The Flip Side

The fires in Montana are almost unbelievable. The haze and smoke that has drifted here to Colorado smells horrible, and burns my eyes. I am saddened to hear of the destruction in Glacier National Park, and yet following the flooding and loss caused by Hurricane Harvey, it becomes almost a negligible loss. That, however, is no comfort to anyone in the evacuation zones caused by the multiple blazes threatening homes and lives. Their fear is real, their loss just as devastating. And now there’s Irma.

How many disasters can we handle at one time? No sense in worrying over that question. Roll up your sleeves and help, send a donation, or volunteer in your community. If we make each town, each village, each neighborhood the best that it can be, we will have done our part, and that’s the best that can be done. If you are tempted to look the other way and not donate, then don’t cheer for cuts in taxes, smaller government, and less intrusion from Washington, because the non-profits cannot do all that needs to be done in the wake of a disaster such as Harvey.

Loans to rebuild homes and businesses are essential to an area’s recovery. In order to be affordable and actually help, those loans have to be backed by our government. New building codes that strengthen levies and allow for canals and pumps to mitigate storm surge come at enormous cost. The only entity with enough money to do all of that is our government. Floods hit everywhere. Fire burns everywhere. We cannot hide our heads and think it won’t happen to us. It does – and it will. Like it or not, our government is useful and necessary.

Watching politicians haggle isn’t pretty, but its the process – and it always has been. Read a little history if you don’t believe me.

I am off to visit Acadia National Park with a little kayaking and hiking thrown in for good measure. See you on the flip side.

Advertisements
Posted in Inspiration, Traveling, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Headaches

So the last blog was rather on the fly. Thought I would put a little pre-thought into this one. It’s going to be a very busy weekend, so I’m on it. I woke up with a headache, and yet, once I got past the slow start, I got more done than the day before. How does that work? Maybe it was the list I made in the wee hours when I was worrying about what it was I had forgotten to do and couldn’t remember.

I couldn’t sleep. Now I’m wondering: could I not sleep because a headache was coming, or because I couldn’t remember what I forgot? Or: Did I get a headache from trying to figure out what I forgot and no sleep? Goodness. That gives me a headache. Sure hope I sleep tonight.

I think we have the holiday weekend food all figured out. It has been six years since we were all together, and we didn’t have the youngest two grandchildren then. I sure wish my mother could make it over the hill for the pictures. That would be something. Having all of us at once would overwhelm her, and I know she doesn’t enjoy looking at her own pictures anymore, but I’m sure she will love seeing one of all of us. Me too.

I’ve begun the process of packing for the upcoming trip to Acadia. It has already snowed in the White Mountains, so I’m packing a jacket. That seems crazy. I haven’t solved the camera delima yet. In the past I’ve gone to a national park without my SLR and regretted it big time. However, my taste in photographs is changing, and my phone camera usually does a pretty good job. I’m more into capturing the essence so I can write about it, or capturing the people and that doesn’t take an SLR. To get stunning pics requires the really big lens and I’m not into taking that. More pondering needed.

My heart is heavy for Harvey’s victims. Please do what you can to help. The heroes and volunteers have been amazing. Thank you to all of you, along with the first responders and the Red Cross. Mankind can be amazing.

Posted in Inspiration, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Please Donate!

All day yesterday I had the feeling that I was missing something or not getting something done. Now I know what it was. I wasn’t writing today’s blog. Oops. No time to edit and re-think and ponder. It is what it is today.

I sent a donation to Red Cross and urge you to do the same for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. There are such incredible stories of hardship and heroism, and conditions keep getting worse. The long term devastation and emotional toll hasn’t even begun yet. Watching the news makes me think everyone should have a boat in their garage. It is hard to imagine how they will get kids back in school this fall when so many don’t have a home to go to. I suppose though, that getting a school up and going may give the kids the only sense of normalcy they have for the rest of this year.

We are under hazy clouds caused by fires out west. Such extremes!

This is the last blog for August. Time keeps marching by. I remember thinking it went slow when I was a kid waiting for that next birthday, so I’d be older, or waiting for the school year to be over, or waiting for a vacation to come. That sensation has certainly changed. It all comes too fast now. Speaking of vacations, though, my next national park visit is zooming closer. I shall again be on blogging hiatus while gone, but will post pictures on FaceBook when possible. In the meantime, I am looking forward to seeing all of my grandkids – together in one place at the same time – for the first time ever! Family pics are going to happen!

 

Posted in Inspiration, volunteering, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Horrible Harvey

My deepest sympathies to the victims of hurricane Harvey. The devastation is horrific. The best way I know of to help is by giving a contribution to an organization such as the Red Cross. They are set up to get in fast with the essentials the victims need. Every little bit helps.

School is off to a great start. The jangled nerves are calmed and once again, a routine settles in for families after the annual ‘first-day’ ritual of the parent’s happy dance or tears or both. For the grandparents, it’s a different kind of feeling. I can go hiking or biking IMG_2454in the middle of the week and run into a much smaller crowd, which is nice. Shopping is less crowded and noisy. But something is missing.

I am in a transition period, an odd sort of place. I jump between perfecting the finished work and really delving into the next book. The synopsis is done, queries are going out, the kids are moved in (still unpacking and painting, but hey – all in good time), and autumn looms. Soon, too soon, winter will return. Wow. What thoughts this morning.

