Last weekend we fled to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to get out of the smoke in the valley. There was some smoke lingering there too, but it was a good reminder that a colorful Fall is here, the skies are still blue, and the air is breathable. The reflection on Sand Pond at Sardine Lake was still and peaceful with no mosquitos in sight.
Peaceful Sand Pond
This last week we voluntarily moved all those things we thought were important to us but had to leave one very precious thing behind. The Atlas Fire was on the ridge, not terribly far from the neighborhood we live in. I said goodbye to this item I had to leave behind and said I would be back, but it made me realize how very much I take this piece for granted and what tremendous pleasure this thing has yielded me over the course of about thirty years. I hadn’t even given this prized possession a name. So before anymore time passes, here is the name; Beauty. You see, Beauty fully fills my life with joy, peace, and a tranquility that few other things can offer. My black Knabe grand piano has given me Beauty, fully for years and never asked for anything in return except a yearly tuning. Beauty fully was too large to pack in the car. You see, everything you need, or is very important to you, can fit in a car. It was a lightbulb moment for me. If my family were still living with us, we’d pack them in first and possibly leave everything else behind. All that is important to you, fits in your car. That means we have many creature comforts that don’t hold much value in our hearts. When it comes to what’s important, family is at the very top of my list, and I think it is at the top of yours too. Don’t forget to let those family members know the depth of the Beauty they fully bring to you.
When we visited France, we were a little early for the blooming of the lavender. I was excited to see this lavender in Avignon, but not so excited that I wanted to skip and leap through it. I am glad that this lady was excited to see it too. She even had purple on. It was an amazing sight to see.
I found myself settling for lavender doors and shutters and lets not forget the gorgeous red poppies that were blooming all about us. This world does come in such beautiful Technicolor’s.
Behind Lavender Doors
One of my favorite and most colorful times was when we took the electric boat up and down the Gorges de Verdon. Those blues of the water are some of my favorite colors and the day was so peaceful. Well, it was peaceful until the boat stopped and we had to paddle back to shore.
Gorges de Verdon
All those pictures I take, every one of them tells its own story. That’s for sure! So now I’ll have Rod Stewart’s song running through my head for the rest of the day. I might have just planted that seed in you too. Hope your day comes in its own, very vivid, Technicolor.
I haven’t written in my blog for a couple of weeks. I’ve been very busy with a kitchen remodel. There is dust everywhere and it doesn’t even bother me, as I know that the end result should be amazing. I also know that it is my last kitchen remodel ever. That is a joyous thought. With that being said, we did find the time to drive down to Newport Beach, the weekend before last. We just happened to be there between storms. We’d had it booked for quite a while so we did feel very lucky to catch such good weather.
Four Caspian Terns & Four Marbled Godwits
Once we were there, we were so taken with the restaurants, the company, and the beautiful beaches. This was taken from the beach where the movie Beaches was filmed. It’s Crystal Cove and I can’t say enough good things about the vibe in this place. They’re raising funds to restore all the little cottages. Many are still in use but just as many are abandoned and in need of great amounts of repair. I understand that this was quite a happening place in the 1930’s to the 1960’s. I was wondering; what would be said if those old walls could talk? I’m sure there were many good memories made here.
Abandoned Old Cottage & Boat
Sound Tunnel in the Evening
We went to The Beachcomber, that sits adjacent to Crystal Cove Beach, one of the mornings because we were told that the beignets would remind us of Cafe De Monde in New Orleans. They were very good so we returned for a sunset and a delightful dinner that very same evening.
Lone Seagull at Sunset
Here’s what I really want to convey, it only takes a little effort to find a place that fills your soul with joy. I’m finding that true for the remodel as well as taking small trips to beautiful places.
I wrote this blog last week and couldn’t find a proper title for it. I usually have the title before I start writing. I think I now know why I struggled so much with this. My new book was delivered to me last Monday and I have been examining 1,500 books. It is an unbelievable task to do, but especially at this time of the year. I have thirty days to complete my proofing of the books. I am so happy that the book is only eighty-eight pages. I don’t even want to do the math. The photos below bring me back to a sense of peacefulness and stillness. So, while I am page turning, you can go get a glimpse of my book at http://www.bonniedimicheleinmemoryof.com The book is in full color and has thirty-two poems of loss and inspiration that I wrote over thirty years. It is also on Amazon.com and you can purchase a signed copy by emailing me at email@example.com Here is last weeks blog.
