April 21 - 30 Paoli, pA

Trip Start Mar 02, 2008
Trip End Dec 03, 2008

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Where I stayed
Inspiration Cafe

Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Monday, April 21, 2008

I have to tell you, when I saw how warm and welcoming Linda had created her "Inspiration Cafe", I thought I could just move in and stay there.   First, driving though the wooded area, is something I knew that I would never tire of.  Inside, every detail was perfect and yes.. inspirational.   It held moments of quiet contemplation as well as crank up the music, pour the margarita, it is time to dance moments.   All in all, my idea of perfection.   I had heard a lot about this house and it was a treat to be there in person.   Linda had lost it all in a fire that destroyed this home and from those ashes, rose the Phoenix that I was treated to.   The house is truly filled with love and there were photo's hanging and books to see that detailed the rebuilding.   The back deck can handle any party.  There was seating for at least 22 people with more room for dancing.   The view is breathtaking at sundown and entertaining in the day time as the squirrels try to outsmart the anti-squirrel bird seed containers.   The blue jays would actually pose for me.  The cardinals I adore would tease me with their presence and play a game of hide and seek.   There is another higher side deck with recliners and more direct sun.   Everything was in bloom!  An abundance of pink blossoms everywhere.

Linda included me in her daily life and I not only got to know her friends, but also her family.   Yes, I went with her to family reunion.   Not a small feat when you hear she is one of 7 siblings.   I got an A++ in remembering names.    I've got to tell you, things are different in Pa.  The standard greeting of friend and family is a kiss.   Everybody kisses.   And if they don't know you well enough to just come in and take it, the protocol is to come in and get close enough that your cheek is offered in case the other person would like to smooch it.   I enjoyed it.  They didn't believe that we don't kiss where I come from.  When that party ended, we just moved it to another house and continued to visit with a couple of the Sib's and spouses and neighbors.  With a ball game going on the big screen, I had my first beer.   Sounds crazy huh?  I've tasted it and never liked it.   But this trip is all about experience and so I accepted the Michelob Ultra and over a couple of hours drank about 3/4 of it.  Someone suggested tequila and I raised my hand for a shot.   This humored the brothers who did not understand how I didn't like beer and would take a shot with them.  The mescal was poured and I declined the worm but accepted the shot.   We really had a great time without going to far.   I know this because I was told that when it's gone to far is when everyone is intoxicated enough to slurp alcohol out of Juddy's artificial leg.   I did not have this pleasure (this trip).  

Did I tell you that we drove through Philly to go meet the family?  No.. well let me just say that I am SO VERY GLAD that Linda was driving.   Traffic was crazy.  I thought Atlanta was bad, but Atlanta was a piece of cake compared to Philly. 

Of course there was shopping.   Being a couple of sizes smaller, I needed (ok, ok.. wanted) a new dress and found a blue one that set off my eyes.   Yes, I wore it the next four days as I wanted to ensure that I got my money's worth.   It's ok, you can laugh at me.   We also went on a shopping quest for a grapefruit spoon and finally had success!!  

I got  to participate in one of the discussion groups at "The Inspiration Cafe".   Chpt 4 of Elkart Tolle's New Earth.   It was a lively conversation with a group of 6 women.   Such a joy to see Linda's dream being lived out, having heard about it in the dream and planning stages.  

Paoli offered a quiet place for reflection, prayer and walking at a retreat center, St Joseph in the Hills.   I spent an afternoon there in meditation.   A fabulous park was also a few miles from the house and that is where I went for most of my training walks.   Both places were rich with deer and geese and ducks but in the park, I spotted a red fox!

Again, I looked up my church and found it about 20 minutes away.   This time, while the music was good and the sermon fine, I was disappointed that the folks in Chester Springs did not take the time to say hello to a stranger.   I guess kissing and greeting is only for the folks you know. 

Linda tickled me with her mothering to get me and everything I need off to the train station for my big day with Jimmy in Philly.   In spite of her best efforts and even sticking almonds in my bag, I arrived without my cellphone.  I called from a payphone and my friend was back to my rescue and delivered my phone before the train arrived.  

Linda is a Reike master and treated me to a session.    My mind was overactive and going many directions when she started the process.   With her touch and energy, she was able to calm my spirit and mind and soothe my soul.  

We did so much in the nine days, I don't want to forget anything but I know I might...
One day, we went into a nearby town to visit with another coach friend over lunch and see the local sites.
Another, we went out with a friend to the Flying Pig Saloon.  This cracked me up.  The radio station was broadcasting live that night and so I chatted up the DJ and took an autographed picture.   We went on to dinner at the boat house.

I loved finding a Svaroopa Yoga center right by Linda's house and even more ecstatic when I learned that MY yoga teacher was going to be in town that weekend.   How wonderful!   I was able to hook up with Ellen and go out to dinner with her on Sunday.  We had a fabulous salad with fish.  Yummy. 

The last activity in Paoli was a trip through Valley Forge to see herds of hundreds of deer.   This is the most deer that I've ever seen in one place at one time.   Some would even pose for us.  Paoli goes down as one of my most memorable stops where in quiet and meditation I connected more with me.    I began reading Debbie Ford's, "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" and journaled quite a bit on my shadow side.
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