Little Piece of Paradise

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I often find my mind drifting after I’ve been to Hawaii.  It conjures up images from my most recent trip.  This last visit has proved to do the same.  Once we left the Big Island and arrived in Maui, we had an enchanting experience and I will share more of that in some blogs to follow.  

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Lacey Green Leaves

Look at the leaf here.  There was obviously an insect that thought this plant was quite delicious.  I think it looks a bit like lace.  The leaves caught my eye and then what was behind it caught my imagination.  Wouldn’t you love to live here?  I would!  I wouldn’t mind just visiting here either.

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Looking Like Paradise Awaits

It’s nearly across the street from this little old stone church.  This island has so much to offer and so many long-lasting memories from the pleasant times that I’ve spent here.

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Chapel By The Sea

We went to areas that we didn’t know existed and it leaves (no pun intended) me thinking that I need to return to other islands to see everything they have to offer that I might have missed in the past too.  Always love to return home but then I can’t wait to explore some more…..  

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Parading

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After years of wondering what it would be like, we finally found ourselves at the Rose Parade.  It was a better experience then I had ever dreamed it would be.  We did get up at 5:30 to get to the parade on time.  Wouldn’t do it that way again, but we weren’t sleeping on the street to see it either, like so many people do.  This float caught my eye.  It could have been that the sun was starting to warm my back.  Everything about it just seemed friendly.

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City of Los Angeles “Discover Los Angeles”

 

This dragon was fire breathing and a spectacular sight.

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Singpoli Group “Marco Polo East Meets West”

The longest float, by far, was the Disney float.  It seemed like it went on for miles.  The magnitude of the hours of volunteer work,  practice, planning, and plant growing that goes into this parade is frankly, unimaginable while you are sitting, watching it travel by.

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Disneyland Resort “Diamond Celebration”

My favorite band was from Japan.  They had smiles on their faces as they danced and jumped about, backwards at times.  Their enthusiasm was contageous.

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Toho High School Green Band Nagoya, Japan

My favorite float had zip-liners floating from one end to the other.  They would reach one side and the tree would grow and off they would zip again.  Very nicely done.

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Dole “Soaring Over Paradise”

I would have included my favorite horse, which looked as though it’s spots had been painted on, but it is quite true that I ran out of battery power on my camera and had to cease taking photos.  I loved just about everything about that weekend.  From the opening B-2 flyby to the sky writing at the tail end of the parade, I know that all those colors will remain with me for a very long time.  Happy 2016 Everyone!

Tea Time

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It took me a couple of weeks to put this posting together.  I needed the assistance of my grand-daughter.  She was staying over and took Great Grandma’s childhood dolly and chair and moved it from upstairs to downstairs for a party.  We ran out of time so I put the dolly (she calls her Jasmine) on the chair and moved her to the side of the living room to wait for the conclusion of the party.

Dolly Play

Dolly Play

I knew my grand-daughter would be back later that week and I went in search of the tea party set.  Dolly was waiting when she arrived and the tea set was on the dining room table.

Preparing for Tea Time

Preparing for Tea Time

She was delighted to see the tea set and quickly moved Dolly to the family room.  She set everything up and started to play.  She suddenly turned to tell me that she had forgotten something upstairs (off she ran)…….I thought I knew what it was and I was correct……

Teddy Bears Tea Party

Teddy Bears Tea Party

Dolly had invited some of her best friends to have tea and play along.

I do so love watching my grand children play.  It takes me back to younger, less encumbered days.  I encourage you to find your own escape with a friend.  One of my favorite things to do, is to leisurely spend time with people while having a picnic.  I suppose it is my grownup tea party of sorts.  Go out and do something fun with someone you care about.  Life really is too short; we should spend as much time as possible with the people we love and cherish.

Go seize today or at least make plans for this weekend.

Old Oak

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I was out on a walk the other day and stopped to watch the cattle gazing on the hillside near my home.  I do so love cows!  I’ve loved them since I was a child on High Street in Santa Cruz.  We lived out in the country and there weren’t many people around.  The cows always came to the fence to entertain me.  Truth told, it was myself who was trying to entertain them by singing silly made-up songs.  This shot reminded me of those days as a child in the hills of Santa Cruz.

