a second look, connections, coping, courage, fantasy images, finding my way, friends, growing old, life goes on, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

Happily ever after…

I have a friend who has lots to say on the subject of UFOs and aliens.  He asked if I believed in them, and while I couldn’t say that I do think they are ‘real’, I certainly wouldn’t stake my life on them not being real.  They are among the many things that I haven’t given a lot of thought to, or any thought to at all.  Even after he brought it up I spent no time pondering the possibilities.  

But I have moved on from the person I’ve been since Charley died, the one who was home every night, happily I might add, feeling snug, and safe, and proud of herself for making it through another day.  No, I’ve turned into a person who is looking at the world a little differently, able to admit that maybe there could be more to life, but not willing to bet any money that anything will change.  It’s made me see things differently.  And finding yourself single as you hang onto the last vestiges of your 60s is a lot like you have been dropped here from a UFO and are expected to make heads or tails out of this society.  One which bears no resemblance to what the world was like the last time I was single.  To me the ‘rules’ of behavior are still the same rules that I grew up with all those years ago.  But if TV is to be believed it’s a whole new world out there and I am totally not ready for it.  I don’t know the rules, or maybe the biggest rule is that there aren’t any rules.  I am as unprepared for a social life now that I’m old as I was when I was 18. 

I was looking for something to watch on Netflix, and saw a show called “Love”, and thought it would be harmless, kind of like the Hallmark Channel, or the easy listening channel on the radio.  Boy, was I wrong.  But I was looking at Netflix because I’m tired of the Hallmark Channel and it’s sappy, happily-ever-after stories.  That’s not real life.  But this is real life, and maybe I’m already living the only happily ever after that I’m going to get.  Would that be so bad?  No, not really…

blessings, connections, coping, courage, finding my way, healing, life goes on, live and learn, moon, old dogs new tricks, photography, sunset

It’s my blog-iversary!

Who would have imagined that a random stop at Best Buy would be a life changing event?  It was late December of 2016, I was just at loose ends and wandering, shopping, and there it was, a nice DSLR camera that came with two lenses, and for less money than I ever would have thought.  There was no research on my part, no investigating of different brands or camera models, all of which would have been lost on me, and truth be told, still would.  No, it was a Canon, and I’d had a Canon 35mm camera before and loved it.  And a nice salesman my age, which for some reason made me feel more like I’d be able to figure the thing out.  Within a month the Sandhill cranes that frequented the lake out back laid some eggs, and that gave me a built in reason to sit out back with the camera with the nice new zoom lens and see what I could see.  And as much as my iPhone was and is a great camera, it wasn’t going to be enough once the cranes were on the scene.

The rest is history.  Local classes that had me attempting to learn to use the camera settings, and then came the infamous class on’ how to start a blog’, which I had never once given a thought to ahead of time.  I had become totally obsessed with the little crane family, watching the ‘colts’ grow, and the class on how to start a blog got a framework set up in the computer.  And wanting to tell their story got me writing.  I did wonder what I’d talk about after they had left the nest, which was almost enough to stop me from ever starting in the first place.  But I figured I’d worry about that later, besides, I thought, it’s not like anyone was going to read it anyhow.

All this is in anticipation of the one year anniversary of the first post.  I am well aware that I haven’t thanked the very nice people who have chosen to follow this blog, and who have encouraged me along the way.  I usually can’t remember what I posted a day or two ago because I’m onto the next photo op and wondering how I will turn it into a post.  And I’ve met such nice people online, and also in person through photography.  Yes, it’s been life changing.  Possibly life saving…

So, better late than never let me thank you now.  All of you.  It’s nice to have someone to talk to…5-27sunsetreflect5-27sunset15-27lastsunset

connections, coping, courage, faith, finding my way, friends, gardens, go with the flow, growing old, life goes on, loneliness, perseverance, photography

I went to a garden party…

“I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends,
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again.
When I got to the garden party they all knew my name,
No one recognized me I didn’t look the same.”

“But it’s all right now,
I learned my lesson well.
You see you can’t please everyone,
So you got to please yourself.”

Maybe Ricky Nelson knew what he wanted out of life, how to please himself, but I’m not as lucky.  I have no idea what I want the rest of my life to look like so I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope it comes to me one of these days.

