a second look, childhood, finding my way, growing old, life, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, progress, simple things

The finish line…

I prefer to think that my obsession with downsizing, purging, and getting rid of all the ‘stuff’ in my life that was weighing me down, originated with me.  Or, more correctly, with Charley.  That I started feeling as if I needed to liberate myself from my ‘stuff’ came long before the tiny house movement.  Even though we had sold the house we lived in for 35 years and had to pare things down to make that move, Charley still had tons of stuff he left behind when he died.  And even though I remembered how he surprised me back then by going through his things and tossing/giving away all sorts of things without any agonizing whatsoever, I did agonize over his things.  All his things were treasures, they were worth something, collectibles, as he was fond of reminding me.  I could be tossing away something of value.  My own stuff was junk, admittedly, so it was the physical act of going through boxes that had been sitting on shelves in the garage for years that would get the best of me.  I would tell myself that I ought to just throw those boxes away, don’t even open them I’d think, but I couldn’t seem to do that, and I’d keep on procrastinating.  But now I have finally done it, I’m pretty much at the finish line, spurred on because I wanted to save my kids the torture of going through all my stuff and sorting and tossing it away.  They’ll probably have to do some of that one day but they can rest assured that it is, in fact, junk, so toss away!

So what has made the cut?  What have I managed to keep with me through moves from MA, to IN, to CA, to MD, and, finally, to this little place in FL?  Besides the sewing machines, cameras, computers, and iPhones we have these gems.  Treasures from my childhood, and items that caught my eye over the years.  As I acquired them, the little stained glass candle holder bought in Beanblossom, Indiana for example, could I have ever imagined that it would stay with me, across country in both directions, and be with me here in what I expect is my last home?  Which in reality is my first ever apartment, so to speak.  The first place I’ve ever made for myself alone.  But furnished with the items that I have held close to my heart, that have pleased me, comforted me, delighted me, and carried me from childhood to, ahem, maturity…

adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, life, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Off to Venice…

If you are ever in Venice, Venice Florida that is, and it’s this time of year, then do yourself a favor and stop by the rookery to see the birds.  I wonder if a lot of people are like me and have no particular desire to photograph birds, but this time of year there are birds everywhere here, and to want to photograph them is irresistible.  Which explains why I bought my most powerful lens.  Because the photos I saw other people getting were so amazing that I had to try to get photos like that also.  And seeing those birds in their natural habitat, and learning about them, just spurs you on.  There were mostly Great Blue herons and Great White Egrets there, with a few Anhingas tossed in.  And a pair of hawks being chased off by a few grackles.  Friends went exploring and found a few alligators also, but not me.  After striking out weather-wise the last couple of days we couldn’t have had a nicer day to be out.  It was a good day.03-07-19anhinga103-07-19GBHbabt03-07-19greatblue+03-07-19greatblue+203-07-19greatbluebabies03-07-19greatbluefamily03-07-19greatbluetwo03-07-19hawk103-07-19hawk203-07-19hawk303-07-19hawk4

'scene' along the way, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, life, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography

Growing up eagle…

One of the things I thought I’d missed by being up north recently was the eagles at the nest that I have visited in the past.  While I was gone I heard that they had started a new family on a new nest built to replace the one that was lost last year.  That was happy news because last year’s chicks didn’t make it,  And I nearly did miss it, but not quite.  This years eaglet is in his awkward teenaged stage.  Not a fluffy cute chick, and not yet a magnificent eagle.  I arrived to find one of the parents in a nearby tree and the young one on the nest.  And that’s pretty much all that was going on, so after taking quite a few identical photos I had packed up the camera to go home.  That’s when the young one started flapping his wings and hopping around the nest,  It looked like he was going from branch to branch, and I saw plenty of daylight under him as he hopped, so it seemed like he was serious about it.  A teenager feeling his oats.  Like any concerned mother would do, his mother, I assume, flew to the nest and quashed that activity.  And our favorite young eagle was looking his mother in the face and turning his head from side to side looking, to me at least, as if he was trying to get back on her good side.  Nor sure about her, but he made points with me. 03-06-19eagle203-06-19eagle103-06-19chick03-06-19eagle303-06-19nest203-06-19family

family, finding my way, fun, life, life goes on, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, simple things, sunrise, sunset

Getting to the finish line…

After enduring the cold up north recently, and finding myself back in Florida, you might think I have been out soaking up the sun.  Or swimming, I wanted to get back to swimming.  But I have reached a point whereby I couldn’t function with all the clutter in this place.  I said something to my uncle about how I was making headway in getting this place cleaned up, and he responded, “Really?” I guess it doesn’t show when you have been going through endless boxes of photos and finding the keepers.  So I haven’t been out with the camera, and my social life has taken place on Facebook for two days.  But last night I headed out to the races just as the sunset was winding down.

It probably isn’t what you imagined, this particular evening of horse racing.  But my cousins had been telling me how much fun it is for a while now.  Here they are at the starting gate…03-03-2019startinggate

And they are off!  #5 has taken an early lead…03-03-2019inthelead

Someone near and dear to my heart was announcing the race.  Ten races in all, plus a hot dog.  Yes, a fun evening…03-03-2019announcer

And here we are, another day dawning in Florida.  I’m not sure that I can stand another day of ‘organizing’.  Gee, maybe the bluebirds are out…03-03-2019sunrise

'scene' along the way, a second look, finding my way, friends, history, home, life, life goes on, live and learn, perseverance, photography, progress, road trip, the big picture, travel


My navigator was using a Massachusetts topographical map to plot a route through the countryside.  Not to hike, thankfully, since it was incredibly cold, but to drive.  It was sunny, and the sky was lovely and blue.  That a photo op might present itself was always a possibility.  My friend worked construction, and from time to time he’d point out an area where he’d worked on a lot of houses, and it seemed that those newer houses in that area had the suburban neighborhood look that I’ve commonly seen, and lived in actually, all over the country.  Those aren’t what appeals to me or what I picture when I think of New England.  I like the random neighborhoods where the houses look very different from each other, random like the stone walls that look as if they weren’t built but that they just appeared along side the road.  He remarked more than once about how built up the countryside has become.  Progress I suppose, people do have to live somewhere.  But I’m happier to drive through the old neighborhoods that look exactly as they did when I grew up here.  And to stop, as we did, for me to take advantage of scenery that I couldn’t resist.  Maybe it’s just this time of life.  I once read that no one thinks harder than a 2-year-old does, because they are constantly confronted with new things that they have to fit into their understanding of their world.  Maybe being retired and having time to think about all the places and experiences of a lifetime is pretty much the same thing.  Just trying to make it all make sense… 02-01-19wayside102-01-19wayside202-01-19wayside3

adventure, blessings, finding my way, friends, leap of faith, life, life goes on, moments, old dogs new tricks, photography, road trip

A new day…

Here we are with the first day of a new year stretching out ahead of us.  None of us knows what the year will bring, maybe good and maybe bad.  But the greatest joy of this year, and this particular time of my life, is that I don’t need to know what’s ahead.  And I don’t need a plan.  I’m willing to let each day dawn like a gift, and see what the year brings.  It’s a little scary, I’ll admit it, but it’s even more exciting.  Happy New Year!