adventure, family, finding my way, friends, fun, leap of faith, life goes on, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip

Serius, seriously…

It seems like I’ve been on the cusp of heading north again for a very long time now. One box at a time, packed in one house and unloaded and put away at the other. Probably not the most efficient way to do things but it has cut down on the number of boxes I’ve needed.  It has seemed endless, but we are nearly ready to go, and it’s only six months since last time.  It had been two years before that and I was so homesick.  It was a wonderful visit, which explains why I turned my life upside down and decided to become a snowbird, with the mother of all road trips ahead of me.

My only complaint about that last trip was my frustration with the radio.  I’ve never bought music in any form, the radio was fine with me.  But on that trip I had a hard time finding a radio station, and I’d lose the station in no time flat.  And Ozzie isn’t much of a conversationalist so it was annoying.  Even after I got home it seemed like the stations I listen to play a little music (always the same play list) between obnoxious car commercials (“It’s HUGE”), and competing clinics that treat erectile disfunction.  But frustration with the radio is a thing of the past for me because I now have Serius XM radio, something I’d never been interested in before.  And it came complete with a nice comfy car, with lots of room for Ozzie and me, plus all the stuff we would like to tote with us.  Like cameras and dog toys.  I’m not great at traveling light, and Ozzie, well, he IS the elephant in the room, so more room for him.  I knew what car I wanted, but I was ‘just looking’ when I went into the dealership to see what they had.  Not the first dealership I’d been in to either, but somehow they shoo’d me out the door, sending me home with the new car and called it an ‘extended test drive’.  “Drive the car”, they said, “It’ll help you move,” they said.  It proved to be a good strategy because yes, I went back and bought the car.  One step closer…

 

 

 

adventure, finding my way, life goes on, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology, travel

Life lessons…

A visitor to my yard sale the other day gave me just the message that I needed to hear at the time.  I was dithering.  Anticipating the money that I would receive from the sale of my house, and wondering if I ought to buy the car that I had identified as the one that would be wonderful to drive going forward, since a lot of driving would be in my immediate future.  And it would provide for even more possible travel to farther flung places, should I choose to do that.  And how do I know how long this particular phase of my life will be possible?  I am getting seriously old you know.  So I ought to make the most of this time, don’t you think?  But I also like knowing I have money available, possibly more than I like spending it.  Never once in my life have I ever had to wonder where my next meal was coming from, and yet the fear of finding myself homeless is very real to me.  And it goes way back, long before now when homelessness has become so obvious to us all.  I don’t mean to make light of what. must be a cruel reality for a lot of people, I’m just admitting to a (hopefully) irrational fear.

So what was the message that was so timely?  He told me that he was selling his house also.  He had remarried, he was an 80-something newlywed.  He was married to his first wife for 55 years, he said.  When they got married he told her that since she liked doing bookwork, etc, then he thought she should handle all the bills.  And so she had, for all those 55 years.  He told me where she had worked all those years, and he described a nice enough life.  But after she died he discovered something shocking.  He had to take over the bills of course, and that’s when he discovered that they had $300,000 in the bank!  Totally unbeknownst to him.  And he cried bitterly, he said, because she had worked so hard for all those years and never enjoyed that money.  So sad really, but maybe watching her nest egg grow did bring her enough satisfaction and security to be worth it. 

I really didn’t expect that ending to the story, and it taught me something.  But if I was going to net anything remotely close to that $300,000 then I wouldn’t be worried about what car to buy now would I?  And, just to be clear, that’s not my family in the photo.  I used this stock photo because the panoramic moonroof is a plus for possibilities of camping, and since Ozzie wouldn’t need the electronics I wouldn’t buy those either.  Always thinking…

coping, courage, finding my way, life, life goes on, old dogs new tricks, photography, progress

Moving forward…

I have been telling myself that I’m very lucky to be in the midst of what might be the longest ever move in history.  Not in miles, it’s 14 miles between houses.  But the fact that I have access to both houses means that for several weeks now I’ve been moving boxes, and taking pictures off the wall and loading them into the car, and boxing up dishes, and driving them to the new place, and then unloading them.  It ought to feel like I’m getting somewhere, but I’m not sure that it does quite yet.  Consequently I have lined up movers for what, for them, will be the easiest, fastest move in history.  They’ll only be moving the biggest, heaviest, pieces that won’t fit in the car even if I could carry them myself.  I signed documents online to set this up, page after page of electronic signatures.  Heaven knows what exactly I signed.  And then I read the fine print.  All the things the home owner is responsible for, and that failure to live up to your responsibilities will result in a higher-than-quoted bill.  And so I will place the mattresses in mattress bags, turns out uHaul had them, and somehow wrap the biggest TV in such a way that it meets their expectations.  But what really had me scratching my head was the insistence that the homeowner shrink-wrap any leather furniture.  So my leather recliner, which I love, will have to be shrink- wrapped by me.  But again, it was uHaul to the rescue.  I’ll bet that if I had called them for advice in the first place they could have handled the whole thing.  But little by little things are moving along.  Physically, of course, but what’s more exciting is that my life is moving forward…

a second look, birds, coping, Florida wildlife, home, life goes on, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, progress, technology

Why now?

