To Amuse and Delight

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Off the beaten path...

Last Saturday we decided to take a little day trip to Olana, the home of Hudson River painter Frederic Church. Half way there are car blew up. Well, not our entire car, but our car's radiator. Green liquid (antifreeze) shot out and streams of smoke. We pulled off at the next exit and found ourselves conveniently at an auto repair shop. They took us immediately. The mechanic had very friendly eyes. He asked me "are you guys hungry?".   "I've got lunch in the trunk" I replied. I grabbed our picnic and took the girls across the street where I had noticed a wooded area with a picnic table. My husband stayed with the car. 
We ate and the girls climbed and played among the trees. I foraged for something green to put in my sandwich. I got them some ice cream for dessert from a nearby convenience store. All in all it was a pretty good time. When the call came from my husband that the car was ready I was feeling a bit guilty. Here we were having a lovely time and he was at that stinky garage with nothing to do. "How'd it go for you?" I asked him. "Actually I enjoyed it." "What!?" I said.  He said "Yeah, I was listening to the birds and feeling thankful, you know?" . Wow. Yes, I sure do know. I was feeling the exact same thing.
Now with our brand new radiator we continued on our way and finally made it to Olana. We were a couple of hours late though. I was looking forward to a talk and showing of hats from the 1850's to the 1950's. In fact that's why we were going that day.  I thought even if we missed the lecture maybe the hats would be on display, but no. We arrived exactly when the costumed hat lady was driving off with her hat collection and her wealth of hat knowledge! 
OK, we can still get a house tour right? Nope. Too late. Last tour just left, no more today. What to do? Well, it was an amazing day, we were together at a beautiful place, safe and sound (no car wreck). There I am, enjoying the Hudson River view from the porch. Cool how my outfit matches the house.
We spied a lake down below and since we had nothing else to do we decided to go down. Well, the girls decided. We followed.
The girls were excited to discover dozens of snail shells and started collecting a pile. Next they started pulling out the operculum (my daughter told me that's what they're called. I call them the little doors.) They busily collected, I took mild interest until they started washing them and I saw how pretty they are. They are transparent and so delicate. Now I was on a mission! Thoughts of making jewelry and maybe buttons out of these things flew around my brain. So now I am crouched in the mud pulling snail shells of of the water looking for operculum! 
Time flew and soon it was dinner time so we moseyed into town had a nice dinner, then perused the bookshop and finished off at a french patisserie for tea and creme brulle. Not a bad day out, considering our plans were diverted at every turn. 
You know how my husband said he enjoyed his time at the auto shop?  I came to find out that he used that uninterrupted time alone to play with his new camera, messing with the settings. This photo (my favorite of the bunch) and the top one on this post came from his messing around. If we hadn't been knocked off our path he wouldn't have the photos and his time to play, I wouldn't be obsessing about how to use snail doors (which I am!) I am not saying that all diversions will turn out this well, but if you don't allow your expectations to be set in stone you can enjoy the road before you as it comes.


  1. I can't wait to see what the snail doors will become!

  2. A wonderful day after all and a wonderful way to look at the diversions. Glad you had a great day!

    Thanks for stopping by ~ I appreciate it.