Thursday, October 18, 2007

Letchworth State Park and getting turned loose

It has now been a month since I was released from the federal prison camp in Danbury, Conn. That was a bizarre experience, and I'll write more about it in a later post.
So... six months in the clink and then I was turned loose onto an unsuspecting world. Well, the government is blissfully unsuspecting. My dear friend and co-defendant Val Fillenwarth was sent to the big prison "down the hill," the low-security federal correctional institution, because she was perceived as being a "security risk." Maybe it's because she's a grandmother? For sure, I can't understand how this government functions.
So I've been re-adjusting to the "real world." The experience of being released from prison and of getting re-acclimated to life on the "outside" is very similar to the "reverse culture shock" that people get upon their return from an extended trip overseas. The change is very abrupt and very difficult.
Each day is a new beginning. Each day, I devote some time to rediscovering my world. I take long walks to enjoy the beauty of nature. I enjoy the simple things of life that were made so very difficult in prison... laundry, cutting fruits and vegetables for salads, picking apples from the tree. I like wearing bright colors and hats of all shapes and sizes. It is a pleasure to have cats around me again. I missed the cats so much when I was in prison.
I am still overwhelmed by traffic and by the massive variety of stuff in supermarkets.
I spend time with friends. They take me to good places. My friend Ellen and her three kids, Joseph, Amelia, and Thomas, took me to Letchworth State Park, near Warsaw, New York. Letchworth State Park has been described as the "Grand Canyon of the North." The Genesee River flows through it, in a deep gorge. There are three waterfalls, as high as 600 feet in some spots. In fact, in the past, I've done some white water rafting in Letchworth State Park. That was exciting and fun and, during one trip, I was in a raft that capsized, resulting in my doing both white water rafting and swimming. But that's another story.
On October 14, the day that we went to Letchworth State Park, we were all busy drawing and painting when we saw a huge hot air balloon take off. That was quite a sight. Many people watched as the balloon floated over the waterfalls and then went higher in the sky and was gone. I took many pictures of the balloon and of the waterfalls and of other sights at Letchworth State Park.
For more information about Letchworth State Park, take a look at http://www.nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/info.asp?parkID=12

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