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.

12-8lizardbomb
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…
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…

connections, family, finding my way, grandchildren, life, life goes on, photography

Life is adorable…

My granddaughter gave me a lovely gift for my recent birthday.  It’s a book of inspirational messages with lovely images, and the text is in German.  You see, this is the granddaughter who up until recently was teaching Kindergarten in Bucharest, and who now is teaching in Munich.  She said I might pick up a little German as I go to Google Translate to read the daily message.  And I might.  According to the translation, this image means,

‘Life is adorable, you just have to see it through the right glasses.’

I’m sure the gist of the message is correct, and I sort of like that the phrasing is a little awkward.  That adds to the charm.  The world is a smaller place for this generation of young adults.  How can that be anything but a good thing?  I would never have had the courage to take such a chance as she did by traveling so far from home on her own.  Especially at 22.  I find that so much of what has changed in society to be distressing these days, but I suppose that just means that I really am  an old codger.  Kudos to these young people.  I hope they can make this world a better place for the generations to come.  Thank you, Kara.fullsizeoutput_3ae.jpeg

a second look, connections, friends, grief, healing, home, life, loneliness, memories, photography, road trip, travel

Making assumptions…

Rocks are dependable.  They are solid, strong, unbreakable.  They don’t surprise you, or disappoint you, they are just there.  There are lots of people who might be described by using those same words.  But in the case of this particular rock, and many people, we are just looking at the surface and making assumptions about the core.  Were I to drop this particular rock it would fracture into pieces, a lot like I was feeling I might do not too long ago.  Careful hands have reassembled this rock, and in much the same way I am somehow feeling pieced back together after my visit home.  We are both still fragile, but then aren’t we all?