'scene' along the way, adventure, finding my way, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology

Take a lesson…

Off I went on my own yesterday.  My destination was a covered bridge, found after a web search.  Did I check the map along with the GPS route?  No, and that’s the lesson.  I had options showing on the GPS, so I chose the one farthest to the south since my campground destination is north of where I am right now.  It wasn’t the highway option so it would have photo ops is what I told myself.  And it did…

But as the road wound left and right and up and down I began to wonder if I’d made a mistake.  It was looking like the proverbial middle of nowhere and I kept losing the Serius radio signal, making me wonder what I’d do if I lost the GPS signal.  Or ran out of gas, or didn’t find a bathroom soon.  And that’s when the GPS told me to take a right on Jimmy Lane.  I so wish I’d taken a picture of the turn off because it was a dirt road, no, a dirt trail, which I didn’t think was wide enough for the van.  No, I didn’t take it.  But the GPS kept insisting on equally trail-like turn offs of the road I was on, which, by the way, the GPS was calling ‘unnamed road’.  And then, like a mirage, came this…05-2i-19bridgetrip4Just in the nick of time a gal who was doing some landscaping along the wall told me how to get myself to my destination.  I had said that the GPS had led me astray and she explained that we were on the edge of a 22,000 acre wilderness area, and the trails that the GPS was telling me to take were left-over from the 1800s but for some reason GPS recognized.  They led nowhere she said.  I suspect I’m not the first person to have wandered through the area. I hope I’m not the only one who didn’t take the ‘road less traveled’.  But after that I passed through Newport, NH with a charming town square.

And my arrival at my destination was something of a let down.  It was just there, no fan-fare, a river crossing that led from NH to VT, or vice-versa.  I drove across several times and then decided to head for home, but on the highway this time. A lesson learned…

friends, fun, live and learn, memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, responsibility

Prom season…

I wish I’d gone to the two proms I just went to in the opposite order, because I learned a few things this last Saturday.  My friend’s granddaughter had arranged to have photos taken as a group with some of her friends, and that sounded like fun.  My friend had informed me that I was invited to take photos at this event also.  But at the last minute we discovered that one of the families had hired a professional photographer to do the shoot, and it was mentioned that he’d have equipment, meaning lights and such.  This news had me wondering if we’d be welcome to take our own photos, and I was immediately intimidated, but off we went to a nearby mansion where the photos would be taken on the grounds.

I needn’t have worried.  The photographer showed up in his shorts, with just his hand held camera, and immediately began to banter with the kids and loosen them up.  It was determined that they were a group of friends with only one couple among them, and he began marching them around the grounds of this old mansion and posing them with lots of humor.  I found his choices of backgrounds to be interesting, and there were lots of shots where he had them all posed but looking to the side at him, so I couldn’t get his same angle and I’m looking forward to seeing his shots.  Of course we were all taking photos at the same time, and he’d tell the kids to just look at him, and after his shots he’d tell them to stay put to give us all a chance at it.  It was such fun.

And this tiny little NH town goes the extra mile for these kids. They were all assembled   at a back parking lot at the venue where they were all having dinner and the prom itself, and they were announced by name, and then each couple or group of friends, would come walking down the driveway approach to cheers from what appeared to be the entire town.  What a fun tradition.  But while we were all waiting for the main event what did we hear but an ice cream truck!  Soon I saw little kids with ice cream and I was thinking that it was terrible to have that distraction when the event we were all waiting for would begin in just a few minutes.  But as the truck came into view I realized that these were prom goers manning the truck, and tossing ice cream into the crowd!  What an entrance!  A little slice of small town living in NH…

05-19-Kin'sprom05-19-Kin'sprom205-19-Kin'sprom305-19-Kin'sprom405-19-Kin'sprom505-19-Kin'sprom605-19-Kin'sprom705-19-Kin'sprom805-19-Kin'sprom905-19-Kin'sprom1005-19-Kin'sprom1105-19-Kin'sprom1205-19-Kin'sprom1305-19-Kin'sprom1405-19-Kin'sprom1505-19-Kin'sprom16And here you have the soon to be crowned Prince and Princess of the prom!

connections, family, grandchildren, live and learn, memories, perseverance, photography, reality check, road trip, technology, travel, weather

My girls…

Two of them anyhow.  There are more, but they weren’t in York, PA for the very busy weekend we just had.  If it hadn’t kept on raining, and raining, and raining, I’d have gotten out for more pictures and possibly might not have invaded their privacy the way that I have today.  Of course I’m proud to show them off.  They are beautiful people inside and out.

