'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, connections, coping, death, grief, growing old, loneliness, marriage, memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset

Bob…

His SUV was pulled over at a scenic overlook on Skyline Drive.  The back hatch was open and he was sitting in one of the two chairs he had placed just outside, angled toward the view.  His old=fashioned boom box was playing lovely, soft music, and I thought he was reading, but it turned out he was writing in a journal.  I had also pulled over at the overlook and got out of my car with my camera in my hands.  “You look comfortable,” I said.  “It’s our 50th anniversary,” he said, and I looked  but I didn’t see another person.  “We liked to come here”, he said, and he gestured to the empty chair and said, “She’s right there.”

She had died 7 months before, it was a blessing, he said.  He said that he didn’t want to brag, but his wife was very talented.  She baked and sewed, and she taught him to do those things too.  He said that he has her sewing machine and he is finishing all her projects for her.  They never let the sun set on an argument, he was proud of that.  He said he would always apologize and she would always say that it was okay, and then she would always let it go.  And they had had 10 children, it took him a while to mention that.  He showed me their wedding picture. They were so young.  And I thought of all that still lay ahead of them that day.  He said that he was writing it all down, their whole story, from the day that they met.  He was teary-eyed as he said these things, but he said that he knew that I would understand, and I did.

Skyline Drive was on my agenda from the day I left Florida in the first place.  I wanted to see color, but this color wasn’t the colorful trip that I intended.  I was going to try to be there for the fall scenery and I came close.  And I had just complained about the twists and turns of the roads in PA, and there I was purposely choosing to travel on a 100+ mile road of nothing but twists, and turns, and mountains.  But I was glad I was there today.  It was the perfect day to be there, because it was the day I met Bob…

'scene' along the way, adventure, coping, family, finding my way, leap of faith, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

The ups and downs of this trip…

At one point I was thinking of writing a post and saying that I need to be more level-headed.  I meant that literally, because despite my best efforts at leveling the camper I always feel like I’m walking up and down hill once I’m in it.  But now I find myself  here in PA where nothing at all is level, so it’s a moot point.  This is what I’m talking about…9-24levelheaded

I stood in someone’s driveway to take this picture.  This is the road to my daughter’s house.  You come up the hill and make that hairpin turn, and continue up the hill to the top and make a sharp left into her driveway, which goes straight downhill again.  I’m not sure the van could pull the camper up that hill, and since there isn’t a level spot on her property to park it I didn’t have to even think about trying.  And going down that hill isn’t a picnic either.  I can’t believe that these are the roads that my grandchildren learned to drive on.  The first time I went to FL I didn’t like it because I thought it was too flat.  Flatness has it’s advantages it seems.

But this is the reality of life, in this part of PA anyhow.  I went in search of a covered bridge today and was negotiating hills and turns like this one, except they were skinny two-lane roads where you found yourself encountering oncoming trucks as you crested a hill or came around a turn.  And when I found the bridge, which was in the middle of the woods, there were signs declaring no parking, no stopping, and that it was a tow-away zone.  Really?  There was a place to pull off, but no ability to get a better perspective for photos at all.  I turned tail and went back to my daughter’s house after that.  Thanking my lucky stars all the way that I wasn’t towing anything.9-24coveredbridgeThat is how it works a lot of the time isn’t it?  You’ve avoided disaster, or just inconvenience, but by the skin of your teeth.  No brains or talent on your part, just dumb luck.  Or maybe someone is looking out for you.  I suspect it’s a little bit of both.

'scene' along the way, a second look, coping, courage, death, finding my way, healing, life goes on, marriage, memories, perseverance, photography

Still further east…

This is the photo, which I knew I’d seen recently.  I didn’t remember that it was the physical photo that I’d found, and since I’m not home I forgot that I combined it with a favorite, if irreverent, photo of me.  Charley looking so young, it brought back memories.56531238_10157611759037137_3115301287738998784_o.jpg

And Heather, also in P-town, a rare mother daughter trip in the aftermath of Charley’s death, followed by my mother’s death six days later.IMG_1216.jpegI loved seeing the extra footprints in the sand, still do.

The place…LobsterpotMy daughter and I were teary-eyed when we visited together almost 5 years ago.  Emotions were still raw that day.  It wasn’t as emotional yesterday.  I was glad to be there, glad to see the sky trying to cooperate, just glad in general.

And of course there are many more pictures.  I paid $20 to park on the Provincetown wharf.  I came here over the winter also and parked nearly in the same place for free, so if you average it out it’s not so bad.  It wasn’t so colorful last time I was here, but I knew I’d trade the winter grays for the hustle and bustle of summer on Cape Cod. Ptown1Ptown4PtownwharfPtownwharf2

 

'scene' along the way, a second look, Camping, childhood, connections, coping, courage, finding my way, friends, leap of faith, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Thinking it over…

IMG_1545I have a lot of time to think these days.  Here in the camper with the sounds of the birds outside, even at 4 AM.  And something, pine cones maybe, falling on the roof with a surprising thunk.  And my coffee, brewed outside on the little shelf which has a convenient plug right next to it.  Features of this pop up that I’m just now noticing.

I’m thinking about how homesick I got last year.  How much I longed to be back home.  I wanted to see the familiar places where I had expected to live my life back then.  And I wanted to ‘find myself’ again.  I thought back to the little kid that I think I was, confident and sure of herself, and wondered how I lost her when I let myself fear that I wasn’t good enough as I was.  A familiar theme for all of us I suspect, as we grow older and judge ourselves through the prism of those junior high and high school insecurities.  Everyone else had all the answers, I thought.  Little did I know then that I wasn’t alone.

I thought though, that the homesickness was a longing for the lost places of my youth.  But what I have discovered, now that I’ve turned my life upside-down and become a snowbird, traveling the roads that I longed to travel, is an amazing appreciation for the people I left behind.  Just because I decided that at this moment in time I was yearning for something doesn’t mean that it was the perfect timing for me to turn up on everyone’s doorstep.  And yet here I am, and I’ve been embraced at every turn.  They were as busy living their lives as I was living mine I guess, so maybe they didn’t miss me, but we are all older now and reconnecting to the past seems to be a welcome thing to do.  And maybe I did have a touch of the spunk I thought I’d lost.  After all, I did take off for parts unknown way back then.  I haven’t considered that it took a certain amount of spunk to do that.  Or naivety.  And, all things considered, I really wouldn’t change anything about my life.  It’s just this amazing feeling of coming full circle that I truly love.  I’m so blessed in all ways to be enjoying this adventure.  I wonder where it’s heading…fourthparkway.jpg

a second look, connections, coping, courage, finding my way, friends, growing old, life goes on, live and learn, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Bridging the gap…

I was looking for bear tracks the other day when I wandered down to the river and saw that the bridge was ‘lit up’, so I took an iPhone photo.  I often forget to check the iPhone even though I take pictures with it frequently.  I have to work a little harder to take pictures with the camera, and here I had the nicest picture right in my pocket the whole time.  Looking at this picture you have VT on the left side of the bridge and NH on the right side.   And at this moment in time I feel as if I’m standing on a bridge and I have my nostalgia for my ‘home’, my roots, for the people I used to know and the person I used to be on one side, and on the other, what exactly?  I have no clue, but I’m working on it…

And yes, there was a bear in the campground the other night.  Which explains why I now drive to the bathroom in the middle of the night…

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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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