adventure, bubbles, childhood, fantasy images, fun, gardens, Just do it, just imagine, let it go, life goes on, moments, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, silliness, simple things

Float away with me…

Float away with me to a magical world…

Where down maybe be up, and up may be down, and blue bottles grow on trees…

To a place where seashells aren’t always found by the sea.

You might wave to your neighbors as you float by.

Where tiny bees buzz…

And ladies don’t always wear the colors you might expect.

Float away, it’s time to play…

Leave your worries for another day…

a second look, adventure, childhood, coping, facing facts, fun, go with the flow, growing old, life, life goes on, live and learn, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Having fun….

“We never go out to play!”, that was my lament back before Charley and I ever retired. I wanted to go out and have fun, and so I daydreamed about all the fun we’d have when we moved to Florida and had all this time on our hands. I wanted to go biking together, and kayaking seemed like a lot of fun even though I’d never done it. There were state parks to visit, we’d go hiking, and the best thing of all is it would be free, or nearly so. These were my thoughts, but I’m not sure I ever spoke them out loud. We did ride the bikes around the block a few times, but that was about it for outdoor activities together.

And that playful moment may have passed because now when I see people having what looks like fun to me I quickly realize that as much fun as it may appear to be I couldn’t possibly manage to do that anymore. If I ever could.

And now it has hit me that if that was me hanging from these ropes then I couldn’t be taking pictures of my fellow playmates while they are doing the impossible, dare-devil, maneuvers. So maybe it’s okay that I can’t do the things I could once do. But maybe seeing other people having fun is even more fun for me as I watch, through the lens…

a second look, changing times, childhood, facing facts, family, grandchildren, history, learning, life goes on, live and learn, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, responsibility

Early voting…

Day one of early voting in Florida found me in a socially distanced line waiting to vote, which is all I have to say about this election. The first election that I actually remember was the 1956 election. I was turning eight, and horrified to realize that Eisenhower might not continue to be president. Since I thought life was just perfect as it was I worried that he wouldn’t be re-elected. Or they could elect my daddy, I thought that would be a dandy idea also. Next up was the 1960 election of JFK, a big deal in MA of course, so that left a lasting impression. But with a voting age of 21, and due to my July birthday, the first election I was able to vote in was the 1972 election. I was living in San Diego at the time, so waiting for my husband to get home from work meant that Nixon had already been declared the winner before I went out and voted with my home state, the only state to go for McGovern.

To be honest I had to look up a list of the presidential elections after that to remind myself who ran, who was elected, and who I voted for. I’m only batting 500, but I actually thought it was worse than that, and for me most of those elections came and went without a lot of emotion on my part. Probably the most memorable one was the 2000 Bush/Gore election, which isn’t surprising. But it so happened that a friend of the family was on the Bush election team, which is probably why my two oldest grandkids were very aware of the election and excited about it. We walked to the polls to vote that morning, the kids rode their new scooters and we were going to McDonald’s for breakfast afterwards. The line was just long enough for it to seem like an event, but not so long that the kids got bored. They were allowed into the polling booth with me and they were given their own “I voted” stickers. For this grandmother it was the perfect educational moment, I just loved everything about that day, until the vote count. It was educational in an entirely unexpected way when my grandson asked me several weeks later, “Hey Mimi, did they ever figure out who won that election?”

The story of this election is still to be written… God bless America…

changing times, childhood, finding my way, growing old, life goes on, live and learn, memories, perseverance, photography

Marking time…

Lately I’ve been thinking about time, and how I’ve noticed the passing of time by different milestones over the years.  The first one that comes to mind was when we had vaccinations in school, I think in the third grade.  I remember telling myself that at least I didn’t have to have another one for three or four more years, I can’t remember which, but I told myself that it was okay because it was SUCH a long time away that the time would never pass.  That day would never come.  But of course it did.  And then there was the anticipation of being 16 and getting my drivers license.  By that time I did expect that the time really would pass, and the day would really come.  But really I hadn’t developed much more maturity because when it came to thinking about high school graduation I couldn’t imagine life after high school, so I wondered if it was a premonition that I would die young and wouldn’t have to face life after high school.  Fortunately I’m not psychic and that didn’t happen.

I think it was a quilted growth chart we saw at a recent quilt show that sent my mind down this path.  It was cute, the sort of thing you hang in a child’s room and note how much taller they are getting.  I never had one of those for my kids, but I remember being amused to realize that I could ‘see’ my son’s growth by how he no longer needed to stand on a stool to pee.  What an effective growth chart that was, while it lasted, until I was no longer needed in the bathroom.

I was 24 years old before I was legally old enough to vote, and I’m not sure I was ready before that age.  I anticipated my first opportunity to vote for President, voting for McGovern while living in CA but standing in solidarity with my home state of MA, and not much of anybody else.

