Adventures in Running Land – Scotland, PA (revisited)

Back at the beginning of this blog, I shared pictures of my running route. Since those photos were taken in the winter, I decided to take some summer shots to share (the apple orchard photos were taken in the spring). I’m not sure how really interested you are, but it’s definitely cool to me to compare the summer and winter shots, although it does make me dread winter a little. Just one little note in case you wonder: the date stamp on these photos is way off! I never got around to setting it correctly on my camera.



Saving Cinderella

Once upon, oh about a week ago, in the neighborhood of Scotland, PA there was a little girl who imagined herself a princess. She had to have only the best princess dresses, which of course were the Disney princess costume dresses that cost $20.00,  but started to fray and unravel within minutes of first putting them on. Let’s just say that when the little girl put the mini Cinderella ball gown on, within a half hour, the dress looked more like the one Cinderella was wearing after her wicked step-sisters ripped and tore it a part… but I digress.

After my little Cinderella princess put her gown on, she sat down to put on her froggy rain boots and then she was ready to go. After buckling her safely into the jogging stroller, I headed out on my regular running route. About 15 minutes in, I realized that little Cinderella was practicing her princess wave to on-coming cars and other passersby. I smiled to myself as I began to imagine the stroller was a royal carriage and I was the coachman. Up, down, over and around the streets I gleefully paraded the little princess through the neighborhood.

This was no ordinary run! I felt like a little girl again playing make-believe, even if my role was coachman and not princess. It was better than being the wicked step-mother! Even as I struggled up the steeper hills, I had a smile on my face.

“Hurry, Mommy! The horses are coming!” My little princess stuck her head out of the side of the carriage and looked at me over her shoulder.

How much easier and how much more fun it was to run faster because the palace guards were chasing us rather than because it was time to practice interval training!

Finally after a seven mile loop, we reached the ball where many were assembled awaiting the princess. The dance floor shimmered and sparkled like glass. The guests were already dancing, their two webbed-feet keeping a paddling beat. Now since the princess arrived, it was time to dine.

As the little princess stood at the edge of the dance floor, she took a slice of bread in one hand and pulled her arm back behind her shoulder ready to pitch it forward, more like a pro-baseball player than a princess actually. She wobbled a little, but before I could reach out to steady her, she fell face first onto the dance floor, splashing through the shallow wet glass and  shattering the magical illusions of the day to lie spread-eagled in cold pond water.

I immediately jumped in after her, pulled her out, hugged her close and began murmuring comforting words, “It’s okay. You’re okay. It’s going to be okay.” I was definitely back to playing the role of mommy then. Luckily, I was a prepared mommy. I always keep a diaper(or pull-up) in the stroller. I had brought along a sweatshirt for the princess in case it got chilly and a fleece for me. I stripped the soaking wet ball gown and other clothes off; pulled up the pull-up; yanked her sweatshirt over her head and wrapped the princess tightly in my polar fleece. I held her and  continued to soothe her while she continued to sniffle and shake.

After returning home, taking a warm bath, and putting on dry clothes, the little  princess was tucked in bed with a raggedy-soft quilt snuggly around her. She sniffled and looked me right in the eye. “You,” sniff, “you, saved me.”

I hugged her tight and prayed that one day Makayla would understand who her real savior is and why a Disney costume doesn’t make her a real princess. Being a child of God, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and sharing the Lord’s crown of suffering will earn her a crown of glory. And this crown, unlike her costume dress, will never unravel, fade, or disintegrate.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5 NIV)


Adventures in Running Land – Scotland, PA

After my post about running on Block Island, I heard a few grumblings from my daily route.

“Ooooh! Block Island! La De Da!”

“What’s Block Island got that I don’t?”

“I don’t inspire you? Don’t you marvel at God’s creation while running through your own neighborhood?”

So without further ado, I present to you the lovely vistas along my daily running route in Scotland, PA:

This is the pond located at the entrance to SSVC. In the winter it freezes over with a thin ice coating. In the spring, summer and fall, the water is crystal clear like a mirror reflecting the colors of the seasons on its surface. I enjoy the solitude of the pond in the wintertime because once spring arrives, I have to share its tranquil waters with fisherman.

Besides fish, this pond is also home to flocks of geese and different paddles of ducks.

This is the west branch of the Conococheague Creek. I enjoy running near water. It’s invigorating and refreshing. In the summer it’s a necessity! Nothing like sticking your feet in a cold creek to take the edge off a July heat wave!

The perfect stretch for interval training.

The campus of SSVC is large and mostly quiet. Several people enjoy walking here and especially walking their dogs here. Dogs must be on a leash and mostly everyone cleans up after their dog.

This is the Sundial on the SSVC campus. I love how I have the opportunity to run both on pavement and on grassy trails. The entire campus inspires the writing muse within me. For instance, there’s an old horse stable that’s the perfect setting for a scary thriller.

The apple orchards! This is the most magnificent sight come spring when apple trees blossom! I can’t wait to share that beauty with you!

In the spring, I’ll be running surrounded by apple blossoms!

No matter what mood I’m in when I leave the house, I’m always happy after a run. It’s not just the accomplishment of exercise; it’s a rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit!