I’m always looking for a different point of view, in my life or in photography. I find it helpful to look close, look up, or fold myself in various directions in order to see something differently. You never know what you might miss if you just stay in one place or position all the time. Join the challenge:http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/unusual/
Where have I been; in a cave, under a rock or in an igloo? Temperatures in the single digits keep the door closed. Howling wind and creaking windows cause me to pull the blankets closer as I mindlessly challenge myself at solitaire, or watch Netflix. Am I a bear in hibernation?
This winter is no worse than others I have endured before, but it feels worse. I feel trapped, confined, limited, and on edge. I pace the floors, chase dust bunnies, mop up puddles under snow boots, the cleaning never ends. I read, I type, I go out, I stay busy but it really doesn’t matter what I do. I am MIA – missing in action, or missing the action might be more accurate.
For many years the weather was tolerable because of my growing family, my work, my community. I was healthy, I had so many ideas and dreams to fulfill, I was busy all the time. The winter was painful but it did not slow me down in the past. I did what had to be done to take care of my family, live happily and stay active in my community.
Now it’s different; my health, my age, our stage of life, our family. I don’t like hibernating like a bear. I want to fly south like a bird, or maybe southwest. It’s time for change, before it’s too late; before I freeze like an ice statue only to melt and disappear when the spring finally arrives.
I want to be free and actively involved in life, contributing something of value. The house and mortgage have become like a ball and chain; the endless repairs are like prison walls. It’s torture, because I love this house. I’ve invested my heart to make it a home. So many memories, so many hopes and dreams not yet fulfilled.
Stay active, keep moving, downsize property and possessions. How much do we really need to be happy? It’s not the material things that make us happy, but the loved ones that are served by those things; our family and friends. Can we pack our family and friends in a bag and take them with us? We can keep in touch but it’s not the same as being together.
Is being together worth being stuck in a painful and unproductive rut, wasting away? Some people feel it is, others do not. I am torn between two natures, two desires, to go and to stay. Some people can afford to do both, but I can not. One thing I know is that I am not a bear, I can not hibernate through the long winter. I don’t want to be MIA from life, I’m not done living yet.
A touching and somewhat related link: http://jamesdez.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/a-letter-from-mom-and-dad/
Seagulls float on the wind, moving neither forward nor backward.Brittle sea-grass appears warm against the cold beach.The wind and wet are no longer appealing as we bundle up and prepare to bunker down. The sun sinks in the west too early and the days feel shortened. The cool nights have their own appeal.
October 29, 2011 was a foreign day as far as I’m concerned. The earliest snowstorm I’ve ever experienced. I’m not a native to New England so some might have experienced this before, but everyone I knew thought it quite strange.
So this was Halloween for us last year – it was so foreign that no one came!
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign (hereandthere5.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign (imissmetoo.me)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign (littlemuddyboots.co.uk)
The view was BIG! From every angle a huge landscape. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have enough, until we share it.These were taken with my phone yesterday while showing friends from out of town the local scene.
The old road to Robert’s Cove, as kids we ran down to the lake for a swim.
Another view of the lake from a different hill we used to hike. The island in the middle with the two hills is where my parents had a summer cottage.
There is a long family history in these 3 photos that brought back so many memories. Although I have not lived in NH my whole life, I have visited here since I was a baby. My roots seem to be connected to this lake.
The lake is big, it would take 3 or 4 hours to drive around it. It has many nooks & crannies, coves and bays, islands & rocks. We took our friends on a tour around 1/3rd of it’s edges, the north eastern side, to share our memories and stories. Life is big and that’s why we share it.
Oct. 27, 2011 – I get a call from my daughter who’s in college near Albany, NY. “Mom it’s snowing!”, “You’re kidding, right?” I responded. A couple hours later we had a little snow dusting as well, just a little.
Oct. 28, 2011 – We woke up to see that the grass & cars were covered with a 1/2 inch white frosting. We had to defrost the cars before work & school. It melted away within an hour or two.
Oct. 29, 2011 – A reasonably nice day until about 4:00 PM. Snowflakes began to flutter down and we laughed, “I’ve heard we were going to have a snowstorm today”.
