nature

Storm Watching

I spent a few hours storm watching on a recent trip. It wasn’t planned but I ended up enjoying it enough to write about it.

It all started when I was at the beach. Friends and I were bickering back and forth on whether the rain was coming or not. One side was super clear skies while the other side looked like a nasty storm was brewing. The weather app was not showing either view throwing logic out the window.

Back at the vacation spot we sat and watched the clouds in the distance. We heard sounds of thunder near and far. We felt the breeze pick up then die down. We saw single lightning strikes in the distance then flashes that lit up the sky. It was almost like fireworks in the late afternoon but not a drop of rain.

We moved on to a stroll in town before heading back to the beach for sunset views. More strange clouds appeared and almost looked fake. The heavens were about to open up. Our stroll was cut short. Ice cream may have fallen on the ground in the scurry to the car. A sad face appeared after getting wet and dropping the freshly scooped favorite ice cream. Somehow the frown turned upside down.

Back again to the vacation spot to see the sky and a glimpse of sunset. It ended up being amazing. The sunset was different and reflected perfectly off the water. The reflection along with my burning candle made the moment a view to remember with the sweet aroma of my candle floating in the background.

A short distance away on the pier there was another view to admire. As the darkness of night fell the glow of the lights under the dock shined green. The water had a glow. The sky was full of random clouds by now. The sky was painting its own Picasso image tonight. Just breathtaking.

The sky lit up in the distance again. I had tried so hard earlier to capture the flickering lights in the sky or the single bolts of lightening to no avail. Then finally the perfect moment appeared in the distance. The strike was finally captured in the perfect setting.

When you see the beauty of the photos and hear the story I wrote, it is my hope that you feel the experience the same way I did.

Nature is amazing. The sights. The sounds. The smells. When you can immerse yourself in a moment or day outdoors you can feel a different kind of being alive. A true immersion therapy of sorts. Refreshing the soul. The mind. 

nature, working women

The Old Barn

This old barn sits on a property I frequent. It is old and dumpy to say the least. However I love taking pictures of this old barn. Whether I choose natural light, black and white or some variation thereof, I am happy. Each view is special. Each moment captured tells a story.

Sun rising. Sun setting. Fall or spring. Each season and each time of day makes it look a little different. I don’t know what year it was built and I definitely don’t know of its history. I can tell animals were fed there at some point due to the feeding troughs inside, but that’s about it.

The barn’s aged wood makes for a great photo backdrop. The unfinished look is all the rage for photographers. This still shot is just from my camera roll but it still shows the beauty of its imperfections up close. Even the weeds off to the side add character.

This angle shows the door up close. Once practical but now ornamental. Again a beautiful backdrop but yet so different the the previous shots. Somebody’s junk is always another’s treasure. For this barn is junk to many but it’s a hidden treasure to me.

The silver tone above again highlights the barn a little different. Just the angle makes the size and shape seem a little different. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this little dumpy barn is just a little happy spot for me. I can sit by with my old truck and think about what it once was. I can drift by it while doing my lawn trimming and sigh that it’s all mine.

Not sure how many heavy wind storms it will hold up against but for now I’m enjoying the sight of it. One day I might just have the photos. Time will tell. Just a girl and her red barn story today.

healthy hacks, nature

Porch Sittin’

It was a whirlwind trip to the city. A cozy AirBnB row house was my home away from home. Newly renovated to match today’s modern luxuries inside, but with the charm of the old city neighborhood outside. Street parking was required or you had to park in the alley if you got in too late. I made sure to get the street spot as I wasn’t a  fan of alleys at night.

This is evening there were fireworks scheduled for 930pm. An air show began in the afternoon but lasted to the early evening. There was a lot goign on this weekend. Roads were closed. Weather was perfect for outdoor activities. people were enjoying life outside today. The night was calm. The temps were high 70s. Not a cloud in the sky. Perfect weather for porch sittin’ in between activity.

I was motivated by a woman I saw on her stoop earlier in the day. Not sure how long she stayed out porch sittin’ but when I return home she had a friend. They were giggling, catching up on life and just hanging out: life seemed so simple in that moment. It also gave me time to pause myself and think about how I too enjoyed porch sitting with my nana and aunts in my childhood.

Off I went to grab a book to read a little while there was still daylight. I heard a few jets still passing in the distance from the air show. I heard those passing by on bicycles. I saw a group with motorized razor scooters. A jeep. A motorcycle. Some walkers. Just a couple cars. In between pages I’d pause to listen to the birds chirp. I might have swatted a few bugs too. 

As night came, I flipped the flashlight on phone for a few extra minutes of light to read the last couple pages. The quiet time was good. The environment was very welcoming. The street seemed like and intersection of hope and expectation. The street, the name, the words all crossed my path in different ways in the last 24 hours which was a weird coincidence as I sit on the porch.

