I have been coming to Galeton my whole life. Memories evoked, the rich local history, feeling the presence of those now gone, hearing stories as neighbors sat on porches, memories of our camp on the Commissioner and the sound of our beloved Pine Creek are all part of it. It is rewarding to have our grandchildren and their friends head to the Creek when they arrive. I feel a sense of grounding, living in the house my great grandparents built in 1902!
The natural world is ever present. The closeness of the stars on clear nights is wondrous. Before we moved here permanently, we stood to gaze at the night sky when we arrived. We could almost touch it! I treasure the yearlong parade of birds at our feeders and in the trees (thank you, Rick Jones, for encouraging us to leave the snags!), even the visits from bear families.
I cherish the lack of stratification among people – mixing with folks from a variety of backgrounds, rich experiences and skills; learning their stories and history. Did I say I love the power of story? These hills resonate with stories!
Each day, I appreciate being able to work with fiber in such a bucolic setting, finding visual inspiration though our southern windows, walking in the woods and along Pine Creek, hearing her sing, and yet now being able to connect with fiber people from all over the world. I am so indebted to shepherds in the area who provide us with local fiber. They are out in all kinds of weather, facing challenges of farming, while I can generally stay inside in inclement or to knit, spin or weave! Neither they nor I would not trade places, though! A perfect symbiotic relationship!
Hosting visitors makes our lives richer. Sharing what we have (who else has an ice mine or a Triple Divide?) and just being here brings them back. Participants in my fiber retreats relish being locked in, closing out the world and enjoying the beauty and peace here.
As there has always been, there is much generosity in this small town. People know when their neighbors are hurting – and they respond! Many people know generations of their neighbors and generally are eager to greet new residents!
I anticipate the arrival of each season — being snowed in, discovering the hellebores blooming under the snow, a few spring days teasing us for the generally moderate summer…and now autumn! This fall has not held the garish colors of many, but the yellows of witch hazels and tamaracks, rich bronzes of oaks and beeches, make the air sing. As long as I remember, I heard my mother say, each spring when she visited Galeton, “Never! has the foliage been as lush as this year!” Each fall, “Never! have the leaves been as spectacular as this year!” Each season she meant it! Oh dear! Do we become our mothers?