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…

'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

Wayside…

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

faith, finding my way, home, leap of faith, life goes on, perseverance, photography, progress, Uncategorized

Just call me crazy…

Someday I will pack the last box, load it into the car, and drive it to the tiny little mobile home that will allow me to be a snowbird.  But until that happens I am making multiple trips a day, loading and unloading, and then bringing home the empty boxes only to fill them up again.  And the unloading doesn’t mean that things are all put away.  That everything-in-it’s-place thing hasn’t happened.  And I’m itching to go to work on curtains, but I’m fighting that thought, for now.  Because back at home there is still endless stuff to deal with, it sometimes doesn’t seem like I’ve made a dent.  A friend posted something on Facebook today that would be the perfect solution.  She said take all the stuff you want to get rid of and box it into Amazon boxes and leave them on the front porch!  LOL.  But the new little place is starting to look like something.  I’m encouraged.  So I’ll be heading north one of these days, in spite of the cold and snow.  Just call me crazy…

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…

photography, progress, road trip, travel

The Inner Harbor

Charley told me that when he was a kid there was an unwritten rule that no one went down Light Street in Baltimore past the Cross Street market.  That ‘rule’ would explain the resistance that arose when the plans to develop the Inner Harbor area came to light.  It was said that it would never be successful, no one would ever go there.

William Donald Schaefer was the long time mayor of Baltimore, and it would be hard to find a more colorful character.  He was the driving force, and as the area was developed, and the Aquarium failed to open exactly on time, he fulfilled his pledge to jump into the water, but he did it in style in an old fashioned men’s bathing suit, hat, and carrying a Donald Duck toy.  A statue of him now overlooks the Inner Harbor area, and I sadly neglected to take a photo.  Maybe his personality was part of what made me take to Baltimore so completely.  Charm City they call it, and it was when I lived there.

Now you would be hard-pressed to stand at the Inner Harbor and not see cranes, and scaffolding, as new renovations and construction take place.  New hotels, and new upscale housing and condos, are everywhere.  The two pavilions that house the restaurants and shops are being renovated, as well as the Gallery shopping area across the street.  The fears for the success of the area were greatly exaggerated.  Change is always hard I know, and I find that I’m living in a haze of nostalgia for the past for a while now.  The past of long, long ago, and even the simpler life of 25 years ago.  I need to shake it off, the future is all we have…

7-10WDS7-10ripley's7-10prattstpavilion7-10powerplant27-10powerplant7-10pirateboats7-10gallery7-10chesapeake7-10acrossthebow7-10paddle7-10constitution