a second look, connections, coping, courage, fantasy images, finding my way, friends, growing old, life goes on, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

Happily ever after…

I have a friend who has lots to say on the subject of UFOs and aliens.  He asked if I believed in them, and while I couldn’t say that I do think they are ‘real’, I certainly wouldn’t stake my life on them not being real.  They are among the many things that I haven’t given a lot of thought to, or any thought to at all.  Even after he brought it up I spent no time pondering the possibilities.  

But I have moved on from the person I’ve been since Charley died, the one who was home every night, happily I might add, feeling snug, and safe, and proud of herself for making it through another day.  No, I’ve turned into a person who is looking at the world a little differently, able to admit that maybe there could be more to life, but not willing to bet any money that anything will change.  It’s made me see things differently.  And finding yourself single as you hang onto the last vestiges of your 60s is a lot like you have been dropped here from a UFO and are expected to make heads or tails out of this society.  One which bears no resemblance to what the world was like the last time I was single.  To me the ‘rules’ of behavior are still the same rules that I grew up with all those years ago.  But if TV is to be believed it’s a whole new world out there and I am totally not ready for it.  I don’t know the rules, or maybe the biggest rule is that there aren’t any rules.  I am as unprepared for a social life now that I’m old as I was when I was 18. 

I was looking for something to watch on Netflix, and saw a show called “Love”, and thought it would be harmless, kind of like the Hallmark Channel, or the easy listening channel on the radio.  Boy, was I wrong.  But I was looking at Netflix because I’m tired of the Hallmark Channel and it’s sappy, happily-ever-after stories.  That’s not real life.  But this is real life, and maybe I’m already living the only happily ever after that I’m going to get.  Would that be so bad?  No, not really…

connections, family, finding my way, home, live and learn, memories, old dogs new tricks, photography, travel

Hit the road…

So a road trip was in order.  Why not, what was stopping me?  Well, there was the credit card that was coming in the mail since my post-church stop for gas resulted in my credit card being hacked.  How’s that for karma?  The bank shut my account down within a day, and it’s all ‘fixed’, but without even a hint of an attempt to discover who, or how, it happened.  Never pay at the pump was the take away from that conversation, walk into the station and pay, preferably using the chip.  Or cash.  I never have cash, and that would solve the gas station problem, but somehow cash seems less safe to carry around.  Did having a husband make these sorts of issues less of a threat?  Not really, but there was the illusion of being somehow protected.  Is it any wonder why I never ponder the larger issues of life when these every day issues can blow my mind?  Send me back under the covers to wait for something to change?   

And which road, for the road trip I mean?  Did you ever read ‘Blue Highways’, by William Least Heat Moon?  Wonderful book that instilled a wanderlust in me that’s been sitting on the back burner for years now.  Should I get on 95 and drive north at 70 mph, stopping only for the bare necessities?  Or should I travel the ‘blue highways’ on the map, stopping for photo ops, talking with strangers, hearing their stories?  I’m an excellent practitioner of the ‘rosy-glasses’ philosophy of life.  I have never been any good at anticipating the not-so-perfect consequences of any choice I’ve ever made.  So with that as my history I suppose it’s hopeless to expect myself to change at this late date.  And honestly, do I have many regrets over the choices I’ve made in my life?  No, things have turned out well enough for me, in spite of myself…6-12bluehighway

learning, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, technology

How much is that doggie…

… in the window?  It was the Boston Terrier in the window that made me want to take a picture of this store window.  I was on the first night photo walk that I attended last March in Tarpon Springs, and I took a lot of photos that night that I never tried to use before.  It seems like I’ve bogged down a little, I need time to catch up mentally.  My constant quest to get out and take more pictures leaves me not a lot of time to think about the lessons I’ve been learning.  And I know how ridiculous that sounds since I’ve had much more time off than time at work.  So I decided to go back and look at some of the thousands of photos I’ve taken in the last year to see what photos I skipped over.  6-4caribongoHDR6-4fountainHDR6-4aquawindowHDR6-4streetlightThe big take away from this exercise is the ‘transform’ tool in Lightroom.  This last picture was hopelessly on an angle, and trying to fix it by straightening it in the crop tool wasn’t working.  Since the main street of Tarpon Springs is a hill, and I hadn’t tried to level the photo when I took it, I assumed it was hopeless.  Then I remembered to try ‘transform’, and hit ‘auto’.  Amazing.  I know that you should be trying to take the perfect photo as you take it, using the best settings and composition to tell the story of the photo.  But I’m glad to have the editing tools I’m learning about also.  Technology is a wonderful thing.

