Showing posts with label Respite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Respite. Show all posts

Friday, August 03, 2012

Sunset Cruise

For me, this warm month is just the opposite of that physics where the sun hits a balloon and expands it to a nice bold size where it can bounce around with joy.  The sun (and resulting heat) hits my soul and deflates me as if all that hot air (that some might say I have an abundance of and love to share) disappears into the cool air conditioning and I collapse in a semi-coma on the sofa like a limp shadow of myself.  I search about for just the tiniest bit of energy to finish one last chore but every ounce seems to have retreated to the shadows.

My husband, on the other hand, is full of energy.  He has so much energy that just sitting still mid-afternoon might give him a heart attack and he cannot bob his foot long enough before he must jump up and begin another task.  He can always find some chore outside that needs to be done and come back in an hour later drenched in sweat looking like an Olympic swimmer with victory all over his face at the success of completing another chore on an unbelievable August afternoon.

This week he asked for an evening canoe trip after dinner.  I had put him off too many times and with his birthday (number 69) just around the corner, I knew I had to agree.  I indeed felt too guilty to turn him away one more time.  This wasn't really a 'canoe trip', because he attaches a small wooden transom to the stern of the aluminum canoe and starts a small gasoline motor that moves us through the humid air drying the sweat from our brows as we skim the water.

We crossed the inlet of the finger of the river and headed to the open waters where most boats had already reached their home dock in the waning evening.

We disturbed two birds (barely seen on the far left of this photo above) as we passed the area of the shore that is an orgasmic retreat for the fossil lovers at our local museum.  The dirt is like cement, so only the most dedicated would dig for fossils here.

I was concerned about the setting sun since our canoe cannot be seen by motor boats very easily.  Hubby handed me some bow lights and I spent a concerted effort while bouncing on a small chop trying to attach them under the lip of the bow in front of me.  Finally I was successful and when I tried to turn this red/right green/left light on I pushed and pulled without success.  I called back in frustration after my painful efforts.  Hubby explained with a carefree smile that that he had been having trouble pushing the light switch as well!  So we scooted on into the gray light without lights.

We pulled into a quiet beach that was exposed at low tide just to poke and explore and say a blessing for another day.

The beach was initially quiet and colored shells and pebbles decorated the shore.

I was just beginning to enjoy the end of the day when two energy addicted folks crossed the sunset with more enthusiasm than I have seen in quite a while.  Why am I the only one whose account is empty of energy?

I sat on a log and it groaned open mouthed.  No sympathy here.

Finally we got the sunset we were waiting for to recharge our spirit.

And just like an Olympic warrior in celebration of a great challenge hubby held the torch high as we made our way home.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


The boot is off and I have been instructed to keep exercise and hiking at bay for another 3 weeks. But I feel free at last. So, to celebrate, I am gifting to my readers my corner in spring glory.  Have a nice week!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


A lovely sunset last night on the river

I have been thinking much more lately of my parents. I try not to miss that they are gone and that I no longer have time to build a closer relationship with them. Perhaps it is the pictures of my childhood that I have retrieved that is pushing me on this backward journey. In several photos my mother is younger than I am today...that grabs my mind and heart and makes me a little dizzy. She looks fresh and happy. I do not remember her that way. I know that if she was in front of me right now we would get off on one of those stilted conversations where she makes me feel less than I am. One of those conversations where she is the grand martyr and I am the self-centered daughter. I love(d) her, but she could be an energy sump to be with. I am trying to accept the flow of the river of time. If I dwell too long I make myself sad and that doesn't accomplish anything.

There is a common idea that if we could go back in time we might better appreciate the moments with the wisdom we have since gained. Well, I realize that is a fallacy. I am watching my grandchildren grow and change like cornstalks in the field after a rain. I am aware of the moments when I am with them and I appreciate every second, but time still rushes on by and they still are growing and changing faster than I can deeply grasp. It is not about wisdom gained with experience. It is about realizing that we cannot slow down time. We cannot pace our lives as we wish. Having time to reflect and understand only helps a little. We still will make mistakes and have regrets no matter how wise we have become.

Life is like a river. It rushes dangerously fast in some places, then goes slowly and peacefully (or dully) in others. We are just along for the ride and try though we might, we miss much stuff in communication and relationships and understanding how others are truly feeling. We try to put ourselves in their place, but the river quickly pushes us on to somewhere else and we must process all over again that new color in the water and that new ripple.

I guess that there are people who know this truth most of their life. They do not waste time second guessing a decision or a relationship. But, I think for most of us, it is a crazy journey and we cannot really see the destination as well as we would like. It is a far way ahead and it will be whatever it is when we get there. We hope that we will understand it and recognize its meaning, and find it is something we can accept but hope is all we get at this turn in the river.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Everyone needs a quiet corner or a small space that sits waiting for them at the end of the day...waiting with 'open arms.' It does not have to be a fancy place with damask and lace curtains, but it should be a quiet and clean place where one can put down their burdens and put up their feet. The corner of my recently completed patio meets that qualification during the milder weather of the year. The chairs shown are old and from my mother-in-law's Florida room many years ago. Of the original four chairs only three are left and the cushions have worn thin. The cushion colors are faded and the ties are mostly broken. The chairs do not really fit the style of the patio, but they are too useful to toss away. They remind me of my M.O.L. who was a special and loving woman. If the cushions are not damp from a recent rain, I go out there with a good book and something to drink and perhaps my binoculars or camera and put my feet up on one of the chairs and sit back on the opposite chair and claim my corner of the world for an hour or so. (When I had toddlers the corner of respite was the guest bed when they were napping.)