I thought, oh, it probably wont accumulate, it will just fall and melt, after all it’s not even Halloween yet. The leaves have not all turned color, and most of them are still attached to the trees. It has been an unusually late fall, not even very cold until this past week. Hmm…
5:30 PM in Manchester, NH – This is hard to believe.
We were still expecting it to stop soon and melt away.
7:30 PM – My son says, “What’s going on? It’s like the movie, Day After Tomorrow.”
A couple times it snowed during Thanksgiving. But usually, it doesn’t snow a lot until January. Often we’ve had a white Christmas, but not always. I saw enough snow last winter to last a lifetime and was not quite ready for this yet.
9:00 PM – The snow plow just went by, I see 4 inches on the tree branches.
Tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, and who knows what’s next. Is the world tilting? Perhaps we’re moving further north and the sun is moving further south. Is the equator still in the same place? We never know what might be happening on the large scheme of things. With that in mind I think that every moment is a gift of time to live lovingly, creatively and joyfully, regardless of the weather, or the changes in our lives.
My husband teaches art classes at several places. One location is Kimbal Jenkins Estate in Concord, NH, which is a very beautiful place to have an art school. We often go there for student & faculty shows as well.
We went to a show last spring and a few days ago. Both times my husband asked me to take pictures of the trees on the grounds so he can do some studies from the photos. There are several very large old trees there and I enjoy photographing them, but one tree really catches my interest. This tree sits right in the center of the circular drive in the middle of all the buildings. I call it Picasso‘s Tree.
These two shots are of the same part of the trunk from different angles.
There is another tree on the back part of the property that also struck me as being one of Picasso’s works, so I call it Picasso Tree Brother.What do you think? Would Picasso approve?
My daughter and I decided to take a shortcut through Vermont on Tuesday to get her back
to college in upstate NY. She had come home that way several times with a friend, and we had gone that way the first time we visited the school. I was looking forward to a scenic mountain drive and lunch in a cute backwoods cafe.
It takes about an hour and a half to get to the Vermont border from where we live. We had our route all mapped out thanks to Google maps, found our way to Rt. 9, and began our shortcut journey. Within 5 minutes we hit a roadblock. No signs, no explanation, no detour options, the road was simply closed.
Fortunately there was a police station very close by so I stopped to ask what was happening. I told the nice lady at the security window that we were trying to travel across Vermont to get to NY. She gave me a big smile and said, “Not today”. I asked if there was another way we could go, a detour, and she said, “the roads are washed out so you have to get back on I-91 and connect to I-90 in MA.” So much for our shortcut, I thought.
We got back on the highway heading south and were trying to figure out how much time we were adding to our trip. If we had gone the usual way taking all the interstate highways we would have been half way there by then. Very soon the traffic began to slow and become congested. Lanes were blocked off and cars were being forced into a single lane. Suddenly we realized we were getting off at an exit, all cars were exiting because the highway was closed. No signs, no explanation, no apparent detour options.
We decided to stop for lunch and assess the situation. We got out my daughters laptop and looked for information about road closings and alternate routs. It looked as though we could go from where we were across Vermont, or take some back roads and rejoin the highway. I looked out the Taco Bell window and saw lots of cars driving toward the congested traffic circle we had just come from but very few cars taking this road into Vermont. I was skeptical and decided to ask the locals what was going on.
I asked in Taco Bell, I asked in McDonald’s, but no one seemed to have any useful information. At this point we had no choice but to join the traffic that was circling under the highway. I saw some road workers and asked if they knew what was happening but they said they were from out of town. After inching around the circle and following the majority of cars that turned right I stopped at the first gas station, only to be told to keep following the traffic, that was the most direct alternate route.
So here we were out in the middle of nowhere, or somewhere between Vermont & NH, behind a huge truck going 20 miles per hour on a detour from our shortcut. We began to laugh and make jokes, and try to figure out when we might arrive at our destination at this rate. We had wanted to leave at 8 am to arrive by noon but we had gotten a late start and left home at 8:50. Still we had hoped to arrive by 1:00 pm, however it was already 1:30 and we were not even half way there.
I don’t know how long it took, maybe an hour at crawl speed, to get to Rt. 10 (a faster 2 lane road than what we were on) that would take us to where we could re-enter I-91 to get to I-90. What a relief to drive 40 mph and feel like we were getting somewhere out in the middle of nowhere (NH/VT/MA?). Suddenly coming up on the right, we saw this big building with huge signs and lots of cars in the parking lot. The signs said “Best Christmas Tree Shop Ever” and “The Center of the Universe” and… (what?) I put on the brakes and downshifted.
My daughter said, “What are you doing?” I said, “Well you can’t exactly drive by the center of the universe and not stop.” She laughed and I said, “We’re already late, so let’s have some fun.” My daughter had wanted to buy a friend some maple syrup and I thought we could find it here.
A country styled building with boardwalk porches all around and beautiful landscaping, it seemed like a resort or restaurant. At the entrance we were greeted, offered current sales info, and given a map. The aroma of scents was overpowering and there was too much to look at all at once. What was this? To our right was Home, bath, kitchen & garden, featuring Vera Bradley, Pandora, and other name brands. Yankee Candle’s were everywhere.
There were 19 or 20 rooms on the map and we tried to use it as as guide through this maze. Suddenly we felt like we were in Disney World, then we went through an exit and ended up in a Bavarian Village. My daughter exclaimed, “It looked and smelled just like this in Germany!” Her plane was laid over there last year on her birthday. To the right past a faux shop was a dark forest, to the left we heard rushing water. We went left in darkness passing waterfalls & fountains, through the Nutcracker Castle and into Santa’s workshop. What? The map was on the page with West at the top causing disorientation.
Back tracking to the Bavarian Village and entering the Black Forest my daughter said, “I feel like I just went through the wardrobe into Narnia.” I think we did, I thought. Aahhh… there is light, and more Yankee Candles, and more cute purses, and Maple Syrup! Does any of this make sense? The center of the universe is full of Yankee Candles, candies, cookies, spices, jellies, jams, pretty purses, Christmas trees & everything Christmas, and there was still more! We were barely looking, rushing through every room on a mission to find the maple syrup, and I was getting dizzy, almost sick; or was it the overpowering candle smells? We did not finish touring the store as we didn’t want to delay our trip too much.
As we left I noticed the map was titled: Yankee Candle Flagship Store. Imagine finding that out in the middle of nowhere! With maple syrup in hand we journeyed on, eventually re-entering I-91, then merging onto I-90 and heading on toward Albany. It was almost 4:00 pm by the time we arrived at her school. So our shortcut, which was supposed to cut our usual 4 hour highway trip down to a casual 3 and a half hour scenic drive, instead took us 7 hours. If ever someone mentions taking a shortcut again, I think my mind will wander off to many strange and curious images and smells, and an uncertainty of whether it is a good idea or not.
First let me apologize to anyone living in an area hit full force by Irene who suffered serious damage or loss of a loved one. This post is not about those unfortunate people.
This post is about Hurricanes and Newscasters.
Why do they blow it way out of proportion? Honestly, it makes more trouble for people than it is worth. Do you think all the hype about hurricane Irene saved anyone’s life? I think it might have made things worse. There is dishonesty in reporting just to put sensational news out there so people will watch.
I was born & raised in S. Florida and lived through many far worse hurricane’s. If you live in an area that is hit often then you know how it goes, and you know what you have to do. By the day before landfall you can predict how bad or not so bad it will be. I predicted last week that Irene would downgrade by the time it got to NYC and would be nothing more than wind gusts & rain by the time it got to New England, especially NH. I was right.
Meanwhile, universities as far as an hour and a half inland were not letting students move in this weekend because they were afraid of power outages. A paint store right down the street from my house taped up their windows and barricaded the front of their store. When I went shopping yesterday the shelves were half empty, all water was gone in 2 stores, and kitty litter was gone too. (It’s nice that people love their cats and want to keep them safe inside.) I have not seen this much preparation before a winter blizzard, and those can truly be bad in New England.
Does anyone study science or weather in school anymore? I assume the weathermen & reporters on major networks have gone to college, so what are they learning? How to hype up a story to keep the ratings up? Why do we tolerate this kind of overly dramatized news? It should be a well known fact that hurricanes gain strength over water and lose strength the more they make landfall.
