An Unexpected Adventure: And Work Turns To Pleasure In Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
My Friday plans changed late Thursday afternoon when I volunteered to file some legal papers for my nephew, and partner in my law practice, in the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown. Always looking for an excuse to get out of the office I was looking forward to the drive and , I decided, while I was in the area, to visit The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, a place that was very special to my dad, who we lost 2 1/2 years ago. It was sunny and warm when I arrived in Doylestown, about a two hour drive from my home.
My plans for the day immediately began to change when I read this sign, a few feet from where I parked my car. I remembered my dad and I both reading Michener’s novel about Poland when it was first published, it’s hard to believe, over 30 years ago.
I first made my way to the new Buck’s County Court house where I did my filing and talked to the friendly employees about their town, where to eat lunch and the Phillies baseball team. After I had filed the papers, instead of heading to the Shrine I decided to explore downtown Doylestown and visit the James A Michener Art Museum.
And what a wonderful decision it was. I soon learned that Buck’s County was one of the three original counties in Pennsylvania. The state’s founder William Penn lived in this county. I fell in love with the town as I walked the streets from the new Courthouse to the cultural district.
The streets were lined with stately old homes and businesses. Ancient tree grew in many of the yards. I could have explored the streets all day but I soon made my way to the James A Michener Art Museum., housed in the 130 year old former Bucks County prison.
I knew I wouldn’t have the time to see all of the exhibits in the museum but I still wanted to see what it was about and to learn more about this author. I am so glad I did. upon entering the museum I quickly found this quote from Mr. Michener, which endeared me to the man.
And upon inspecting the exhibit depicting his office I was surprised and moved to see this large dictionary sitting next to his typewriter. It was the same one my dad had purchased in our home. Some of my earliest memories were looking through that large boring book. Why? Because of the colorful photographs of the snakes, birds, flowers trees and other wonders of nature that it contained.
I did learn about Daniel Garber and the art colony he founded at New Hope, another place I need to visit. His three best works were on display in the museum. Here is a link to more photographs from the James A Michener Art museum.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/doylestown-james-a-michener-art-museum-may-20-2016
I had to investigate this huge old castle like structure and soon learned it housed a vast museum containing many tools used in the early years of the American nation. I once again had only enough time to scratch the surface of it’s countless collection of the many tool and implements used by the first settlers in our country. This link to some of the photographs I took will give you an idea of the size of this collection. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/doylestown-mercer-museum-may-20-2016
I was enjoying my walk, but it was well past lunch time now, so I stopped for , and had, a nice meal at Lily’s Cafe America. I wish I could have continued my exploration of this charming and historic city but I still planned to make it to the office and wanted to first visit the Shrine before I headed home. Here is a link to some more photographs I took on my walk through Doylestown. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/doylestown-downtown-walks-may-20-2016
I drove the few miles to the National Shrine Of Our Lady of Czestochowa, founded on this old farmland by a Polish priest in the 1950’s My dad, being of Polish descent, brought my family here for the first time on a sunny and warm June day when I was thirteen years old. We visited a few times over the years, even though he did not like to travel he loved this place. My sister and niece also visited here shortly after his death. Needless to say this I thought this would be an emotional visit. And it was.
I walked around he grounds for a while reflecting on many good times. After visiting the chapel I was returning to my car when i heard the beautiful song of a mocking bird. I saw it perched atop this statue of Mary, singing it’s heart out. My dad and i both loved listening to the remarkable song of this beautiful bird. I was sure it was sign from my dad.
I enjoyed the singing and engaged in a conversation with a fellow sitting near the statute about the Shrine and my dad. As I was leaving, the bird took off too, and the fellow said he was following me home.
Well as I neared my car, I was amazed to watch the mocking bird land on the outstretched hands of the statute of Pope Paul II. I listened to the wonderful singing until the bird finally took off. What a wonderful visit. Here are some more photographs from my visit to the Shrine. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/doylestown-national-shrine-of-our-lady-of-czestochowa-may-20-2016After my visit to the Shrine I decided I wasn’t going to make it back to the office and instead drove a few miles to hike in Peace Valley Park and along the Neshaminy Creek, which I never visited before but which I read about online.
It was still sunny and getting very warm out, a perfect day I thought, for a walk along the water. I left my car and followed a trail a little way along some farm fields before entering some old woods with ancient tree towering overhead.
The trail ran along the slow flowing Neshaminy Creek which reminded me a lot of the Nescopeck Creek here in northeastern Pennsylvania. I saw quite a few mallards flying up and down the creek, occasionally landing and enjoying the cool waters on this warm afternoon.
And there were a few blue herons in the creeks looking for a meal. I sat and watched one for about a half hour and my patience paid off. I was able to capture it grabbing and eating this large fish, which may be a shad. There are more photographs of this blue heron eating the fish and other blue herons in this link. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/blue-heron-bucks-county-may-20-2016
I sure hope I get another chance to explore this wonderful park and the historic and cultural town of Doylestown. Here is a link to some more photographs of Peace Valley Park. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-page-2/nggallery/photographs-page-two-blog/doylestown-peace-valley-park-may-20-2016
“But in spring, of course, any place is beautiful, because in spring fires leap from your heart, and you can see things that aren’t there.”
― James A. Michener,