And I’m happy to be in York PA just in time for the laptop to be warning me that my storage situation had reached the ‘critical’ storage.  You see my daughter has an Apple Store less than a half hour from her house, and the Genius there got my external hard drive tweaked enough to let me store my info and backups on that.  But he also warned me not to attempt to do this myself, wait for Apple Care to call me tonight and walk me through it.  It was a “Don’t-try-these-moves-at-home” sort of thing.  You don’t have to be a genius to follow their directions.

05-11-19mygirls05-11-19rileyprom05-11-19prom505-11-19prom13

'scene' along the way, finding my way, flowers, friends, Heros, live and learn, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends

On the road…

Wednesday was my first real travel day, and I employed my new rule for myself right from go.  I didn’t leave in the wee small hours of the morning, a decision made easy since there were people there to say good morning and good-bye to.  And to thank also!  Plus my drive from Charleston, SC to York, PA was going to put me in the DC area at a horrible time from the point of view of traffic no matter when I left.  So the goal was to avoid the fog and drive in the daylight, and when I looked at the GPS there was an alternative route that avoided the DC/Baltimore area all together, so I took it!  And yes, it was scenic, but there were only two lanes, and trucks with issues going up and down the hills.  So the drive was pretty but more work than cruising along on 95.  By the time I’d been on the road for 9 hours and still had three more to go I wondered if the whole thing had been that great of an idea.  But all in all I think it was.

And stopping at the rest stops has proved to be a brilliant idea, I wish I could remember who to thank for that heads up.  As I crossed into NC in the Charlotte area and stopped at the rest stop there I found a kindred spirit, a wanna-be camper.  Except her history involves driving trailers loaded with horses or cows, so she is way ahead of me in the towing department.  She told me that since working at the rest stop she has noticed a big increase in women who are camping on their own.  So maybe I’m not nuts, or else I have a lot of company.  She said that she met the most interesting woman ever through her job.  This woman came into the rest stop and was distressed that she had come through a tunnel in her travels and damaged the satellite on the roof of her vehicle.  She was a German lady and had had her vehicle made for her there.  My new friend said that it was a Mercedes camper, but looked like a taller version of a Hummer.  She had the thought that no one would ever bother her in this vehicle because it looked like an assault vehicle, LOL.  My friend told her that she knew someone, who knew someone, who might be able to help her, and she sent her over to see him.  She promised to check on her after work, and if she had to leave the vehicle overnight she wanted this woman to stay with her, a thought that upset her son no end.  “Mom,” he said, “you don’t know this woman.”  She thought that was funny.  At any rate this lady had camped in that vehicle in Europe, in Iran in the desert, and all through South America.  I guess she was on her North American leg of her journey at that point.  When my new friend checked after work the woman and the repairman and family were all having dinner together.  He had ordered the part for her and she’d be on her way the next day, plus he had the camper all hooked up for her to spend the night in it.  A very unique camper for sure, and far more adventurous than I will ever be.

And now I have met the most interesting woman ever, and I don’t mean the German lady, but the woman I met by chance by stopping at that particular welcome center on that particular day.  She is a two-time breast cancer survivor who followed her beloved doctor to Boston, to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she was treated after he had moved his practice there. After beating cancer twice she was invited to participate in a bike ride to raise money for the cancer center, a ride from Boston to Provincetown on Cape Cod.  To participate you had to raise money by having sponsors, and she told her friends who sponsored her that if she didn’t finish she would reimburse them their money, but once she had raised $20,000 she decided that she’d damned well better finish the ride.  So she rented a cottage on Cape Cod, hired a trainer, and got serious about getting herself ready.  She connected with a bike shop owner who ordered her a lightweight  bike frame that you could lift with one finger.  He told her she’d never make it on the bike she had brought with her.  The upshot of all this is that yes, she finished the ride, and so did her doctor.  They were the only two from their entire group who did finish.  A news crew followed her for 4 weeks as she trained, which was a condition of her participation also, so that her story might inspire other women as they deal with their own challenges with this horrible disease.  A most interesting and inspiring woman indeed.

