A bit of space has crept into the blog. After I retired we went on a six-week-long vacation. We discovered a six-week vacation might be too long. Not the part in New Hampshire with the grandkids, long afternoons at the pond. One of the highlights of the second half, when we were on the go, was an eco-cruise of the Hackensack River. Another highlight was visiting Wendy and Allan in Middletown, and learning that Wendy and I are related. We are both doing genealogy and we were astonished one night to learn our lists of names were...the same! It's those Ward children, one winds its way down to Wendy, another down to me. The Wards came down to Newark with all their Puritan friends from Branford, Connecticut, looking for a purer settlement, perhaps that's where they got the word Puritan. On the eco-cruise we learned when our dear ancestors, the Wards, came down to New Jersey in 1666, the entire area would have been covered with white cedar. So we couldn't exactly re-create what their boating experiences would have been like on the Hackensack and the Passaic. They certainly wouldn't have seen the Empire State Building across the meadowlands. You can send money to the Riverkeepers of the Hackensack (see http://www.hackensackriverkeeper.org/) to keep the river clean and pure, make it more appealing for osprey and egrets than the occasional Mafia dump. Stay tuned on this blog for information about the whole eastern experiment, more information coming soon.