Sailing with a purpose


The Clearwater.  9-11-14 004   The experience I took in learning about the Clearwater gave me a hands on perspective having my feet on that sloop.  This educational classroom sails and spreads the legacy of Pete Seeger who always believed that music could be a catalyst for change..

While sailing,feedback and recent information of some clean-up processes were explained by Manna Jo Greene and her enthusiasm was catching listening to the goals in the days ahead.

Rich Guthrie, a noted bird expert and WAMC radio personality guided us along with binoculars and cameras. The group was able to see both gulls and eagle, and listened and looked for habitat.   We were able to enjoy the sailing as the wind was at our back consistently and the evening was a clear delight after storm clouds rolled by.

The simple mechanics and the beauty of the ship were enthralling.  Watching the crew I gained great respect for sea stories.

In the fashion of Seeger and his friends, musicians  Stephen Smith and Zen Reinhardt encouraged a sing-a-long and music followed us to shore. Most songs were taken from the Clearwater Songbook. Chanteys and sea tales from a different time encouraged many to chime in.

Smith is on the Clearwater board and adds his engineering expertise volunteering his time.  As part of the organization, he is passionate with this cause close to home.

“I came on board in about 1999, after meeting the environmental director.  She encouraged me and I became a part of this,” he said.  “I like being able to accomplish things and be part of this change, part of these ecological projects.”

After safe docking, a dinner was provided with more music and laughter in the gazebo at the Coxsakie Riverside Park.  The event was presented by the North River Friends of Clearwater and the Coeymens Heritage Society.  All photos by Wanda Callagy.

For more information about the Clearwater and all the wonderful ecological programs,



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An eagle swept by. This event on the sloop was the evening of September 11th.

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At the till.

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Our captain Annika Savio.

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Manna Jo Greene

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Rich Guthrie

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Knots and ropes

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Stephen Smith

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Zen Reinhardt

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Zen and Stephen

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A blue view

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Towing the line.

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A peaceful moment aboard the Clearwater.

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End of day


A soaking Saturday

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A storefront window of Butternut Valley Books.

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Some great finds!

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Helpful on a drizzly day, in Liberty Rock Books I found a handful of children’s good reads.

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A sign at Adams’ Antiquarian Book Shop

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Folks in the window.

I found some wonderful books today!  I traveled a few miles and visited three of the bookstores in the Book Village of Hobart.  I am always looking for fun children’s books and good quick reads about music.  I love to share books and often give them as a gift.

I may just curl up for the evening and enjoy a chapter or two with a good cup of coffee and some zucchini bread a friend made and sent my way.

For more information about the location of these book stores and specialty shops, look them up on

a workout in the workbook

I have a book written by Julia Cameron and was recently loaned her “The Right to Write”.

What I really enjoy are the exercises.  The editor simply but actually brilliantly encourages one to just write.   There are simple questions to think on and answer.  Once that starts, I find all my own come rushing in.   No judge there.  That is the magic of it all.

As she suggests it should not be an odd thought to just put the drama around us on the paper.  It does NOT belong on a social networking site, and nothing for the public’s control or for opinion, but sacred free-floating thoughts at a set time from once to thrice a day.

Surely, my scribbles must be burned when I am gone.  There are instructions placed in the box with the will, my sons.

Playing with her pages encourage me more, though I am so aware there is limited time for readers these days.  There are many blogs.  So many books. So much cool information at our fingertips.

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This was a soulful event. Here you see Jeremy Walz, Kevin Tiernan, and James Alanson Kirk at the Third Annual Benefit for Pat Tiernan.

For me, the joy all about it is in doing it.  The simple act of writing.  Buying a special pen or crayons.   I do not know if the feeling I am expressing compares to a musician’s high when playing that perfect note, or a master gardener being able to harvest that new asparagus. One may cook a great meal, or help someone to heal themselves.  I think it is good if we all can find that piece of us. In all of us.  It may not gain fame or fortune but the process in itself is like a meditation.  Or a prayer.

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It is a fun thing to take the photos along the way, too.

Now I will tell you about an event that is in store for me.  Now it  is sunny but humid and a storm is pending. Later  I have a date for the drive in.  Really.  And a picnic for the movie ‘Jaws’ and “Jurassic Park”.   I remember going as a kid and squeezing others in by trunk.  I remember double dates and long discussions at times (seriously) with friend Paul and we would have to see the movie again to get it. In high school we would go in his model T green truck..  As a small child my siblings and I went in PJ’s and the folks would go a night to see any Clint Eastwood they could get in and we would fall asleep eventually after trips for pop and popcorn.  With all those fluids, more trips.  I remember hanging out on the hood.  Seeing the stars. Learning about the constellations.  Seeing grandma up there.   Oh yeah, and that flick, too.




My gold

This morning I made coffee and ventured to the deck.  I have this urge recently to soak in every moment I can being outside.  I have a simple, messy, yet productive patch of vegetables and I just get so proud when I pick one of those beauties.   Before I could turn around two deer ran through.  They were young and small, and pretended that they did not see me.

I was thinking about yesterday’s events in review.  After visiting the grocery,  I had pulled over into an actual pull-off on Route 23 to take a photo.  I have seen many patches of a tall purple flower (not the invasive nasty species) so  crossed over after many cars passed by.  (You know how that goes.   No one can pass for minutes and then you get out to find a parade).   It was breezy but I took a few and returned to the car.  A man came out of the house nearby and  walked over to me.

“What is so interesting? he says.  This is a sharp turn here.”

I told him I wanted to catch the flowers, and reached out to shake his hand.  I thought maybe he was irritated that it was HIS turnaround.  I told him I like to take pictures, and stop often.

“I was concerned about you getting hit,” he says.  “The cars don’t pay attention here, and I just wanted to make sure you were ok.”

We chatted a moment as he reminisced about his 40 years living here in this area, and I left with some fuzzy pictures but feeling good about humanity at that moment.

In that experience about 15 minutes of kindness and communication took place.

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The spaghetti squash will go in the oven this week. I enjoy the yellow squash sautéed with other veggies or in a baked dish with cheese.

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Some fried green tomatoes are on the menu. The color of that leaf filters through that growing space.

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The outskirts.

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“Always Looking Up” is a fast but educational and enjoyable read from Michael J. Fox. He is inspirational for me when my neck aches so. Oh, and by the way. Check out this tree.

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Bees buzzing very loudly this morning. I will stay back and let them do their work.

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This hosta jumped out at me so I had to bring it home. She is hearty and no doubt I will enjoy her next spring with the others. This species does well out here with the wildlife.

I’m thinking it is a darn good Harvest this year.



A drive

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Lots of grins with crazy glasses.

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Rose of Sharon in my brother’s yard.

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Somewhere in PA traveling east.

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A state park in Western NY, taken at dusk.

I spent a few days with family and lifelong friends in Michigan.  We again celebrated birthdays with laughter and it became a reunion of sorts with neighbors too.  My sons also were able to join the event.    Now, back to my adventures here in my ‘neck of the woods’.   All photos by Wanda Callagy


At times I make the effort to plan a few things.  I attempt to add a little structure.   It hasn’t been going as I thought it might lately.

I must accept.

I have a “See how it goes’ existence and live in a ‘wait and see world’ at this very moment. This is what my life is all about.   I really thought I could accept total ambiguity.  Hogwash.

It is exciting and scary at the same time.  Wild.  Not What I Thought. But I wonder to myself, is living in the moment, not knowing what is ahead for me really so bad?

So, for now, I just cleaned my house.  I am off to an adventure when I wake up in the morning.

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A view off Mt Utsayantha

A sense of humor is in order. And I will play some music, all the way along.