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…

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, home, learning, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology, weather

One day later…

It doesn’t seem logical, at least not to me.  One day after the sunrise that wasn’t impressive, but the reflected sky was lovely, we had the opposite situation.  From the second I got to Aripeka the sunrise was awash in color.  And if that was so colorful then I might have expected some spectacular reflections also, but that wasn’t the case until the last minutes I was there.  Each day we are treated to something different, and each afternoon we seem to have a thunderstorm or two, which has been keeping me home for the rest of the day.  Not a treat exactly, but with the rain comes the nice green grass… that grows way too fast.8-1reflectHDR8-1dramaticsunriseHDR8-1dramaticreflectHDR

I’m still struggling with the HDR photography.  These three photos are HDR photos created in Lightroom, but the featured image is my HDR photo taken into EasyHDR and letting the program do it’s thing.  One ‘expert’ likes the HDR images to still look natural, but I also like the over the top images I that see online.  My mind is boggled…

adventure, connections, finding my way, friends, fun, home, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology, travel

Barnstable Harbor…

I was supposed to be heading to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod last night, but sat and talked a little extra long, (don’t say it), so I opted for Barnstable Harbor so that I’d have more time.  I parked in a residents only area, but a very nice older couple said that that rule only applies when the life guard was there.  I asked if that meant that I had their permission to stay and take pictures and they said yes.  It made me feel better to have someone’s permission.  I’m still a slave to ‘the rules’… mostly.6-21boat6-21chair6-21grassesSingle photo enhanced with easyHDR 3.12.0: IMG_3845.jpg6-21sunsetHDR6-21sunsetHDR2

It takes a special talent to take this picture.  I love when there is a surprise waiting for me when I upload photos into the computer…6-21oops!

a second look, family, finding my way, friends, photography, technology, travel

Tidying up…

I may have been the last person in America to read this book,

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo

Sorry for the size of the text but I had no hope of remembering the title so I lifted it from Google.  I went on an organizational binge after my husband died.  His hobby, well, one of them, was collecting coins, and I was in fear that somehow I would throw away one or more of his treasures, so I had to go through all of his stuff immediately in order to prevent a disaster.  Part of me didn’t think I could make such a mistake, but he was secretive with his stuff so I wasn’t quite sure what to think.  I had asked him if there was any sort of inventory, if he had ever written instructions down in case something would happen to him.  But that was when we never dreamed anything would actually happen, and when he said that yes he had written out instructions I thought he was lying.  Fibbing.  And he was, and I let him.  And, to my relief really, after digging through his closet, which I not-so-affectionately called his ‘toss-in closet’, I found no coins in pockets or any other odd ball places.  They were all in the safe deposit box.  But I had to look, I had to know, I had to be sure.  The responsibility I felt for taking care of his stuff was quite overwhelming.

I mention this because in this book the author doesn’t believe in organization.  You don’t organize your stuff, you get rid of it.  Actually you thank each piece for it’s service, and then you get rid of it.  Hey, I didn’t write the book.  And I did get rid of a LOT of my own stuff after I read the book last year sometime, but I didn’t thank each piece of clothing before it got sent to Goodwill.  So by her standards all my prior efforts to organize Charley’s stuff and my stuff was for naught.

But the big take-away from the book, for me anyhow, is that I have faithfully used her method of folding and storing your clothes every day since.  I haven’t even been tempted to NOT use her method almost from day one.  In her method your things stack in drawers, and not only can you fit a ton of stuff into a small space, you can see everything perfectly.  There is no digging for the particular tee shirt or pants that you might be looking for.  My only cheat has been with my socks, that drawer still looks like a bomb went off in there.  Socks should be folded neatly together, and not turned one inside the other to keep a pair together.  That would cause them stress you see.  So she said anyhow.

But her method has proven itself to me again as I get ready for a pilgrimage of sorts, up north to visit with family and friends.  I’ve had lots of time to get ready this week, so I started transferring pants into the big travel bag I use when I have to bring a lot of stuff.  And, amazingly, I didn’t even use half the bag, so I added the shirts I wanted to bring, and it all fits!  I’ll be comfortable, although not prepared for a formal event, but since that hasn’t ever happened before I think I’ll be safe.  I used to always bring this bag plus it’s slightly smaller matching cousin on a big trip, but not this time…6-12socks.jpgI see fuzzy socks!  I should pack them too.  Last time this Floridian went north she just about froze to death…

a second look, adventure, learning, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology

Back to Bayport…

My powers of observation have never been great, I know that.  Details escape me.  So maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised when I noticed this little shop on the way back from Bayport last night.  How many times had I passed it going back and forth to Pine Island or Bayport?  Hundreds?  But I never ‘saw’ it.  But with the new interest in night photography comes a little different perspective when it comes to a building sitting alone, with lights and shadows, and interesting details in the facade.  This shop is called The Country Store, and it looks charming, I’d like to stop in next time I’m passing by.  Sooner rather than later…

6-5countrystore36-5countrystore26-5countrystore