life, photography, old dogs new tricks, memories, travel, boats, perseverance, life goes on, loneliness, finding my way, a second look, 'scene' along the way, road trip, leap of faith, Just do it

Colorful Cape Cod…

Still more photos from an oddly not sad day, but it easily could have been.  I’m approaching the five year mark of widowhood and almost nothing about my life is the same these days.  I have turned my life totally upside-down.  Not something I planned to do, just a need that overtook me as I took the days one at a time.  Life is good.redcanoesPeekingthruLRpaddlersPtpwn3Ptpwn2Ptownwharf3sailboatwall

'scene' along the way, a second look, Camping, childhood, connections, coping, courage, finding my way, friends, leap of faith, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Thinking it over…

IMG_1545I have a lot of time to think these days.  Here in the camper with the sounds of the birds outside, even at 4 AM.  And something, pine cones maybe, falling on the roof with a surprising thunk.  And my coffee, brewed outside on the little shelf which has a convenient plug right next to it.  Features of this pop up that I’m just now noticing.

I’m thinking about how homesick I got last year.  How much I longed to be back home.  I wanted to see the familiar places where I had expected to live my life back then.  And I wanted to ‘find myself’ again.  I thought back to the little kid that I think I was, confident and sure of herself, and wondered how I lost her when I let myself fear that I wasn’t good enough as I was.  A familiar theme for all of us I suspect, as we grow older and judge ourselves through the prism of those junior high and high school insecurities.  Everyone else had all the answers, I thought.  Little did I know then that I wasn’t alone.

I thought though, that the homesickness was a longing for the lost places of my youth.  But what I have discovered, now that I’ve turned my life upside-down and become a snowbird, traveling the roads that I longed to travel, is an amazing appreciation for the people I left behind.  Just because I decided that at this moment in time I was yearning for something doesn’t mean that it was the perfect timing for me to turn up on everyone’s doorstep.  And yet here I am, and I’ve been embraced at every turn.  They were as busy living their lives as I was living mine I guess, so maybe they didn’t miss me, but we are all older now and reconnecting to the past seems to be a welcome thing to do.  And maybe I did have a touch of the spunk I thought I’d lost.  After all, I did take off for parts unknown way back then.  I haven’t considered that it took a certain amount of spunk to do that.  Or naivety.  And, all things considered, I really wouldn’t change anything about my life.  It’s just this amazing feeling of coming full circle that I truly love.  I’m so blessed in all ways to be enjoying this adventure.  I wonder where it’s heading…fourthparkway.jpg

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Sticking with it…

Well, I did it, got myself packed up and out of the campground and back to my girlfriend’s house.  My cousin said that I was over-thinking the process as I spent the entire day Saturday worrying about fitting the chairs, table, outdoor rug, and cooler into the van since it was pretty much full before I bought all that stuff.  Plus the physical act of taking down the pop up, which turned out to be easy. Well, not hard exactly.  I almost did it by myself, almost.  Next time I will.  But I arrived here exhausted.  I have that pleasant tired muscle thing going, where you know you worked hard physically.  And mentally too, just tired of thinking. This putting your money where your mouth is thing isn’t for sissies.  But camping was fun, and there are so many places that I want to go in Florida when I get back also.  It’s a start.

The photo is of a tiny teardrop camper that pulled into the campground just recently.  The campers were sitting outside with their campfire and looking like the proverbial happy campers.  And I couldn’t help but think how nice it would be to just pull up and be done with it.  No set up or take down.  And then it rained, and rained some more, and maybe I’ll stick with my little pop up, and my couch…

 

a second look, Just do it, leap of faith, learning, life goes on, live and learn, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, technology, the big picture

Call me superficial…

I have a friend who might stand beside me while we look at a beautiful mountain landscape, he would want to climb that mountain, as long as it was 4,000 feet high, while I’m content to take pictures.  I’m an observer, and that’s as far as it goes.  Usually.  Not just mountains, there is no telling what will catch my eye, this building certainly did.  And I had taken pictures, and I believe I put a couple on the blog a while back.  But my cousin suggested that I go inside.  “It’s magnificent,” he said.  And I did that the other day.  I snagged one of the three parking spaces at the side of the building and discovered that he was right.  It is startlingly beautiful. Mind-boggling to me.

Bradford, VT was the first town in the state to receive a charter for a dedicated library.  That took place in 1796.  But it took until 1895 for John L. woods to will $15,000 toward that end, and Lambert Packard to design it, and the Woods Library was dedicated on July 4, 1895.  All of which I looked up just now, thank you Google.  But the population of Bradford, VT is currently 2619, and I don’t imagine it was more than that in 1895.  So I find myself astounded at the architecture and detail of the building.  A gem of a building, not in a big city, but in a small byway in the country, and intended for the people of that town.  And I felt that way just looking at the outside.  But the inside looks like a magnificent gentleman’s library.  The wood working, high ceilings, and attention to detail are a wonder to me.  Credit my lack of education in the arts, we didn’t study much of that in dental hygiene school.  Thanks to my cousins for telling me that I needed to see the inside of that building.  It was well worth another trip…Bradfordlibrary6.26