Decades ago, I had a huge yard, really huge with several flower gardens, a large vegetable garden, and an orchard. With a business and three kids, I could never get all of the weeds pulled. By the time I got around to the last bed, the first one was rampant with weeds again. It was not satisfying at all. I learned a lesson from all of that. One small flower bed, kept immaculate and pretty, is far more satisfying that a dozen unkempt ones. Keep it simple stupid. Boy does that fit me. Now, in this small yard, I can actually go days without having to do any yard work. It feels kind of weird, but I’m sure I’ll get over that.

I long for the country. First time in over a decade that I have felt that way, but my country roots are playing my song. Any readers who have followed me through my last move, know what a difficult time I had, so rest assured, I don’t take the thought of moving again lightly. I will have to ponder this for some time.

and so it goes…

Posted in Inspiration, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eclipsed

Well, the Eclipse of 2017 is over. I loved watching it. The most remarkable phenomena of that hour to me was the cool temperature bringing out the mosquitoes. They normally wouldn’t come out until dusk, but here they came in the middle of the day. The 2nd thing the day brought to mind was the fact that whenever I’ve experienced that kind of a cool-down in temperature, it is usually caused or accompanied by wind. Amazing.

My granddaughter’s new bike is working out super-duper. The new helmet hasn’t come in yet, but we are waiting patiently. Not. I bought another rack system for the small bikes and got it put up in the garage. While I was at it, I cleaned and organized a bit, so it looks better, not perfect, but better. Since gardening is coming to an end, I thought the next project would be cleaning the tools and putting them away till next season.

School starts tomorrow for my granddaughter. I know she’ll love it, but I am somewhat sad to see our summer come to an end. We have hiked and biked and talked, learned new games and played old ones too. She is getting really good at entertaining her little cousin, which is awesome.

In a couple weeks, I take off to explore parks on the north-east coast. While I’m at it, I get to visit with my niece and another good friend, so this should be an awesome trip. We have hiking, kayaking, and lobster eating planned. Other than that, my only hope is for relaxation after the drama of this summer. Some fall color would be nice too, but i’m not counting on it, although my crabapple tree already has leaves turning yellow and falling. The driveway is littered with them. Hmmm.

and so it goes…

Posted in Inspiration, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stuff Elves

A new purple bicycle. Such a fun purchase, not for me, for my granddaughter. She has outgrown her last one. You can tell when their knees come up past the handle bars! haha. We have been planning longer rides we can do together, and in the meantime, we are riding the neighborhood in the cool mornings and evenings. I look forward to the adventures coming our way.

The second truck finally showed up with the last of the kids furniture and household boxes. Yay. Now for the million dollar question. Where does it all go? Every year I sort out my unused stuff for our community wide yard sale, and every year there is more. Unbelievable. Either I’m getting better at letting stuff go, or “stuff elves” are busy making more in my closets.

The last of my school-age grandkids will start classes next week. Geesh. I just got the hang of summer. The family is planning a group picture. Not as easy as one would hope. Coordinating outfits? Nah. Coordinating colors? At least don’t clash! If all of us girls could go shopping together, it might be easier. There have been numerous texts and pictures sent back and forth. We’ll get it figured out, but I never imagined this. The guys have got to be laughing, at the very least rolling their eyes.

The yard has been a joy this summer. With the final flower beds and fire-pit completed, it is nice to sit and look out at it without feeling the need to work on something. Good thing too since I was gone so much. For my personality, that usually begs the question: what will be my next project? Hard to say. I’m looking around. However, travel is next on the agenda, as well as getting the completed book out there – and finishing the one in the works. Plenty to do, I’d say. Best to keep my eyes shut.

Posted in Inspiration, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Slips Away

“Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day.” That jingle came to me as I watched water flooding past my house from an inch of rain in 1/2 hour. Plus hail. My granddaughter and I were blowing bubbles on the back patio when it started. At first a few drops sent us under the awning, and we enjoyed the tap-tapping above us. Then all of a sudden, it wasn’t a tap-tap and we could no longer hear each other speak. We sprinted into the house, closed up windows and toweled the rain water off the sills we were too slow in getting shut. Mother Nature can certainly be stunning.

Colorado weather cracks me up. The day after the hail, it thundered for a minute, then rain sprinkled down for two minutes, then sunshine for five minutes, repeat, again, and again all afternoon. Each time the sun snuck out, I slipped outside and did something in the yard, dead headed a rose or the salvia, emptied the rain gauge, walked to the mail box. It was a lazy day and I made the most of it.

The synopsis is slowly shaping up. I’ve cut and pasted too many times to count, deleted, added, deleted, reworded, pondered what is most important, and put it away to see it with fresh eyes, again and again. It’s not there yet, but getting close. I hope. Wait till my editor gets ahold of it. Humbling.

The summer flittered away while I wasn’t watching, too busy with grandkids and travel and helping the kids move. I want more. I want more.

I also want peace and respect. Our country has just experienced another outbreak of hate and bigotry. These people were taught this hatred, they were taught to think one race is superior to others. The haters weren’t born that way. They were tiny innocent babies when they were born, babies who grew up influenced at some point in their lives by someone else’s hate. It can be un-taught. It can be changed. It takes respect. One person at a time, we must un-do the damage. Please.

 

Posted in Inspiration, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment