childhood, finding my way, home, learning, memories, nature, on closer examination, photography, road trip, simple things, travel

I left my heart…

My home was my world when I was a kid, even knowing that there were places out there out of view, I think I thought those places would look exactly like my world.  I assume that kids see the world a little differently these days, even without traveling the world comes to us so vividly on TV and the computer.  I never appreciated what was around me until it wasn’t around me anymore.  I love the meandering stone walls that seem to be everywhere here.  I’m told that the rocks were unearthed as farmers tilled their land, and so they were used to define their fields.  They look quite random, like they just grew there on their own.  And then there are the cranberry bogs, a familiar sight in my coastal New England travels.  Massachusetts grows half the cranberry crop of the country, I know this since I googled it this morning, and they only grow in four other states.  I didn’t realize how much I liked seeing them until I was away and then came back and saw them again.  I didn’t stop for pictures the other day when the sun seemed to have this bog glowing, which is when it caught my eye.  After a day of rain it was sunny yesterday so I finally figured out a place to park the car and stopped for a few minutes.  Spotting scenes I’d like to take pictures of isn’t the problem, finding a place to pull the car over is the real issue.  If I’m now a snowbird I can truthfully say that my two worlds look nothing alike.  Florida has the sun and palm trees, and I love it.  But New England has the charm, and my heart…12-29bogs12-29bogs212-29bogs3

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, family, friends, home, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography


Sometimes the word traveling means exactly what you would expect.  A journey from one place to another.  A journey such as my travels for the last few days.  But that journey also led me to a journey back in time.  As I skirted the DC area the route that the GPS had me on caused me to pass by my old neighborhood in Columbia, MD, where I lived for about 30 years.  This is the lake in my former backyard.  More of a lake than the little pond in the backyard of the FL house I’ve lived in for the last 10 years.  So I stopped for pictures, not a big surprise there.  Times have changed however, and there was a sign suggesting that you not leave valuables in your car, and my car was full of them, so I only wandered a little with Ozzie, and only took a few pictures.

But that little walk brought back so many memories.  Memories of walking around the lake with my kids.  It was 1.86 miles around, according to a painted on hash mark and notation on the bike path.  We walked with the kids, and a succession of dogs, four that I can think of.  Time passed and my son and his friend would take our inflatable raft out into the lake, and come back soaking wet, insisting that it just tipped over.  I saw them out there one day when I had the dog out however, and they were. falling off on purpose.  I was glad he was able to have those adventures, that was my attitude at the time, but by today’s standards I should probably be arrested.

Then there came the day that my son came home asking my permission to go ride his bike off a ramp and fly through the air into the lake.  “It’s supervised,” he insisted, “There are adults there.”  I said no, but it only took me a minute to decide that he probably wan’t going to be able to resist, and what the heck was going on anyhow?  So I put the dog on the leash as my excuse to go check on him, and sure enough, there were kids flying through the air with their bikes and landing in the water.  There was an adult there to retrieve the bikes, and everyone had matching tee shirts on.  And no, he didn’t get to do it.

One day at the end of the summer my son proudly brought me to se the tree house that he and a friend had built.  All built with scavenged wood from the construction in the neighborhood, or so he assured me.  When we got there I saw little short pieces of wood that created a stair of sorts up a VERY tall tree.  And the platform up there was small, and downright scary looking.  He was probably 14 or so, an awkward time in a kid’s life, and all along I was happy that he was happy and busy all that summer.  Now I was prepared to worry about all the potential disasters associated with it, but the condo association eventually got wind of it and tore it down.  I was relieved to not have to be the bad guy in that situation.

Eventually grandchildren came along, and we walked to the playground when they were little.  Even they got old enough for adventures.  Kara was walking on the rocks around the lake, which was man-made and in a planned community, and when her foot slipped between two rocks she disturbed a bee’s nest, and I could hear the screaming as she and her brother and a neighbor kid came running home.  Kara got the worst of it as I shampoo’d lots and lots of bees out of her scalp.  Why do I mostly remember the mis-adventures?