Afternoon Grazing

Afternoon Grazing

I have another memory of an old oak tree that was up on a hill in Soquel, CA.  My friend and I used to cross the large field at the top of the hill and ride on a branch that hung low enough to the ground so our feet could push the limb up and down.  We’d pretend that we were riding horses.  She loved horses and I loved cows.  Life was so simple then.  

I do so hope that you have a simple and lovely 2015!

 

Big Beautiful Chico Creek

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I took the time, last week, to walk through a small section of Bidwell Park in Chico, California.  It is a beautiful place, especially in the fall.  I started at One Mile, which is a swimming hole that is quite active during the summer, as it can get quite hot in Chico.

One Mile

One Mile

The walk was mostly down a dirt path that ran beside the Big Chico Creek.  It was quiet, except for the occasional bicycle or dog passing by.  Quiet, except for the falling of the giant leaves through the trees and bushes.  That was noisy, amazingly so.  Noisy too, was the crunching of those leaves beneath my feet.  It almost seemed as if they were exceptionally dry this year.  Quiet, except for the woodpeckers, pecking in the trees and the squirrels busily collecting nuts and seeds for the upcoming winter.  It was quiet and so very busy at the same time.  

Leaf on the Creek

Leaf on the Creek

I was forced to stop and reflect while the creek went rushing by.  It reminded me of many of the creeks and streams that ran through the neighborhoods, in Santa Cruz, where I lived as a child.  I always would stop to view the cool clear water creeks, as I found the water spiders and tadpoles completely mesmerizing in my youth.  

Gathered Water

Gathered Water

I was fascinated by the water on this leaf.  The sun was shining on it and sparkling in an extrodinary way.  (I guess that I haven’t left my youth behind as much as I tend to think that I have from day to day.)

Barely Hanging On

Barely Hanging On

The sun filtering through the leaves was so wonderful to view and it made my soul lift and feel free (child like).

Dry Leaf Floating Toward One Mile

Dry Leaf Floating Toward One Mile

The creek was still running at a good pace, even though we are in a drought, and I would watch the leaves as they would go floating toward the Little Chico Creek that runs through the University Campus.  As a child, I would have been creating leaf races on the creek, but there were enough leaves falling into the creek to create leaf races of their own.

Sunlight Through the Leaves

Sunlight Through the Leaves

I think it is important to stop and fill your mind with the colors, sights, and sounds of each season.  This place and the silences reminded me of Connecticut and the silence that I found there on the Long Island Sound.  I penned the final poem in my book, Imprints, while listening to the silence of the sound.  

Turning Vines

Turning Vines

There is a peacefulness that fills you, in the silences that you can find everyday.  You only need to seek out those silences.  Its hard sometimes, with our busy schedules to find the silence, but it’s there.  Listen…..

Day Dreaming

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Sometimes, when I see a place or an image, it takes me to another place and time.  The image below did that for me.  I’ve had a secret for many years now; my entire life, really.  No one in my family knew, and I surely would have had more eyes on me if I had ever told them what I was up to.  We lived on High Street, when I was a small child, in Santa Cruz California, and there was a creek nearby, between High Street and Meder Street.  I took my bucket, plastic shovel, and sifter down to the creek one day.  I left them there in the brush and I would return every so often to play by and in the creek.  I loved hiding under the bushes and letting my imagination run wild.  I would listen for the fifteen minute chiming of the local church clock so I wouldn’t stay too long and be found out.  It probably wasn’t the safest thing to be doing, but there was something magical about the place.  The overgrowth of bushes in this photograph, reminded me of that childhood place, as soon as I saw it.  I have been following http://www.LeanneColePHOTOGRAPHY.wordpress.com  She takes amazing photographs.  I entered a challenge of hers to put words to this photo.  Here is what came to me in the night…….

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Day Dreaming

There are places from my childhood

That I can only be

Those places are like photographs

In my mind to see

The stream that flowed beside my home

The lizards out to play

The soft green grass upon my cheek

Can return, on any day

Those places all have changed so much

But in my mind remain

For thoughts and dreaming innocence

I want them not to wane

It’s here, upon this crusty bench

I know that many come

To conjure up their images

While shaded from the sun

My mind’s memories are colorful

Not left in black and white

They give me peace throughout my days

And sometimes in the night

 

Bonnie DiMichele

6/20/2014

 

Do you have a favorite childhood secret?