coping, courage, death, faith, family, finding my way, friends, grief, healing, life, life goes on, loneliness, marriage, memories, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Time…

It was a gloomy morning, which matched my gloomy mood.  Today we were saying goodbye to yet another friend.  Yet again I would see a dear friend taking her first steps down the slippery slope of widowhood.  I’m five years in at this point, and I now know just how long this process is, this adjusting to life on your own.  At first I found myself astounded that a week had passed, then two weeks, and then a month.  Time, it seemed was relentless.  Impossible as it seemed the days kept passing, and it all became a blur.  Something I recently heard on TV struck me, it made me look online for a quote so I could repeat it correctly.

 

Time is free, but it’s priceless.

You can’t own it, but you can use it.

You can spend it, but you can’t keep it.

Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.

by Harvey MacKay

A silly poem from a friend warmed my heart and brightened this gloomy day for me.  I hope everyone takes time to let the people they care about know that they are loved.  Don’t waste your time, it’s precious…

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Thoughts of winter…

Something caught my eye and I looked up to see a brilliant sunset going on just outside the window.  It caught me by surprise, it seemed too early in the day for the sunset, I thought, and yet there it was.  And as quickly as I noticed and hurried to take a picture, it was gone.  Used up, faded, and forgotten, aside from photos.

Much as I found myself feeling during my recent visit with my daughter and grandchildren.  Oh it was an enjoyable time, there were no problems.  Almost anyhow.  All was fun and games the whole visit, until I happened to glance into a mirror and found my mother looking back at me.  I never think of my age, I pretty much feel as good as ever so it hasn’t demanded attention.  But there it was.  Undeniable.  I’m old. I’m as my mother was during the last years she visited with us.  I remember how distant it felt to me to notice the signs of aging etching themselves into my mother’s face.  I saw that it was happening to her, but somehow I never considered that I would also age in the same way.  There is a lot of life written on my face, now that I look at it.  I earned the wrinkles and the gray hair.  So while I notice the changes in myself, I will try to remember that each sunset seems to reach it’s most glorious just as it slips below the horizon.  It’s a good thought, it’s a reason to keep going.  So yes I’m old, but my light is still burning, and I don’t think it’s even close to burning itself out, not yet…12-06wintersunset

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Time and place…

I see photos of Safety Harbor sunrises nearly every morning.  There are photographer friends who live in the area and this is the scene that greets them every morning.  And they are universally lovely scenes, day after day.  So when a photo op in safety Harbor presented itself I thought it was a no brainer to leave early and catch the sunrise.  It was not the spectacular sunrise I’d hoped for, but it was nice to be out.  And soon I’ll have to leave an hour earlier for sunrises if I want to see them, we’ll fall back soon.  When I was young I thought that someday when I was old time would pass more slowly.  I’d be less busy.  And now I am old and less busy, at least my busyness is self inflicted, but I can still only do one thing at a time.  And as much as I wish I could be in two places at once I can’t manage that either.   My ex-husband once told me I’d never be satisfied.  I don’t know if it was an observation or a curse, but he may have been right…

10-26safetyharborsunrise510-26safetyharborsunrise410-26safetyharborsunrise310-26safetyharborsunrise210-26safetyharborsunrise1

'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…

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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