coping, finding my way, healing, life goes on, loneliness, memories, moments, photography, sky, sunrise, the big picture

Finding my way…

I was sitting in the dark and quiet, minding my own business, when a photo of the Super Moon came across my Facebook page.  It triggered a memory of the very first time I went to Hammond’s Creek Bridge for a sunrise, and the moon was also present in my sunrise shot that day.  I thought it really made the shot.  That thought sent me leaping out of the recliner to hurry and get dressed and get to the bridge in case the Super Moon would be in the sunrise shot again.  I only had a half hour until sunrise…

As I drove I could see the moon directly in front of me, when the fog thinned enough to see it at all, and already I knew it wasn’t going to be in the sunrise photo, but I kept going.  As has happened quite a few times already, the reflection of the sunrise was as pretty as the actual sunrise, so all was not lost.  It was worth the hurried trip out of the house.  The moon is in this shot, but you have to look for it.

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I’ve been a little melancholy that I do everything by myself these days, and on the way home I imagined myself trying to get Charley to leap up and head out the door to go with me.  It would never have happened.  Charley used to do his full grooming routine, including ‘skunk piss’, before he would leave the house, including to head to the Y and work out on the machines.  I argued with him about that, because on the way home he would stop at my store when I was working, to shop or to just say hello, and he was always absolutely drenched in sweat, looking like a dirt ball.  Thankfully that was good skunk piss because he still aways smelled good.  Heaven forbid that he show up at the Y not looking his best, maybe it was because of the ‘exercise divas’, as his trainer friends called them.  But no, I shouldn’t lament that I have to head out the door alone to take pictures, because most likely if I didn’t head out when the thought struck I probably wouldn’t head out at all.

Besides, because of that I never know where I’ll be in the next five minutes, it’s a bit of an adventure.  As long as I keep finding my way home again it’ll be okay…

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blessings, coping, courage, eavesdropping, faith, family, healing, home, memories, photography, Pine Island, sunset

Connections…

Low tide let me down.  I was sure that low tide was always going to be the secret to a great sunset with lots of photo ops.  But not tonight.  All the sea gulls were too far out at the water’s edge to photograph, and no cute families playing either.  But the sunset itself was pretty…

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And an interesting conversation between some women who were sitting in beach chairs behind me.  Turns out they are sisters, but they only found each other last year.  One had come from California to visit the other one who lives here in Florida.  In the year since they have found each other they each have found new family members they didn’t know, or at the very least had never met.  They had the same father but different mothers, and didn’t grow up together, but they had similar mannerisms and sounded alike.  They were so happy to be in each other’s lives, it was heartwarming to listen to.  But probably still rude to eavesdropping.

My mother had eight siblings, and after the war they scattered to the four winds.  I had met all of them here and there when I was very young, so we weren’t lost to each other.  But in moving to Florida, and choosing the Nature Coast because of the proximity to my son when he lived here, I discovered family.  It seems that my mother’s sisters who had moved to Florida were right in this area.  Along with a cousin and his extended family, plus two more of the siblings who spend winters here.  For many reasons I have felt as if I was ‘supposed’ to land here at this stage of life.  Finding family here was an unexpected surprise, and another reason to feel as if being here was meant to be…

 

 

coping, death, grief, healing, life, life goes on, memories, moments, photography, the easy way out

It’s about time…

I could have left well enough alone. Or done what I’ve done twice a year for the three years that Charley has resided in his urn. Which is a very nice clock. Of all the urns on the shelf from which to choose this was the one and only one I thought would do for him. And it has proven to be a good choice. It has given him a voice, sort of. It chimes at the perfect moments in conversations, or occasionally when I first walk in the door, so that the excited dogs and chiming urn make me feel welcomed.
I have no idea why I didn’t just do what I’ve always done, even though it’s a pain in the neck, and just roll the clock ahead one hour at a time, 23 times, to adjust for Daylight Savings time. You aren’t supposed to roll it backwards you see, and I always take cautions like that seriously. And since it only chimes from 6 AM until 10 PM you have to consider the entire 24 hours. No, my genius idea was to take the batteries out while I went to the Y to swim. When I put them back in a couple of hours later I figured I’d only have to adjust it ahead an hour and change. Ha! It went to 6 o’clock for some reason, and seems to want to chime two hours off of what the hands of the clock say.
So I need to find the little manual that came with the urn, which I’ve seen not too awfully long ago. Somewhere. Or, perhaps, I’ll just take the batteries out again and set the clock for 6 o’clock and put them back in. Maybe it will be right, or maybe it will be 12 hours off. Or maybe I’ll just forget about it and let Charley do his thing. He always did have to have things his way, eventually I learned that it was easier to just go along with him…