Personally I would much rather watch an honest & intelligent assessment of the probabilities than a reporter risking his safety at the edge of the ocean and subjecting himself to the pounding wind, rain & sand. That is stupid & irresponsible reporting because many people would think “If he can do it, I can too.” With news being repeated in so many ways through so many media forms these days it is easy to incite panic & overreaction. The world is not coming to an end, and if we react calmly & rationally knowing factual information we are much more likely to make it through the storms.
I have walked through the streets of Myrtle Beach during a hurricane with water up to my knees, trying to get to the location to meet my evacuation ride. I was not panicked because I knew what to expect. I had been through it many times before. When I lived in Orlando friends used to evacuate the coastal areas and stay at my house, which was only an hour inland, but we were never seriously impacted.
I was 5 years old when I met my first hurricane in south Florida. The thunder, & pounding wind & rain on my bedroom windows woke me with a fright. Jumping out of bed, I ran to find my parents and found myself sliding down the hallway on my back in several inches of water. Mom & Dad were moving furniture away from the front windows and trying to keep the front hallway bailed out at the same time. They wrapped me in a towel and calmed my fears. It’s just water, they said.
They didn’t want me to be afraid, so they took me outside during the eerie calm of the eye of the storm. We assessed the damage and tied down or protected anything else that might create a problem during the second half of the storm. Whenever there was a hurricane as I was growing up my parents would take my brother & I with them after the storm had passed, to assess the damages in the city and to their business or family property. They wanted to educate us, not scare us.
The point is, lots of people have a great deal of experience & knowledge about storms, the behavior & damage potential, & how to survive them or avoid what can be avoided. The news should consult real experts and give people useful information rather than a lot of hype which just scares people, especially when it’s so unnecessary.
We slept with our windows open last night, enjoying the breeze. When I woke up this morning to nothing more than a rainy day, I waved my arms in over dramatized fright and proclaimed, “Oooh, the big scary hurricane has hit!…. Not”.
For some people summer may evoke memories of lazy days as a child idling the time away, flying kites & riding bikes, going to the park or the beach, or hanging out with friends.
Oh wait, that was me as a kid. Summer was really hot (in Florida), we competed for the best tan. But we spent the strongest sunshine hours from noon to 3 PM indoors in the air conditioning. Hanging out, doing crafts or reading. Outdoor activities were best in the morning or late afternoon & evening. It didn’t get dark until 9 PM. Anyway, in Florida you have access to the same outdoor activities year round, so why risk dehydration and skin cancer in the summer?
New England is so different. I first moved up here in the summer and I couldn’t understand the mad rush to the lakes, parks & bar-b-ques on the weekends. It was a mad rush all summer with happenings everywhere. It didn’t make sense to me. Then there was the mad rush to get ready for the new school year and sports, and finally a big bash for Labor Day weekend. “What’s the big deal?” I thought. Seasons, it was about seasons.
I didn’t know much about seasons, how they affect lifestyle, mood, expectations. It took along time to get used to it too. People who are born or grow up in a place with 4 seasons
will naturally adapt & prepare for what’s coming. They also anticipate the benefits of each season more than someone who is used to a less changing climate.
One of my favorite end of the summer activities in NH is picking ripe blueberries, on a mountain, on an island on the lake, and now in Mom’s back yard. Another favorite is being early for back to school sales. Being early is the key, being late is a disaster. Now it’s back to college for my daughter. Preparing for the new year at college can be a lot less expensive. By this time your kids are much more aware of what they need and don’t need. They can also take a lot of the stuff they already have, and if they’ve been working, they can pitch in & help with the expenses.
So this year, as my daughter’s room will be in a house with a common kitchen that she is so looking forward to using, I decided to make a special gift. I must admit I made it from a kit and the kit was on sale (at Hobby Lobby) but I couldn’t resist. I knew she would love it.
Now, she’s busy getting the little things, cleaning up her room at home and packing. Spending a little more mommy/daughter time and time with friends, while preparing for & anticipating what Autumn will bring. Preparing and anticipating, we do a lot of that as parents too. I guess you could say it’s a very big part of life. So perhaps growing up in a place with seasons has it’s benefits, understanding that life is always changing and there are things we can do to prepare, and every season has it’s highlights.
What’s your favorite season and what do you like most about it? Are you from a place where climate & geography made your life very different from what it is now?