I lived in that house longer than I lived in my home town in Massachusetts, longer than I lived in New England.  And yet home, to me, is still New England.  I moved away from that neighborhood with all it’s fond memories, and never looked back.  I lived in lots of places in my life, Indiana, and California, and that house in Maryland.  But I never called a place ‘home’ in the same sense that New England was home to me.  And I’m so happy to be here right now…12-16Elkhorn212-16Elkhorn312-16Elkhorn4

connections, coping, courage, family, friends, home, life goes on, memories, neighbors, road trip

And then it hits you…

While you’ve been concentrating on all the people you love, the ones that you are heading north to see, there are people here that you love and are leaving behind.  There will be heartfelt goodbyes to say here.  Neighbors who I’ve been blessed to know, and who have helped me feel secure in this first ever time of my life in which I’ve lived alone.  But not as alone as I might have felt if not for them.  And my photography friends, I will see their adventures in photography online, and look forward to being out shooting with them again before too long.  And then there are my coworkers, who were my sounding board as I went through this biggest challenge of my life.  I thought of myself as alone these past four years, but I see now that I haven’t really been alone at all.

I sent a note to a friend’s mother to apologize after sneaking away without saying goodbye.  I told her how much I have always hated saying goodbye.  She sent back a note and said that in her family they say Auf Weidersehen, ‘until we meet again’.   Yes, that’s it exactly, it’s only goodbye for now, until we meet again.

These flowers were over a week old and still looked great so I took their picture.  It was only then that I saw the lizard photo bomb.
Winter camping in Florida is just what I needed last night…
coping, faith, finding my way, home, life, life goes on, photography, road trip

Oh where is my hairbrush…

Not a question but a song.  A song that I had found myself singing several days in a row as I searched for my missing hairbrush. That it disappeared in the chaos which is my life at the moment isn’t surprising, but I found myself surprised to be singing that song at all.  It was so familiar, but I couldn’t place where it was from. But after I thought about it for a bit I realized, Veggie Tales!  And now I sing it frequently, substituting the name of the missing item du jour.  And something is always missing.  Eventually the last puzzle piece will fall into place, and I’d be willing to bet that I won’t realize it for a second.  That that was it, it’s time to go.  Lately I find myself wishing for life to get back to normal.  I wonder how long it will take me to recognize my new normal, whatever that turns out to be…

backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, home, nature, photography

In the backyard…

I will miss my backyard.  Not the mowing, but the wildlife that frequent it.  The activity out there seems to be increasing lately.  When I saw the first Tri-color Heron in a long while I went in for my camera.  They are so pretty, and they flit as they hunt so they usually provide nice action shots.  This one, however, never made it out of the weeds.  Whenever his head popped up out there I thought of all the TV shows of my youth when they declared, “Up periscope.”  But since this one wasn’t up to much I turned my attention to the Little Blue Heron who is always out there.  11-21littleblue11-21littleblue211-21littleblue3He flew in close and I was in hopes of seeing him catch a nice fat frog, but instead he flew off all of a sudden and flushed out a bird I don’t think I’ve ever seen in the back yard.  A Kingfisher, who posed for just a few photos and then flew off.  I loved his hairdo!  11-21kingfisher11-21kingfisher211-21kingfisher3And the last of the backyard visitors that day was this Eastern Phoebe, who thoughtfully landed on a branch in a nice patch of sunshine. Yes, I’ll miss my backyard, but there are photo ops everywhere and places to go and people to meet…11-21phoebe211-21phoebe3

faith, finding my way, home, leap of faith, life goes on, perseverance, photography, progress, Uncategorized

Just call me crazy…

Someday I will pack the last box, load it into the car, and drive it to the tiny little mobile home that will allow me to be a snowbird.  But until that happens I am making multiple trips a day, loading and unloading, and then bringing home the empty boxes only to fill them up again.  And the unloading doesn’t mean that things are all put away.  That everything-in-it’s-place thing hasn’t happened.  And I’m itching to go to work on curtains, but I’m fighting that thought, for now.  Because back at home there is still endless stuff to deal with, it sometimes doesn’t seem like I’ve made a dent.  A friend posted something on Facebook today that would be the perfect solution.  She said take all the stuff you want to get rid of and box it into Amazon boxes and leave them on the front porch!  LOL.  But the new little place is starting to look like something.  I’m encouraged.  So I’ll be heading north one of these days, in spite of the cold and snow.  Just call me crazy…