2015 A personal review

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“Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I go through my journals and notes each year to get ready to burn away the negative and find story ideas that slipped away on me. Lord knows, I have plenty of fodder. It is well known I enjoy music and the arts around me as well as nature adventures at my Gentlewoman’s Farm. I support railroad history and belong to two volunteer non-profits, both here in NY and in Michigan. I enjoy the company of my two sons when I can and have family both here and in Michigan where I began growing. Add a handful of close friends and a little romance and I am a lucky woman. Though I lost my last canine rescue this year I have three cats who found me that keep me company along with the wild critters and birds here in the woods. I hope to add bees and chicks to the farm in the spring, designing some upgrades to the barn to make things more manageable and warm. Oh, I dream of an alpaca and a pup too, but one step at a time.
After two years of torturing myself I finally decided to retire from my nursing career of 32 plus years and perhaps the hardest part of the year was losing a beloved brother in law due to cardiac issues. Dallas was his name, and gave my sister and our family great joy for over 10 years. He had a witty sense of humor, loved Dylan, and a gifted photographer who shared his talents with so many. In the middle of experiencing his loss, I received a phone call from my eldest son, the chef, who was in the burn unit in Mercy in Pittsburgh with a 3rd degree burn on his ankle and was due to have a skin graft after the infection cleared. His father and I made it down lickety split, though I am certain my broom would have been faster. He healed up quite nicely and learned about pain and we were all grateful as it could have been so much worse. The staff took quite good care of him. We had rooms close by and could come in and out…I took lots of street scene shots on my way back and forth of that area of the city.
I have kept up with my blogging and submit to Albany’s on-line entertainment magazine, and do some freelance work with local papers. I added more flowers around the house and herbs to my herb bed. I bought a slider swing for my deck with some birthday money along with a fine new pair of sneakers for long walks on the trails and my treadmill.
No international traveling took place this year unless you count traveling through Canada on my way to Michigan but I was back and forth there to support family and to be on hand for railroad projects. Here, I spent time as I could with my bud T-man and at the library devouring children’s books. I bought a second hand red flyer to hit the trails with this spring, and have actually been simplifying my electronics.
Today I am on the upswing of some health issues and look forward to a quiet new year. A phone conversation with my director in Santa Rosa will suffice and a movie with my son will be my New Year’s Eve. I hope to visit the other son in the next few weeks to see a martial arts competition.
I welcome the new year ahead, to be filled with surprises and gains and losses. I dream of peace, and believe in it.

Retirement

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Artwork given to me by my old friend. Yvonne Williams, the artist.

I have been fortunate to work as a nurse for over thirty years. Despite the multiple changes in the field, my career was highlighted by being able to work with great teams.

Small hospitals gives one an opportunity to become a ‘jack of trades’ and I loved hands on care the best.

My patients always were the bottom line in my efforts. Crazy schedules and numerous holiday hours kept me running when raising my sons.

However, it is time for me to let go of that slice in my life. I make myself available for some assist with friend’s family issues, but I no longer feel that I want to do much more.

So, with that decision, I am stepping away. My respect to all in this sometimes tough field.

Time for me now to write, and take some photos, and listen to music along with my gardening endeavors.

Thanks always to those that shared their time with me.
Excuse me now while I switch my focuses and oh, the books ahead to be read! I can travel anywhere I want to go in them!

Adding a smile….to you.

Plan for a sleigh ride and instead..

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A perky pansy in December.

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Some herbs blooming. Good on a baked chicken.

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I wish these plants luck blooming right now.

While scoping out the farm today I found yet another pansy blooming and some herbs blooming….parsley and oregano… and some perennials that are getting some life back into them. Enjoyable sunshine and day today. Hoping yours was as well.   Walking and getting some blue sky and sunshine helps with the SAD days.  Photos by Wanda Callagy

WoW!

Hi!

My name is Wanda Lee Callagy.  I really did not make this up.  I can’t help it if when people say it fast it rhymes a bit.  I looked up the word sarcasm and the meaning of it   I felt bad, because I always thought the gift could be a useful tool.     The dictionary told me that, so to speak.  I looked up the word.

It finally dawned on me.  I own a book called the Snark  Handbook.  The author was Lawrence Dorfman. In the pages I found so many funny quotes.  I realized if I told a story and I repeated these quotes some folks might not understand.   If I verbally said them, maybe.  If I used sign language it was worse. More worser.

The fact  did trouble me.  And I had sent it out for the whole wide world and I couldn’t believe everyone and I mean everyone could see it.  So, I took a break.  And one more thing to add if I may.

I love listening to music.  I own a really old guitar. Someone I thought I loved more than life itself helped me pick it out.  But, later I learned that there were two little boys born that proved something else to me. I had to share them with the whole world.  I had to learn to let go.  It was harder than I could ever imagine.  I kept misunderstanding.      I thought words like let it be and running on empty could not only be a lyric but I could listen.  I thought it might be a tool, like a hammer.  I mean, I thought it was cool.

Sadly, I also thought we were all in this together.  I had heard terms before like ego.  I just kept on.  But the I I  i i eye continued.   The worsted was that I had to look in a mirror.  And I remembered something.  I think i could smile.

I could just be falling in love again with we.   I hope it works out.  YOu be well.  Say it with flowers if that is what it takes.    And, PS, I did not notice spelling mistakes.  Darn it, now I have to look up me, me, me.  I get scared just posting that word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the love of the rails

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time table

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mighty crane

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Velocipede

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Going somewhere.

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Jordan spreader

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Young engineers

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On its way

By Wanda Callagy

In August each year there is a group of folks who get together to share their talents and knowledge of working on the railroad.

The Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad offers not only this experience which is as hands on as one could want, from fixing tracks or engine workIMG_7870 IMG_7877 to simply enjoying the ride.

In 1997 the Leatherstocking Railway Historic Society as an organization was incorporated as a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) tax exempt educational corporation by the New York State Department of Education and became an affiliate of the National Railway Historical Society on May 7, 1983, being designated the Leatherstocking Chapter.  IMG_7897  IMG_7810 And, history to explore.  One of the objectives of the organization was not only to create a local railroad museum, but the acquisition and operation of the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad built in 1869.  A sixteen mile long tourist railroad brings visitors from Milford to Cooperstown, Home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Bruce Hodges, president of the organization since 1985 explained that it is the love by the volunteers  of the rails and the love of the history  who make this happen.  The train’s schedule includes everything from seeing the fall colors to having time with Santa.

“We have families who come year after year for some of our special trains, and one group travels from Boston, he added.  They now have grown with the tradition and bring their family.”

Ticket sales and volunteers keep this all alive, Hodges said.  ” The Railfan Day that we have the first weekend of August every year is a draw. Many bring their equipment in, such as the velocipede or pump cars for rides.  The day each year grows in more people visiting, more success, ” he said.

“We have a guest engineer program, and we are always looking for volunteers of many railroad disciplines such as brakemen or track work..something for everyone here.

The Cooperstown Blues Express is popular in the summer months, and is run a bit separately due to the liabilities of that equipment and maintaining a liquor license.  Weekly blues bands liven up the woodsy tour with music and dancing.   The Easter Bunny Express and the Train Robberies are busy trips, also,” Hodges  added.

For more information on the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society, or to get the 2015 operating schedule, visit their website at http://www.Irhs.us or reach the main office by telephone @607-432-2429.

“We always have time for questions, and we look forward to seeing new families.  Every day here we add a new page to the history of all this,” he says.  It is quite a legacy.”