Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Valley Green: A Story

I grew up outside of Philadelphia. Across the street from our little house was a park, and through the park meandered a creek, Wissahickon Creek. The creek traveled through an area known as Fairmont Park. Fairmont Park is big - many miles - all the way into the city of Philadelphia. With the Wissahickon as it's center. There is a jogging/biking/horseback-riding trail known as Forbidden Drive, which follows the Wissahickon.

I grew up there, playing in the creek, riding bikes and horses on the trail, exploring in the vast woods that surround it all. It is an awesome place, filled with magic. Oh, the stories that I could tell...

A long time ago, Forbidden Drive was known as the Philadelphia turnpike. There is an Inn along the way. An historic place, hundreds of years old. It is a restaurant. It borders the creek. There are ducks and geese and it's in the middle of the woods, with vast tall trees surrounding it. As a child, it was where we went for celebrations. The food was always wonderful - the fires in the fireplaces were enormous. And you could always go outside and play with the ducks.

Years pass, many years.

I met my husband, Eric, and fell hopelessly in love. We got married - at Valley Green Inn. On an October evening, with just a few friends and family. On the banks of the Wissahickon.

Years pass.

We take our children to the Wissahickon, often. We bring bread for the ducks, we skip rocks in the creek. We ride our bikes and take long walks. We explore.

Years pass.

My father passes away. He requested that his ashes be cast into the Wissahickon. We found a special little place, and did as he asked.

Now we move away, across the land to the southwest. Ah, we miss the Wissahickon. We talk about it, we dream about it. We bought a little land; we have our dogs and cats and horses here.

We name our land:

Valley Green Ranch.

(note: pictures are by an artist, Nicholas Santoleri. My husband purchased the first one that you see above, as a wedding present to me. Valley Green is often painted and photographed, we have many paintings of it hanging in our home.)


Mandi said...

Awww, what a touching story! It's amazing how places like that can touch our lives... it gets in our blood! Thank you for sharing such a personal and lovely story

Jenn said...

Such a great story...such a beautiful place!

Danielle Miller-Gilliam said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories and reminding me of my own...Philly we miss you!

Mare said...

I love that story and the paintings too. Thanks for sharing it all...

we_be_toys said...

I think you guys are due for trip to Philly soon, if only to refresh your already warm memories!

Thanks for coming by and visiting me! Believe me - if I could have gone on that field trip I would have.

I see you're a knitter and a felter? Very cool! My sister, who makes and sells dolls on Etsy (The Fairies Nest), recently did some felting and had a blast with it. I love your little Waldorf animals - I'm all about natural and tactile toys for kids!

XUE said...

beautiful story & beautiful place! I look forward to more posts about the place you grew up in.

DreamON said...

What a wonderful story. Certainly sounds like a storybook location, and the pictures are beautiful too.

Waterrose said...

Wow, looks like pictures that I use to cross-stitch...lovely!