Pennsylvania

We were led around the campus on our group tour by an overachiever. Typical. Expected. My mother and I wondered aloud just where the girl had time to fit in all the classes, extracurricular activities and baby-sitting of professors’ kids.

Not that it really mattered. We hung out at the back of the group. I felt at home though I was confused why my parents and sister were hanging out at the back. “She’s shy,” my mother remarked about my sister. “All of your kids are,” I remarked back.

The stark contrast between the womens [Is that the right word? What 18-22 year old female, in college, actually displays womanly behavior and speech?] and the mens [Ibid] dorms could not have been more humorous. Plain walls with name tags on dorm rooms accompanied plain walls and bare college furnishings in the male dorms. I had a hard time finding empty wall space in the female dorms.

Our group was quickly taken through the chapel which possessed that aura of spirituality so blatantly missing from modern Western (mega-) churches. My father made some typical snide remark to which my mother and I rolled our eyes. I commented aloud to him that, “All it needs is an electric guitar, drum set, and a Wurlitzer in place of the pipe organ.” He smiled big in agreement.

Amish buggies and fresh, Spring-tilled land graced the rolling hills as we drove our way west towards Westminster College. We debated on whether the Amish farmer, sitting on his plow which was hooked to a full team of horses, would allow us to snap what would be a picturesque photo.

We parked by a string of rail cars turned into a store and walked up the quaint hilly town to the bulk foods store. Old posters graced all of the walls, the highlights being the half-dozen Three Stooges posters. My father sat outside while the store’s p.a. system blared oldies…all you need is love crooned the Beatles to which I mumbled “The Beatles sang all you need is love and then they broke up.” Me, my sister and mother browsed over the shelves looking for the perfect snack to accompany each of our trips back home.

We walked back down the hill to an old flour mill-turned tourist store run by a middle-aged woman petting a gray cat that was sitting contentedly on the counter.

There were four or five fishermen in the river. We watched them catch and release fish while we ate a late Sunday lunch. My father and I each had the Half & Half – a bowl of tomato and spinach tortellini soup with a half panini. My mother kept the tupperware the soup was served in.

We said our goodbyes to each other. I headed west towards Westminster to pick up I-60N while my parents and sister headed east towards I-79N.

I suspect the men in the river fished away the rest of the lazy Sunday afternoon.

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