coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Thursday, January 31, 2019

When company departs

Visitor season in Florida is going on full force as the frozen Northlanders make their way south to warm up. This natural phenomenon also warms up our hearts.

The only downside to visitors is the ridiculous amount of food that is leftover when they leave.  Honestly, I try my best to stuff them like sausages when they are here, but legally I am unable to force feed them. Or at least that's what my husband tells me.

T's daughter R (my fairy stepdaughter) left this morning. It was hard to see her leave because we love her so freakin' much and enjoy getting to know her. So I was sad when we walked into the house after dropping her off at the airport. Sad is a very dangerous state to find yourself in when there is half a pecan pie AND a third of a red velvet cake in the fridge. Or potato chips in the pantry. Oh wait, aren't there a couple of pints of ice cream in the freezer, too? 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Affinity, revisted

The Mangroves
As I said before, I am living now
in a warm place, surrounded by
mangroves. Mostly I walk beside
them, they discourage entrance.
The black oaks and the pines
of my northern home are in my heart,
even as I hear them whisper, “Listen,
we are trees too.” Okay, I’m trying. They
certainly put on an endless performance
of leaves. Admiring is easy, but affinity,
that does take some time. So many
and so leggy and all of them rising as if
attempting to escape this world which, don’t
they know it, can’t be done. “Are you
trying to fly or what?” I ask, and they
answer back, “We are what we are, you
are what you are, love us if you can.”
by Mary Oliver

This poem helped me so much when I was new to Florida and homesick for the northern forests. I wonder how many people she touched and comforted with her "not so fancy" poetry? 

I originally used this poem in a post called Affinity as a Euphemism for Belonging that I posted in 2015 when I was homesick and lonely.  I had not yet learned to write shorter posts or stick to a single theme.  It wears me out going back and reading it. Now I could get three posts out of that one. If we are lucky, we live and learn like Mary Oliver. Rest in Peace, poet.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Pictures from my morning walk: 14 Jan 2019

It is a beautiful "winter" day in Central Florida today, so we went for a morning walk on the West Orange Trail.  We usually bike this trail, but it was a cool 62 degrees (Fahrenheit) so we opted to walk instead.  I'm glad we did.  I love to walk.  It gives me a chance to take pictures.  Here are some of the things I saw this morning.

Red berries on a branch that had been severed
from the bush.  I found it even more interesting than the live one.
Bananas growing in the wild.  The bananas growing at my house are green,
so I was happy to see these red ones

Chaos, it is so beautiful

I'm a sucker for slapstick humor

Please note I'm posting a chronicle of my banana tree's first ever bloom via a
series of photo posts over at my other blog:

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Putting away Christmas

The older I get, the more Christmas becomes a life gauge. Each year I touch and consider my past.
  • Owl ornament my ornery friend Maggie gifted in 1983. She died in 2006. I'm still a bit afraid of her.
  • Cardboard box to store ornaments. We originally received the box in 1996 when we ordered a printer. The printer is long gone. The box remains.
  • Needlepoint bell niece K made when she was a child. She'll never know how touched I was to get it.
  • 1970's/80's salt dough ornaments daughter M made. She's forever my baby, my child, my cranky teen.
  • Every ornament our grandchildren made/painted/bought for us. Especially when we can't figure out what it is. They go front and center.
  • The salt dough ornaments husband T made that are so hideous, so utterly ridiculous that we laugh and hide 'em in the back of the tree. He's a good sport.
  • New ornaments from R, the daughter who is my husband's oldest, and a daughter of my heart.
  • Yellow cat ornament Chilly Hollow gave us millions of years ago. She's still a friend, a reader of this blog, and an irreverent smart alack.
  • Ornaments Syracuse friends bought and pretended were from their son, Coop. Ha, we never fell for it.
  • Vacation souvenirs, baubles and tchotchkes.
  •  The glass Santa from Sharon, who died in 2015. Each year I hold it and try to believe she's still alive.
  • I really must stop, this is getting too long. I could go on for pages.  Suffice it to say that every ornament has a story to tell and circumstances to describe. 
    Santa ball from DebbieK, Tibetan ball from Choklay and Nyima, Icon BVM from Oldest Sister