Do you have a corner that you can claim?

Friday, February 06, 2009

City Mouse versus Country Mouse

Bob Brady at PureLandMountain featured this article about the human brain in a recent post. Since my blogfriend at One Woman's Journey has been dealing with this issue---as have many of us retirees--- I found the article most fascinating. (After you read it, you can talk among yourselves.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Habitual Carelessness

Retirement has been a wonderful gift for which I am daily thankful. I have good health and reasonable economic security, neither of which I take lightly, as I know like everything else in life, both of these will change over time. My life today has been the result of planning, learning, hard work, but mostly luck. I am lucky to be born in this great country. I was lucky to be able to go to college and pursue a career. I am lucky to have two beautiful and healthy grandchildren and two wonderful children. I am lucky to be married to a patient but energetic man. I was lucky enough to never win the lottery or some contest which would be a true burden in this simple life I now have.

Thus, I do carry some guilt with me as I do not think I have 'earned' this.

I carry some more guilt because I have not yet ventured out to share this time in a structured way with others who are not so lucky in this new community where I live. I am guilty because I do not feel lonely for being able to go for days at a time without meeting or talking to anyone, especially when my husband is on travel. I could so easily be a hermit.

I think this temporary withdrawal is because I was so bitter about the mediocrity and falseness of my last 5 years of employment. I was paid very well by the American taxpayer and not allowed to accomplish anything. I worked with people who created budgets that were never implemented and listed goals and milestones that could not be met without a fixed budget which we never got. It was a Dilbert world without the humor. (Our illustrious leader was a political appointee...need I say more?) Thus, I retired early taking a cut in retirement income. As a Type A, the alternative would have been slitting my wrists.

Perhaps, this procrastination now is because I feel as if I still have wounds to lick and a mind to heal.

But I have also learned that all those times I used to tell myself, "Once I get some free time..." have arrived. "Once I have more free time" I will exercise every day...not happening. I will sew those curtains after the New Year...fabric is still sitting in a plastic bag. I will paint the front room built-in so that it matches the trim...guess I will wait until spring so I can open the windows. I will repaint the trim in the kitchen so that it matches the cabinets...ditto. I will start with babysteps and drop by the local library and see if they need a volunteer or have a list of volunteer programs...soon I hope. I will garden more...that one is easy to do.

It is scary how easy it is to procrastinate especially when there are no immediately seen consequences for your bad habits.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Time for Thought

I have been thinking a lot about aging these days, probably because I am looking forward to retirement and realize that I must plan my future carefully if I expect to get the most out of my remaining years. I think when you reach that certain age, if you are lucky, you begin to realize that life is giving you a second change chance. When you are young and raising a family you are busy living in your waking hours. Each day is auto-filled with necessary deeds and tasks. People need you, so you spend time working on filling those needs---whether it is earning a living to pay bills or cooking and cleaning and kissing boo-boos or consoling a broken teenage heart.

It is a daily race and you fall into bed at the end of the day, hoping your mind will slow down enough so that you can sleep.

Then, almost suddenly, but not without warning (children entering college, getting married, having their own little ones) you realize that the race is slowing way down. You have time to look to each side and not always ahead. You are going slow enough that you now no longer worry about tripping or mis-reading signs and taking the wrong side road. As a matter of fact, a side road is most appealing.

If you have good health and your finances are secure your side roads are more interesting and more available. But even if life didn't end up like a bushel of sweet peaches, there are still different opportunities and angles that you can think about.

I watched a movie starring one of my favorite actors, Judi Dench, called Ladies in Lavender last night. A scene in which Dench is lost in thought about missed opportunities in her life and future choices she must make remains in my thoughts. Dench is lying casually on her bed with daylight crossing her face showing how lost in thought she is. The scene hangs in my memory because the impression given was that she had been lying there thinking for a long time. I realized that I have not had an opportunity to be lost in thought for quite a while.

I remember days as a young child daydreaming for hours. Do children have time to do that today? Are their days so programmed with activities or so filled with technological temptations that they fail to exercise their thinking muscles and in turn their imagination growth? Are we becoming a nation of doers and not thinkers?

I guess this is why activities such as camping and canoeing appeal to my soul. There is usually time for thought. Walking is another thought-provoking activity I enjoy.

I have decided that getting a little more peace in my life for thought and helping others realize how important thought is will be a new goal in retirement. The next time someone asks me what I will do when I retire, I will answer "Think more."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Your So Mundane

Mundaneness is taking over my spirit these days...a kind of plodding but contradictory busy mundaneness is filling every corner of my soul and sapping my elder strength. My blog entries have been what oil on the water I can corner and then send in razor thinness over the boring (to me) and flat blog ocean.

When my days and hours become like 'sand through the hourglass' it is time to take a break and restore one's soul.

Maybe the birth of the new one will inspire.