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.
I’ve missed a couple of weeks of posting and I’ve got a good reason why that happened. I’ve been in the south of France, staying in small villages and fully enjoying the sights. I had wanted to go to Provence, France to see the lavender in bloom but the timing was a bit off so I had to settle for the red poppies as they were still blooming about everywhere we went.
Just outside of St. Martin du Bromes.
Overlooking Lac du la Sainte-Croix.
France is filled with bug loving flowers.
I am happy to be home, but have had an incredible vacation with family and friends. It is a wonderful way to travel and a great way to get to know each other better while in a relaxed environment. These poppies were planted in remembrance of the lives that were lost to war. It seems like we are always at war some place in the world. Sad really. The poppies are beautiful but what they symbolize is war and it’s casualties. It makes you stop and think about the sacrifices people have made to keep us from harms way.
As we traveled about, it was hard to miss the metal doors with peep-holes, the stone buildings with metal shutters, and the lack of children playing in the streets. When I was a child we had many freedoms, so many that we didn’t realize how very wonderful freedom was. Today is different from then. There are often days when I miss those yesterdays.
It’s that time of year again when we get to meet the newest critter families that romp around our cabin. Just like our own kids, they grow up so fast. In just a short time we won’t be able to tell the babies from the adults.
New Graeagle Family
They all love to play together when they’re young and then it’s hard to get them all together when they grow-up. Where ever you are this weekend, give your mom a call and let her know how much she means to you. If your mom is gone, channel some lovely memories her way. I wish all of you a Very Happy Mother’s Day.
A couple of weeks ago we seized the opportunity to go over to Sonoma with some family members and share a day in the sunshine, which was very hard to come by at that time. We went to Corner Stone right outside of Sonoma for lunch and a little wandering through the gardens on that lovely day. The place is rather new and is a really great place to go to relax. I’d say that they have a little bit of everything there with their shops, gardens, restaurants, distillery, etc. There really is something for everyone there.
Attractive Bird Houses
As Spring approaches, we should step out and find those places that are unique and worthy of our wandering. You never know what you might find in your own backyard, so to speak.
The next blog will show you the big reveal of the kitchen remodel. It is nearly finished and I am loving the new space. It reminds me of Santa Cruz. That’s a great way to begin and end every day.
As we returned from the Sierra’s this week we came upon some beautiful sights. The old Mill Pond was nearly frozen-over so we stopped and tossed rocks across the frozen part and listened to the echoing sounds that the pond makes in the Winter.
Later we came across a meadow that had fog hanging near the ground. There was a couple walking through the snowy meadow with a photographer following them. Engagement photos, perhaps; ’tis that time of year. It made me shiver and warmed my soul all at the same time. So I wish for all of you who read this, that you Have a Memorable and Prosperous New Year. We all need something to celebrate. There are days I look about me and realize that the amazing land we live in, and the joys that family and friends bring, gives us cause to celebrate every day that we have here. So go out and celebrate the very fact that you are here.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
(I always loved how Dr. Seuss would make up words and so I took some liberties and created the title Meadow Snog. It is the blending of snow and fog which is what I saw in the meadow. Snog had no trouble spell checking, so I became curious. Snog is a british term for kissing and caressing amorously, which is exactly what the fog seemed to be doing with the snow in the meadow and the couple were doing while taking pictures. I suppose it really is the perfect word to use for what I was viewing.)
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.
There are times when I haven’t any ideas about what to write, and then, out of the blue, it comes to me in a whisper. I would have been quite content for this whisper to never have passed my ears, but that is not how life works. Our extended family has had another sudden loss. You are never ready for life’s twists and turns that are completely unexpected. I am filling this blog with images of roses. I believe they were a favorite. The poem was written for the passing of a friend’s mother a few years ago. It fits this situation. My final thought is one that we should all consider daily…..
Dear Mother of Mine
We started together
Heart to heart
But over the years
Grew discretely apart
Me, I was head-strong
And wanted to fly
You were so sweet
But refused to try
I wished you would want
To give life a fight
Yet you only wanted
To reach toward the light
Now you have gone
Away on a wing
To play only songs
That angels do sing
So hold, me a place
Dear mother of mine
For I’ll be along
But in my sweet time
We’ll touch once again
For our love always knew
The life that we shared
Induced spirits that grew
written by: Bonnie DiMichele
Here is my final thought for today; reach out to someone today. Someone where you have left something undone or unsaid. Be honest, swallow your pride, and let them know how very special they are to you. Do today, what you should have done long ago. None of us knows how much time we have.