'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, family, friends, home, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography

Traveling

Sometimes the word traveling means exactly what you would expect.  A journey from one place to another.  A journey such as my travels for the last few days.  But that journey also led me to a journey back in time.  As I skirted the DC area the route that the GPS had me on caused me to pass by my old neighborhood in Columbia, MD, where I lived for about 30 years.  This is the lake in my former backyard.  More of a lake than the little pond in the backyard of the FL house I’ve lived in for the last 10 years.  So I stopped for pictures, not a big surprise there.  Times have changed however, and there was a sign suggesting that you not leave valuables in your car, and my car was full of them, so I only wandered a little with Ozzie, and only took a few pictures.

But that little walk brought back so many memories.  Memories of walking around the lake with my kids.  It was 1.86 miles around, according to a painted on hash mark and notation on the bike path.  We walked with the kids, and a succession of dogs, four that I can think of.  Time passed and my son and his friend would take our inflatable raft out into the lake, and come back soaking wet, insisting that it just tipped over.  I saw them out there one day when I had the dog out however, and they were. falling off on purpose.  I was glad he was able to have those adventures, that was my attitude at the time, but by today’s standards I should probably be arrested.

Then there came the day that my son came home asking my permission to go ride his bike off a ramp and fly through the air into the lake.  “It’s supervised,” he insisted, “There are adults there.”  I said no, but it only took me a minute to decide that he probably wan’t going to be able to resist, and what the heck was going on anyhow?  So I put the dog on the leash as my excuse to go check on him, and sure enough, there were kids flying through the air with their bikes and landing in the water.  There was an adult there to retrieve the bikes, and everyone had matching tee shirts on.  And no, he didn’t get to do it.

One day at the end of the summer my son proudly brought me to se the tree house that he and a friend had built.  All built with scavenged wood from the construction in the neighborhood, or so he assured me.  When we got there I saw little short pieces of wood that created a stair of sorts up a VERY tall tree.  And the platform up there was small, and downright scary looking.  He was probably 14 or so, an awkward time in a kid’s life, and all along I was happy that he was happy and busy all that summer.  Now I was prepared to worry about all the potential disasters associated with it, but the condo association eventually got wind of it and tore it down.  I was relieved to not have to be the bad guy in that situation.

Eventually grandchildren came along, and we walked to the playground when they were little.  Even they got old enough for adventures.  Kara was walking on the rocks around the lake, which was man-made and in a planned community, and when her foot slipped between two rocks she disturbed a bee’s nest, and I could hear the screaming as she and her brother and a neighbor kid came running home.  Kara got the worst of it as I shampoo’d lots and lots of bees out of her scalp.  Why do I mostly remember the mis-adventures?

I lived in that house longer than I lived in my home town in Massachusetts, longer than I lived in New England.  And yet home, to me, is still New England.  I moved away from that neighborhood with all it’s fond memories, and never looked back.  I lived in lots of places in my life, Indiana, and California, and that house in Maryland.  But I never called a place ‘home’ in the same sense that New England was home to me.  And I’m so happy to be here right now…12-16Elkhorn212-16Elkhorn312-16Elkhorn4

connections, coping, courage, family, friends, home, life goes on, memories, neighbors, road trip

And then it hits you…

While you’ve been concentrating on all the people you love, the ones that you are heading north to see, there are people here that you love and are leaving behind.  There will be heartfelt goodbyes to say here.  Neighbors who I’ve been blessed to know, and who have helped me feel secure in this first ever time of my life in which I’ve lived alone.  But not as alone as I might have felt if not for them.  And my photography friends, I will see their adventures in photography online, and look forward to being out shooting with them again before too long.  And then there are my coworkers, who were my sounding board as I went through this biggest challenge of my life.  I thought of myself as alone these past four years, but I see now that I haven’t really been alone at all.

I sent a note to a friend’s mother to apologize after sneaking away without saying goodbye.  I told her how much I have always hated saying goodbye.  She sent back a note and said that in her family they say Auf Weidersehen, ‘until we meet again’.   Yes, that’s it exactly, it’s only goodbye for now, until we meet again.

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These flowers were over a week old and still looked great so I took their picture.  It was only then that I saw the lizard photo bomb.
12-8campfire
Winter camping in Florida is just what I needed last night…
adventure, family, finding my way, friends, fun, leap of faith, life goes on, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip

Serius, seriously…

It seems like I’ve been on the cusp of heading north again for a very long time now. One box at a time, packed in one house and unloaded and put away at the other. Probably not the most efficient way to do things but it has cut down on the number of boxes I’ve needed.  It has seemed endless, but we are nearly ready to go, and it’s only six months since last time.  It had been two years before that and I was so homesick.  It was a wonderful visit, which explains why I turned my life upside down and decided to become a snowbird, with the mother of all road trips ahead of me.

