Monday, July 29, 2013

Not Too Far From Home

Barbara Voerg

You know what they say about the best of intentions.  They pave the road to hell.  So, I guess that's where I'm headed because I am loaded with great intentions!  Things can get pretty crazy around here and time just seems to fly by.  I really, really, really planned on posting a new blog every Friday, but I'm already getting a little behind.  I've decided to change my goal to "doing the best I can".  We all know that when the chores pile up, it's time to prioritize and as much as I enjoy writing this blog, I've had to give in to other more pressing issues.  But, I did want to share the activities of this past weekend with you as I think they were a little out of the ordinary.

It's always nice to take a trip somewhere and I encourage everyone I know to travel.  There's no better experience than meeting new people, seeing new places, tasting new foods and learning about new cultures.  And, you're never too old or too young.  That said, we can't always travel to distant lands.  Those are the times you look around you and say, "What new experiences can I find in my own backyard?"  It just so happens that we found ourselves in the middle of two unique and very special situations close to home.

If you're a friend on Facebook, you are probably familiar with the film Cigarette Soup. It just so happens that the writer and director is Damian Voerg, and yes, he is related - my youngest son to be exact.  I won't go on and on about his talents, you'll see for yourself when the film is completed.  It turns out that the script called for a few extras so we offered our services and lo and behold, unless the scene gets cut, our acting debut is just on the horizon.  Although this is not Damian's first project, I had never been a part of his work so this was a totally novel experience.  If you're not familiar with the process, there's a lot of waiting involved, but while you're waiting you can meet some really interesting people.  You can also learn about what goes on behind the scenes of a movie and, in general, just feel kind of important for a few hours while you lose yourself in what is going on around you.  So, if you have an opportunity to venture outside your comfort zone, even just a little, and try something different, my advice is always - Just Do It!

On Sunday we found out that one of the small local parishes in Port Ewen, Presentation Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was celebrating its annual Mass for all those, past and present, who earn their living working on the vessels that ply the waters of the Hudson River.  It had been many years since we attended Mass at this particular church, so we decided to make this Mass a priority of the day and how glad we were to have been there.  Instead of being held outdoors because of the rain, the little church was filled with people from various parishes all there with the same intention - to remember and pray for past boatmen and ask the Lord for protection for those who work the tugs today.  Stewardship of the River was also included as an important task for those who enjoy it for recreational purposes.  As Father Johnson so graciously commented in his homily - we prayed for sun, but someone must have prayed harder for rain.  Weather is one thing you can't control - be it for a wedding, graduation, vacation or outdoor Mass, but it truly did not dampen any aspect of the day.  It is amazing that such a small church could have such a wonderful music ministry and everything about the celebration was just exhilarating.  And, much to our surprise, there was a fantastic brunch served at the church hall immediately following the Mass.  How nice!  How hometown!  How enjoyable on a rainy Sunday morning!

We think the world is big and that it is, but it can also be very small.  When you think of those six degrees of separation you often find it's really a lot less than six.  We did meet a few other people at the Mass - friends and acquaintances - and then discovered that the statue of Our Lady of the Hudson was dedicated in 1952 by a cousin of the Voerg family who had five sons working on the tugboats.  And, the statue was sculpted by local artist, Thomas Penning of Saugerties who also created the bluestone statue of the Blessed Mother in St. Mary of the Snow School in Saugerties. My brief internet search about this artist didn't bring up any significant links for which I apologize.

OK, so that was my weekend and so what's the point, you may ask.  The point is, travel doesn't always have to involve great distances and lots of money.  Look around you and there's a great deal to do right in your own backyard.  However, if you don't look for it, it doesn't always come knocking on your front door.  Everything doesn't have to be as exciting as an African Safari to be fun.  But, when you do decide to take that African Safari, River Cruise, or explore Europe, make the most of your time and money by working with a qualified, professional travel consultant.  You will come home with a greater appreciation of the whole wide world and a special appreciation of your own neighborhood.

Until next time - as always - safe and happy travels.  Be sure to contact for any travel needs - around the corner or around the world!

St. Clare's Church in Albany is hosting an informational evening for the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land which departs on March 10, 2014.  The meeting will be on Tuesday evening, August 13 at 7:00 pm.  Please call 845.345.6100 if you'd like further information or to let us know you'll be there..

Thanks and have a great week.

           Barbara Voerg, Travel Consultant

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