blessings, childhood, connections, coping, courage, faith, family, friends, healing, honor, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends

Lisa…

I only met her once.  She had long ago married into the family that I loved in my childhood, and had recently fallen in love with again despite the 60+ year absence.  On Sunday I attended her memorial, her celebration of life.  And with four generations of family present it truly was a celebration.  Hearing everyone from her granddaughter to her sister speak of her love of reading and love of family, I saw that I would have enjoyed knowing her. But she was gone too soon.  She was a special part of this special family, and I saw that she will be missed.  And remembered.  It was a privilege to have been included in this day.

This celebration was held at her brother’s house, and when I arrived I was concentrating on seeing/meeting this large group of people that I had never met.  It was after I’d been there a few minutes that I began to notice the house itself. The low plaster and beamed ceiling as you walk in, and the seven (I think) fireplaces, one in every room. Turns out it was built in 1724, and as much of the original as possible is still present.  When necessary improvements had to be made, such as in the kitchen with it’s loft overlook, the original wood that had been taken out was used to build any new cabinets, etc.  It’s completely obvious that this house has been loved.  And it may not be an exaggeration to say that George Washington slept there.  His 2nd in command married the daughter of the home owner back in those old days, so it’s entirely possible.  Though someone mentioned that considering all the area houses making the claim that George Washington slept there it would seem George may have slept around a bit.  As we left we were talking about what a nice memorial it had been, which may be why I forgot to take the outside shots I had intended to take.

beams

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a second look, blessings, dogs, dragons, family, leap of faith, life goes on, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip

Homecoming…

Funny but my reaction to my son moving back to Florida is to thank goodness he’s come ‘home’, even though his growing up years were in MD.  But he did live here quite a while, but when  job offer he couldn’t refuse came through just when my husband died I insisted that he take it.  I was nothing but happy for him to get recognition for his talents at work, but when the news recently came through that the pieces had fallen into place for him to come back to FL I was a very happy mom.  So far it’s my son and the dogs who are here, the rest of the family to follow when school is out.  Oh, and the bearded dragons are here too, Krunch and Kona, who are a couple.  Charley and I once spent a very entertaining few days ‘egg sitting’ for them, moving the aquarium around to better keep the eggs the right temperature, and then laughing hilariously at their antics as they hatched.  They are cute when they are little, really they are.  Mike always used to insist that whatever critter was displayed in the front window of the local pet shop was just the pet he always wanted.  My answer to that was that we had a multitude of pets at home so I didn’t feel sorry for him if I said no.  Plus I held the line at furry, I needed my pets to be furry, so the snakes and bearded dragons had to wait until he was grown.  So when his son wanted a bearded dragon my son was all for it, and he picked one out for himself too.  That they would be running a bearded dragon farm wasn’t part of the plan.  Or I don’t think it was.5-2-19homecoming15-2-19homecominggooddogs5-2-19homecomingnojumping5-2-19homecomingsquirrels

They are settling in well.  The dogs are surprising me, though there was a fence-jumping incident..  A neighbor kid came out to his pool and his own dog barked, so he told his dog to go lay down, and Mike’s dog Smokey did just that.  Flash just watched the show, but no barking.  Not at the squirrels scampering in the big oak tree overlapping the yard, and not at the voices on the other side of the fence as they did yard work.  Yes, they are settling in well.

Could it be better timing for this homecoming?  Well, yes, for I’ll be leaving soon.  Snowbird season is here.  I’ve been distracted, and thinking of all the things I have to do to get ready, but so far it’s only a mental exercise.  Today I mentioned my van/RV combo on an online RV group and the page totally blew up!  Not the right combo they insisted, the RV is too heavy for the Pacifica.  Watching the messages come in was like watching fireworks go off, and my plan blew up also.  Luckily the dealership totally stepped up to the plate, so nothing has changed except that I’ll be enjoying a cozier space than I originally thought I would.  A little disappointing I’ll admit, I really thought I’d like that Murphy bed, but I have these pillows that will look so cute in there…

