Day 9 – to Mount Pleasant, Norvelt, PA
We have a leisurely morning in our b n b, then breakfast in an all-American diner. I have pancakes (of course) & too much coffee. We cycle for a bit, which freaks me out a little so it’s back to thumbs out. Jess & I get a ride from Tom, who is heading just half a mile around the corner but offers to take us all the way to Mount Pleasant – 27 miles. I strain to hear Tom, a dairy farmer & grandpa of 6. With probing, he tells us that he has been married to his wife for 46 years. They met on the front porch as their parents were friends – he took her out for a motorcycle ride, purposely ran out of gas & the rest is history! We offer to take Tom out for a beer but he has to ho home & feed the cows. He won’t accept gas money.
We are welcomed at our host Teresa’s house, or as she calls it ‘Mad Momma’s Micro Farm’, by a spread of salad, pasta, cookies, & a paddling pool full of iced beers. We weed Teresa’s vegetable patch, light a bonfire & Craig & Cristina clear trash from the woods. Teresa has 2 humungous cats, a slow old dog & a very excited puppy in a cage. I have myself some quality cat time & Teresa cooks us all burgers. Later we do some restorative yoga & I realise that I’ve really hurt my shoulder. I decided to ignore it & hope it goes away.
Teresa’s neighbour comes over to chat & brings homemade chocolate cake & blueberry loaf. He tells us about the history of the area – people were given very cheap rent ($15 a month) on these homes & land after the Great Depression (1929-1940). They became a strong community / coop & named the area after Eleanor Roosevelt – ‘Norvelt’. He pointed out a house nearby that she had visited.
I brush my teeth looking out across a field of sparkling fireflie