You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.
Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.
The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.
Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.
The idea was to make it accessible to visitors and use the cave as a tourist attraction, and the small structure was eventually built into a two-story house. But it was closed to the public in 1954 after the land was purchased for limestone mining and it remained closed for nearly 70 years. (In the words of Stephanie Tanner, "How rude.") Sometime during that 70-year closure, the home that contains the cave was purchased by Dara Black, and in 2021, it reopened to the public.
Currently, the home is occupied by Black, but to gain access to the cave you can simply book a tour. The best part about booking a tour is that you only have to make a donation to enter. It's a pay-what-you-can sort of setup, but since someone actually lives in the home, you can't just pop in and ask for a tour. You have to go during the "open house" times available.
According to the Black-Coffey Caverns Facebook page, they treat the tours truly as an open house, complete with snacks and drinks. There's a waiting room area where people can chat and eat their snacks while they wait for the tour to start. They also offer cave yoga once a month. According to Uncovering PA, the tour takes about 45 minutes to complete and there are about 3,000 feet worth of passageways.
Imagine living on top of a cave and just taking strangers on a waltz under your floorboards essentially. It makes me wonder if the house is quiet at night or if you can hear echoes of the cave sounds while you're trying to sleep. From the Facebook page, it appears that the cave doesn't have any lights, but there were pictures with some Christmas lights mounted to the cave walls. Otherwise, you have to use flashlights.
Hopefully, no mischievous children decide to play hide and seek or you just might have to call in a rescue crew. Literally. But what an unbelievable "pics or it didn't happen" kind of story to tell. It's not every day you run into someone that has a door that leads you to an underground cave.
If you want to see what a cave tour looks like starting from the outside of the house, check out the video below:
The iconic 70s song "Long, Long Time" was an integral part of an unforgettable episode that fans are calling a masterpiece.
HBO’s emotional third episode of the zombie series “The Last Of Us” became an instant favorite among fans, thanks in no small part to Linda Ronstadt’s late 1970s ballad, “Long, Long Time.”
Using the song as the episode’s title, “Long, Long Time,” moves away from the show’s main plot to instead focus on a heartbreakingly beautiful love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), from its endearing start all the way to its bittersweet end.
The song makes its first appearance during the initial stages of Bill and Frank’s romance as they play the tune on the piano, just before they share their first kiss.
We see their entire lives together play out—one of closeness, devotion, and savoring homegrown strawberries—until they meet their end. The song then plays on the radio, bringing the bottle episode to a poignant close.
Series co-creator Craig Mazin recalled in an interview with IndieWire that he searched far and wide for the right song to encapsulate a theme of “commitment.”“It was important for me to show that the romance, however long it lasted, it didn’t last. And then it’s arguing. And then it’s bargaining. And then it’s realizing what the other person does for you…The whole idea was to hit the highlights of moments in your life where love means something different,” he said.
It wouldn’t be until Mazin reached out to a friend with an “encyclopedic knowledge of all music” that he would stumble upon Ronstadt’s song, which had fallen into obscurity.
Clearly, Mazin made the right choice. Immediately after the episode aired on Jan 29, viewers were hailing it as “one of the greatest episodes of TV ever made.”
Music streaming service Spotify also reported that “Long, Long Time” received a 4900% increase in plays compared to the previous week. The chart-topping phenomenon resembles that of Kate Bush’s 80s pop hit “Running Up That Hill,” which saw a huge spike in plays after it was used in a pivotal episode of Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”
During its original release, “Long, Long Time” spent 12 weeks on Billboard’s top 100 list and earned Ronstadt a Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary Female Vocal Performance.” Sadly, due to a 2013 diagnosis of progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare neurological condition similar to Parkinson's disease, the rock icon hasn’t sung her legendary ballad, or any of her great songs, in over a decade.
Though Ronstadt has yet to comment on the use of her song in “The Last Of Us,” the singer did post an older clip of a live performance onto her Instagram soon after the episode aired, along with the caption, "I think I'm going to love you for a long long time.”
We might never hear Ronstadt sing again, but her music is being honored in beautiful ways. Her song’s comeback through the show (which let’s not forget is an adaptation of a video game) is a perfect example of how great art has a way of finding new life time and time again.
Hearing Kondo say, 'My home is messy,' is sparking joy for moms everywhere.
Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up," has repeatedly made huge waves around the world since it came out in 2010. From eliminating anything that didn't "spark joy" from your house to folding clothes into tiny rectangles and storing them vertically, the KonMari method of maintaining an organized home hit the mark for millions of people. The success of her book even led to two Netflix series.
It also sparked backlash from parents who insisted that keeping a tidy home with children was not so simple. It's one thing to get rid of an old sweater that no longer brings you joy. It's entirely another to toss an old, empty cereal box that sparks zero joy for you, but that your 2-year-old is inexplicably attached to.
