coping, healing, life, live and learn, memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, photography, solitude, sunrise


Could anything ever be worse than being at a high school dance, sitting in the bleachers, alone? She remembered the moment so well. She saw the boy walking toward the bleachers, she knew who he was, a boy who had caught her eye as really cute, one grade above hers, and he was walking towards the bleachers, toward her, but of course he couldn’t actually be walking toward ME she thought. He asked her to dance, and she looked around behind her to see who he was talking to. But he was talking to her, and if there was any chance to impress him with how cool she was she had already blown it by the time she got up to dance. That was it, their moment, one dance, and her insecurities had undermined her.

Flash forward 54 years and she was out for the sunset photos one night not too long ago, a night which happened to include a lot of activity and a pretty sunset at the beach. She was wandering around, enjoying the extra commotion, and taking lots of pictures. As she began to drift toward the parking lot she heard a voice ask if she had gotten any nice pictures. She looked up to see a nice looking man in a Michigan cap, smiling at her. They chatted about all that was going on at the beach that evening, and about the pretty sunset that was winding down. He had come to FL to be with his father through the recent hurricane, he said, and was going to be there a few more days. It was nice, like a lot of nice conversations she enjoyed when she was out. As she began to leave she thought about that, that she had often had these nice conversations with people and then just walked away.  But then he extended his hand to her and introduced himself.  His hand was warm, and she told him her name. He said he would really like to continue the conversation… and she turned into the 15 year old in the bleachers, trying to figure out if the cute guy in front of her was asking her to dance. What happened next was an adrenaline rush that blindsided her, and she started laughing. Really, it was ridiculous, but she couldn’t do a thing about it. This sort of thing didn’t happen to her.  She had been alone for three years, and she told herself she actually liked being alone, being on her own, making her own decisions.  She hadn’t been looking for more.  They did meet for several more sunsets, but now yet another nice ‘moment’ of sorts had passed. But some moments leave a lasting impression, and this one certainly had. It made her question her insistence that she was totally happy on her own, that there was no room for anything else in her life, that this independence was all she wanted for herself. Maybe, just maybe, there was room for more after all. Or maybe there would never be another moment like it, but even so she would smile when she remembered it, and for now the adrenaline rush hadn’t quite worn off…


food, pamper yourself, photography, simple things, the easy way out

Something different, but good…

Having temporarily lost several of our key co-workers, coupled with the consequences of Hurricane Irma, have made the last couple weeks at work exhausting. Yesterday was a longer day than normal and going out for photos didn’t seem as if it was going to be in the cards. But what was in the cards was my dinner. Publix has started offering a freshly prepared seafood dinner in a pouch, and as part of a promotion they gave us all a coupon to get the associates to try it. The coupon was going to expire tomorrow, and with my long day at work the time had come to take advantage of the offer. Sweet chili salmon was my choice, and it was absolutely delicious. What a nice option to have when you are hungry but you need a break. No prep, ready in 20 minutes, fast food with no guilt! Yes I work for Publix, (where shopping is a pleasure), but this is my honest and unsolicited opinion. dinnerinapouch


Florida wildlife, nature, pelicans, photography, Pine Island, sunset

The very hungry Pelican…

“A wonderful bird is the Pelican.  His beak can hold more than his belly can. He can hold in his beak, Enough food for a week!  But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?”

Dixon Lanier Merritt

My mother loved poetry.  She kept a journal where she wrote out various poems that she liked in long hand, along with a few that she authored.  For some reason she repeated the first two lines of this poem frequently enough that I could hear her while I was at Pine Island for the sunset tonight.  I don’t remember what might have made her recite the lines on any given day, how it fit into what might have been going on.  I just know that she liked it enough to repeat it.  And repeat it she did, tonight, because pelicans were pretty much what was going on tonight.  There were no clouds in the sky, not a lot of people waiting for the sunset, and it was high tide, so less beach for people to visit.  Not so many photo ops.  But the pelicans were flying and diving for their dinner as if it was happy hour at the local pub.



growing old, home, life

Gracious Retirement Living…

I spotted this van on my way home from Newton Park yesterday, and it set off a light bulb moment for me. I hardly ever watch TV without my computer in my lap. I might be editing photos or writing a blog post, or just checking Facebook, but I usually only half pay attention to TV. So this moment of clarity really surprised me, because the ad I’ve been somewhat aware of has been around a while, I just hadn’t considered the words carefully. And I have no idea why it suddenly became so clear, at that moment, in the car. But the ad is for another retirement community, and the photos they show are lovely. Retirees are golfing and drinking wine, and they are all tall, and thin, and dressed beautifully. And what it says is for you to come live in their beautiful retirement community so that you can live with “other sushi eaters like yourself”.

The riffraff need not apply I guess. The beautiful surroundings may be appealing, but that attitude is not for me.  I’m just riffraff from way back…

birds, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, nature, photography

Newton Park…

Lake Apopka is a great place to take bird photos, or so I’ve heard. About an hour away I was told. An 11 mile loop trail around the lake. So I was off yesterday and I headed out for what turned out to be a 2 hour drive at the end of which I discovered that the trail is closed until they get it all cleaned up after Irma made a visit. I had pulled into a parking area thinking that it was a place to get on the trail, but it was just a little dock. Lucky for me a personal trainer was there, working with a client, and he told me to try Newton Park, which was close by. There were lots of bird noises when I got there, so it sounded like a promising site, despite the “Do Not Feed The Alligators’ sign. And then the mosquito sprayers came by and chased the birds away.

So you’d think it wasn’t a very successful day for pictures, but things do seem to work out most of the time. But I’m not sure I would have noticed the osprey if another visitor hadn’t pointed it out to me.

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birds, natural wonders, nature, pelicans, photography, Pine Island, simple things, solitude, sunset

Pelican sunset…

Not too long ago I wondered why I wasn’t seeing pelicans when I was out for sunset photos.  I had enjoyed seeing them on my first visit to this area when my son got married here, a very long time ago.  Then I noticed one here and there, but last night they were everywhere.  It seemed like every sign had a pelican or two perched on it.  And to see them flying low to the water and dipping their bill was fun, but it all happened too fast to try to capture in a photo

.  Maybe I need a better camera, or a better photographer.  Still, it was a nice Pine Island evening.  With an extra photo of the sunset from the night before thrown in.  Is that cheating?  Maybe…924sunset3This is from the night before.  I thought I must have adjusted it out of all reality, and then I saw a photo by my friend Rosie, taken the same night from the neighboring beach, and this really is what we saw.