Thank you for visiting our website. We are certain many of you have stories to share about your memories of one or another of the sites included within this website. Please click here to email us and please indicate in the subject line the place or places you are remembering.

Santa's Workshop
I spent a very pleasant summer day at Santa's Workshop two summers ago. I appreciated that the site lacked excessive gimickry, and could see that young children in particular were enchanted. Though I am well past childhood, I took the opportunity to have my picture taken on Santa's lap. He doesn't look very happy in the photograph!
Jill Breit

Six Nations Indian Museum
I have been been to many museums in many great cities on my travels on my motocycle. Words cannot express the wonder and owe of the displayed heritage that was contained within and without the walls. I was especially touched by the elder providing a rendering of the way that the world began. I'll be back again, and again.
Jim Dooley

Vivekananda Cottage
Visiting the Vivekananda Cottage in July has been for me a much awaited event for many years. While in my heart the teachings of Swami Vivekananda fill my life with purpose, strength and love, the world still has a grip on my mind and body. My visits to Thousand Island Park and the Vivekananda Cottage is a welcoming relief from the everyday concerns of life. It seems as soon as I come to the curve in the road, where the first view of the Saint Lawrence river appears before my eyes, an overwhelming feeling of peace and sense of human comradery over takes me. The Victorian cottages present themselves to me full of mystery and elegant charm. They silently speak volumes of history, of families sharing summer breezes on the porches and a community that seems to be encapsulated in a magical, never ending moment in time, aglow with the spiritual power of the confluence of different faiths worshiping together.

My destination looms before me at first as a steep gravel road lined with tall trees, that whisper to me of many years of viewing hundreds of devotees of Swami Vivekananda, Swami Nikhilananda and now Swami Adiswarananda, coming to this cottage for study and worship. It is no easy task to walk this hill, and it seems to be saying, even though I have come here many times , this is the first step of many in my life of spiritual yearning. I look up and there before me is a large yellow Victorian cottage, built on a rock by Miss Mary Dutcher, that gave refuge to a Yogi who taught the Vedantic philosophy of the Oneness of existence, and he was to me the granite of spiritual democracy. Within the house , if I sit quietly, the spiritual atmosphere will penetrate my very being, peeling off the defenses of mind and body and filling my heart with the awareness of the power of the pearls of wisdom that have been spoken here, and the enormous presence of a love that goes beyond my immediate consciousness and floods me with unimaginable peace. Past and future disappear and time stands still. The age old wooden floors reveal a thousand steps. The antique chairs invite me to sit and feel the security of their support. The breeze that flows through the rooms vibrates with the breath of many souls. At present, now full of life and eager students, I am humbled in knowing that these beautiful people are the strong and vigorous devotees, who through their daily living, will carry on the essential message of the Vedanta philosophy, that teaches all to worship the religion of their choice with a sincere heart and with the awareness that all faiths are One only with different names. I wish to only absorb and become refueled with this awareness that life has shadowed from me with it's many distractions and my hope is that I can carry just a small ember of this wisdom home with me, for just that spark can perhaps light many fires in the name of harmony, unity and acceptance of all religions.

My salutations to all who have allowed this Retreat to share it's place in Thousand Island Park.

Anonymous August 16, 2006

Clare & Carl's Texas Red Hots

I use to live in Plattsburgh and remember riding my bike from "the Flat" to Clare and Carl's for a Michigan. That was back in the late 40's early 50's. It was a long ride but worth it. That is when Louise Callaway use to work there. When ever I go back to Plattsburgh, I make sure to get a couple of Clare and Carl's Michigans. The article in Gourmet Magazine brings back some good memories of the "olden days". They have hot dogs and chili in the South, but it just can't compare with the North Country's Michigans.

Joanne D., Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Veronica Terrillion's "Woman-Made" House and Garden

I grew up several miles from Veronica's home. I went to school with her children and loved to visit her and listen to the tales of her past life which she painted into her artwork. Her whole home was one big artwork. She hand painted her curtains and what looked like rugs on the floor were actually rugs painted on the concrete. One story I want to share is this one: One day she told me she had no meat left and little else to eat so she said a prayer to the Lord and as she was walking by one of her front windows she her a loud "bang" against the window and she looked out and down and there was a dead partridge. She went out and retrived it, plucked the feathers (she saved to repair an owl which her grandkid's had plucked a few feathers from) and had a nice dinner and leftovers to make a nice stew that lasted for a whole week. I sure do miss her and I am sure she is in heaven painted for the good Lord now.

Stephen J. Brownell