Day 227: Building 17

227 days ’til the marathon. The nerves are creeping in. People congratulated me on Saturday at my VFRW meeting, and my brain rejected it. “I haven’t done anything yet”, it replied. “I could blow this.” Yup, that’s the old Carla we all knew and loved. 😉

I went back to the cemetery on Sunday afternoon. I’m still wrapping my brain around not training for anything, so my plan was to just run where I felt like it, when I felt like it, for as long as I felt like it.

This time I went the other way around the park, taking pictures as I went. I would’ve put them on Facebook but that would’ve bored everyone who looks at my page. Mostly it was just landscape shots. Honestly, my sister has the most amazing eye for photography. I look for distances and hills and spaces, but she sees details like nothing you’ve never noticed before. She finds patterns in leaves and ice and snow. She’ll look at a flower and see something in the ground behind it. I swear she should do it professionally; she really has a brilliant eye.

Anyway, the pics are on my home laptop. I’ll try to post them over the weekend. No “messages” from the stones or the house, though I did still get that creepy feeling there. Maybe because there was a guy walking his dog ahead of me, and I’m pretty sure he wanted to know WTH I was doing there. I felt like a realtor, sizing up a prospect. But having just finished reading “Pride and Prejudice”, that house near the cemetery is my Pemberly. I want to know the details, hear the story, wander inside and see things.

I did some trail running, only because I had so much extra time that I went to the other, formerly believed to be inaccessible house near the creek. It was so peaceful, walking among the trees and moss, listening to the stream, seeing the fisherman on the other side of the bank. For a moment my romantic side took over and I wondered, “What if that’s him? What if he’s The One I’ve been waiting for, and he’s over there on the other side, seeing me as a sylvan nymph?” Yeah, right. But it’s nice to dream. At one point I stopped to watch the stream, and I’d swear I smelled skunk. That was my clue to get moving again. Interestingly, the point where I stood would’ve cut a mile off my return trip. If there were less water running, I could’ve made better time. 😉

I also stopped at Building 17 in the Norristown State Hospital. I don’t know what it is but I love that building; the structure just fascinates me. I have a “thing” for architecture, particularly sports stadiums but places like the hospital building too. Those pics, I have to post. The front and back have circular driveways, and the roof is fish-scale slate. Most of the windows are broken, but in the western corner when the sun is angled just right, I could see into the lower level rooms to the rusted beds still sitting there. It made me wonder who slept there, what was it like, what did they hear. I don’t get the same eerie vibes as I do from the house by the cemetery. Not pleasant vibes, of course, but…I don’t know. It’s just different. I just want to know more.

Sadly, there isn’t a lot of info available. I’ve read up as much as I can about NSH and the history of the area. I hope to take a tour of the grounds if the West End group ever organizes one again. It’s heartbreaking that there’s an “unsafe structure” sign on the front door. I know, given the damage in the place, I’d probably get hurt if I tried to go inside (much like the “Forever Boner” bank building on Broad Street; the upper floors were a penthouse for the bank’s owner) but oh, what I wouldn’t give to walk inside and feel the history. Makes me wish there were a time machine I could ride, so I could see the place when it was in use, and maybe prevent it from falling into such disrepair. There’s something special there. It’s why I can’t take my eyes off it when I run past it, much the way I’ll do later today.