Taking Me Back To When…

Love is space and time measured by the heart. ~Marcel Proust

Back when I had BIG hair and he had a STACHE!

Back when she had BIG hair and he had a STACHE!

Valentine’s Day 1982

It was their first Valentine’s Day together. They wanted to go somewhere special for dinner, not their regular digs of Lord Hardwicke’s. They headed for downtown C’ville.

Poor college students in love, they strolled hand in hand along the downtown streets.

Fellini’s. Italian. This looks like a good place to eat.” Plain white store front with canopied windows, it looked affordable while not exactly a hole in the wall.  She smiled as he pulled her through the door.

They adjusted their eyes to the dark room lit only by the golden aura of candle light. A tuxedoed maître d’ welcomed them. Large eyed and nearly empty pocketed, they looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.

He squeezed her hand as the host led them up a flight of stairs. He seated them in a cozy corner and left them with menus. A small circle of light between them and the rest of the world disappeared.

“Geez. I had no idea this was so expensive. Perhaps we should exit the fire escape. “

“Me, either. “ They decided they could not go back out the way they came in…just too embarrassing. They giggled as they plotted their escape and teased about having to spend the night doing dishes and mopping the restaurant floor.

She told him she had money with her. He let out a sigh of relief. They added their money together and decided they could afford to get the cheapest item on the menu, spaghetti which came with salad and bread, and still leave a meager tip.

While they waited for their food, they held hands across the table. He pulled his hand away long enough to trace her cheekbones contoured by the candle flame. He told her she was beautiful. She was glad her blushing cheeks blended into the shadows. They spoke of love, life, and their future.

They turned down the suggestion of wine. After the waiter walked away, he told her he had a bottle of Sutter Home (a splurge in his student status) for later.

Their eyes barely left one another while they ate. When they finished they joked again about taking the fire escape.

They walked into the dark night, glowing all the way to the car.

****A few weeks later the girl’s older brother came into town and wanted to take her to a nice restaurant for lunch. She suggested Fellini’s’. They walked in the door to see all the chairs stacked on the tables and things in a state of disarray as they weren’t open for lunch. The brother called it a dive. The little sister knew he just didn’t understand the ambiance of candlelight and young love.

****Of their thirty-three years of Valentines together this stands out as their favorite.

 

Living Water

“The objects I chose were designed to hold something, but I didn’t fill them up. They remained empty. They were little symbolic shrines to thirst.” ― Margaret Atwood, Moral Disorder: and Other Stories

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We thirst for life. For love. For excitement. For more of whatever we have.

We sit waiting for someone to bring us a drink of water. We look to the sky for signs of rain.

When we drink, we are quenched. For a while, at least. Then we want more.

Those are the times we must dig our own wells to water the flowers within.

We really do know what we must do to quench the thirst deep inside.

Perhaps, we’re afraid of drowning. But weren’t we petrified of drying out? Of not fulfilling the call of our souls?

When the drought hits, we must go forth in search of water. When thirsty, we must drink.

Finding The Sun On A Cloudy Day

 

 

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In all her intricateness and fragility, Queen Anne’s lace endures the heat until her season is done. And such is life.

She dries, withers, and curl into a ball. Her true beauty reigns beneath lacy blooms and fern-like leaves. She’ll be back next year in all her glory. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait until next year…the sun will shine for us tomorrow.

There are times our souls need a lift. We simply need the reminder to open our eyes. It is then we see the daylight and feel the warmth in our hearts.

Snaking Along Alligator River

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When Dirt Man told me he wanted to canoe Alligator River I hemmed and hawed and tried to come up with excuses. Finally, I told him I was not keen on being close to an alligator’s mouth. That is when I found out the river was named for its shape and there are no alligators. Whew, was I happy to hear that! Then I was informed there are water moccasins, rattlesnakes, and bear. I gave in any way.

I admit we did not see any snakes. Bear? As we were canoeing near the footpath, we heard a rumble, bang, bang commotion of something trampling over the wooden bridge. We looked over (about fifteen feet away) to see a huge bear, about 200 pounds, rearing up through the bramble. He was clearly ticked (actually, probably more frightened) we were infringing on his territory. My heart took a dive to my stomach as we both scrambled for our cameras. I was so nervous I just aimed…I only got the bushes, lol! We could hear him tearing through the woods, sticks breaking beneath his weight. We continued to hear the same sort of noises at different areas of the river. I had to remind myself we were indeed in a wildlife refuge…

While red-winged blackbirds serenaded from the banks, some dragonflies chose to go along for the ride...they kept the mosquitoes away!

While red-winged blackbirds serenaded from the banks, some dragonflies chose to go along for the ride…they kept the mosquitoes away!

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Purple flowers clumped about the banks with hundreds of butterflies swarming about them. They were camera shy so I had to zoom in for any shots I got.