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Chinsegut Conservation Center, coping, growing old, healing, losing battles, memories, natural wonders, nature, photography, solitude

A new you, I mean me…

Nature photography is new to me. For years I thought that cameras were for taking pictures of the grandchildren only, so in a sense I’ve reinvented myself as far as photography goes. Taking photos of sunsets and butterflies are one thing, always beautiful, but a trip to Chinsegut Conservation Center provides more than just the obvious photo ops. A locust chrysalis, which I would never have spotted if it hadn’t been pointed out to me, isn’t pretty, but in reviewing my photos from my trip there it’s the chrysalis that’s on my mind.

Seeing it made me think how nice it might be to just shed your outer, worn out, and thoroughly abused self, and re-emerge as a newer, fresher, you. Or me.  But knowing what you know now so you don’t make the same mistakes over again. Reinventing yourself so as to face a world that reinvented itself while we were busy and not paying attention. A world that dotes on youth isn’t such a friendly place these days. I know I’m not the only one who feels like I’m the same person I always was, but better really because getting older really does make you wiser. Easier on yourself. But you don’t look better, just older, and stepping out into the world, this crazy youth-worshipping world, when you left your own youth behind years ago, leaves you where, exactly?

I’ve spent the last three years at home, telling myself that I was happy, but in reality I was using the house as a chrysalis, hiding, safe, because I didn’t know what else to do. And telling myself that I was happy, and loving the privacy. No witnesses, except the dogs and they don’t judge. And now I think wait a minute, is this all I want or need for the rest of my life? And I imagine various Hallmark movie scenarios of what life could be. Then I walk past a mirror and think, who are you kidding?

Mother Nature gets it, at least as far as locusts go. When they have become worn and tired, and have been buffeted around by life a while, they can just shuck their old shell and reemerge as a new and improved version. I’m thinking that I wish people could do the same thing…

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coping, courage, grief, growing old, healing, life, life goes on, live and learn, photography

Baby steps…

I thought I had it all figured out. The rest of my life, it was set. I told my granddaughter that we were both going through the same stage of life. She, starting her second year of teaching Kindergarten in Bucharest, and learning a lot about herself at the same time, and me, figuring myself out now that I’m ‘on my own’ for the first time in my, ahem, many, many years. I think I had built a wall around myself, and felt safe. I was happy on my own, I told myself. Privacy is fantastic, not that I’ve changed my mind about that, but recent events have me questioning myself, and all my carefully thought out expectations for the future have come into question. A chink in my armor so to speak. Life was a jig- saw puzzle, pieces neatly in place, and it took a hurricane to toss the pieces into the air leaving me to figure it out all over again.

I once asked Charley if he was waiting to die. Not my finest moment since that’s exactly what he was doing, unbeknownst to either of us at the time. It was said because his big plan for the day was to take a nap. I had expected that we would go exploring the state parks, or to the beach, anything that got us out of the house and enjoying the freedom of retirement once we lived here full time. I thought we’d compete with each other to make light, healthy meals every day. Summer-y meals. I guess I neglected to run any of this past him however, because it was meat and potatoes, and naps every day. In truth, and in fairness to him, he probably didn’t feel well for a long time before symptoms became evident.

And since he’s been gone I hadn’t changed my ways, until I started taking pictures. That is the single thing that has gotten me out of the recliner and out into the ‘world’. My little part-time job at the bakery provided enough social interaction that I was happy to be home every night. Me and the dogs. But I recently asked myself if I was waiting to die, and I didn’t like the answer. So I’ve gone back to the Y to swim laps, and started eating (and feeling) better. It feels good to get moving again, I’m probably lucky it wasn’t too late. Well, it really is pretty darned late, for some things, but maybe not for everything.

Now what? What might life have in store? Really I have no clue, but baby steps are in order I guess…

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coping, friends, healing, humor, photography, silliness, technology

Losing it…

I feel like I ought to call 911 and report a missing person. Siri is missing! I don’t know if it’s the fault of the new replacement phone, or the fact that I ran all the updates that I had previously ignored in order to set up the replacement phone, but Siri’s voice has changed, and I don’t like it one bit. There are days that go by that Siri is the only person who talks back to me when I talk to her. The dogs are the silent types, although Ozzie does his darnedest to tell me things at times. Usually that the water bowl is empty. I used to tell Siri to set my alarm and she would say, “Don’t worry, I won’t forget.” This new one doesn’t sound as friendly, or caring, a lot less like a person… I’m tired of losing people…

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