Mother nature is the cure

All the work week can become more challenging if one doesn’t recharge the batteries well in the spare time. If spare times become managing chores only, then the mind starts to feel depleted pretty fast. Some people can manage without a break and some people can’t. I am one of those who can’t manage without a break. And I need a solid break. This doesn’t have to be a vacation every weekend. A solid hour of yoga, some writing, some singing and more recently outdoors has been my friend. If your weekend is as stressful as your work week (assuming you have a stressful job), then you need to re-think your life’s schedule overall and not just your weekend’s

Though I went to bed well after midnight Friday, I was up at 6:20 AM all eager to take my bike out to Norristown State park. After some research I had honed in on this park for this weekend.  It is right in the middle of urbanity in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. Bordering on Germantown Pike, Whitehall road and the State hospital in Norristown, it is a vast 690-acre park that is a working farm. From Wikipedia: “Norristown Farm Park was originally part of a 7,000-acre (2,800 ha) tract of land called “Williamstadt,” which originally belonged to William Penn. The property was then transferred to Isaac Norris, the namesake of Norristown, by way of Penn’s son, William Penn, Jr. Norris’ heirs sold pieces of Williamstadt to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Norristown State Hospital was opened in the 1870s as a mental hospital. The park is on state-owned land that surrounds the hospital.”

There are about 7 miles of biking tracks. The parking lot on Whitehall road was half-full when I parked around 7:15 AM. I was still disoriented when I started off from home. Though I have driven by the farm many times in the past, I couldn’t remember if it was before or after Germantown Pike coming from Rt. 73. So I had to pull my phone out and check Google Maps. Then again I took a wrong turn and went all the way back to Rt. 73. What would have been a 10 minute drive from home turned out to be 25 minutes.

It was about an hour since sun rise and the rays were bouncing off the thick corn fields. It was a sight. As you walk by on the track or bike-by, all you will see is the top of the corn stalks and the sky. The sky was tender in the morning with light clouds spread thin. Friday had turned out to be a rough day not just for work. My phone dropped off its place on top the shower door and the display cracked. There is no point in having Gorilla-glass that doesn’t break but the inside LCD panel breaks. Then the display wouldn’t show anything. The phone was powering on fine and I could see the notification light popping up. After some research I found that it would cost about $85 to get a replacement panel. This wasn’t OEM so I was hesitant to try it out. Well, then it was time to buy that new smart phone I had postponed so many times in the past few months. I yet again pulled my old Samsung Infuse 4S. For all its age of over five years, it still works like a charm. Only thing is the UI is dated and it is slow. But its camera did a fantastic job as you see in the pictures.

The park has some inroads that lead to trails by the water that is way down from ground level. Another time, maybe as I couldn’t find a place to secure the bike. It definitely looked peaceful by the water and our recent tryst with daily meditation left me inspired to come back here another time. Two friends had joined for the morning ride and it was a good nearly two-hour ride with sufficient breaks. It would be great to walk there when fall arrives, I thought often. The ride by the huge barn left us wondering of the days past when there was a lot going on there. I could see abandoned farm machinery. The barn walls had started seeing plants creeping up. Only the lock was secure enough, but the door was falling part. Some miscreants had taken advantage of absence of life and it was all evident.

The state hospital didn’t look like in great shape. There were many buildings that looked dilapidated. And not many people either. Perhaps it was the early weekend morning. On the track though, we found many taking their morning walk and an occasional rider. It would be a good brisk hour walk if you stick to the main trail/road within the park. And all refreshing, of course.

Once back home, I called a few stores to check if they had the phone I wanted. Finally we decided to combine the buying along with the party in the evening. When we called in the store girl said there was no wait. But when we entered, saw a couple of families in there. It took the young man about 30 minutes before he could attend to us. Luckily I had decided what to buy. It would be a LG G4. It had great specs and the reviews were good. The camera was especially mentioned and being a camera enthusiast, I thought that will serve me well. Moreover, it was on sale for almost half the price of an iPhone 6 plus. It also (still) supported external storage card up to 2 Terabytes. Now-a-days, smart phone manufacturers are doing away with external storage to avoid the risk of hackers. I have my 50+ GB of music collection that I would like to carry though it is all on Google Music (For free) and I more often now-a-days listen to Saavn for free Bollywood music. But it is good to carry your own music on that tiny card just in case you don’t have an internet connection.

After about an hour and 10 minutes, we were finally out the door. We were the last comers for the party. Food was great and it was nice to meet friends after some time. Music was loud and my strains of work was probably all evident throughout the party. I barely broke a smile. Lot of annoyances keeps adding up when one doesn’t have a vent for them. You just have to suck it up and let go and find alternate way of keeping your Self up. No other choice.

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Norristown Farm State Park




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