Why has the urge to write again become so irresistible at this particular moment in time?  I already have too much to do, what with downsizing again, and getting ready to head up north as soon as I can organize myself to hit the road.  I remember when we tried to pin-point when exactly we could see the changes in my MIL that would herald her onset of Alzheimer’s.  And I thought it was the move she made at almost exactly my age.  She was living in an apartment temporarily, and had most of her things stored at her daughter’s house, so when she seemed scattered it was quite understandable.  But she never was quite herself again.  Not that I think I’m diagnosable, but right now I have one foot in my house and the other one out the door, and that seemed like the perfect time to go out and buy the heavy duty tripod and Gimbal head for my camera.  The better to take advantage of my last days of heading out the back door to see what I could see out back.  And in anticipation of the photos of snowy landscapes I see in my future.  In this case I was happy I had invested in the tripod when an Anhinga was the backyard visitor yesterday.  Or was it the day before…11-8anhinga211-8anhinga311-8ibis1The Ibis are out back daily, and in large numbers, so I mostly ignore them.  But this guy caught my eye…

a second look, life goes on, nature, old dogs new tricks, pelicans, perseverance, photography, the big picture

I’ve missed you…

Yes, I abandoned the blog of my own free will, but it didn’t cease to exist like I thought it would.  No, daily I receive notices of someone enjoying a post they’ve somehow come across out there in the universe.  And notices of a few new followers here and there, and I feel badly.  Lately I’ve been wanting to write but I’ve been fighting it.  Not knowing how often I might write, and not wanting it to take over my life again.  So for now I guess this is me, on a comeback of sorts, just making my way in life one day at a time.  If such a thing as a Snow Bird existed I’d insert a picture of one here.  But that’s what I will be in the very near future.  Based on the beautiful Nature Coast of FL, but on any given day who knows where I’ll be…

In my endless packing, which seems to get me exactly nowhere btw, I came across the money from my yard sale.  Money I had forgotten about.  And since I’m liable to do just about anything in this moving frenzy I seem to be in, the fact that I had forgotten about that money meant just one thing, it was time to spend it!  So my retail therapy happened yesterday, and I’m now the proud owner of a new Manfrotto tripod with a Gimbal head.  (Trust me, it’s a good thing.)  I was at Pasco Camera, for those nearby, and Jim couldn’t have been nicer.  I was at his mercy really, I knew I needed ‘better’ but that was about all I knew.  When I finally made a decision and it came time to pay him I took the baggie full of $1s out of my purse, my yard sale stash, and started counting them out.  I assured him that I wasn’t a stripper, just in case he was wondering, and he cracked up.  And says there is a new camera club in Brooksville that he just joined and said he’d send me the information.  I’ll pass that info along to my northern (FL) photo chicks when I get it.

So off I went to search for the eagles I’ve photographed before.  Their former nest is gone, but a new one is under construction.  But they weren’t around so I moved on to the Anclote fishing pier, determined to try out the new huge lens/better tripod combination.  Again, things were quiet until you could see churning a large area of the surface of the water.  Then mullet, hundreds of them, all jumped out of the water at once, sending the pelicans into action.  I hope I would have figured it out eventually, but another observer pointed out the young dolphin who was chasing that school of mullet.  I really wanted to get spectacularly better photos with the help of the new tripod, and maybe I will one day, with lots more practice.  I was glad to be out with the camera, but all that endless mess was still waiting for me at home…

 

nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, safety Harbor, sunrise

Safety Harbor sunrise…

The trouble with going out for a photo shoot with very talented photographers is that you capture the same scenes, but their photos look entirely different from mine.  Camera?  Settings?  Post processing?  All of the above is most likely the answer.  You can’t fault the sunrise itself, it was fantastic.  And Safety Harbor itself gives you an endless view.  And the company was nice also…8-2boat38-2boatHDR28-2buildingsHDR8-2bushHDR8-2lightsHDR8-2pier28-2pierHDR