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.

flowers, gardens, nature, photography, solitude

A Secret Garden…

I have never seen such a lovely garden.  A meandering path through lush foliage, and a surprise around every turn.  It was the fun meet and greet before our photo walk last Saturday night.  I could have gotten lost, happily lost. And I could have taken many more pictures, it deserved to be a destination all it’s own.  We were told we could take photographs and post them wherever we like.  I thought that was an excellent idea!3-24ozonadoorway_easyHDR-dramatic-bright3-24ozonapath_easyHDR-default3-24ozona3-24ozonabottletree_easyHDR-enhance3-24shed_easyHDR-night-strong3-24ozona23-24littlelibraryAnd oh, by the way, I took most of these as single photos, but I had heard that Easy HDR would convert those also.  Must have worked because I can’t remember which was which.

Chinsegut Conservation Center, coping, growing old, healing, losing battles, memories, natural wonders, nature, photography, solitude

A new you, I mean me…

Nature photography is new to me. For years I thought that cameras were for taking pictures of the grandchildren only, so in a sense I’ve reinvented myself as far as photography goes. Taking photos of sunsets and butterflies are one thing, always beautiful, but a trip to Chinsegut Conservation Center provides more than just the obvious photo ops. A locust chrysalis, which I would never have spotted if it hadn’t been pointed out to me, isn’t pretty, but in reviewing my photos from my trip there it’s the chrysalis that’s on my mind.

Seeing it made me think how nice it might be to just shed your outer, worn out, and thoroughly abused self, and re-emerge as a newer, fresher, you. Or me.  But knowing what you know now so you don’t make the same mistakes over again. Reinventing yourself so as to face a world that reinvented itself while we were busy and not paying attention. A world that dotes on youth isn’t such a friendly place these days. I know I’m not the only one who feels like I’m the same person I always was, but better really because getting older really does make you wiser. Easier on yourself. But you don’t look better, just older, and stepping out into the world, this crazy youth-worshipping world, when you left your own youth behind years ago, leaves you where, exactly?

I’ve spent the last three years at home, telling myself that I was happy, but in reality I was using the house as a chrysalis, hiding, safe, because I didn’t know what else to do. And telling myself that I was happy, and loving the privacy. No witnesses, except the dogs and they don’t judge. And now I think wait a minute, is this all I want or need for the rest of my life? And I imagine various Hallmark movie scenarios of what life could be. Then I walk past a mirror and think, who are you kidding?

Mother Nature gets it, at least as far as locusts go. When they have become worn and tired, and have been buffeted around by life a while, they can just shuck their old shell and reemerge as a new and improved version. I’m thinking that I wish people could do the same thing…

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coping, healing, life, live and learn, memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, photography, solitude, sunrise

Recalculating…

Could anything ever be worse than being at a high school dance, sitting in the bleachers, alone? She remembered the moment so well. She saw the boy walking toward the bleachers, she knew who he was, a boy who had caught her eye as really cute, one grade above hers, and he was walking towards the bleachers, toward her, but of course he couldn’t actually be walking toward ME she thought. He asked her to dance, and she looked around behind her to see who he was talking to. But he was talking to her, and if there was any chance to impress him with how cool she was she had already blown it by the time she got up to dance. That was it, their moment, one dance, and her insecurities had undermined her.

Flash forward 54 years and she was out for the sunset photos one night not too long ago, a night which happened to include a lot of activity and a pretty sunset at the beach. She was wandering around, enjoying the extra commotion, and taking lots of pictures. As she began to drift toward the parking lot she heard a voice ask if she had gotten any nice pictures. She looked up to see a nice looking man in a Michigan cap, smiling at her. They chatted about all that was going on at the beach that evening, and about the pretty sunset that was winding down. He had come to FL to be with his father through the recent hurricane, he said, and was going to be there a few more days. It was nice, like a lot of nice conversations she enjoyed when she was out. As she began to leave she thought about that, that she had often had these nice conversations with people and then just walked away.  But then he extended his hand to her and introduced himself.  His hand was warm, and she told him her name. He said he would really like to continue the conversation… and she turned into the 15 year old in the bleachers, trying to figure out if the cute guy in front of her was asking her to dance. What happened next was an adrenaline rush that blindsided her, and she started laughing. Really, it was ridiculous, but she couldn’t do a thing about it. This sort of thing didn’t happen to her.  She had been alone for three years, and she told herself she actually liked being alone, being on her own, making her own decisions.  She hadn’t been looking for more.  They did meet for several more sunsets, but now yet another nice ‘moment’ of sorts had passed. But some moments leave a lasting impression, and this one certainly had. It made her question her insistence that she was totally happy on her own, that there was no room for anything else in her life, that this independence was all she wanted for herself. Maybe, just maybe, there was room for more after all. Or maybe there would never be another moment like it, but even so she would smile when she remembered it, and for now the adrenaline rush hadn’t quite worn off…

 

birds, natural wonders, nature, pelicans, photography, Pine Island, simple things, solitude, sunset

Pelican sunset…

Not too long ago I wondered why I wasn’t seeing pelicans when I was out for sunset photos.  I had enjoyed seeing them on my first visit to this area when my son got married here, a very long time ago.  Then I noticed one here and there, but last night they were everywhere.  It seemed like every sign had a pelican or two perched on it.  And to see them flying low to the water and dipping their bill was fun, but it all happened too fast to try to capture in a photo

.  Maybe I need a better camera, or a better photographer.  Still, it was a nice Pine Island evening.  With an extra photo of the sunset from the night before thrown in.  Is that cheating?  Maybe…924sunset3This is from the night before.  I thought I must have adjusted it out of all reality, and then I saw a photo by my friend Rosie, taken the same night from the neighboring beach, and this really is what we saw.

birds, Florida wildlife, nature, photography, solitude, sunrise, sunset

Hammond’s Creek Bridge…

Hammond’s Creek Bridge as a destination for a sunrise/sunset photo shoot probably sounds more impressive than it really is. You take a winding, two lane, country road around a couple of near hairpin turns until you come to a bridge that spans a creek, and you are there. The bridge is wide enough that there is room enough to pull off in each direction, probably for fishermen to fish from the bridge. You can stand on one side of the bridge for a very nicely composed sunrise shot, or you could cross the road for an equally nice sunset shot. It is quiet, and for the most part solitary, which makes an early morning photo shoot a bit scary when you hear a splash into the water. Probably a fish, but I confess that I wondered about alligators when I was there the first time and the splash sounded so loud. Alligators probably creep silently, but I didn’t think of that then. And a nearby rooster announcing the sunrise adds a certain ambiance.

The sunset hour has the fishermen bringing their boats back into the little launch area just beyond the bridge. They throw scraps to the seagulls who circle the area in a frenzy, making for nice images against the sunset colors.  But that was last time I’d been there for a sunset.  Before I had a nice zoom lens.  And that’s the mental image that caused me to go back to this bridge for a sunrise and sunset recently.  After all the rain I thought that boaters would have taken advantage of a nice day and surely had taken their boats out and would be retuning.  But not this time.  No, not fancy, but it’ll do…hammondsunriseheronsunriseheronsunrise2hammondsunset