The highlight of my fourth of July weekend was getting to know B’s mom — Linda. Selfless, yup, selfless is the first word that pops into my mind when I think of how she opened her door to her home and welcomed us with maple cookies. (And milk for B.)

Linda with her granddaughter, Naomi

Her hospitality knew no bounds. She lent me Christian books, whipped up a taco salad, brought us to church, and during the long weekend we visited her parents. She also gave up her role as a player to patiently teach me pinochle, a game more confusing than pusoy dos!

Linda, Frank (her father) and B

Linda resides in Croghan, a village in the northern part of New York State. Very near Canada. Have you ever watched Pleasantville? That’s what Croghan reminds of with its low rise turn of the century buildings, ice cream and candy shops.

Linda, B and I strolled down to the ruins of an old lumber mill. I have since discovered that in the 1800’s and 1900’s, Croghan’s main industries included logging, lumbering and tanneries. The abandoned lumber mill was breathtaking.

Later that evening, Linda drove us to her daughter Laurie’s home, where there was a Fourth of July shindig.

Paul discusses the art of roasting a marshmallow

The next day, she tirelessly led the way to Tug Hill Winery. I was quite surprised that no one was there during the fourth of July. In Asia, a place like Tug Hill would be full of visitors during a holiday. Perhaps it was a blessing because we had the whole place to ourselves.

We ended our fourth of July weekend with a toast.

But honestly, that weekend was waaaaaay toooooo short. I have a feeling that Linda is the mom many children dream of having. I’m imagining her cooking and baking cookies and reading picture books. She knows her children and B has only good things to say about her. (And he’s possessive over her too!) I also have a strong feeling that she never takes credit for the good she’s done. In my heart, I can see that her main goal in life is to please the Lord.

Before the weekend ended, me and Linda talked about traveling on my next visit. Perhaps we’ll start with Upstate New York.

Time to fix your passport, Linda :-D.