Some days we go through life checking off boxes and doing what is expected of us hoping for different results. On rare occasions, we choose to explore or wander. It’s this times when growth happens. It’s not hoping for change that gets you a new result it’s changing yourself or environment that’s yeilds a result. My expectation of myself is simple. I expect to change, often. I expect to grow, as much as possible. 

My porch sittin’ was amazing today. If you haven’t been porch sittin’ in the city take a trip. Find an Airbnb not a hotel. Blend into the community. Eat where the locals eat. Shop where the locals shop. I bet it will be a trip to remember.

nature

Snowy Sunday

All we heard all week on the tv, online, at work, and on the radio: the upcoming cold front that would include snow and ice or a mix of whatever would arrive and cripple the roadways. Be prepared for Snowmageddon because we rarely get snow. The grocery store was out of most good items by Thursday. No hamburger or chicken. Milk and eggs were scarce, too. As folks prepared to buckle down, life still went on for me and my crew.

It was about 10pm on Saturday night as our evening wore down. At the same time the crisp air began to get a little extra chilly. We hunkered down for the night. The wind was the first thing to wake me early early Sunday morning. The trees were swaying with wind gusts up to 60mph according to news reports. I sat and ate my breakfast by the window just watching with a hot cup of tea. The homemade version of medicine ball tea from Starbucks. A few branches broke. A tall but thin pine leaned over but was caught by another. The limbs were looking so heavy yet the sight was beautiful.

The snow accumulated as the day passed. Some sleet hit. Back to fluffy snow again. The dogs had their coats on and had some play time. I opted for no snowman this year. It’s not often we see snow therefore it was a fun play date for the dogs and equally fun to watch. The power flickered. We lost power for a short time but it was daylight so all was good. 

A few movies were played and the internet was blazing until we heard a boom. About 4:49 the loud sound hit. With the boom came a flicker. After the flicker the power was gone. I’m sure a transformer was blown. As the dark settles in for night, we hunker down with blankets and extra layers for a new storm experience. A candle is burning in each room for light. The pups are napping as is my crew.

While all is quiet I wrote away on my phone. The light shining while I still have battery juice to entertain me. A few texts here and there. A check on the power website for updates. A cookie to snack on. Oh how the silence can be golden but how you hear different sounds you may miss on a day with sounds galore. I’m also enjoying the scents of my candles as they float through each room. Another level of calm as the chill sets in the house air.

The road is idle due to weather leaving no sounds there. The kids that once played outside are now tucked inside, hopefully still dry and warm. I do hear a mouth breather napping and I also hear a snore here and there. A few creatures lick their chops now and again or let out a big stretch.

Maybe it’s time to crank up the generator or have an impromptu night in the camper. My snowy Sunday is a powerless one or has been for a few hours now. Off to put my hat on (inside) and prep for dinner which seems like it will require me to go outside to use the grill to cook. Baby it’s cold outside.

awareness, nature

Chasing Sunshine

Some days you just need to take a break and enjoy the sunshine or should I say chase the sunshine. It could be taking a walk. Maybe taking a hike is more your speed. For me today it was just sitting in the sunshine. Not doing anything per se.

It was a cool crisp day but the warmth of the sun took the chill out of the air. The breeze was calming. The leaves just ruffled as they blew side to side. Today is supposed to be the last day of sunshine as the gray skies are moving in. A winter cold front full of snow, ice, sleet or whatever shows up per the weatherman. Today is an odd day to sit outside yet it seemed perfect at the time.

Many I know are struggling for various reasons in life. Some have depression. Some are anxious with the pandemic still lurking around. Others have health issues in their family spiking beyond the pandemic. Many are stressed for one reason or another. Maybe this post will make its way to somebody who just needs a dose of sunshine. A ray of light on a dreary day.

If you are reading this today and needed to hear this message, step outside. Feel the sun on your face. Smile. Reflect. Enjoy what is great in your life right now. Put the worries aside. Focus only on the peace around you. Listen to the sounds. Think about how you could pass some virtual or homemade sunshine to another. Maybe a sweet email or text. Maybe a hand written card to friend. Maybe a cup of coffee for the car behind you at the drive thru.

While outside enjoying the sun, you may hear the panting of a playful dog. You might hear a bird chirping. You may hear the revving of car as it passes by. Whatever sounds are near, let them creep into your soul. These sounds can be beautiful if you listen with intent. Active listening is a skill that needs to be mastered by everyone. Sometimes stepping away from your crazy day or life even for a few minutes will allow time to regroup, breathe more deeply and set your mind at ease.

Chase that sunshine. Today and everyday. When you learn how to capture it, pass it on. One can even find sunshine on a cloudy day. You just might need to look a little harder or listen a little fiercer to feel its warmth.