Here are a couple more photos from our trip to Yosemite that remind me of the chilly morning walks that we took. We would go out the back doors of the Majestic Hotel and take the pathway that led away from the hotel. At the top of the bridge, the sparkling ice crystals caught my eye. The crystals and the rushing water glistened in the sunlight as they passed under the bridge.
The reflective view under the bridge was just as beautiful as the viewing of the ice crystals while standing on the top of the span. It was quiet and still, even with the movement of the water passing by. It felt rather like the park was our own personal space. I guess it is our personal space, as it has been preserved for all of us to enjoy. I like to look at these photos at this time of year. It has been so hectic and this lulls me back to a simpler pace. I know things will slow in the year ahead but not for a while with us. Interior home walls are coming down when we round the corner into January. I should print these photos so I can remember the tranquility that we found in Yosemite National Park.
We went on an adventure for this Thanksgiving that we had been wishing to have for the last thirty-seven years. I was hoping for more snow than the little sprinkling we found as I had taken a photo back in 1978 that was a snowy sunset across the valley floor. (I must take that slide in and have it put on a disk.) This is what we found instead.
Yosemite Valley Floor
Be careful what you wish for. The valley was there and had a nice heavy fog nestled amongst the trees. Look closer; in the shadows. The Pines in the valley are dying. The colors you see there are not deciduous trees, but dead Pine trees. Dead, due to drought, and the Pine Bark Beetle. It was an amazing sight but it left me sad and that is why I must get that old slide in a more printable format.
We would get up early every morning and go out for a walk. It was quiet and there wasn’t hardly anyone else out walking. The trees, fallen leaves, and grasses were sparkling with tiny ice crystals. It gave us a true feeling of just how close we live to the availability to reach out and touch some of the most beautiful parks in nature.
Enchanting Walk To Mirror Lake
I’m glad we were able to go and spend the holiday in Yosemite but, truth be told, we missed our family and time spent around a table with familiar faces and inside jokes. We won’t miss it next year. I hope you all had a memorable Thanksgiving, just the kind you had wished for.
On our way back from Canada, we stopped at Snoqualmie Washington and went to this old mill-pond where I had taken a favorite photo before. It looked so different and mysterious on this cloudy day and I didn’t think the reflection was as good as the photo I had taken about three years prior. There is a certain stillness that fills this photo though and I’m glad we stopped and didn’t just disregard the moment.
Mysterious Old Mill Road
We returned the following day with the hope for a better reflection. The sun was out and shining but the reflection wasn’t nearly as good. It’s the same place only so very different from the previous day. Once again I took photos and found that quiet stillness in the mill-pond surroundings.
Morning Old Mill Road
I like the first one best, well that, and the one I took three years ago. I’ve learned over time that I should always stop and try to capture what my mind is telling me is worthy of a picture. Life is a little that way too, I should always listen to my heart and move forward on those things I think I should pursue. As we age, we realize the importance in fully living each and every day.
Last week we took a trip to Lake Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada. We just happened to be there while the trees were turning golden. It was quiet and slow-paced, as the summer tourists had returned home. It was the perfect Fall vacation.
From Kelowna’s Lakeside
Setting Sun Across Golf Course
View At Quails’ Gate
Fallen Park Leaves
We were staying in Kelowna, near the Lakeshore Wine Route. We didn’t have a meal that wasn’t spectacular, the locals were friendly, and the weather was wonderful. This is a place I want to return to someday, perhaps at another time of the year so we can experience it during a different season. We traveled there with friends, took in wineries, (accidentally) saw Will & Kate’s motorcade and Kate’s waving hand, sipped and painted on the deck, and played cards. We came back fully refreshed. I realized that you don’t have to go very far to find a place that rejuvenates you with its stunning silence and beauty. You just have to look and listen.