Sunday, May 1, 2011

Unbroken Successions of Life

The lock tender at Lock #10 or perhaps his wife, possibly as recent as 100 years ago,
or closer to 200, planted the spearmint here, and successions of life has renewed here. 
Cycles of oak trees have done the same.
  Every lock tender's family, and all who have followed and continues to follow
this path to this spot, can continue to enjoy them today.

The rear of the Reber Home - Though this, of the oldest
structures of Franklin Township, is in severe disrepair,
the forsythia and ivy once planted here by Mrs. Sarah Reber,
or eldest daughter Lillie or Lottie or youngest Ella, not only
still thrives here, but has completely taken over the entire area.  Sarah died first
in 1937, then her husband in 1942, leaving the three unwed daughters to
carry on.  Lillie passed in '58, then Ellie in September of '63, and lastly, her
sister Lottie less than a month later.  The Reber blood line stopped there.
It is a pity this forgotten beauty cannot be enjoyed. (Click here for video.)

These plants reclaim themselves in the same soil of their ancestors, planted here with the caring hands of our ancestors.

All of us who have descended upon this time and place are free to enjoy them. We can revel in their unkempt wildness. They exist here in their present form after the many successions of suns and seasons have taken them through their cycles of life and expansion, to death, always followed by another renewal.

Spring's freshness along the canal just above
Lock #10.  The green grass, the white dogwoods,
the lime green of the Norway Maple, and the
red buds of the silver maple, planted by others so long
ago yet can still be enjoyed today.

I don't know if it was for pride or some form of competition with their neighbors, or just for the hobby of filling idle hours, as to what led these plants to first grow here.  Sometimes I think about what thoughts and expectations went into selecting that plant in that location.  What were the circumstances for their selections?  Where they passed from mother to daughter like an heirloom?  Or maybe reclaimed from a former homestead.  It is fun to imagine it.

But all these years later, what is most important to me, is that I can still take in this beauty that was set into motion so many years ago. 

The front view, below the grade of the road
today known as "Reber Street," once known
as part of the "Main Road to Harrity," of the
Reber property shows what remains exposed
of the cold cellar.  It is all hand-lain stone, vaulted
ceiling about twelve to fifteen feet deep and it still supports
all the modern car traffic above.  All around are the day lilies the
Reber family took such pride and care to plant.


  1. Fantastic. I love your perspective on time and what matters. Thank you.

  2. I'm much obliged to your opinion...I've been meaning to do more than just my cursory scans of your posts, which I see you seem to be rather prolifically at lately...Hope you're enjoying the Spring time and the end to your Semester...Looking forward to some Watercolors from the Road...Take care my esteemed Professor...RJR

  3. Ron, I happened upon this site by...well, fortuitous...accident. I love the site. I, too, am from Lehighton seems like a very long time ago. I have lived in Chicago, however, for the past 50 years. All of my father's family still live there, have always lived there, and all that have passed are buried there, as well. You link Jack Sterling on the site and he is a distant cousin of mine, although we communicate frequently because I am genealogically obsessed about "getting it all down on paper". I write today because I am curious about your story on Wally Haas' store on 2nd Street. I do believe that was my Uncle Mark Leffler's store, as well. I am confused, though. Did the nephew buy it from Mark Leffler? Wonderful job. Linda Leffler Simpson,