My only complaint about that last trip was my frustration with the radio.  I’ve never bought music in any form, the radio was fine with me.  But on that trip I had a hard time finding a radio station, and I’d lose the station in no time flat.  And Ozzie isn’t much of a conversationalist so it was annoying.  Even after I got home it seemed like the stations I listen to play a little music (always the same play list) between obnoxious car commercials (“It’s HUGE”), and competing clinics that treat erectile disfunction.  But frustration with the radio is a thing of the past for me because I now have Serius XM radio, something I’d never been interested in before.  And it came complete with a nice comfy car, with lots of room for Ozzie and me, plus all the stuff we would like to tote with us.  Like cameras and dog toys.  I’m not great at traveling light, and Ozzie, well, he IS the elephant in the room, so more room for him.  I knew what car I wanted, but I was ‘just looking’ when I went into the dealership to see what they had.  Not the first dealership I’d been in to either, but somehow they shoo’d me out the door, sending me home with the new car and called it an ‘extended test drive’.  “Drive the car”, they said, “It’ll help you move,” they said.  It proved to be a good strategy because yes, I went back and bought the car.  One step closer…

 

 

 

'scene' along the way, Florida landmarks, learning, memories, on closer examination, photography, road trip

Heritage Village…

On Saturday three of us club members from Hernando County made the trek to Clearwater to have our camera sensors cleaned.  A wonderful perk of club membership.  Florida Center for Creative Photography, or FCCP, for those who may wonder.  Haveing made a bit of a trip we asked where we might go to take some pictures while we were out, and we settled on Heritage Village.

On a sunny day the colors were vibrant, and it clashed with the notion of seeing those days of old in sepia tones.  In truth I looked to see if I could tint the pictures that way, but I grew impatient, so you are seeing what we saw.

The general store came first…12-3generalstore12-3shopping

Then the train station…12-3crossing12-3allaboard312-3allaboard2

And, of course a garage.  It even smelled like a garage…12-3outtolunch212-3outtolunch12-3heritagegarage

How about a barber shop, complete with a photo bomb by Natty Boh…12-3nattyboh12-3barbershop212-3barbershop

And a one room schoolhouse…12-3schoolhouse212-3schoolhouse

I’m not squeamish, but the doctor’s office blew me away a little.  Instruments displayed under glass, and numbered so that you could find out what they were used for.  I’m sorry, but they looked brutal.  I wonder what the survival rate for surgical patients was back then.  I did take a photo of the first dental X-ray machine, and the birthing chair which was surprisingly short, and complete with a sink for the baby to be delivered into. Again, brutal.  Next time I’ll concentrate on the instruments more.12-3openwide12-3birthingchair.jpg

And some scenes of everyday life in the village…12-3kitchen12-3heritagespinning12-3office12-3redwheels12-3bedtime

Seems appropriate for the outhouse to be the grand finale of the visit!  It was a fun day!12-3outhouse

coping, faith, finding my way, home, life, life goes on, photography, road trip

Oh where is my hairbrush…

Not a question but a song.  A song that I had found myself singing several days in a row as I searched for my missing hairbrush. That it disappeared in the chaos which is my life at the moment isn’t surprising, but I found myself surprised to be singing that song at all.  It was so familiar, but I couldn’t place where it was from. But after I thought about it for a bit I realized, Veggie Tales!  And now I sing it frequently, substituting the name of the missing item du jour.  And something is always missing.  Eventually the last puzzle piece will fall into place, and I’d be willing to bet that I won’t realize it for a second.  That that was it, it’s time to go.  Lately I find myself wishing for life to get back to normal.  I wonder how long it will take me to recognize my new normal, whatever that turns out to be…

blessings, connections, coping, courage, death, eavesdropping, grief, healing, life, moments, strangers

Dilly dilly…

I took myself out for a quesadilla burger last night.  I’d been thinking about them for a week or two, and since burgers are the Monday special at Appleby’s, and I had stayed home and cleaned the house most of the day, and all the pots, pans, dishes, and silverware are at the mobile, it seemed like the thing to do.

The parking lot was quite full, so I hoped there would be a seat available at the bar, and there was.  It was empty actually, I was surprised.  And as I sat there enjoying my burger a mother and daughter came in and sat a little bit away from me at the bar.  I couldn’t help but hear their conversation and it became obvious that the daughter was there to support the mother who had just lost her husband.  It was a brand new situation for them, should she ‘have something’ here, or was it okay to just do it ‘back home’ was a topic.  The Mom and Dad had apparently frequented Appleby’s.  Mom said that if her Michael had seen that they had ordered breadsticks with Alfredo sauce he’d have shaken his head.  She told the bartender that she didn’t know if she could bring herself to come there without him, but she decided that she could do it while her daughter was with her this first time.  I related to them so much, to the two or three days that my son stayed with me in the aftermath of Charley’s death, until I kicked him out, sort of.  I felt connected to them, though they had no clue and we hadn’t spoken a word to each other.

And then it was time to leave.  I had switched to a bigger purse because I’m carrying more with me back and forth, and I love that purse but I can never find anything in it. Like my wallet, but it simply wasn’t there.  This had never happened to me before and I wondered why I wasn’t in a total panic, but I wasn’t, and I quietly (I thought) told the young gal who was bartending that I was embarrassed, and asked if I could give her a check.  She said no, it’s fine, just stop by another time and take care of it.  As I asked for the check I heard the mother say, “We’ll take care of it.”  I looked over and she was in tears.  She thanked me.  She said that her husband would have loved this, it was perfect, it was just the thing he loved to do.  And while this wasn’t my finest moment I felt so calm as I saw what this moment was for her.  I thanked them, hugged them, and told them that my son and I had spent this same time together four years ago.  And Mom thanked me again, said her husband would be so pleased with this, and asked that the next time I go out and have a drink, to please raise my glass to Michael and say, “Dilly dilly.”  And I will…