To be fair, Kondo never forced her way into anyone's home and made them organize it her way. But also to be fair, she didn't have kids when she wrote her best-selling book on keeping a tidy home. The reality is that keeping a home organized and tidy with children living in it is a whole other ballgame, as Kondo has discovered now that she has three kids of her own.
"My home is messy," she admitted in a recent webinar, according to The Washington Post, "but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life.”
Despite the Schadenfreude many parents may feel at Kondo's confession that kids change things, her reasoning for letting things go is actually right in line with her philosophy of embracing joy.
“Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to keep my home tidy at all times,” she said. “I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me. Now I realize what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home.”
Kondo has offered tips for tidying with kids at home since she became a mom, and they're pretty solid. But as any parent can attest, some children are naturally neater than others, and how many kids you have makes a big difference as well.
Kondo gave birth to her third child in 2021, so she's currently in the adorable hell that is toddlerland. Research has also found that parents of three kids are the most stressed, so if Kondo has found a way to enjoy time with her kids and create more balance in her life by letting go of her tidiness standards, more power to her.
Her new book, "Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life," focuses on designing your living space so it works for you. "Kurashi" loosely translates to "way of life" or "the ideal way of spending our time," and Kondo says it's about seeing the world through the lens of what matters most.
“I believe that when we consciously cherish something precious, we deepen our relationship with it,” she shares on her website. “This, in turn, deepens our bonds with other things in our lives, bringing out the best in them and in ourselves.”
Applying that philosophy to family, Kondo's "giving up" on tidying all the time makes perfect sense. If spending quality time with your children sparks more joy than keeping your belongings organized just so, then that's what you should do.
Kudos to Kondo for publicly acknowledging that having kids has altered how her home looks and for validating what so many parents have felt in the face of unrealistic expectations of tidiness. She could have kept up a front of always being on top of organization and having a perpetually tidy home, but she didn't. Here's to her willingness to share the reality, here's to embracing joy in the fleeting time we have with our children, and here's to letting go of the rules that might interfere with that, even if it means humbly admitting defeat in the face of our kids' messes.
His reading skills have improved so much that he plans to read 100 books this year.
With over 125,000 followers, 34-year-old Oliver James is a star in the BookTok community. And it all started with a very simple goal: Learn to read.
For most kids, school is a place where they can develop a relationship with learning in a safe environment. For James, school was the opposite. Growing up with learning and behavior disabilities subjected him to abusive teaching practices in special education, which, of course, did nothing to help.
"The special education system at the time was more focused on behavioral than educating," he told Good Morning America. "So they spent a lotta time restraining us, a lotta time disciplining us, a lotta times putting us in positions to kinda shape us to just not act out in class."
Reading struggles carried over into James’ adulthood, and as is the case for many adults who are functionally illiterate, it significantly reduced his employment opportunities and affected his self-esteem. As he would tell you, even a trip to the grocery store would be a source of anxiety.
@oliverspeaks1 Even something as simple as grocery shopping is a challenge for me. #readingbooks#books#booktok#groceryshopping♬ original sound - Oliver James
However, when he and his girlfriend decided to expand their family of three, James became determined to change things.
Starting his journey with a book of inspirational quotes gifted by his girlfriend, James began reading bits out loud and posting to TikTok. Being a personal trainer by trade and an aspiring motivational speaker, he would often combine his interests, like practicing planks while reading thought-provoking excerpts.
@oliverspeaks1 Motivational speaker to be. Learning to read. #motivationalspeaker#handstand♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) - Danilo Stankovic
With his heartfelt honesty and exuberant personality, it’s no surprise that he has grown a loyal following. Fans will often send James more books to read in hopes for one of his popular book reviews. In fact, James has such an overwhelming to-read list that he's had to build his first bookshelf.
But perhaps the biggest impact has been the way reading has shaped James’ relationship with his son. In an interview with NPR, he shared that they've not only bonded over books like “Percy Jackson” and “The Witches,” but reading has proven to be a great resource for mental health, which has helped James become a better parent.
@oliverspeaks1 Replying to @thenerdysswer thank you for sending me the book the witches my son picked it to read and that was very special to our family. ##booktok##readmorebooks♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys - Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey
“I didn't know how much my journey was going to affect him, but I see now it's not even about the reading. The books I'm reading have taught me about my mental issues, which I can now not put on to him. I can actually work on them, so he doesn't end up with the mental issues I have, because I can take them out of my household because I'm working on them. Without these books, I might have shown him these mental problems,” he told NPR.
James’ new goal is to read 100 new titles by 2024—ambitious for any bookworm in this day and age. But this man has already shown himself and the world just what can be done with simple daily practice and a dash of hope.
If you’d like to support James on his reading journey, you can purchase something from his Amazon Wishlist here.
The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.
In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.
The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.
But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.
"I'm feeding the baby," Sainte-Marie told him. "See? He's drinking milk from my breast."
