Let’s Walk on the Beaches, Shall We?

My internet has been temperamental these past few days – it was determined that I need a new modem, which should arrive today. However, as things are wont to do, it’s working pretty well this morning, so I thought maybe you’d like to join me for walks on a couple of beaches. That’s one of my favorite things to do – walk the beach, enjoying the sun and the breezes, the sounds of the waves lapping the shoreline.

Let’s first check out the tide pools at Yaquina Head – which requires we walk across the cobbled beach. Watch as you go, and go slowly, because these round stones like to roll.
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The ranger on the beach said the starfish population died out this past year so, sadly, there are none of those. There are, however, the lovely green urchins with their tentacles dancing with the movement of the water.
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And there are barnacles clinging to the rocks.
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The tide is coming in, so let’s head north a bit and visit the Beverly State Beach. It’s much easier to walk along.
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Oh look, there’s the beach dog doing his watchman duty!
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And monsters from the sea – the howling creature, hugging himself as he sings his song.
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Shhh, it looks like this one is napping – and snoring a bit. Perhaps the snoring is the reason he’s all by himself, you think?
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I enjoyed our walks, I hope you did too. The air is a bit cool though, so I think I’d like to go get a bowl of soup and have a cup of hot tea. Will you join me?

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Through Utah, Quickly

I think before we go back to the coast, we’ll spend a day – or parts of a couple days at least – in Utah. When I did my road trip to New Mexico in March, the plan for the trip home was to spend a couple of nights and a whole day in Utah so I could do some touring of the national parks there. But, as so often happens to me when I’ve been gone from home for awhile, delays in getting there just don’t work out for me. So I got to Utah, taking a few photos as I drove, then decided to spend one night rather than two and head on home. The photos below are what I got that I deemed worth sharing.

Driving into the state, this butte caught my eye and required that I pull over to get a photo. If I don’t stop when something calls out “take my picture” I will regret it later you know.
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Late in the afternoon I saw the turnoff to Newspaper Rock coming up – my chiropractor had told me I had to stop there, a historic Petroglyph site. Sometimes I listen.
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I think I didn’t find the Petroglyphs, although I wasn’t sure. Perhaps there were some up there?
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Was this one?
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Looking up Newspaper Rock on the internet, I don’t think I found the area where the Petroglyphs are at all. But Shasta and I had a nice walk, and now I can say I was there, with photos to prove it. I headed on to the motel I had reserved for the night – for two nights, actually, but I changed that to one night.

Moving on the next day, there were windy roads
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and I found Wilson’s Arch, so at least I got a picture of one arch.
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On into northern Utah, through Salt Lake City and out the other side of the city, The Great Salt Lake
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Continuing on, watching the road, my mind in neutral, the terrain turned white and I thought “hmmm, white sand? Maybe salt flats?” Remember, I said my mind was in neutral. Then I saw a sign that said “Bonneville” and my mind woke up, clicked and said, “Duh! Of course stoopy, you’ve seen commercials filmed in the Bonneville Salt Flats. Where did you think they were?” Yep. Duh. It goes like that sometimes.
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So that was Utah for me. Maybe someday a trip just to tour the national parks. Maybe. Someday.

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Share Your World – 2015 Week 20

On this rainy morning, it seems a perfect time to share more of my world with Cee. I feel no need to be constructively productive today, so I think I will use the day to satisfy my creative urges.

1. What is the most important thing that you ever learned? (I bet it’s not something you learned in school) You are so right, Cee, the thing I learned that I think is the most important was not something I learned in school. It took me a very long time to learn that it was not my responsibility to change myself in order to save a failing relationship. I did not need to become what I felt the other person wanted me to be – I needed to be true to myself, to be the best “me” that I could be. The old “if I just change this in myself or that in myself. . .” was too destructive and not very successful anyway.

2. What feeds your enthusiasm for life? Oh gosh, I don’t know. Maybe finally accepting the fact that I don’t have to always be accomplishing something – have I really accepted that, though? The old WASP work ethic breathes fire sometimes. So let me just say that I am learning to accept that, that I am learning to believe that time for myself, time to do what I want to do rather than what I need to do, is as important as breathing. I think also that having survived breast cancer played a very large part in fueling my enthusiasm for life, as well as my recognition of how short life can be and how important it is to make the best of each day we’re given.

3. What’s your most memorable (good or bad) airplane commercial or private flight? Let’s go with good, at least first. It was a flight I took on British Airways heading to Warsaw, Poland, with an overnight stop in London several years ago. The flight over was long, but nice – roomy seats, with the luck of having a window seat with no one in the seat next to me, and a young man currently living in New Zealand but flying home to London for a visit in the seat facing me, with no partner in his two-seat row either. We had a really nice visit on that flight. The flight home, however – another story. I was in the middle seat of five seats across in the center and smoking was still allowed on planes. I smoked back then, but even then I had trouble tolerating much smoke in small enclosed areas. Not fun at all. Flying now is not so enjoyable, what with all the security measures, especially since I question the success of those measures anyway.

