Share Your World 11/13/17

Here are my answers to this week’s Share Your World:

Do you ever sit on a park bench for more than ten minutes?

Rarely do I sit in one place for more than ten minutes unless I’m eating (which I now do insanely slowly nowadays) or on my computer. My mind functions more like the like the dog/squirrel scenario. If I can force myself to sit still, to be in the moment, I do find that it’s a richly rewarding, highly calming experience.

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles, turn on the flashlight or use your cell phone for light?

We have a box of candles that have been collected over the years that we pull out for these rare occasions. One year the power was out for an extended time and the kids and I played board games by candlelight. What memories! Of course that’s not to say we don’t use flashlights or cell phones to avoid breaking toes in the dark.

Would you rather be given $10,000 for your own use or $100,000 to give anonymously to strangers?

I’ve always wanted to have the kind of money that I could do just that. I would give money to strangers. I’ve been in the position where this little windfall has made such a huge difference and brought hope to my life. The ability to spread this around would be so satisfying.

That being said, I’d still keep a little for myself so I could live my dream of traveling.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

  • a ripe Hawaiian pineapple
  • authentic conversations, difficult though they may be
  • sunlight hitting the clouds just so
  • the bluest of blues peeking out from behind those clouds
  • taking time to focus on the small things

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As always, thanks to Cee for this opportunity to share our worlds. Have a great week, everyone!

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Share Your World – 11/6/17

It’s time for another installment of Share Your World. Here are my answers:

Would you rather take a 2 week vacation with an organized tour or take a cruise of your choice?

I would take a cruise, and it would be a barefoot cruise. I couldn’t sit around and let everyone cater to my needs. I’m too antsy for that.

Did you like swinging as a child? Do you still get excited when you see a swing?

I loved swinging as high as I could go as a child. I tried swinging as an adult, and decided that, like cartwheels and rollerblading, it’s something best left to kids. I do like reliving my childhood experience vicariously through children, though, so I can often be easily convinced to be the pusher.

What is the most important thing that you ever learned ? (I bet it’s not something you learned in school)

When I was 11 or 12 my grandma passed away without warning. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen my dad cry. This was one of my defining moments. I learned that nothing is guaranteed, that people are not here forever, and it’s best to take every chance to spend time with those you love. It’s a hard lesson, and it doesn’t translate well to those who have not learned it yet.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

  • foggy tree-lined hills
  • foamy, wild ocean waves
  • kind words, freely given
  • a hotel cat that chose me
  • thermals

Thanks again to Cee for helping us share our worlds. Have a good week, everyone!

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Dancing in the Dark

Golden sunlight pierces a rift
In draperies drawn closed,
Warm photons passing through floating motes,
To land upon a fallen streamer lying
Coiled in a graveyard of listless balloons.

For a brief moment the hovering dust
Swirls and eddies
As a figure slowly sways through the light,
Stocking feet shuffling
Back and forth,
Back and forth.

Eyes closed in reverie,
Softly humming,
Moving in time,
Her graying hair shifting loosely
Around thin shoulders,
As she sways
Back and forth,
Back and forth.

Arms opening wide
As if in expectant embrace,
She slowly twirls
Out of the light
And resumes her swaying
Back and forth,
Back and forth.

The balloons scuttle heavily out of her path,
Carried on disturbed air.
Streamers whisper as they form new entanglements
On the wooden floor,
And as she makes her latest pass,
All becomes quiet again
As she continues
Dancing in the dark.

Share Your World 10/30/17

I’m back to share the latest of my world this week. I haven’t been writing much lately. But here I am. This is a great chance to put pen to paper, or in this case, wear down the keys on my keyboard. If you want to join the fun, click here. Here are my answers:

Where do you eat breakfast? 

I’ve given up breakfast. I know, I know, most important meal of the day. But if I don’t want to gain a thousand pounds, something has to go. I figure I get a little boost from the cream in my coffee, and I have a snack around 10:00, usually the staff room at school or in front of my computer if I’m not working. But no breakfast, per se. This way I can maintain my already stout physique.

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want have a evening with?

Someone caring and funny. If Robin Williams were still alive, he’d fit the bill.

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?

