a second look, changing times, childhood, connections, coping, courage, death, faith, family, finding my way, friends, grief, growing old, healing, home, memories, perseverance, photography

Connections…

An uncle came to stay with me once, I’m not even going to try to think of how long ago that was.  He was an academic all his life, a college guidance department head, which is probably why he phrased it as wanting to see my ‘nest’.  That that thought came to mind seems like a natural progression during this nesting season here in Florida, when birds are on my mind a lot of the time.  And somehow that phrase further brought to mind something my closest friend’s husband said to me once after visiting with them.  While I had always felt the closeness between this friend and myself, communication was not so easy in the days when we both had little kids, businesses to run, and lived 3000 miles apart.  So I invited myself to visit them after many years, and when he drove me to the airport to leave he said that we were ‘two peas in a pod’, and that it was a crying shame that we hadn’t been able to be part of each other’s daily lives all along.  On my way to see them on that visit I had said to myself that knowing myself I ought to be nervous, after all I was going to see people that I honestly didn’t know, but I wasn’t at all worried.  And from that first moment that I stepped back into my friend’s life, and home, I felt completely at ease.  More than that though, I felt like myself.  My true self, the ‘real’ me.  Silly, huh?  Who’s life was I leading all those years, living all over the country and raising my kids with only occasional visits to the place I continued to think of as home?  Those were happy years that I treasure, but there was a little part of me that felt alone.  No, apart.  Disconnected.  But not any more, not since I’ve made connections to the past, connections that are mine alone.  Little children that we once were, and who have lived such different lives, are now knowing and cherishing each other in this last part of life.  How we got here hardly matters, it’s just so wonderful to be here.

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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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Gentleman callers…

I saw him across the street, loitering on my uncle’s front patio.  In my half-awake daze I said to myself, “Wow, that statue looks real.”  And then he ruffled his feathers.  So I went over with my camera, I knew from previous encounters that he wasn’t camera shy.  And I had recently wondered how come I hadn’t seen him lately, I wished a photo op would just deliver itself to me for a change.  After taking my pictures I headed back to my house thinking I’d let him get on with whatever Woodstock things he had to do, but he followed me home.  And he was still out there when I went out with soup to bring over to have for dinner with my aunt.  He looked pretty excited to see me carrying a big pot.  The neighbors were laughing as he followed me.  I love being able to take pictures so easily, but it makes me sad that this guy spent so much of his day hoping for a handout instead of fending for himself.12-15gentlemancaller12-15gentlemancaller212-15gentlemancaller3

And this is my Grand-dragon Krunch.  Somehow these two seem to have something in common in the looks department.  I have babysat her eggs in the past, and had them hatch on my watch.  Now that was an event, and those tiny little creatures were comical little things.  But I admire Krunch and her partner Kona from afar these days.  That suits me just fine.

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She was directly under the glow of her yellow warming light and if there is a way to clear up the color I’m not inspired enough to try to figure it out.

connections, courage, death, faith, family, finding my way, friends, grief, growing old, home, life, life goes on, loneliness, making memories, perseverance, photography

Traveling…

I didn’t drive for 11 days straight.  That has to be a record for me.  For 11 days I was surrounded, literally, by family, and friends close enough to be family.  I was hardly ever alone, and for the last few years I have been telling myself that being alone is just the greatest thing.  No witnesses is what I told myself was the best part, for my own silliness. And for the most part that’s still true.  But it’s so quiet in here now that the coffee pot has finished its morning duties.  The traffic noises haven’t begun.  It’s too quiet.  Turning on the TV might provide noise, if noise is all I wanted to hear.  This has been my home for a year now, but I’ve been traveling for half that time at least.  And now I’m here, surrounded by all my things.  Sentimental reminders of other times, of the people I have cared about my whole life.  But sitting in the dark and quiet I realize that I can’t hear the sound of breathing.  Of life.  That’s the sound that’s missing…

a second look, coping, family, finding my way, growing old, life goes on, perseverance, photography, reality check, sunset, the big picture

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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I’m thankful for the memories…

I doubt that any amount of editing would have been able to improve the quality of these photos.  The movies they are taken from have been collecting dust for about 64 or so years.  The person behind the camera had his/her own thumb featured prominently in some shots, and each stop to record only lasted a second or two.  Trying to pause the film and take a picture with the phone at just the right moment was a challenge, and I would miss that split second opportunity time and time again.

But I hope you’ll indulge me this trip down memory lane because these pictures represent a favorite memory, and the only real vacation trip my family ever took.  We drove in a caravan with several other families, and I remember it so fondly.  I remember rafting in Ausable Chasm, seeing the colors of the rock walls rising up on each side of the river.  I remember going to Fort Ticonderoga, and the ferry ride on Lake Champlain.  But the memory I remember most is the pony ride at Frontier Town, and how mad as a hatter I was that they didn’t let me just ride that pony by myself.  I was sure I knew all there was to know about horses.  No, not only did they not let me just take off on my own, but they had my sister leading the pony.  If a cowboy had been leading the horse I might have taken it better, or maybe not.  I’m happy to say that it looked like I was having fun so I must have kept my annoyance to myself.  Seeing a movie of exactly the memory I remember best was pretty amazing.  What also stood out as I watched the movie was that I was amazed to see the actors galloping into town during the re-enactment of a bank robbery.  The visitors were right there, milling around, and they just galloped those horses through the town.  I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t fly these days!  And apparently water boarding was a thing too. 11-25train11-25rafting11-25lake11-25cowboyscoming11-25galloping211-25ponyride11-25ponyride211-25waterboarding

I’ve talked quite a few times about how much I cherish the memories I have from exactly this age.  From the neighborhood I lived in then, and the people who made a lasting impression enough on me that I never actually let them go.  And I’ve been so lucky to reconnect with them and to have them in my life again.  And now to actually see that little kid that I was., the me before I let the world beat me into submission, so to speak.  I liked that me, I’m glad to have her back…11-25cowgirlme2Thanks for indulging me this trip down memory lane.