a second look, blessings, connections, coping, courage, facing facts, finding my way, friends, fun, growing old, history, leap of faith, learning, life, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset, technology

Things have changed…

I wrote my tag line, “Life on my own, on the Nature Coast of Florida”, on the fly in a class I took on How to Start a Blog. We walked out of that two hour class with the bones of a blog in our laptops, all we had to do was write, so I did. And I have enjoyed it a lot. But lately I have been feeling like a bit of a fraud. Actually I have been feeling that way for a while now. After all, once I moved two years ago I assumed that my new county wasn’t considered part of the Nature Coast. But I checked with Siri just now and she says I’m good. Not a fraud, at least not over that part of my tag line.

But the ‘on my own’ thing isn’t as true as it used to be either. I am still on my own, but against all odds there is now someone sharing my life, and also sharing my photo ops. Another photographer, so the whole being out for photos, and also processing them later on, is lots more fun these days. And we are on the cusp of our first adventure together, heading off to visit relatives and take pictures along the way. I probably would have bet money against this ever happening, but it certainly has been a welcome addition to my life in general. So that ‘never say never’ thing? Well, I guess that’s good advice…

'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, facing facts, family, friends, growing old, life, live and learn, Passing time, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset

The sunset of life…

I’m definitely older these days, and I think I’m also wiser, in my old age. All my life I was guilty of the mindset that said, “If only I had _______, then life would be perfect.” Sometimes it was something as silly as the perfect piece of furniture for that empty corner, and other times it was a big wish like a ‘dream house’ or, later I scaled back to a ‘dream kitchen’, and patted myself on the back for being less greedy. In the last few years I’ve been yearning to live in a location that would give me a perfect view of the sunset or sunrise right from my own back yard, surely that that would make life itself perfect. But this morning it occurs to me that life is perfect just as it is. And, truthfully, it always was, because of the people I love and who love me back, and the joy of old friends who ‘knew you when’ and love you anyhow. Life is good…

'scene' along the way, a second look, death, finding my way, grief, growing old, history, life goes on, memories, moments, perseverance, photography

Rose Hill…

Not every trip out to take photos is the uplifting sort of trip that warms my heart. Yesterday I went out to explore a cemetery that I’d seen a while back when the GPS had routed me from one destination to another. I was at a traffic light and noticed a cemetery with a big water feature, and it seemed like a spot that would have an east facing view for the sunrise. I made a mental note of it, and while I thought of looking for it again from time to time I never did, until yesterday. It was easy enough to figure out where it was when I looked at Maps, a big green oasis, and I saw the name Rose Hill. The GPS had me pass up my destination and do a u turn to come back to it, and then it said to take a right, even though I saw the pretty lawns and water of a beautiful cemetery to the left. I took the right, and entered a sad little cemetery with lots of sand and weeds and no green lawns or water feature. It was hard to figure out where I could park the car, I was afraid I’d drive over a grave. I got out and walked a bit and took some pictures, but my heart wasn’t in it. I felt like an intruder. While it first seemed like a sad little place, it wasn’t forgotten by any means. Pops of color were everywhere. Graves were being visited, people were being remembered. That I wanted to come to this place for my photo ops felt very wrong. The wind was out of my sails, I headed home.

Yes, I did stop at the neighboring Cycadia Cemetery, but that feeling of being an intruder stayed with me. I took a couple of pictures and left. It just wasn’t the day for it I guess…

a second look, coping, courage, facing facts, finding my way, following the rules, go with the flow, growing old, life, life goes on, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, road trip, say goodnight, sunrise, sunset, travel

The beginning and the end…

I spent a day concentrating on my various twinges and trying to decide if my second Moderna shot was giving me side effects. I decided that I was fine, but I was home all day while I made up my mind. Packing actually. I’ll be riding up to a cousin’s house in Charleston tomorrow and family will be more on the agenda than photos. Of course I had the TV on as I packed, and my current binge watch of Criminal Minds came through with a charming quote today, from Mark Twain. I had to look it up;

“When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not, but my faculties are decaying now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember anything but the things that never happened.

How charming is that? But sad because it’s true. And as a person who has lots of experience with her mother, and then her daughter, correcting her memories I think I can relate. The same episode ended with another quote that had me grabbing my phone to look it up;

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Kierkegaard said that.

The day began when I ran out front and took the feature photo at 6:30 AM. And this last I took at 6:45 PM. We will turn the clocks ahead tonight. Sunrises will be easier to get to, and sunsets will have me out later than I care to be.

a second look, coping, facing facts, growing old, live and learn, losing it, Passing time, perseverance, photography, reality check

Staying sharp…

I don’t mean to imply that I do Sudoku to keep my mind sharp. When I titled this post I really meant keeping the pencil sharp, which is the hardest thing about doing Sudoku. Or was, for a little while. I came across this old, yellowed, Sudoku book in a bin not too long ago, so I picked it up and started doing the puzzles again. In order, turning the pages as I went. I went merrily along, after I realized that having my glasses on was a must, and a sharp point on my pencil, and an eraser that actually erased the pencil mark without leaving a dark smudge on the paper. My drawer full of old, sometimes unused, pencils and pens wasn’t cutting it. And then I spotted what looked to be a brand new pencil. Three of them actually. Nice and fat, with perfect points and erasers that appeared to be unused, I loved them. It took me a few days to realize that these pencils were titled ‘My First Ticonderoga’, meant for little kids, or senior citizens with fingers that don’t work as well as they once did.

All was well until I turned the page to the next puzzle and found that I had started the ‘hard’ section of puzzles. They weren’t kidding. So I looked up Sudoku strategies online and I think I may have to go back to caffeinated coffee if I’m going to make heads or tails of what they are saying. Even a sharp pencil won’t help me with these…

a second look, adventure, childhood, coping, facing facts, fun, go with the flow, growing old, life, life goes on, live and learn, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Having fun….

“We never go out to play!”, that was my lament back before Charley and I ever retired. I wanted to go out and have fun, and so I daydreamed about all the fun we’d have when we moved to Florida and had all this time on our hands. I wanted to go biking together, and kayaking seemed like a lot of fun even though I’d never done it. There were state parks to visit, we’d go hiking, and the best thing of all is it would be free, or nearly so. These were my thoughts, but I’m not sure I ever spoke them out loud. We did ride the bikes around the block a few times, but that was about it for outdoor activities together.

And that playful moment may have passed because now when I see people having what looks like fun to me I quickly realize that as much fun as it may appear to be I couldn’t possibly manage to do that anymore. If I ever could.

And now it has hit me that if that was me hanging from these ropes then I couldn’t be taking pictures of my fellow playmates while they are doing the impossible, dare-devil, maneuvers. So maybe it’s okay that I can’t do the things I could once do. But maybe seeing other people having fun is even more fun for me as I watch, through the lens…