Not the Giving Tree. I feel a little bit like that’s getting too close to my life, and I’ve never liked that story to begin with. I’d be an oak or walnut, wide and expansive and giving of my shade, but if anyone wanted to cut me down to make a boat or whatever, I’d drop a branch or two on their head.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

This week was a good one for appreciation. I took an impromptu solo camping trip down the Oregon Coast. I was inspired by the following:

  • Mother Nature in all her glory. Whales were feeding in a cove off of Cape Arago, so I spent some time watching them surface and dive. The next morning I hiked in the dark to catch the first light at Sunset Bay. Beautiful! Then, on Saturday there were high wave warnings, meaning great stormy surf without stormy weather. I don’t know the phenomenon that would bring one without the other, but I appreciated watching the end-of-days crashing waves without getting soaking wet and windblown for a change.
  • The kindness of strangers – whether it’s remeniscing about past storms or how childhood stomping grounds have changed over the years, the willingness to share with a stranger is heart warming.
  • The peace, the absolute serenity of sitting on the edge of the continent in the shadow of a historic lighthouse on an unseasonably warm fall day, picnicking on cheese and crackers, my only company a squirrel and a few deer.

 

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First light at Sunset Bay, Oregon. So amazing!
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I turned around to see this. Beautiful clear skies… and stars!
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Picnic by Cape Blanco Lighthouse
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One of Oregon’s many ocean monoliths.
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Foggy day, so pictures aren’t clear. Stormy seas at Shore Acres, Oregon Coast.

As always, thanks to Cee for giving us a chance to share our worlds. Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

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Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

I am heartbroken, along with much of Oregon. A group of young people were hiking in an area to the east of Multnomah Falls, and apparently one of them thought it would be funny to throw a smoke bomb from a trail down into a ravine. Fireworks. Into the dry forest. In August. Now this whole area is a raging inferno, zero percent contained.

The earth is resilient. It will recover, but it will never be the same in my lifetime. I am grateful for the many times we braved the crowds and headed to this beautiful, popular location, most recently after the ice storm, when it was the coldest cold I’ve ever experienced, and again last May when I took my car to Portland to be serviced. That last time was a spontaneous decision to drive over after my appointment just to take a few pictures and drink in the forest beauty before heading home. It may have been the last time I will ever see it like this.

Sometimes it only takes one person to ruin it for everyone. Treasure that which you hold dear.

Share Your World 8/14/17

Here are my answers to Cee’s questions for the latest Share Your World:

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time?

I keep the lights off, and the habit is so ingrained I’ve been known to turn the lights off on my poor showering husband. My dad helped create this habit with his constant reminders during my youth. I more recently read that the biggest impacts on the family electric bill come from the hot water heater and the furnace, and with low energy bulbs throughout the house, I’m not sure I really need to be so diligent about the lights.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? 

I just got back from a foodie visit with my son and daughter-in-law. I would definitely spend it trying new restaurants with friends and family.

Complete this sentence: My favorite thing to do on my cell phone is…

I don’t have a favorite. I do enjoy having a mini-computer available all the time. I enjoy taking pictures, even if I have my DSLR hanging off my shoulder. I love being connected to my family and friends. I also love being able to Google anything! I think I’d be lost without my phone at this point.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I just got back from a visit to Charlottesvile and DC. I was overwhelmingly inspired by walking in the footsteps of our Founding Fathers. I toured Monticello and learned about our conflicted Thomas Jefferson, who believed that all men were created equal and apparently opposed slavery, yet owned hundreds of slaves himself. I walked through the rotunda of the University of Virginia and reflected on the ideals of Jefferson that his newborn democracy should have an educated population of citizens to support it. (I am a teacher and a firm believer in public education.)

In DC, I walked through the halls of Congress in awe of the grandeur and history of the place. At the end of the tour, our guide, an older woman, related being evacuated and running from that very building in fear on 9/11 as a plane approached. She said that as she ran, she looked back over her shoulder and saw smoke rising from the Pentagon. She later learned that her husband’s office was ground zero in that attack, but shared that he had not gone to the office that day. She impressed upon us the somber knowledge that she worked in the number one terrorist target in the country, but also how important it was to show strength and not fear. I was not the only person in tears hearing that story in that great setting.

