mental health, nature, Teddie Bear Adventures

Lazy Rainy

Today I woke to be lazy. I hit snooze on the alarm. I didn’t wake until a friend texted. I was too late to catch up with my morning crew so I opted for a lazy day.

It was a cold dark morning. The chill in the fall air. A stronger breeze than normal. The rain was here as well. I needed a heavy jacket to go outside. My sweats seemed like the perfect attire for the day.
Each trip to walk outside with the dogs was a little different. A little colder each time. The rain picked up. The cooler air meeting the rain created an icier effect on your hands and face. The crisp cold air set the tone for my lazy day with every trip outside.

To be truthful I did work the day, just in my sweats. I seemed more productive but I may have taken a few extra breaks in the day to observe the chilly weather. This gave me extra time to snuggle my pups and they enjoyed it because they felt the change in temperature. They were happy to be towel dried when they came in from their potty breaks and found the blankets on the couch for their snuggle time too.
I took a rain check on my evening plans to snuggle up with a blanket and just relax. 

As you can see I had a good buddy to snuggle with. Of course my other buddy was wanting to have a snuggle spot too.

These two pups keep me in check. They are there when it’s time to be lazy. They are there for snuggles. Lots of unconditional love going both was with these fur babies.

I didn’t think I had a favorite time of year but I am enjoying the crisp and cooler air combined with the comforts of home and time with my pups.

nature

Nature Spots

Today was a full day in nature. When I’m out and about in nature I like to snap photos to remember my time away. The time reflecting in nature. As I have aged I find these simpler times to be peaceful and worth capturing.

These stairs were a fun climb on this day. They were not evenly spaced. They were steep steps. They were winding and sometimes rocky. There were some sticks poking out at times as well. This picture is a cool memory of the climb after the wonderful view of the waterfall below.

This bridge was the halfway point on my recent hike. It was a wider than most bridges you pass on a hike but it was a great photo spot. Each side had different water views with varied rock formations. We definitely took some group photos in this spot, but I also enjoyed snapping the naked photo of just the bridge. The still moment without people was a good memory for me.

Now the bridge also also had a side that spilled over or filled the lower level and small falls. You could not have imagined from this view how breathtaking the pooled water would have been below. The blue coloring and surrounding rocks were super cool. The flow of the spillage was just right to create a small water fall.

The fork in the road. Which path is the better choice? For me we went down one way but came back the other way. This way nothing was missed. Traveling to new places is fun. You just go with the flow and embrace what path you end up on. Wonder how many could embrace that philosophy in life?

This water fall was so amazing to visit. It was cool to be here on a day with heavy rain. Mist and fog in the air. Raging water coming over the edge causing a spray like no other. It was refreshing to say the least. As you can see in the picture I enjoyed my climb to get close to the water for the full experience.

If you are unable to get into nature I hope that these pictures give you the virtual experience through my eyes. Opting outside is one of my favorite pastimes. I also love exploring with others. Just hanging out or hugging a tree.

3Splitz Farm, nature

What Rhymes With Orange

When I became a University of Georgia fan, I was taught to hate orange.

Why hate a color? So many of UGA’s rivals have orange as one of their team colors…Florida, Clemson, Auburn, Tennessee: orange, orange, orange, and orange. My older brother and parents had been fans long before I was, so up until then I had hardly noticed that orange wasn’t really something we wore or decorated with. We are all about red.

I took this to heart. I don’t have orange clothes. Orange cars. Orange anything, really. I hate orange. Even in the fall, I am drawn to white and green pumpkins. Red and brown leaves. Orange leaves me cold.

Enter flower farming. I somehow managed to order seeds for orange flowers without really realizing it. I ordered mixes of zinnias. Zowie had a bit of orange. And then, just recently, the queen orange lime brought her full glory.

Don’t throw dog biscuits at me, UGA fans, but these flowers have made me warm to orange a bit. A friend asked us to make an arrangement of pink and orange flowers and it just screamed happiness. I’ve gone from thinking orange belongs exactly nowhere to thinking maybe, just maybe, it belongs in a bunch or a vase sometimes. I’ll be ordering more next year (although don’t look for me to wear orange anytime soon!)

adventure, nature

Purple Mountain Majesty

America the Beautiful

I’ve sung it a million times. It was in our repertoire when I traveled to other countries with a choir in my youth. A lovely melody (and much easier to sing than the national anthem.)

Of course I know the words by heart, but I hadn’t thought much about them much until recently. On a trip to Colorado, I finally understood one line in particular: “for purple mountain majesty.”

Funny, I had never really paused over that line before. Now, I find myself thinking it really doesn’t make much sense…

until it did, when I crested a hill on I-70, motoring my way west from Denver. The sun was going down and the steep slopes of pines had a faint purple cast, especially from the bare trees. I kept wanting to grab a photo. I couldn’t believe it, as I cruised along up and down the road. Purple mountains. Majestic, indeed.

It is such a refreshing joy to go somewhere completely different. To see a place utterly and fascinatingly new. It feels like my brain just grew and grew. New heights, new landscapes, new colors and atmosphere around every turn. Most of the time when we tried to take a picture, we knew it wouldn’t do it justice. It was all almost too enormous, too beautiful, too perfect to believe.

There was so much about Colorado that I marveled at and want to remember. But for now, I just want to honor those awe-inspiring mountains. They were truly a sight to behold. Worth singing about and sharing.

nature, perspective

Before Time Runs Out

She made it to the finish line. The retirement announcement. The fancy party. The tearful videos and testimonies. Thirty years of service. An increasingly rare achievement these days. Most don’t get to the gold watch anymore, but she did. It was time to go out with style.

If she started teaching right out of college, she could retire in he early 50s. So young! She said she wanted to spend time with her parents, still living. She could now travel to see them whenever she wanted. Her own daughter had started teaching and she would volunteer in her classroom. She would enjoy her grandchildren.

When she retired, she had been my colleague for only one year. We did not see eye to eye on many things, but I respected her. And she will always be the person who helped me get the job that got my daughter into the school she needed to go to. For that I am grateful.

Now it is just a hair more than two years later, and her family is saying goodbye to her in hospice care. Her parents. Her children. Her grandchildren. Her husband. Friends, colleagues, all of them. It was only a few weeks after she retired that we learned she had aggressive cancer. It has been a sometimes slow, sometimes quicker downhill slide ever since.

I can’t say that I knew her very long or very well. I know she loved her family dearly. I know many of my colleagues are deeply grieving the sad decline of a good friend and mentor.

Why do these things happen? Just when she finally made it to the finish line, and the rest of life was just getting started, a new finish line was put before her, much much sooner than anticipated or planned.

The lesson I am reminded of is this: don’t wait for some future benchmark or goal to start living. Don’t put things off that you want to do or be or become. Take the trip of your dreams. Tell the person what you need to say. Dream and dare often.

It’s a lesson that my parents’ early deaths taught me long ago. Just when they got to the time of life for grandchildren and travel, they lost their health and then their lives.

We never know when our time will end. We may hope to live to a ripe old age, but there’s no promise of that. Make each day matter, before time runs out.