4. If you were a great explorer, what would you explore? Whoa! I really don’t know. I’ve never thought of myself as an explorer, great or otherwise. Maybe I’d mimic Jane Goodall and explore/study the lives of apes, or monkeys, or Koala bears – maybe Pandas. I think it would have to be learning about some kind of animal life. Or perhaps I’d mimic Jacques Cousteau and explore coral reefs all over the world. Safely, in shark-free waters. I’ve never claimed to be brave.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last week was quiet with not much happening. I think I’m grateful for weeks like that – weeks where I do just enough to satisfy myself (there’s that WASP thing) with enough time to relax and satisfy the “me” time thing too. This coming week? I expect more of the same, and I’m looking forward to the sunny days that are supposed to follow these rainy days we’ve been having. Oh yeah, I’m grateful for the rain since this year has been one where all of our moisture has moved to the east of us.

I think I’ll share a few more photos of people unaware today. My kids will probably want to kill me after this, since a couple of the photos involve them.

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Five Photos, Five Stories #5

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Sam Squirrel says: All tuckered out, I am. I’ve been busily eating at the feeder (which, by the way, was really intended for the birds) for quite some time now, and nap time is calling. No point in going elsewhere to relax, however, this branch is really quite comfortable and it provides just enough sun and just enough shade. It’s important to get as much rest as possible this month, because nesting time will be coming up again in June. Then there will be all those little babies to feed, to watch over, to protect from any threats that might come by. Oh yes, it’s important to rest while there is time. You people have no idea how hard it is to be me – you have a love/hate relationship with me, I know – you resent the fact that I invade the feeders you put up for those feathered flying creatures, and I don’t understand that. Don’t you recognize that I must eat too? You like to watch me running around in your yards, racing up and down the trees, chattering when something unwanted approaches, protecting my territory when it needs it, sharing my territory when I feel like playing with others. You laugh at me, so why is it you get so angry other times? You can’t have it both ways, you know. If you’ll excuse me now, I feel my eyes getting heavy.

I say: Today is the last day of my five days of photos and stories. It’s been fun and I’ve enjoyed seeing what those I’ve nominated have come up with. There are many I have not mentioned that I would like to have nominated, so let’s do this on this last day: if you’re reading this and you think it looks like fun, please jump right in! Post a photo a day for five days, with a story, either fiction or non-fiction, or a poem or essay or any other form of writing that you might feel like doing. Then pass it on, nominating fellow bloggers to join in. Go for it, you’ll like it!

Footnote: Sam Squirrel, male or female? It could be either – Sam for Sam or Sam for Samantha. Make it what you want, no one will judge.

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Remnants of Lives Lived

On my March trip to New Mexico, I saw many abandoned, broken down buildings – and simply had to stop to capture some of them on digital film. It made me wonder about the people who lived, worked, cried and laughed in these buildings.

Who entered through these doors?
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And who exited through these doors?
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Did they come and go with joy? Did they leave because life was no longer tenable in these places?
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Was it because the family outgrew the space?
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Life when many of these buildings were constructed would have been hardscrabble for many of these people. Trying to subsist on the land, trying to tame the vagaries of the weather with some years too wet, some too dry, some just right – having no control over the elements.
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But there would have been joys too – the birth of a child, the success of a crop, the visits of friends, sharing cups of coffee, fruits of the land, jugs of home-brewed refreshments, dances with fiddlers plenty.
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Times spent in homebuilt rocking chairs on porches.
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Community gatherings.
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Time passes
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lives change and end
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the ravages of time and the elements tear apart structures
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and we move on in one way or another. I like to believe that there was more happiness in these lives than sorrow; I like to believe there was success – success that allowed time to sit on the porch and remember the good times, remember the youth of children now grown, read stories to the children of those children, to hold the hand of the partner that had shared those years and feel gladness that the hand is there to hold.

I like to believe there was enough.

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Five Photos, Five Stores #4

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When the Artistic One and I went for a walk along the coastline last week, we found, just over the fence, this Mama Goose sitting on her nest. She sat very still while we oohed and aahhed and took pictures, watching every move we made. I think if we had made an aggressive move, she would have defended that nest quite energetically and we would probably have come away the worse for it. I have wondered if she was sitting on eggs, or if she had young ones she was keeping warm, since we had seen another pair of geese with goslings earlier in the week. She’s quite the beauty, isn’t she?

Today I’d like to nominate Dawn of Change is Hard to join in by posting one picture a day with a story or poem, fiction or non-fiction, for five days and to nominate a fellow blogger to participate each of those days. I did this, Dawn, because I think working 12 hour days, taking care of Princess Katie and your husband, playing in the band and blogging is not quite enough for you. You need more to occupy yourself, right?

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Five Photos, Five Stories #3

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High up on a cliff, I looked down to see a mini-man wandering among the rocks on the beach, thinking he was alone and unseen. How often do we find ourselves in a position where we feel alone, private, yet in reality we are being watched? A little bit frightening, that thought. Or perhaps comforting, depending on your viewpoint. It could be a good thing that others can see us – could be there if something untoward were to happen and we needed assistance.

Perhaps the moral of this little story is that although we can feel alone, be alone in our thoughts, we should always behave as if we’re being watched. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your mother to find out about.

Today I’d like to nominate Suzicate of The Water Witch’s Daughter. If you wish to play, Suzicate, the rules are that you post a picture a day with a story, fiction or non-fiction, or a poem and nominate one fellow blogger a day to participate.

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