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

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'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…

coping, death, growing old, losing battles, memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, photography, solitude

Resting places…

Duxbury Beach in Massachusetts features prominently in my fond memories of home.  Maybe it was that we used to stay at my uncle’s cottage, the last one on the seawall that defined the private beach from the public beach.  That it was rocky, especially after a storm, was a plus.  You could put your blanket out on the sand and scout out a few rocks to anchor down the corners.  My husband had heard me rave about it long before he ever saw it, and when I took him there it was after a storm and it was particularly rocky, and from the look in his eye I’m pretty sure he doubted my sanity after that.  Since then I have been to lovely beaches with expanses of sugar sand as far as the eye can see, but I will never feel about them the way I feel about Duxbury.  Which is why I told Charley that I wanted my ashes scattered at Duxbury when the time came.  My daughter heard that and said that I should be informing her of my wishes, and, as usual, she was right.  If I was ever going to change my mind about that then visiting a cemetery like this one is why I’ll let the decision stand.  Stones sinking into the ground, names and dates barely readable, and no one to care or remember.  Sadly, there was more than one ‘unknown’ marker.  A person, a life.  Someone’s child, possibly someone’s parent, gone except for that sad marker.  After being home alone for so long I’m finding that part of me now wants to get out, hit the road, go everywhere, see everything. But I tell myself I’m too old, I can’t do it alone.  Maybe so, maybe not.  But I like the idea that one day my ashes might ride the wind and the water, and travel farther than my dreams can take me now.  I’ll return to Duxbury one day…5-28cemeteryfence

5-28angelHDR5-28EffieHDR5-28Fred5-28twobytwo5-28cemeterytree5-28myunknownHDR.

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’…

dogs, grief, growing old, losing battles, memories, photography, responsibility

Decisions…

The vet tech had an explanation for it.  “It” being the fact that the dog I had brought in, the one that had required me to hoist her back end up off the floor every time she wanted to get up for the last 48 hours, was repeatedly getting herself up off the tile floor at the vet’s office yesterday.  It was because even though there were no other dogs there to witness her struggles, she still could smell them, and no dog wants to let herself be seen as the weakest one in the pack, so the adrenaline rush she was having was serving as a pain reliever.  Or so they said.  I had told myself that the thing I didn’t want to do was to take her in and spend a whole lot of money, knowing what the outcome was really going to be in the not so distant future, and knowing that my Zoe was going to suffer while I fought to justify my decision of what to do.  But in the vet’s office she looked like a different dog from the one I’d had at home.  Needing help getting up was relatively new, and while she had needed me to help her for a day or two recently, she had seemed to recover and I told myself that she had strained something and it was all better.  And the confusion in her face when she couldn’t get herself up was heartbreaking.  But she seemed to be in not so dire of a condition while we were there, so it was pain meds, joint supplements, and see her in two weeks.

Except once I got her home she was trying to not use her right back leg at all.  That she was in distress was obvious.  I brought the water bowl to her and she drank, but she wouldn’t eat.  She cried and wanted to get up, so I’d hoist her up, and then she’d stand there not knowing what she wanted to do next.  I thought about how I’d learned to help my mother, and then my husband, when they couldn’t get out of a chair.  I’d lean in and hug them to me, and use leverage to just lift them up.  It worked perfectly.  Not possible with Zoe, and I was already feeling the strain in my back from lifting her.  

I’m writing this at 4 AM while I listen to Zoe’s breathing.  She is finally asleep.  We have been up for hours, she was crying, it actually sounded like a low growl, and nothing I could do for her except sit with her and pet her seemed to help.  Sweet, easy-going Ozzie was determined to put himself between Zoe and me, so I had to put him in the bedroom before he hurt her, or me.  It was the pleading in her eyes that got to me.  Just like when it’s been raining for hours and the dogs want to go out, and they look at me  wondering why I’m letting it rain when they know that I’m in charge of the world and I could stop it if I wanted to.  Zoe’s eyes tell me that she is pleading with me to make it stop, not the rain, but the pain…4-26onelasttime