'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…

a second look, faith, finding my way, friends, grief, growing old, healing, life goes on, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, Uncategorized

Gazing ball…

Her husband said we were two peas in a pod.  He said it was a shame we haven’t lived close enough to be part of each other’s day-to-day life all along.  And now we are both alone, and I’ve come to visit for a while, but I’ve been a little too comfy with my oldest, dearest friend.  And too well-then-care-of, what with the toasted tomato sandwiches with just-picked tomatoes.  It would be so much easier to stay here and enjoy the conversation over coffee, and the cribbage by candlelight out on the porch, with a glass of wine.

But change is in the air, it’s time to move on, for both of us.  I will move along tomorrow, heading for coastline and lighthouses. And that’s as far as my plan goes.  Her plan is still writing itself.  I looked into this gazing ball in her garden today, and wondered if it were a crystal ball would I want to know the future?  Would she? Or would we rather keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that we are heading down just the right path for ourselves?   Okay, maybe just a little peek???

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Camping, finding my way, friends, fun, growing old, Just do it, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, unintended consequences

Second chances…

I hit the road again yesterday.  Being in New England has allowed me to decide to attend the big graduation party for my friend’s graduates yesterday, and just get in the car and go.  Since 1969, the year we both got married and I moved away, spending time with my closest friend has required much preparation.  Vacation time, airline tickets, juggling husbands and children, and so for many years the closeness remained in tact, in spirit anyhow, but it wasn’t possible to actually be together.  Time has been our friend as we have gotten older, except for the wrinkles and gray hair.  But we have managed to visit more and more often as time has gone on, daily on facebook, and also in person.  And these years going forward are probably the time we’ll need each other the most.  I’m so glad to be here.  I think this snowbird thing is going to work out just fine…

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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…

'scene' along the way, connections, finding my way, friends, growing old, life, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Turning the page…

I’m not in Kansas anymore.  Florida either.  Lots of you, probably the majority of you, may look out your windows to a view like this.  But not me, not in Florida or Maryland either.  And I do spend a lot of time enjoying the beauty around me in Florida, but this scenery is just amazing to me.  A simple drive to run an errand and I’m looking at lovely vistas all around me.  It was an absolutely beautiful day yesterday.  Just seeing the sun was a treat after the rain that’s been following me around.  Starting the day talking with a friend over coffee, and then winding down the day with cribbage on the porch, plus a glass of wine, is very special.   As is this friendship, which began so long ago that it’s just always been there.  Long ago we talked of the future and anticipated the life that was waiting for us.  And now here we are, our stories have been written.  We’ve turned the page and are now facing challenges that we never thought of when we were young, but we are facing them together…05-20-19websterlakeview05-20-19websterlakeview205-20-19websterlakeview305-20-19websterlakeview405-20-19NH405-20-19NH505-20-19NH605-20-19websterlakecemetery05-20-19websterlakecemetery205-20-19websterlakechipmunk

a second look, childhood, finding my way, growing old, life, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, progress, simple things

The finish line…

I prefer to think that my obsession with downsizing, purging, and getting rid of all the ‘stuff’ in my life that was weighing me down, originated with me.  Or, more correctly, with Charley.  That I started feeling as if I needed to liberate myself from my ‘stuff’ came long before the tiny house movement.  Even though we had sold the house we lived in for 35 years and had to pare things down to make that move, Charley still had tons of stuff he left behind when he died.  And even though I remembered how he surprised me back then by going through his things and tossing/giving away all sorts of things without any agonizing whatsoever, I did agonize over his things.  All his things were treasures, they were worth something, collectibles, as he was fond of reminding me.  I could be tossing away something of value.  My own stuff was junk, admittedly, so it was the physical act of going through boxes that had been sitting on shelves in the garage for years that would get the best of me.  I would tell myself that I ought to just throw those boxes away, don’t even open them I’d think, but I couldn’t seem to do that, and I’d keep on procrastinating.  But now I have finally done it, I’m pretty much at the finish line, spurred on because I wanted to save my kids the torture of going through all my stuff and sorting and tossing it away.  They’ll probably have to do some of that one day but they can rest assured that it is, in fact, junk, so toss away!

So what has made the cut?  What have I managed to keep with me through moves from MA, to IN, to CA, to MD, and, finally, to this little place in FL?  Besides the sewing machines, cameras, computers, and iPhones we have these gems.  Treasures from my childhood, and items that caught my eye over the years.  As I acquired them, the little stained glass candle holder bought in Beanblossom, Indiana for example, could I have ever imagined that it would stay with me, across country in both directions, and be with me here in what I expect is my last home?  Which in reality is my first ever apartment, so to speak.  The first place I’ve ever made for myself alone.  But furnished with the items that I have held close to my heart, that have pleased me, comforted me, delighted me, and carried me from childhood to, ahem, maturity…