Folded chairs line the sidewalks, blue barriers await positioning, red and white tents erect themselves on the lawns. Tonight  a parade ushers in the Solanco fair. Friends chatter about the Hobbit-fit food and the adorable pygmy goats. For Quarryville, this is the event of the season. All is held aside for the fair. As a new Lancastrian, I'm thrilled to encounter this gathering. Pictures from my adventures will come next week.

Veronica A.


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

     have never seen such a stunning film that made me so in love with mundane life. Unlike many of the cinematic productions today, it didn't add unneeded sex scenes or silly emotional dramas. The story line focused on happy family relationships, the struggle of dealing with a difficult boss, and soaking up the immense beauty of life. With artistic cinematography like a Wes Anderson film and the light humor of Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig, a riveting movie came together that should have received more credit than it did. 
     A man dwelling in vividly dramatized daydreams, Walter Mitty, played by Ben Stiller, is an employee of Life magazine, where he converts negatives for print. As the publication is about to produce its last paper issue, and lay off many of its workers, Walter discovers a crucial picture is missing. Sean O'Connell, played by Sean Penn, is a mysterious, vintage technology using photographer who sends a negative for the last cover of Life. Prompted by a female co-worker, whom he admires, Walter embarks on a mission to find Sean and the lost negative. He leaves behind his daydreams and becomes a doer.
     I came away from this stimulating motion picture happy and restored, which is a rare response to contemporary art. Panoramic views of Greenland, made me ache to travel. The amusing coincidences and outrageous predicaments of Walter Mitty's life, fed my craving for adventure. What was most reviving about this film was that Walter didn't jaunt off into the wilderness to find himself. He was finishing a task for Sean and the magazine, while trying to retain his means of supporting his mom and sister. It wasn't Walter's efforts to make his own life better that changed him, it was the encouraging woman and the unselfish desire to finish the task that transformed him.

Veronica A.


Starting School.

Trying to dress the part for my first day of school.
      Sitting down for my first of seven online classes yesterday, I wasn't sure what to expect. Each year at Veritas Press Online Scholars Academy has been a different monster to fight, and run from. And since my cousin, a rising senior, has assured me that junior year is the worst, I'm no longer confident in my perceptions about the year. Though frantically fixing food for lunch before my next class will still be an element of my day.
      I wonder if new school year resolutions are a thing. One of the deadly sins for Veritas students is to be on Facebook or email while a teacher is giving a lecture. This one is especially difficult for me because I'm always looking for a rejection letter from an editor that I've submitted an essay to so that I can send my work out again. So many interesting things come through email, it's really hard for me to resist the urge to check it every thirty seconds.
      The most difficult part of my day, by far, is dragging myself off the couch or bed at three in the afternoon to practice harp or jog to the gym. Usually I have to bribe myself with coffee or chocolate or something like that. Some days it's easier than others.
     Thankfully, I don't have much homework yet, because I'm still collecting soda bottles for the decor at my brother's wedding. Nevertheless, my trusty planner keeps me busy. 

Veronica A.


Little Muddy Boots on the Farm

      Before we reached the cow stalls, the two little children tromped along happily in their rubber boots. As we approached the newly born calves and the pungent smells that comes with animals, we discovered that one child had an unusually sensitive nose. These odious odors tormented her as we wandered by the one-week-old calves. Clapping her hands over her nose, she whimpered piteously, hiding behind her mother.

      The little girl's brother had a different response to the farm encounter, which he embraced. I had fun catching his little moments.

        At the end of our tour we found the young girl and her mother, having peeled off from our group, hovering over a pond of goldfish. She had found a little paradise that brought rest to her nose.

Veronica A.


Just like Ma and Laura

     Motoring through the country side in my families' monstrous, blue-green vehicle, I glance at the twenty foot lines displaying the Amish, monotone garb. Finally, in my own back lawn, I eye the permanent drying lines. In a surge of interest, I ventured out to the green wire with my damp laundry. Securing the fabric pieces with clothes pins, I remember reading Little House on the Prairie about the adventures of Laura Ingalls. And embedded in my head, along with the fond yearnings to travel in my own covered wagon, was an illustration of linens on a line, rippling in the wind. Ma with a basket and a baby rolling in the tall grass. The more time I spend out here in the country, the more idyllic, childhood images I remember.

     I even have little neighbors who live by my lines. A couple birds have found a home in a little box attached to the post.

Veronica A. 


Prayer Journal

      When I lived in an apartment, my room was a dining nook off the living room. Floor to ceiling misted glass screens provided what privacy I could get. Having my own room was a luxury considering my three brothers shared a room, but it was not sound proof. I liked praying out loud in the mornings because it kept my mind from wandering, but I could never be sure who was listening in. So I began writing my prayers out, and ever since it has become a habit.
     Having your life worries written down on paper may be  uncomfortable at first, but when you do it for four years, journaling can give you perspective on the little tribulations that you suffer today. Some of the items prayed about in 2011 are still things that concern me today, even though I think of them as new anxieties. A book of your prayer life is also a great place to put scripture that has been helpful.

Veronica A.


Enola Low Grade Trail

      A scarf worthy coolness, a magical gloominess, and damp, leafy smells wafting through the air; I eagerly picked the July twenty-ninth as my walking day. The overcast sky recalled images of my Hogwarts-style library in Greenwich Village, and the former haunts of my book journeys. I was enthusiastic when my mom agreed to walk with me. Behind the chipped white facades of Quarryville's most time-loved wooden porches, a train line-turned-trail stretched over eight miles of rugged greenery. For forty-five minutes we sauntered over the grey gravel. A cream house with blue shutters caught my eye. It's little lonely windows on the edge of town reminded me of somewhere I had visited in a hardback. I can't wait for fall.

"There's a darkness on the edge of town." ~ Bruce Springsteen

Veronica A.