'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, connections, family, Just do it, leap of faith, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset, Uncategorized

Monument sunset…

We were at Palmer Park, my two sisters-in-law and my brother-in-law, reminiscing while the sun came down on a very nice day.  We heard a few fireworks in the area, but no 4th of July fireworks display was planned.  The town tradition is to have an old fashioned parade on the 4th that is very well attended, and of course that was canceled too.

It had been a great day of hiking, 7 miles, all uphill.  Okay, maybe it only seemed to be all up hill when I wasn’t acclimated to the altitude and was out of breath most of the way.  We cut the hike short while thunder rumbled and we got drenched on the way back to the car.  We made a few stops for photos before our hike, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I got, but exhaustion is winning this battle.

Seems like life has been all about reconnecting with people these last years now, and it means the world to me…

a second look, connections, family, food, fun, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, simple things

Those family recipes…

I had a brainstorm.  Nothing new, right?  Evidently I was also having them a (horrifyingly long time ago.  A time before the internet, before Pinterest, and before Allrecipies.  A time before your dear daughter could just text or message you to ask for a recipe.  It was a time when my daughter was getting married and I imagined her having to cook everyday, and I thought that she might like to have those simple, every day recipes that she had enjoyed as she grew up.  And so I searched for a book of some sort in which I could write-in those recipes.  This one was just what I was looking for.  I left lots of empty pages also, pages that she filled with recipes from friends and relatives, and others that she found over the years.  That that book has been well-used is evident from the worn out spine and the spills from dinners made over the years.  I’m especially tickled to know that my granddaughters have made some of those recipes in that book, even though finding new recipes to cook is a much easier task these days.06-13-20cookbook

A few years went by before my son was getting married, and I took that same idea a little further for my new daughter-in-law.  I had discovered Longaberger baskets by then, and further discovered that they had a recipe box available.  So I bought some cute recipe cards and sent a few to various relatives on both sides of the family, so that she now has a box full of hand-written recipes from special people in her life.

All of this came to mind when I was at my son’s house the other day, and in talking about the bullfrogs we were drinking I mentioned that I wished I hadn’t lost the recipe for a drink we used to make called Creamsicles.  They may not have totally unpacked since their recent move, but my DIL was able to go straight to that recipe box and the first recipe I saw was for Creamsicles.  As she talked about how much she enjoyed having those hand written recipes from favorite people it made my little heart go pitter-pat.  And the Creamsickles, can’t wait to make them again.  I used to make them for the kids too, without the vodka of course…06-13-20creamsckes

As much as I love technology, sometimes the old-fashioned way can just tweak at your heart strings.

adventure, connections, friends, fun, losing it, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, silliness, simple things, unintended images

Oh go take a hike!

Perhaps the thing for me to do is to always hike with my friend Betty.  I’ve known her for a while now, and while I can’t say that every time she goes hiking she is the only one who comes away with ticks on herself, it happens frequently enough that that I can say that going with her will improve your odds immensely!

This hike was at McKethan Park in Brooksville.  The way that the live oaks sprawl makes me wish for my younger years because they would have made fabulous trees to climb.  Betty and Linda said they saw a face in that tree trunk so I took a picture, and now I see a lion.  A stone chimney is the only remnant of someone else’s story that took place in these woods, and those are etchings in the concrete of the sidewalk.  Nature asserting that she is only tolerating our intrusion.05-09-20takeahike05-09-20hike305-09-20hike205-09-20lion05-09-20fungus05-09-20macro05-09-20GBH05-09-20remnants05-09-20etchings

But there was an ulterior motive to this hike.  It was a chance for us to channel our inner children.  Even though between us we are pushing 200 years of living, those little girls came out to play.  I would love to know what a person finding these pictures in the distant future would think.  Possibly that we had come across a crime scene along the way?  No, it was just us ‘girls’, playing in the woods.

a second look, adventure, connections, finding my way, friends, fun, healing, Just do it, life goes on, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology

Check it out…

It’s not like I have nothing to do.  It’s more like I have too much to do.  So I bounce between my computer, my sewing machine, the camera, the TV, and round and round.  My camera club has been having almost daily photography classes, which have been great.  It would be a tease to not be able to get out to take new photos if not for the 34,000 photos sitting in my Lightroom library that I can bring up and edit according to whatever new tidbits I have picked up in the latest class.

These photos are from the first time I went to the photo walk at the Clearwater library with the group two years ago.  One of my first trips with the group.  At first I went to every photo walk that I could manage, as if it was going to be the one and only time that opportunity would ever exist.  And most of those photo ops involved a 100-mile round trip for me, so it was a relief to realize that the photo walks repeat every few weeks.  After that I paced myself a little better.  I’ve long appreciated how much joining this group brought to my life once I began to recover from losing my husband.  But it has never been as beneficial as it’s been during this suspension of life as we knew it.  The Florida Center for Creative Photography is the name of the group.  It’s a wonderful group of people and a terrific resource for learning more about photography.  If you also like photography you might like to check it out.04-16-20HDRlibrary204-16-20HDRlibrary.jpg

 

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, connections, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, life, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, nature, nesting, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

Flying lessons…

In the beginning there were Sandhill cranes nesting on a little island in the lake behind my house.  They were the first things I took photos of with my brand new DSLR that I had just treated myself to after telling myself that the iPhone camera was great and I didn’t need anything else.  But I was seeing pictures online, and I couldn’t resist the DSLR and it’s zoom, I needed the ability to zoom.  Then there was a photography class where I met some very nice people who are now a part of my daily life, at least online.  And the fateful class where we were taught “How to Start a Blog”.  I stumbled into the class with no intention of starting a blog, I just wanted to spend time with my new friends.  But by the time we left the room the framework was in place and all I had to do is write.  And I had a story to tell.  What I wanted to talk about was this Sandhill crane family that I had been (obsessively) following for a few weeks by then.  These pictures are some of the last pictures of them that I took.  Dad and son, yes an assumption on my part, but I had been anticipating flying lessons and that’s what I think this was.  Or what it appeared to be.  Junior seemed to be imitating Dad, and I think he became airborne for a second.  Weeks and weeks of concentrating on these birds made this a very exciting moment for me.  Everything about my life these days is a direct result of these birds who nested in my backyard through no effort on part.   I hadn’t seen it in quite that way before now.  What an amazing blessing this all turned out to be for me.  I will have to ponder this a while…04-06-20flyinglessonfeature204-06-20flyinglessonfeature304-06-20flyinglessonfeature404-06-20flyinglessonfeature5

 

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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