Two previous trips to Philippe Park to see the owls hadn’t been successful. Not only were we freezing, but the owls were hunkered down keeping warm also. But yesterday was a perfect Florida winter day, so off I went. As usual, it was the other photographers who had to point out the nest, and Mama in the tree keeping watch. But was it any wonder I couldn’t spot her when she was so well camouflaged? Thus you have the dilemma, which side of the trees do you want to shoot from? This side was the best view of the babies when I was there last year, but the other side had a contingent of photographers waiting for Mama to fly down to the nest. When the babies were stirring, that’s when they expected her to fly, and that was the shot they were waiting for. So I marched myself and my camera over to that side to see what I could see. And I wasn’t disappointed.And there was Mama too, always watching. She was preening, the babies were stirring, the photographers were sure she was ready. I realized that I could zoom out and you could see the nest and Mama, but the perspective is skewed. We were standing on a hill, so the fact that the nest was up high, and that Mama was behind, in another tree and much higher than the nest is, doesn’t show. But this was the view.I headed to the other side again, tired of waiting for her to fly, and convinced that the babies would be putting on a show over there. I missed the fly shot by just a minute, and there was a lot of activity that looked like feeding, but down low in the nest. Another photographer asked if I’d gotten the shot where Mama picked up a rat and moved it from one side to the other, but no, no I did not. I was trying to hold out for shots of all three of them, but that one baby wasn’t cooperating. Darn it. But I’m not really complaining, it was a fun way to spend the afternoon.
This isn’t my photo. I guess I’ll be able to see who actually reads the blog when people start asking where I am. This is a stock photo I’ve been scrolling for this morning. It seemed like a good idea because I’m freezing! Literally freezing. Bundled up in sweater, socks, fleece lined slippers, and I can’t think about anything except how cold I am. And yes, I do see the irony of going on and on about wanting to go north to see family and friends, and the first cold snap in Florida has me hunkered down and hiding out, waiting for the sun. It will warm up here in a day or two, but not so where I’m heading. I visited last year in April and half froze to death. And the year before that I visited my son’s house as May turned into June and sat in the house wrapped in blankets waiting to leave. And yet even knowing that I have been looking forward to taking snowy landscape pictures without ever once picturing how cold I’ll be while I attempt to take them. And those last trips north seem to mean that I’ll be too cold until June, or there-abouts. I’m pretty sure that this year will be the exception for me. This snowbird will get her seasons straightened out and make sure I’m in Florida for the winter months. After all, here we will be seeing the annual migration of birds to the area, and for months we’ll be able to go out to the state parks and wildlife preserves to see nature in all her glory. That’ll be next year.
I was scrolling for a winter snowsuit picture to wind up with and one of them reminded me of how the kids used to do a running, head-first, somersault onto their jackets, and come up on their feet with they jackets on. Don’t know that I’ll master that technique but I wonder if this comes in my size?
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…
When it’s just the sky on your way home from work at 5 PM. Pretty enough, but no place to stop for a nice picture. And no camera with you, well, besides your phone. And Ozzie patiently waiting for you to come home, as if you arriving home was going to mean fun for him. It wasn’t. Working on your feet from 8 to 5 is pretty darn tiring these days. Or maybe it’s like being on short time in the service, because I know I only have a week more to work and I’m done. And yes, there are mixed emotions associated with this. I will miss my co-workers who were there for me these last four years as I figured out how to keep on going on my own. Work was my social life, and I was happy to be home every night. And then I wasn’t.
This mental turning point took me by surprise. A friend describes hiking all the 4,000 ft peaks in the White Mountains, and how when you get to the top it can be extremely cold and windy, and you have to struggle to cross that peak and get to the tree line on the other side to find shelter from the weather. I have never climbed mountains, but I found myself realizing that the safe little harbor that I’ve been enjoying wasn’t going to sustain me in the long run, and that presented an emotional hurdle that I’ve found to be the mental equivalent of crossing that mountain peak. First to face the reality of the situation, and then to resist the urge to stick my head in the sand and do nothing. Or I could venture into the unknown, so to speak. But I’ve gotten there, I have rolled the dice even though I have no idea what’s next, besides the movers coming today to move the few larger items that I’m bringing with me to my tiny new Florida home. Tiny home and tiny expenses, and time to have an adventure or two. I’m just a fireman’s daughter who has been telling myself that being all tucked in at home was all I needed to be happy. But maybe there is more…
Yes, I have abandoned the blog. I thought I was spinning my wheels trying to always think of something to talk about, and obcessively getting out for photos. That somehow creating a blog post every day was keeping me from something else I might be doing. Something more creative/fun/exciting, except that hasn’t proven to be the case. All I can say is that on the cusp of four years after losing my husband I have effectively lost it, and I have no idea in this world what to do about it. I was homesick, I thought that was it. And despite connecting with more people from my past than I ever would have imagined a year ago, I’m still homesick. Or maybe it’s because of all those connections, which I treasure. I’m here and everyone I love is ‘up there’.
When it came to closing down the blog I had choices. I could delete it, sending it to oblivion. Or I could unpublish it, which meant it’s still there in case I decided to write some more. And in the meantime I’ve gotten messages telling me of new followers, joining without knowing that there is nothing to follow. I feel guilty about that.
So I have no words of wisdom and nothing much else to say at this point, but an explanation seemed in order. I’m going to make an actual physical list of all the reasons that I should be grateful to be here, now, and let it go at that. A wise person told me that the secret is to not make a plan, because then your life is always going according to plan. This is me, operating without a plan…
LqJust down the road from the Mt. Washington hotel you will find the charming little town of North Conway. We shopped, we ate, or more correctly, we pigged out, And then attempted to walk off our lunch while we acted silly and took photographs. I have always said that when we get together I feel like we are a couple of 15 year old grandmothers, and apparently that’s never going to change…Kathy has three wild turkey ‘moms’ with a lot of babies in her yard daily. They are fast, I haven’t gotten good pictures. But I’ve often thought that wild turkeys don’t look like ‘real’ turkeys. Finally one put on a show when I was trying to take pictures. Guess they really are turkeys aren’t they?