And it was uplifting to hear the praises of the treatment available at Dana-Farber on the very day that my favorite old friend from my favorite old neighborhood was receiving treatment there even as we were talking.  I never know what my day will bring, and most are good days, but some are better than others.05-08-19azaleafeature

adventure, fun, life goes on, live and learn, perseverance, photography, reality check, road trip, sky, sunset, travel

Mobile living…

Since I redid the curtains in my ‘Florida room,’ as it’s known here, there is a sliver of window showing above the sheers I have hung up high on the windows.  I love how it looks from the inside, and if I happen to look up and notice the sky in the late afternoon I might see that there is a very pretty sunset going on out there and I’m missing it.  So even though there isn’t a great setting to compose a picture I won’t be able to stand it and I’ll have to go out with the camera anyhow.  I took these pictures a few days ago when the pretty sky out there got me out the door, twice.  The same thing has been known to happen out the front windows in the morning too.  Sometimes I might be sitting here on the computer and thinking there is a torrential rain storm going on, but it’s just the wind rustling the palm fronds.  It sounds just like rain.  When a woodpecker decides to peck on the house it’s pretty darned funny too.  But life is simpler now, and I’m kind of proud of myself for not missing the luxuries, like my dishwasher and garbage disposal.  Of course I haven’t attempted anything fancy cooking-wise, so far at least.  Going to the laundromat isn’t bad either.  And my sleep and wake hours have become more normal.  Early on in living here I was up so early that it was still pitch dark outside when I was ready to take a shower.  It was little horrifying to turn, my hair full of shampoo, and open my eyes, and realize that I was showering in front of a window when it was dark out and the light was blazing inside.  Yikes!  I was thankful I’m not a couple of inches taller.  So living here has probably made me even more ready than ever to take on this ‘mobile’ living thing and really put it into action.  As in heading north and picking up the RV/camper and hitting the road.  I think I’ll be ready.  I’m excited.  I’m the proverbial Little Engine.  I think I can, I think I can…

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a second look, blessings, dogs, dragons, family, leap of faith, life goes on, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip

Homecoming…

Funny but my reaction to my son moving back to Florida is to thank goodness he’s come ‘home’, even though his growing up years were in MD.  But he did live here quite a while, but when  job offer he couldn’t refuse came through just when my husband died I insisted that he take it.  I was nothing but happy for him to get recognition for his talents at work, but when the news recently came through that the pieces had fallen into place for him to come back to FL I was a very happy mom.  So far it’s my son and the dogs who are here, the rest of the family to follow when school is out.  Oh, and the bearded dragons are here too, Krunch and Kona, who are a couple.  Charley and I once spent a very entertaining few days ‘egg sitting’ for them, moving the aquarium around to better keep the eggs the right temperature, and then laughing hilariously at their antics as they hatched.  They are cute when they are little, really they are.  Mike always used to insist that whatever critter was displayed in the front window of the local pet shop was just the pet he always wanted.  My answer to that was that we had a multitude of pets at home so I didn’t feel sorry for him if I said no.  Plus I held the line at furry, I needed my pets to be furry, so the snakes and bearded dragons had to wait until he was grown.  So when his son wanted a bearded dragon my son was all for it, and he picked one out for himself too.  That they would be running a bearded dragon farm wasn’t part of the plan.  Or I don’t think it was.5-2-19homecoming15-2-19homecominggooddogs5-2-19homecomingnojumping5-2-19homecomingsquirrels

They are settling in well.  The dogs are surprising me, though there was a fence-jumping incident..  A neighbor kid came out to his pool and his own dog barked, so he told his dog to go lay down, and Mike’s dog Smokey did just that.  Flash just watched the show, but no barking.  Not at the squirrels scampering in the big oak tree overlapping the yard, and not at the voices on the other side of the fence as they did yard work.  Yes, they are settling in well.

Could it be better timing for this homecoming?  Well, yes, for I’ll be leaving soon.  Snowbird season is here.  I’ve been distracted, and thinking of all the things I have to do to get ready, but so far it’s only a mental exercise.  Today I mentioned my van/RV combo on an online RV group and the page totally blew up!  Not the right combo they insisted, the RV is too heavy for the Pacifica.  Watching the messages come in was like watching fireworks go off, and my plan blew up also.  Luckily the dealership totally stepped up to the plate, so nothing has changed except that I’ll be enjoying a cozier space than I originally thought I would.  A little disappointing I’ll admit, I really thought I’d like that Murphy bed, but I have these pillows that will look so cute in there…