I wished a lot of my life away in those young years.  Wishing the months away until the births of my kids, or my husband getting out of the Navy, and trying, and failing, to move back to New England.  I think I always had the feeling that life would be perfect if only the time would pass for these milestones to be reached.

Even now I’m not sure that I really appreciate each day that arrives with the sunrise every morning.  There are no more personal milestones to reach, that’s what grandchildren are for.  My own birthdays aren’t exactly a cause for celebration these days.  Now-a-days I’m marking time by refilling my weekly pill dispenser every five minutes, or so it seems. All the wishing time away in my youth may have caught up with me, finally, in these senior years.  I’m marking time one relentless week at a time, which I find annoying, but I suppose I should remind myself to be grateful each time I fill that darned thing back up.  One of these days it won’t be needed anymore, but for now please excuse me, because that’s exactly what I need to do next, or I’ll forget to take my medicine…

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Thanks to Norman Rockwell, by way of Pinterest…

a second look, changing times, childhood, connections, coping, courage, death, faith, family, finding my way, friends, grief, growing old, healing, home, memories, perseverance, photography

Connections…

An uncle came to stay with me once, I’m not even going to try to think of how long ago that was.  He was an academic all his life, a college guidance department head, which is probably why he phrased it as wanting to see my ‘nest’.  That that thought came to mind seems like a natural progression during this nesting season here in Florida, when birds are on my mind a lot of the time.  And somehow that phrase further brought to mind something my closest friend’s husband said to me once after visiting with them.  While I had always felt the closeness between this friend and myself, communication was not so easy in the days when we both had little kids, businesses to run, and lived 3000 miles apart.  So I invited myself to visit them after many years, and when he drove me to the airport to leave he said that we were ‘two peas in a pod’, and that it was a crying shame that we hadn’t been able to be part of each other’s daily lives all along.  On my way to see them on that visit I had said to myself that knowing myself I ought to be nervous, after all I was going to see people that I honestly didn’t know, but I wasn’t at all worried.  And from that first moment that I stepped back into my friend’s life, and home, I felt completely at ease.  More than that though, I felt like myself.  My true self, the ‘real’ me.  Silly, huh?  Who’s life was I leading all those years, living all over the country and raising my kids with only occasional visits to the place I continued to think of as home?  Those were happy years that I treasure, but there was a little part of me that felt alone.  No, apart.  Disconnected.  But not any more, not since I’ve made connections to the past, connections that are mine alone.  Little children that we once were, and who have lived such different lives, are now knowing and cherishing each other in this last part of life.  How we got here hardly matters, it’s just so wonderful to be here.

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a second look, adventure, childhood, family, fun, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, technology, travel

I’m thankful for the memories…

I doubt that any amount of editing would have been able to improve the quality of these photos.  The movies they are taken from have been collecting dust for about 64 or so years.  The person behind the camera had his/her own thumb featured prominently in some shots, and each stop to record only lasted a second or two.  Trying to pause the film and take a picture with the phone at just the right moment was a challenge, and I would miss that split second opportunity time and time again.

But I hope you’ll indulge me this trip down memory lane because these pictures represent a favorite memory, and the only real vacation trip my family ever took.  We drove in a caravan with several other families, and I remember it so fondly.  I remember rafting in Ausable Chasm, seeing the colors of the rock walls rising up on each side of the river.  I remember going to Fort Ticonderoga, and the ferry ride on Lake Champlain.  But the memory I remember most is the pony ride at Frontier Town, and how mad as a hatter I was that they didn’t let me just ride that pony by myself.  I was sure I knew all there was to know about horses.  No, not only did they not let me just take off on my own, but they had my sister leading the pony.  If a cowboy had been leading the horse I might have taken it better, or maybe not.  I’m happy to say that it looked like I was having fun so I must have kept my annoyance to myself.  Seeing a movie of exactly the memory I remember best was pretty amazing.  What also stood out as I watched the movie was that I was amazed to see the actors galloping into town during the re-enactment of a bank robbery.  The visitors were right there, milling around, and they just galloped those horses through the town.  I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t fly these days!  And apparently water boarding was a thing too. 11-25train11-25rafting11-25lake11-25cowboyscoming11-25galloping211-25ponyride11-25ponyride211-25waterboarding

I’ve talked quite a few times about how much I cherish the memories I have from exactly this age.  From the neighborhood I lived in then, and the people who made a lasting impression enough on me that I never actually let them go.  And I’ve been so lucky to reconnect with them and to have them in my life again.  And now to actually see that little kid that I was., the me before I let the world beat me into submission, so to speak.  I liked that me, I’m glad to have her back…11-25cowgirlme2Thanks for indulging me this trip down memory lane.