coping, death, growing old, losing battles, memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, photography, solitude

Resting places…

Duxbury Beach in Massachusetts features prominently in my fond memories of home.  Maybe it was that we used to stay at my uncle’s cottage, the last one on the seawall that defined the private beach from the public beach.  That it was rocky, especially after a storm, was a plus.  You could put your blanket out on the sand and scout out a few rocks to anchor down the corners.  My husband had heard me rave about it long before he ever saw it, and when I took him there it was after a storm and it was particularly rocky, and from the look in his eye I’m pretty sure he doubted my sanity after that.  Since then I have been to lovely beaches with expanses of sugar sand as far as the eye can see, but I will never feel about them the way I feel about Duxbury.  Which is why I told Charley that I wanted my ashes scattered at Duxbury when the time came.  My daughter heard that and said that I should be informing her of my wishes, and, as usual, she was right.  If I was ever going to change my mind about that then visiting a cemetery like this one is why I’ll let the decision stand.  Stones sinking into the ground, names and dates barely readable, and no one to care or remember.  Sadly, there was more than one ‘unknown’ marker.  A person, a life.  Someone’s child, possibly someone’s parent, gone except for that sad marker.  After being home alone for so long I’m finding that part of me now wants to get out, hit the road, go everywhere, see everything. But I tell myself I’m too old, I can’t do it alone.  Maybe so, maybe not.  But I like the idea that one day my ashes might ride the wind and the water, and travel farther than my dreams can take me now.  I’ll return to Duxbury one day…5-28cemeteryfence

5-28angelHDR5-28EffieHDR5-28Fred5-28twobytwo5-28cemeterytree5-28myunknownHDR.

blessings, connections, coping, courage, finding my way, healing, life goes on, live and learn, moon, old dogs new tricks, photography, sunset

It’s my blog-iversary!

Who would have imagined that a random stop at Best Buy would be a life changing event?  It was late December of 2016, I was just at loose ends and wandering, shopping, and there it was, a nice DSLR camera that came with two lenses, and for less money than I ever would have thought.  There was no research on my part, no investigating of different brands or camera models, all of which would have been lost on me, and truth be told, still would.  No, it was a Canon, and I’d had a Canon 35mm camera before and loved it.  And a nice salesman my age, which for some reason made me feel more like I’d be able to figure the thing out.  Within a month the Sandhill cranes that frequented the lake out back laid some eggs, and that gave me a built in reason to sit out back with the camera with the nice new zoom lens and see what I could see.  And as much as my iPhone was and is a great camera, it wasn’t going to be enough once the cranes were on the scene.

The rest is history.  Local classes that had me attempting to learn to use the camera settings, and then came the infamous class on’ how to start a blog’, which I had never once given a thought to ahead of time.  I had become totally obsessed with the little crane family, watching the ‘colts’ grow, and the class on how to start a blog got a framework set up in the computer.  And wanting to tell their story got me writing.  I did wonder what I’d talk about after they had left the nest, which was almost enough to stop me from ever starting in the first place.  But I figured I’d worry about that later, besides, I thought, it’s not like anyone was going to read it anyhow.

All this is in anticipation of the one year anniversary of the first post.  I am well aware that I haven’t thanked the very nice people who have chosen to follow this blog, and who have encouraged me along the way.  I usually can’t remember what I posted a day or two ago because I’m onto the next photo op and wondering how I will turn it into a post.  And I’ve met such nice people online, and also in person through photography.  Yes, it’s been life changing.  Possibly life saving…

So, better late than never let me thank you now.  All of you.  It’s nice to have someone to talk to…5-27sunsetreflect5-27sunset15-27lastsunset

adventure, Florida landmarks, go with the flow, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, sunset, weather

Talking photography…

There are days, like my big Friday photo safari, where you find yourself taking photos all day long.  Then there are days, like today, when you wind up doing a lot more talking about taking photos, and editing photos, than you do taking new photos.  But if you are lucky, like me, you were out for the sunset at Fred Howard Park on Wednesday night.  Followed by a quick trip to the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs for a few night photos.  But it was odd to not be surrounded by lots of tourists on the street, and lots of the shops weren’t lit up as late as I was there, so I headed for home and waited to work on the photos until today.  After all the rain we have had lately it was so nice to be outside in the sunshine, and then a pretty sunset to boot. This weather cycle is going to be with us a bit longer, and there is more thunder and lightning out there even as I type.  I’m thinking an Ark might be in order…5-23Rustybellies5-23beachHDR

5-23nightship5-23HowardHDR35-23beachHDR2-25-23flagshop5-23HDRchair5-23HDRchair25-23Hellas2