The day we were in DC was the same day the KKK rally was happening in Charlottesville. We were getting updates via Facebook, text and Twitter as we toured. It struck me that at the same time that was going on we were walking the mall in a giant crowd of people of every race and color, listening to many different languages being spoken. A rainbow of humanity was sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the same day a group of white men beat a black man with poles and another angry young man bore his car down on people standing up for the rights of all.  I read the words of Lincoln from his second inaugural address and thought that imagining the world he lived in was not as far a stretch as it should have been. And just this morning I heard echos of Reagan, Bob Dole, and Bush Jr., excerpts from speeches strongly and definitively denouncing white supremacy and the KKK, only to be saddened by the tepid response of the current resident of the White House.

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What inspired me? In the past week I walked in the footsteps of one of the authors of our founding documents. I read the words of another great leader who sought to rectify this situation. I sat on those steps and gazed out upon a mall that was the scene of a historic march for civil rights.

And I wondered, isn’t the time for KKK rallies long past?

And lest you think these outsiders represent Charlottesville, I can tell you as an outsider myself that I found the town charming, educated, and progressive, which is why that darn statue is coming down in the first place.

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Aren’t you glad you asked?


As always, thanks to Cee for the chance to share our worlds. Thanks for reading. I wish you all safety in these troubling times. We do live in a great country.

In memory of Heather Heyer.

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Share Your World – 7/31/2017

Here are my latest answers to Cee’s Share Your World questions:

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts? Or what do you use if you need to have your vision corrected?

This is something I’m going to have to consider in a couple of weeks. I’ve been able to avoid glasses for quite some time, but things are getting a little blurry. I’ve finally made an eye appointment. I think I’ll probably choose glasses, though I’m terrible about misplacing things. Contacts are convenient, but I don’t think I’d like to stick things in my eyes. Plus, I’m pretty cheap, and contacts can be expensive.

Are you more of a dog person or a cat person?

I used to love both, but we’ve gone a long time with only dogs and now have a kitten. She’s cute, cuddly, and funny, but her litter box stinks and she’s constantly slipping through my legs into rooms she’s not allowed in and outside where the dogs and cars threaten. True to cat form, she doesn’t care that I’m not a cat person. Maybe it’s a challenge for her to win me over to her side. Whatever the reason, anytime I sit still she ends up on my chest or shoulders.

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If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top three items on your wish list?

Gourmet kitchen
Hardwood floors
Big, fenced yard with established shade/fruit trees.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I am inspired by my youthful parents who, in their 70s, are still up for a hike up a mountain or down (and up) a switchback trail to get lakeside to a national gem.

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Mom and Dad at the top of Iron Mountain in the middle of a 5+ mile hike.
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Mom and Dad (left) heading down to the boat dock at Crater Lake.

Once again, thanks to Cee for the chance to share our worlds! Wishing everyone cooler weather than I’m experiencing this week!

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Share Your World – 7/24/17

List some of your favorites types of teas.

  • Sencha Green Tea (great for a cold, by the way)
  • Chai, iced or hot
  • Earl Grey made with a crushed cardamom pod

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

Yield

What are a couple of things could people do for you on a really bad day that would really help you?

Well, I’m pretty good at hiding bad days, unfortunately, but if they were there to let me vent, or just to have a warm, nonjudgmental body to sit next to (think Pooh and Piglet), that would be wonderful.

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would do do?   Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.

If we’re dreaming, I’d probably be a gymnast or figure skater. OR I might want try an ultramarathon or go mountain biking. Sadly, reality keeps me grounded. 🙂

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for my baby, who turned 19 yesterday. What a joy he’s been in my life!

Next week I look forward to not having any plans. 🙂


As always, thanks to Cee for the chance to share our worlds. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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What’s on the Menu of Life?


Photo credit: Thomas Hawk via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Life can be
Two all beef patties on a sesame seed bun,
Wan, plain, and always the same,
Served up with the requisite colorless potatoes
And washed down with an artificial cola drink,
Often eaten on the run,
A daily fare
Lacking in substance
And flavor,

OR

Life can be
Apples and brie,
Red curry paste,
Tom Kah Gai and Dim Sum,
Shared experiences,
New and exciting,
Exotic and strange,
Stuffed with nuanced flavor and
Always to be savored.

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Photo credit: Foter.com