Monday, July 31, 2017

Greener Grass

I wish I had more time to write. I posted that as the comment when I posted a link to my last blog post on Twitter not too long ago, after realizing I had written that at the beginning of June. Now, here I am at the very end of July, trying to get something down so I don’t go another month without posting something in the blog. The truth of the matter is, I wish I had more to say. Time still is a bit of a factor – work, sleep, and trying to earn some money with video streaming on Twitch and YouTube so I can avoid getting a real second job, but even with that, I just don’t know what I would write even if I forced myself to sit down more often and work on it. I had always intended this blog to be a bit of a soapbox, to give me an outlet to comment on current social events, and certainly there is plenty of fodder for that on any given day in the grand ole U S of A. But how many times can you say idiot, unbelievable, apathy, or a joke and still make it interesting? Then there’s things that I really want to say, but need to keep my mouth shut so I don’t alienate too many people I know.

One thing I had been considering over the course of vacation last week was perhaps finally making this blog a bit of journal or diary. Sometimes the most interesting things can start with the phrase, “Dear Diary ….” I think, however, it would be just a way to help me remember little tidbits of things from year to year. After all, I am still trying to figure out where the last 12 years went now that Erin is in her last year of being a pre-teenager. Sometimes the daily grind just grinds you down so much that it seems to be the only thing that matters in life. I suppose that when you need to rely on the grind to keep food on the table and a roof over your head, it’s not that hard to get in that rut, and can’t see a way to get out of it without hitting the lottery. But of course, that dollar spent on a lottery ticket is another dollar that doesn’t go towards paying the bills, so it’s a dollar that can’t be spent on a high odds chance.

This year’s annual trek to the Lancaster area just cemented the fact that even though we may be stuck in that rut of the working grind, perhaps we need to do something to make it feel more worth the time away from home and the things that we really enjoy doing. It may be we are seeing some greener grass a couple hours down the road from us, but sometimes a change in scenery can be just what is needed to get a fresh perspective on life and our own little slice of the world. There’s always that fear of leaving one’s comfort zone; of having to start over and prove oneself in that grind all over again, but there’s always that hope that perhaps the grind won’t feel so grindy any more.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see just how much greener the grass was that we were seeing on our annual vacation trips to the Hershey area, and see if there just a much to do around the hometown area that we weren’t just seeing. So I figured I’d keep to the things that are within an hour or so from home and likewise for the Hershey area and see what I could come up with.

At home we have:
Philadelphia and the related historical sites there.
The Art Museum
The Philly Zoo
Trenton and a few things there like the War Memorial and Planetarium
Washington’s Crossing
Princeton Battlefield
Bowman’s Hill Tower and a Revolutionary Battlefield park
The Camden Aquarium
And of course the big theme park – Sesame Place
A little further out we have the Jersey Shore and New Hope/Peddler’s Village

In Hershey there is:
The obvious – Hersheypark and Chocolate World
Indian Echo Caverns
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
Strasburg Railroad and the Museum
Dutch Wonderland
The Toy Train Museum
Lake Tobias Wildlife Park

After looking at the lists I realized that there is quite a bit of variety and things to do around home. The only thing we really haven’t done with the kids has been Sesame Place, which is kind of ironic since the primary reason we go to Hershey are the two amusement parks. So maybe the grass isn’t that much greener on the Hershey side in terms of things to see and do, but the lynch pin may just be the things that aren’t on the list – the quality and cost of living. The one intangible and the other more practical are the true things that can make the grind more bearable. In the end, I think we the older we get, the more we realize we need a change of pace, even if it’s just in those times we get to escape the grind, and perhaps it could just lead to a much better change in the grind itself. Even if the grass really isn’t greener for the Amish, at least having a different patch of grass to mow can’t be any worse than what we are looking at now.