Right from go the reception area with it’s loft above told me I was in for a treat.  But I had to start with the main reading/computer room.  There was a man on one of the computers, and another one at the table smack in the middle.  I felt badly as I tried to take photos around them without disturbing them.  And circled back in case they had left but they hadn’t.BradfordlibraryPITAguyBradfordlibrarywindowsBradfordlibrarywingchairsBradfordlibraryfireplace

And then the loft area was next.BradfordlibrarystairwellBradfordlibrarystairwelldownBradfordlibrarystairwelllightBradfordlibraryloft

Perhaps I’ve spent most of my life with blinders on, distracted by the glitz and glam, and missing the bigger picture all together.  Here I’m on this road trip in search of my youth, the person I used to be, was supposed to be, and what I’m finding is a new appreciation of all that I see…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Camping, connections, family, finding my way, friends, leap of faith, life goes on, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Camping in the rain…k

It’s days like today I feel like a genius.  I’m snug in my camper, listening to the rain.  No, not the adorable little blue camper above, but it’s also not the trailer that I originally bought.  I loved it for the layout, but was too much for my Chrysler Pacifica to tow.  In theory it was an okay combination, but other campers chimed in with their opinions, and they were overwhelmingly convinced that the combination wasn’t safe.  The suggestion by the dealership was to switch to a 14 foot trailer, but it eliminated the one thing that convinced me to buy a camper in the first place, and that was the couch.  Someplace comfortable to sit, or to lay back and read, someplace other than the dinette, or on a bed, to spend a rainy day.  When I finally showed up in NH, at the dealership I’d bought from, on display in their showroom were pop-ups, and one of them had the couch I was looking for!  Pretty much the same one that I liked from the first trailer.  That it didn’t have a bathroom wasn’t too much of a worry to me because I hadn’t planned on using the one in the trailer anyhow. Or camping outside of a nice campground with facilites.  I neglected to think about walking to the bathroom in the rain, which I will have to do soon.  And then there is the bear that visits now and then to tip over the dumpster, and whom I would prefer not to run into on a late night trip to the bathroom.  So maybe I’m only a semi-genius.  

But so far I love living in the camper.  I know that for most people camping is about living outdoors mostly.  But I haven’t done this all my life and I’m set in my ways.  I’m on a quest to reconnect with people and places I left behind years ago.  But I also need my cocoon, my privacy, at least some of the time.  This may not be the ultimate on-my-own camping experience since I have family here as residents as well as visitors, but they are a big part of the past that I’m looking to reconnect with, so it’s been great.  I think I’m back to genius status!  

Here are some random pictures I’m finding on the SD cards or in the phone, amusing myself on a rainy day…

campgroundsunrisefenceonthehillgeeseinarowlakefairleeboatslakefairleeboats2pathtowhereupwardtravelVTscene

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Hitting the jackpot…

The Jackpot being all the photos ops that could possibly be crammed into one 24 hour period.  Or maybe it’s the jackpot of having your lifelong friend be the one person who would be willing to pull the car off to the side of the road to capture, or try to capture, the scene that has caught your eye.  What a treasure it is to have someone in your life who has been your best friend since childhood.  Somehow our interests, and also our worries, have always been compatible.  We haven’t lived in the same state since we graduated from college together, but that hasn’t mattered a bit.  And we are now finding our way alone in life, but together.  Yes, I certainly hit that jackpot.

But this particular jackpot took place at the Quechee Balloon Festival on Sunday morning.  We actually went on Saturday, almost all of the photos we took were on Saturday, and it was a perfect day from the cardinal we saw as we started our day (a husband or two stopping by to cheer us on?), the glorious lunch we got at Simon Pearce (gazpacho soup and a fabulous quiche, two grown up ladies such as we may have pictured ourselves years ago when we were little girls together), and the lovely day with blue skies sandwiched between days of rain in the weather forecast.  Yes, all was going well, and then the clouds got heavier and the winds came up, and we started fearing the balloons wouldn’t go off at 6PM.  Which is about when I realized I didn’t have my phone.  I lose things often, but not usually my phone, which currently is my lifeline for  this adventure I’m on.  We gave up on looking, left info to reach us, and went back to the campground with a damper now weighing down the entire day.  Only they did call!  They had my phone!  We decided to wait until sunrise to go back to Quechee and got my phone, and also saw the balloons launch!  Every good story needs some drama, and this was no exception.  We made it back to the campground in time for the wonderful Father’s Day breakfast the owners put on for everyone.

Quechee has a covered bridge, we’ve taken pictures of it before, but it was the kids under the bridge that I hadn’t ever seen before.  Jumping off the cliffs (sort of) and into the water.  Do they really know that there are no rocks hidden under the water?  It was nerve wracking to watch, but of course we took pictures.  These aren’t as clear as I wish they have been but they do show the scene.06_15_19bridge06_15_19the whole scene06_15_19upriverview06_15_19quecheejumper106_15_19quecheejumper206_15_19quecheejumper3

But it was the balloons we came for, the third time I had come to a balloon launch and the sixth time for my friend, but we saw the balloons for the first time together.

06_16_19balloon106_16_19balloon206_16_19balloon306_16_19balloon406_16_19balloon506_16_19balloon6balloonfeature

Quite an eventful 24 hour visit.  Can’t wait for the next one…