The Blue Ridge Parkway offers more than just the fabulous scenery at their stops along the way. Sometimes you find a preserved example of an Appalachian Farm to explore. It was nice to get out of the car for more than a minute or two, to walk a little, and to think of what challenges people faced not too long ago, to make a living in this quiet place.
I wrote my tag line, “Life on my own, on the Nature Coast of Florida”, on the fly in a class I took on How to Start a Blog. We walked out of that two hour class with the bones of a blog in our laptops, all we had to do was write, so I did. And I have enjoyed it a lot. But lately I have been feeling like a bit of a fraud. Actually I have been feeling that way for a while now. After all, once I moved two years ago I assumed that my new county wasn’t considered part of the Nature Coast. But I checked with Siri just now and she says I’m good. Not a fraud, at least not over that part of my tag line.
But the ‘on my own’ thing isn’t as true as it used to be either. I am still on my own, but against all odds there is now someone sharing my life, and also sharing my photo ops. Another photographer, so the whole being out for photos, and also processing them later on, is lots more fun these days. And we are on the cusp of our first adventure together, heading off to visit relatives and take pictures along the way. I probably would have bet money against this ever happening, but it certainly has been a welcome addition to my life in general. So that ‘never say never’ thing? Well, I guess that’s good advice…
She was a kind and generous soul. She went the extra mile for her friends and family. Her daughter and grandchildren were the loves of her life. She is gone now, quite unexpectedly, despite a long history of health issues. She was my sister. I was in NH visiting when it happened, so I was grateful to be able to be with my niece and her family as this new reality set in. I’m back home now and settling back into my routines isn’t coming easily. It seems I just needed to say a simple goodbye to a sweet soul who asked little and gave much. She is at peace now…
Life is funny. It operates in it’s own time, on it’s own schedule. Like this picture of One-Foot Fred that I came across this morning. It was taken at sunset and I never go to Aripeka at sunset, but obviously I did that day in 2018. Every now and then you wake up in the morning with your head on straight, or so you think, your ducks in a row, you think, and you are in charge of things and know which end is up. And by that evening your there has been a sea-change in your perspective. I’ve experienced this in it’s saddest form, and finding my way from there has been quite the process. But you muddle on and eventually you get yourself together, you know where you stand and how your life is going to be. And that’s when life might just decide to throw you a curve ball in the most unexpected and welcome of ways, and your heart warms to new possibilities. If this blog is among the missing while I savor this new reality then please be happy for me, I know I am.
I spent a day concentrating on my various twinges and trying to decide if my second Moderna shot was giving me side effects. I decided that I was fine, but I was home all day while I made up my mind. Packing actually. I’ll be riding up to a cousin’s house in Charleston tomorrow and family will be more on the agenda than photos. Of course I had the TV on as I packed, and my current binge watch of Criminal Minds came through with a charming quote today, from Mark Twain. I had to look it up;
“When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not, but my faculties are decaying now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember anything but the things that never happened.“
How charming is that? But sad because it’s true. And as a person who has lots of experience with her mother, and then her daughter, correcting her memories I think I can relate. The same episode ended with another quote that had me grabbing my phone to look it up;
“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Kierkegaard said that.
The day began when I ran out front and took the feature photo at 6:30 AM. And this last I took at 6:45 PM. We will turn the clocks ahead tonight. Sunrises will be easier to get to, and sunsets will have me out later than I care to be.
Now that I’m home I can say it was a good trip. But maybe I should have given a second thought to a nearly 10 hour drive followed immediately with having to set up the camper. Setting up while trying to beat the sunset. We knew ahead of time that the weather would be good for one day, and then followed by two days of rain, but I didn’t think about cancelling. Reality hit after a day of taking photos that first day, and we again tried to beat the sunset while taking the camper back down that night. And another nearly 10 hour drive home the next day. On the way home I wondered if this was all too much for me, if maybe this camping thing had run it’s course for me. But I’m rested now and I have to think I’m not done yet. There are still places to go, things to see, people to meet…