One of the creeks we rowed got kind of narrow, and I thought a bit snakey looking!

One of the creeks we rowed got kind of narrow, and I thought a bit snakey looking!

Millweed was so thick in some areas we couldn't see the tree stumps sticking up through the water.

Millweed was so thick in some areas we couldn’t see the tree stumps sticking up through the water.

Other areas provided excellent reflection,

Other areas provided excellent reflection,

oddity,

oddity,

intrigue,

intrigue,

wonderment,

wonderment,

and beauty.

and beauty.

From Here To There

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While sitting on my swing yesterday enjoying the breeze and listening to the birdsong, a neighbor dropped by to tell me she was moving. I watched her coming out of the house with bed linens rolled in a ball with tail of sheet dragging behind her. She tossed the ball onto the back of a truck and tucked the wayward sheet on top. I laughed to myself thinking it was much like my younger son had packed when he moved. Now if I was moving I would fold my linens and pack them in a box.

This difference in packing and moving doesn’t make either of us right or wrong. What’s works for me doesn’t necessarily work for another. We are each unique. That’s the beauty of life.

My problem is I would have obsessed about those sheets flying into the air and obstructing someone’s windshield and causing an accident.

The point is she arrived as safely and timely with her belongings strewn upon the back of a pickup as she would have if she’d carefully boxed and tied them down…and she probably saved a lot of time as well.

We each travel in our own distinct ways.

Some stretch out their arms and ride the wind.

Others crawl, clawing the ground along the way.

We each take one step at a time into the vast unknown.

Regardless the preparation or manner of travel on the journey, we will someday wind up at the same place. It matters little how we get there. It’s all about what we experience along the way.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

I’ve talked about how DirtMan and I enjoy stargazing. We arrived at Bodie Island Lighthouse right at dusk. We took several photos and headed to the sound for photos of the sunset.

We came back late so DirtMan could get some Milky Way shots over the lighthouse. We had the place to ourselves. We took our lawn chairs and stretched out beneath the stars. It was just the two of us beneath this amazing twinkling canopy of sky. After our eyes adjusted we didn’t need lights…the stars lit our path through the darkness. In the woods beyond us we could hear whippoorwills calling, red fox yipping, bull frogs bellowing, and katydids singing…entertained by nature’s orchestra and heaven’s light show.

This is DirtMan's shot and explanation: This is a 35 minute timelapse shot of Bodie Island lighthouse (taken from 10:35 to 11:10 PM on 7/7/13). The 11mm lens distorts the image, but it adds an eerie vertigo effect. I set the top of the lighthouse on the North Star (Polaris).

This is DirtMan’s shot and explanation: This is a 35 minute timelapse shot of Bodie Island lighthouse (taken from 10:35 to 11:10 PM on 7/7/13). The 11mm lens distorts the image, but it adds an eerie vertigo effect. I set the top of the lighthouse on the North Star (Polaris).

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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

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DirtMan and I have a thing for lighthouses. We visit all within our vicinity. This vacation we went to three, two of which we’d been to years ago. This one is Cape Hatteras. The last visit was before its relocation. It was an extremely monumental and interesting process which you can read about here.

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This photo was taken from the base of the old location with the lighthouse in its current location in view. Notice the foundation stones with the names of the lightkeepers.

This photo was taken from the base of the old location with the lighthouse in its current location in view. Notice the foundation stones with the names of the lightkeepers.

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IMG_4138Photos of Bodie and Currituck lighthouses to follow later…

I’m still struggling to catch up with house and yard work, blogs, and writing projects. There just never seems to be enough free time in a day!

A Coastal Vacation

Vacation was fabulous! We are home and trying to catch back up on all we missed. Here are a few highlights from our week. I’ll follow up with individual posts later.

We visited three light houses. This one is Cape Hatteras.

We visited three light houses. This one is Cape Hatteras.

We had lots of beach time, but we WORE out swimsuits!

We had lots of beach time, but we WORE our swimsuits!

We watched others have fun in the sun.

We watched others have fun in the sun.

We took lots of photographs.

We took lots of photographs.

We enjoyed some gorgeous sunsets.

We enjoyed some gorgeous sunsets.

We even rose early enough on my birthday to watch the sunrise.

We even rose early enough on my birthday to watch the sunrise.

We weathered a few coastal storms.

We weathered a few coastal storms.

We mingled with the locals.

We mingled with the locals.

We stalked wild horses.

We stalked wild horses.

We discovered wine trees. Do they grow where you live?

We discovered wine trees. Do they grow where you live?

We found our totem...and to think we didn't even know there was a sunglass totem!

We found our totem…and to think we didn’t even know there was a sunglass totem!

We canoed Alligator River.

We canoed Alligator River.

We experienced the beauty of life.

We experienced the beauty of life.

We left refreshed...

We left refreshed…