Mountain Laurel


My grandfather planted or transplanted maybe, these Mountain Laurel bushes around our cabin in the Pocono Mountains. I think of my Pop Pop every time they bloom. It reminds me of how much he loved it here.

There is an old photo somewhere of him and Nana sitting on the steps here in front of the original screened in porch. She in a sun dress and he in a flowered shirt from Florida.  Beautiful photo.

They spent there winters in West Palm Beach and then three seasons in Chalfont and Camp Chalfont.

I spend 3 or 4 random months in Cape Town, South Africa, my wife’s home, and the rest of the year back and forth from the Philadelphia area and here at Camp Chalfont at Pecks Pond.

I have his Derstine genes. I know I do. I’m more my mother, his youngest daughter, than my father. I am constantly active like he was. Doing all sorts of things in all sorts of areas. I have an inexhaustible amount of creative energy. I am most happy that I paint like he did. His were Bucks County farm and covered bridge scenes. Mine are mostly houses or buildings caught in the early morning or evening light. Shadow casting light. I used to watch him. Fearless he was, using leftover house paint from construction projects. Pop Pop. Everyone loved him.

I could have been him. It didn’t unfold the same way for me. Life I mean. It took me a bout with alcohol and two failed marriages to find happiness again. I am the kid I was. The kid who loved our cabin in the mountains.

It’s the start of another lovely June day. Think I’ll take the oars down and launch a rowboat. Then just see where it takes me.

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