 

blessings, family, Florida landmarks, home, life, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography

Memories…

We all get reminders of our memories on Facebook, posts that we made on that same date over the years.  Since I’ve been blogging for nearly two years now I mostly get memories that are blog posts from last year,  Today’s was a trip to the Lowry Park Zoo, and the pictures I got that day were such favorites of mine that I got some warm fuzzies to see them today.  It’s been a couple of days of warm fuzzies since I’ve been doing what I can to help my son move into a house just 14 miles from me!  He is back ‘home’, so to speak, and I couldn’t possibly be happier.  His family will be here once school is out.  The timing could be better since I’m  leaving next week for my first snowbird expedition to see places and people I know and love.  And to see new places and find friends I haven’t met yet.  So with nothing new to post I’m happy to share this from last year.  And to be thankful that Mike has come home.

https://naturecoastimages.blog/2018/05/01/Monkey-business/

 

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, Cranes, Florida wildlife, life, life goes on, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Found ‘em…

The lost pictures I mean. Sandhill crane posts never seem to garner as much of an audience as other posts seem to, but darn it, I had to work hard to find the darn photos, all 256 of them, so I’m posting them. One of these little cuties was a day old when I took these photos, and the other one was newly hatched. It was so nice of the parents to build a nest in such a great spot to walk out on the rickety old dock to take pictures, but I could have done without the post right there next to the nest. And I came to take pictures in the afternoon to avoid shooting into the sun, and of course I got there and they were posing nicely with the babies right in the shadow of the post. But it’s raining now, and I found these pictures so I’m going with them.

The bigger picture is new life I guess, and spring arriving with all the renewal of life that it brings.  Right after Charley died a friend posted a picture of her adorable new granddaughter, and I immediately thought that a life ends and a life begins.  Over and over in nature the cycle continues.  As it should.  We humans like to think we are in charge somehow, but we aren’t, and that’s a good thing…04-02-19twochicks804-02-19twochicks704-02-19twochicks504-02-19twochicks404-02-19twochicks304-02-19twochicks203-39-19twochicks103-39-19twochicks2

 

blessings, family, finding my way, fun, grandchildren, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunrise, travel

Where the wind blows…

The day began with coffee with my son.  A rare event, a chance to talk.  A quiet time together.  And that was after a night of listening to the wind howling relentlessly. Which was a worry since I planned to move on to my daughter’s house, a long drive in the wind.  But I arrived safely, after hanging onto the steering wheel for dear life several times along the way.  And the day ended with a glass of wine with my daughter.  Not as quiet, but a nice visit with some of my favorite people.  A very rare day.  And this morning brings coffee with my daughter, and another windy drive ahead.  Heading home…02-26-19NYsunrise102-26-19NYsunrisefeature02-25-2019henryThanks to Henry for sleeping with me last night…

blessings, coping, death, dogs, finding my way, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip

Facing facts…

When I was still in Florida and anticipating all the fun things I’d take pictures of when I headed north, snowy landscapes were tops on the list.  Snowier and more majestic in my mind than this is, but this is the most snow I’ve seen in years so I can’t really complain.

And when I was still in Florida I was worried about Ozzie.  He had been having elderly dog issues for a while, and when I heard that he was the last of his litter still alive I knew that his days were numbered.  But what you know in your head doesn’t always mean that your heart is ready to face facts.  He was the perfect dog to help me with all the changes in my life in the last few years.  Loveably there, but undemanding.  I really wasn’t alone, there was someone to take care of, two someones really with Zoe, but we lost her in April.  In a sense they reeled me in.  I could enjoy imagining myself having all sorts of adventures, going places, doing things, and I’d tell myself that it would be so wonderful, but I need to be home for the dogs.  And before that it was the husband, the kids, the business, and I think I patted myself on the back for taking care of them, for putting them first.  But the time had come to face facts.  Ozzie’s ability to get around got the best of him the other day, and I’m sad to say that he is no longer with me.  I hope I can find my way without him…02-12-19snowy2