Sainte-Marie didn't show anything that anyone could reasonably find objectionable, but she didn't have her baby hidden under a blanket, either. From Big Bird's point of view, he could see exactly what was happening, and Sainte-Marie appeared perfectly comfortable with that.
Big Bird contemplated her response, then said, "Hmm…that's a funny way to feed a baby."
"Lots of mothers feed their babies this way," Sainte-Marie said. "Not all mothers, but lots of mothers do. He likes it because it's nice and warm and sweet and natural, and it's good for him. And I get to hug him when I do it, see?"
Their conversation continued with Sainte-Marie answering Big BIrd's questions with simple, matter-of-fact, nonjudgmental answers, and it's truly a thing of beauty. Watch:
That segment was filmed 46 years ago, and it's hard to believe some people still take issue with seeing a mom breastfeed out in the open. We've seen waves of education and advocacy attempting to normalize breastfeeding, and yet it wasn't until 2018 that every state in the United States had laws on the books protecting breastfeeders from being cited or fined. Even now, some moms still get flack for not hiding away in a bathroom or a car to feed their babies.
Sainte-Marie recently spoke with Yahoo Life about how that segment came about. She had gotten pregnant during her second season on "Sesame Street" and she had her baby with her on set all the time. She'd breastfeed off camera, and she asked one day if the show could do something about breastfeeding.
"The reason why I did that really was because when I woke up from delivering my baby, I was in the hospital, and over here on the table was a big basket of stuff from some formula company. And I preferred to breastfeed, but the doctors didn't understand about breastfeeding. They hadn't learned it."
Even today, according to the CDC, physicians generally lack adequate breastfeeding education and training, so as far as we've come with education on this subject, we clearly still have a ways to go.
Watch Sainte-Marie talk about how she came to share breastfeeding with the "Sesame Street" audience:
Thank you, Buffy, for providing a beautiful example of how to talk about breastfeeding that's just as relevant today at it was four decades ago.
Nearly four million Americans don't live with their spouses.
One of the topics that we like to highlight on Upworthy is people who are redefining what it means to be in a relationship. Recently, we’ve shared the stories of platonic life partners, moms who work together as part of a “mommune” and a polyamorous family with four equally-committed parents.
A growing number of people are reevaluating traditional relationships and entering lifestyles that work for them instead of trying to fit into preexisting roles. It makes sense because the more lifestyle options that are available, the greater chance we have to be happy.
A recent trend in unconventional relationships is married couples "living apart together," or LATs as they are known among mental health professionals.
Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and producer Brad Falchuk, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and activist Susan Sontag are all high-profile couples who’ve embraced the LAT lifestyle.
“I think it certainly helps with preserving mystery and also preserving the idea that this person has their own life,” Paltrow said, according to the New York Post.
The lifestyle appears to have become more mainstream in America as the number of couples living apart rose by more than 25% between 2000 and 2019.
A couple wrapping their furniture in bubble wrap.
According to The New York Times, there were 3.89 million Americans who live apart from their spouses in 2022, just under 3% of all married couples. The statistics do not include couples intending to divorce but do include those who are forced to live separately due to military duties.
Couples Therapy, Inc. says that LAT couples enjoy the lifestyle because it allows for “independence without sacrificing emotional support,” more time for hobbies and interests, fewer conflicts, and prevents “exploitation along gender roles.”
The disadvantages that LAT couples experience include maintaining emotional connection, occasional loneliness and dealing with the expectations of adult and minor children.
\u201cMore Canadian couples are choosing commitment, but not to share it under the same roof. It\u2019s called Living Apart Together.\n\nFor #GlobalNewReality, @MDimainGlobal speaks with couples and researchers about this growing trend.\n\nRead more: https://t.co/uOEQg4n1v8\u201d— Globalnews.ca (@Globalnews.ca) 1647108002
Although there isn’t a wealth of research on LATs, Bella DePaulo Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today that people who prefer to live apart from their spouse are looking for “independence and privacy.” They also tend to be in their 40s and older and are less likely to need a live-in spouse to help with child-rearing duties.
Sharon Hyman told Today that living apart from her husband, David, puts their relationship in the proper context.
“Living separately allows me to have my needs met by others in addition to David, including friends and family. I feel that expecting one person to be your everything is setting yourself up for disappointment,” Hyman wrote. “It’s also unrealistic and puts tremendous pressure on a relationship. There are so many other people who enrich our lives. I’m a big believer in community. People in the past lived in villages or extended family groups, and I feel that a primary relationship should ideally exist within that framework.”
Sana Akhand, 33, told The New York Times that living apart from her husband helped relieve her from the burdens of being a woman in a traditional marriage. “Being a wife is subconsciously really draining, because you’re just thinking about this other person, their well-being,” Akhand said.
Married couples who live apart from one another all appear to have taken the time to consciously consider their relationships and position them based on their needs, instead of the demands of the culture at large. It makes a lot of sense. Just because a lifestyle works for someone else doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you or your partner.