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…

a second look, family, finding my way, friends, go with the flow, growing old, home, home improvements, life goes on, nesting, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunrise, travel, weather

Home Sweet Home…

For someone who spent most of her life preoccupying herself with thoughts of the dream house she may or may not have one day, I have to wonder how it is that I’m so pleased to call this little place home.  While I’ve been freezing up here, and yes, I’m up north again, I found myself wanting to get back there to my little place and fix it up.  I can’t tell you how many hours I spent ‘fixing up’ my house over the years.  It doesn’t matter which house because I wallpapered and painted, sewed window treatments, and took down wallpaper and redecorated, all of them.  It was my stress relief when there were worries with the business, or the angst of surviving my teenagers.  (Turns out that I needn’t have worried, but there were no guarantees.). And over those years houses became mansions.  Not my house, but the new houses I’d see being built were palaces that I couldn’t imagine living in.  Or calling home.  When the kids came home from school to one of those houses was there a mom in there greeting them with fresh baked cookies?  They were anything but cosy.  So I guess the answer seems like it should be no, I never got my dream home.  But if that’s what you think then you’d be wrong, because that dream house in my mind kept evolving with time, and for this exact moment, at this exact time of my life, this really is my dream house.  Not too big, not to small, it’s just right.  Call me Goldilocks…02-23-19senatemanor102-23-19senatemanor2Not my view unfortunately, but just down the street.  And I thought a sunrise picture yesterday would be just the thing to finish this posting, but the sun wasn’t cooperating.  Neither were the bluebirds that are nesting in the little birdhouses across the street, but I’m leaving today, heading their way…02-23-19senatemanor3

a second look, blessings, finding my way, friends, growing old, life goes on, photography, road trip, sunrise

Bodfish Park…

Recently a friend asked me if I had made any New Year’s resolutions.  I started to say no, but then I realized that at this point in time I’m living my life according to his philosophy.  And that is to have no plan, which means that life is always going according to plan.  Not so different from how I’ve lived my life so far really, just more deliberate.  As I got older I saw that life seemed to happen to me, I responded to the people and circumstances around me and somehow that became my life.  I’m lucky it turned out as well as it did, but if I think about it I’m bothered by the idea that I didn’t take charge of my life more.  Realizing it didn’t change anything, I’m still drifting.  Like yesterday when I asked the GPS to take me to Sandy Neck Beach for the sunrise, but when I looked at the pictures I took with my phone they said the location was Bodfish Park.  But the sunrise was still pretty so it turned out okay.  Kind of like my life…

1-6-19sandyneck1-6-19sandyneck21-6-19sandyneck31-6-19sandyneck41-6-19sandyneck5

a second look, blessings, faith, growing old, life, loneliness, nature, photography, unintended images, weather

Father Fleming said Mass today.  I was happy to see him since he’s been my favorite priest once I moved to Florida and started going to church again after many, many years.  My part time job has caused me to vary which mass I went to each week, but I seemed to have a knack for catching Father Fleming’s mass, and it has always made me happy to see him.  But I hadn’t seen him in a while, and then had been away on vacation, so when I saw him today I was struck with how frail he is, noticeably more frail than before, and I always worry as he climbs the few stairs to the alter.  He is in his 80’s, and is soft spoken, you have to concentrate when he speaks.  His sermons are always gentle and encouraging.  He should preach to children.  He pokes fun at himself, and says he was a bit of a devil as a boy, and he admits to having doubts here and there.  I was feeling quite sad as I drove away, wondering how much longer we will have him with us, and turned the corner to discover black clouds ahead in the east, and a beautiful rainbow that took my breath away.  I pulled onto a parking lot and got the camera out of the trunk and managed to take a few pictures before the heaven’s opened.  Only when I saw the photos in the computer did I see the double rainbow.  I hope that rainbow was for Father Fleming, he’s earned it…8-5rainbow1

'scene' along the way, friends, fun, gardens, growing old, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

On the loose…

In our travels yesterday we came upon a lovely red covered bridge.  We stopped for photos, as we are prone to do.  As we took pictures it took me a minute to realize that there was a waterfall of sorts.  Man made, but falling water is always pretty. 7-12taftsville

What was surprising was that after we hiked Quechee Gorge, and found ourselves too late for lunch and too early for dinner everywhere, we headed to Simon Pearce to look at the beautiful glass creations, but also in search of food.  What we found was another covered bridge, we were thrilled to drive over it.  Then we parked to see the shop and discovered a lovely scene of still water.  Very peaceful.  I noticed the house and said it would be a nice picture, and then didn’t take one.  Lucky for me Kathy did take a photo, and she shares well with others.  She did a great job on this one.7-12bridge7-12bridge27-12bridge37-12Kathy'shouse

We went to Woodstock, VT also.  Just drove through but stopped at the Woodstock Inn to take a picture and pretend we were fancy enough to stay there.  Just two old friends on the loose…7-12woodstockinn

 

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…