I took these pictures at the little local botanical garden this morning.  I was in search of butterflies but the sprinklers were on in the butterfly garden and I guess that kept them away.  But these structures caught my eye, and ‘garden party’ started playing in my head, and then I started thinking, about life and it’s twists and turns.  Maybe ‘blowing in the wind’ would have been a more appropriate song for my current state of mind…5-10HDRshed25-10HDRshed-35-17castle5-17iris5-17tilebench5-17tilerug5-17whiteflowers5-17budda5-17peekabooWhat’s the phrase these days, ‘fake it ’til you make it’…

adventure, childhood, coping, courage, finding my way, life, life goes on, loneliness, memories, photography, unintended consequences

Rolling back the clock…

I suppose there are endless ‘what if’ scenarios I could play out in my head, especially at 69 years old. Lots of water under the bridge, over the dam, forks in the road, and many more cliche phrases apply. But there is something about being alone at this stage of life that has me thinking, wondering, about the person I was ‘supposed’ to be. How did I spend so many years ‘under the influence’ so to speak? I was a spunky little kid. My cousin and I once decided to go for a walk, and set off, a 5 and a 4 year old, having an adventure. We were spotted by a woman who I think chatted with us as we passed her chain-link fenced yard. The next thing I knew there was a policeman on the scene, asking us who we were and where we were going. My cousin must have been much more polite than I was because she told the policeman everything he wanted to know. Not me though. I was mad. I wasn’t lost, and I certainly wasn’t finished having my adventure, so I wouldn’t tell him a thing. But since I lived upstairs from my cousin that was a bit of a moot point. I don’t remember the upshot, what my parents had to say about it, I only remember the woman, the fence, and how mad I was.

I just love that little kid that I was. But I have to wonder, when did I lose her? How did I let her go and never notice that I had done just that? That memory, and there are more from when I lived in that house and was that spunky kid, all date back to before I went to school. Is that when I started worrying about what other people thought, and doubting myself? By the time I hit high school I was quite sure that I didn’t measure up in any way, and spent most of my mental energy on trying to make sure that no one else knew just how out of it I was. I never expressed an opinion, practiced a go-with-the-flow attitude, got married young to hide from the bra-burning women’s libbers who seemed to be saying that I shouldn’t want a marriage and family, which is exactly what I told myself that I wanted, mostly because I thought of it as ‘safe’. Don’t misunderstand, I really was happy, found myself living all over the country and thought that was quite the thing. Enjoyed the heck out of raising my kids, and appreciated the accomplishment of raising them to be the people I’d hoped they’d be. And at work with Charley I had a position of authority that I enjoyed, but I also was aware that I hadn’t earned it as much as I had married into it. It wasn’t a bad life at all, so why am I so unsettled now?

I am an old lady who, now that I am alone for the first time since I was very young, finds myself relating more to the little kid that I was than to all the years in between. No one hijacked my life, I willingly participated. But now what? If you thought that I was going to wind this up with some sort of brilliant conclusion you’d be wrong. All I do know is that I have a vague notion of heading ‘home’ this summer, back to the people and places that I find myself thinking of so fondly. Back to where I was a spunky little kid with my whole life ahead of me…spunky.jpg

blessings, coping, courage, eavesdropping, faith, family, healing, home, memories, photography, Pine Island, sunset

Connections…

Low tide let me down.  I was sure that low tide was always going to be the secret to a great sunset with lots of photo ops.  But not tonight.  All the sea gulls were too far out at the water’s edge to photograph, and no cute families playing either.  But the sunset itself was pretty…

1113sunset2

And an interesting conversation between some women who were sitting in beach chairs behind me.  Turns out they are sisters, but they only found each other last year.  One had come from California to visit the other one who lives here in Florida.  In the year since they have found each other they each have found new family members they didn’t know, or at the very least had never met.  They had the same father but different mothers, and didn’t grow up together, but they had similar mannerisms and sounded alike.  They were so happy to be in each other’s lives, it was heartwarming to listen to.  But probably still rude to eavesdropping.

My mother had eight siblings, and after the war they scattered to the four winds.  I had met all of them here and there when I was very young, so we weren’t lost to each other.  But in moving to Florida, and choosing the Nature Coast because of the proximity to my son when he lived here, I discovered family.  It seems that my mother’s sisters who had moved to Florida were right in this area.  Along with a cousin and his extended family, plus two more of the siblings who spend winters here.  For many reasons I have felt as if I was ‘supposed’ to land here at this stage of life.  Finding family here was an unexpected surprise, and another reason to feel as if being here was meant to be…