Opening Doors to New York State Adventures

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (#COMe)



July—a time to kick back, relieve ourselves from the heat, enjoy the gifts of hot summer days, complaining of the heat as much as we complained about winter’s cold.

Of course, my husband Monte and I had to do something different. We set out on a journey in which, as Walt Disney once said:

  • We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Our travels took us where we could open doors as close to home as Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania (82 miles away from home), and as far away as the St. Lawrence River near the northernmost point of New York state—cross this river and you are in Canada (for which you now need a passport).

As we began our travels we entered our first door, an apartment in Slippery Rock. However, as Charlie Gordan once said: There are so many doors to open. I am impatient to begin. And so we, too, were impatient to begin.

Below are a few of the doors we opened during our 22 days away from our Laurel Mountain Borough home.


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We started out at our Slippery Rock property, where we had an apartment vacancy. Before heading north only two persons looked at the apartment—the second applicant being a perfect fit for the dwelling.


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There was a week’s gap between a Holland family wedding on the St. Lawrence River and Monte’s Holland family reunion on the same day as his 60th class reunion. We stayed at Sunnyside camp cabins amidst vacationers who stayed to fish.


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While there we delighted in fresh vegetables purchased at an Amish roadside stand. The open doorway provided a brief view of Amish life as we watched children preparing vegetables for the roadside stand and a young lad chopping at a tree root with an ax.


Each Thursday Pickens General Store in Heuvelton receives a supply of cheese curd. We purchased plain and garlic cheese curd, some of which we took to the family reunion, and some of which we enjoyed snacking on during our stay at Black Lake.


A roast beef dinner at DePeyster United Methodist Church(in De Peyster) provided a welcome home-made meal one evening.


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An evening was spent at this Alexandria Bay museum, where we heard author David Shampine share information from his books on the Jefferson County (NY) Egan Murders and the North Country Murder of Irene Izak. Monte’d heard about these murders and was interested in hearing more.


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We had a delightful afternoon at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ogdensburg where David Martin, an expert on Horwood stained glass windows, instructed me on his method of photographing stained glass windows. He also shared much information on the care and repair of this type of windows, which I will share with you later.



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As we left Northern New York we stopped at the Gouverneur Middle School, which, in Monte’s day, was the high school from which he graduated. The Middle School principal, Mr. Coffin, gave us a delightful tour of the structure that is headed for demolition in a couple of years. At the end of the tour information arose that lead us to the revelation that he and I shared ancestry in the name of Tristram Coffin, one of the nine original owners of Nantucket Island. Who’d a thunk?


There were so many doors we opened, each containing a pearl of an adventure—a delightful wedding dinner reception at Gran View Restaurant, the Gouverneur Museum, the DeKalb Junction Historical Society, the United Methodist Church in Edwards, the home of Monte’s sister, Grace in Watertown, my sister’s home in Buffalo, St. Joseph Hospital in South Buffalo, numerous restaurants along the way…each door revealed stories, lessons, adventures.

The final door we opened was the door to our Laurel Mountain Borough home—at 1:30 p.m. July 26, 22 days after our departure.

Yes, it is great to be home. Here, too, we can open doors to discover what lies on the other side. As Mehmet Murat ildan said:

  • Life is a house with millions of doors. Here is a good strategy of life: Open the doors, open as much as you can, open as much as possible, open the doors!

And so, we did this July, we invite you to open the millions of doors in your life in order to find the pearls of adventure you might not discover otherwise.

Happy door opening!


NOTE: The July 3, 2015, WordPress photo prompt was share an image of a door. This response to the prompt is more than 3 weeks late because I was busy opening doors leading to new adventures.




About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at My novel site is
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2 Responses to Opening Doors to New York State Adventures

  1. Fabulous following your adventure! You have some very very interesting life adventures.


  2. Tom Beck says:

    How A-door-able.


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