Thanksgiving. Ten years ago I had limited knowledge about independent publishing and I had never written anything. But I had a strong interest!  If it hadn’t been for the fruits of my labors over a span of the last decade, there is no way a project that will soon come to fruition would have landed in my lap!  A year ago I became entrusted to write someone else’s story. I am honored and thankful! The publication is going to be outstanding.

Truly, it takes just as much action as it does words when it comes to becoming a writer and independent publisher. Nixing fear and doubt and replacing it with unwavering faith and the words “I AM WRITING AND PUBLISHING A BOOK” (rather than I am trying to) makes a big difference in ones determination and motivation to get the job done, project after project.

The opportunity came on the heels of taking a break from any serious writing time because for a season in my life I became full-time caretaker to two terminally ill parents and it reinforced my belief in the power of writing to heal from loss and bring personal fulfillment.

The narrative was so much fun to write! I know the artist is looking forward to revealing his new publication and it will soon be hot off the press!  Keep your eye out on this website, soon more information will be posted.

Artful Titles

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“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines who you will be when you can’t help it.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Last night, many artists whom I’ve directly or indirectly made connection with in the art community were in my thoughts when I attended Bruce E Mowday’s book signing for his publication Stealing Wyeth. The book signing was held at the Harford County Public Library in Bel Air.

The veteran reporter, investigative journalist and public speaker knows how to tantalize an audience! Bruce E. Mowday gave us just enough information about the theft of fifteen Wyeth paintings for us to want to learn more and read on! All you art enthusiasts and crime book fans will want to know more about the characters, the art thieves and the author behind the story. Go to the author’s website. He has published about twenty books in various genres and he says his range of subjects can be contributed to his avid interest in people, both from the past and in today’s world.

Soon, more revelations will be made about more books artists world-wide will be interested in.  Keep your eye on this website.