The Last Morning Swing

Morning Bliss

This morning we left for our yearly Snowbird migration. Autumn has been slow in coming to Michigan so I’m not sure I was ready to go. Yesterday I sat on my purple porch swing for the last time – until next spring. I held my cup of coffee with both hands to keep them warm, with the morning sun shining on my face, absorbing every sight and sound and smell because this is my happy spot – this is where I make sure “I’m in my groove for the day.”

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JB and I had many discussions about when to pull the morning glory vines. We had a very cool spring, going well into summer, so the morning glories started blooming just a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to keep them as long as possible because there is nothing more beautiful than the clear blue silky blossom opening to the morning sun. There were hundreds of buds so it pained me to pull them before our first frost – but JB did the job two days ago and I missed them yesterday. We did a lot of cutting back of my perennials so the garden will be neat and tidy when the plants come back to life with new sprouts in the spring. It seems strange to resist cutting back plants that still have a bloom or two while at the same time being excited as I think about how my garden will fill in next year. JB doesn’t feel as sentimental about the plants – but I said don’t cut so we (I) will have some more cleaning to do when we fly back for the holidays.

We are not the only ones planning our southern migration. I went out early Sunday morning to photograph some fall color and heard a flock of Sand Hill Cranes in a corn field. They make a big noise – and then they took off in a southerly direction looking for another field.

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This was my second early morning outing in the past week – because Michigan is my happy place where the change in seasons excites me and nourishes my soul. I especially like everything about fall.

As I was wandering down a farm lane last week, I realized that I needed to soak up all that fall has to offer because my winter home has entirely different delights. One way that I work to keep myself from getting depleted by what I have lost or don’t have is to thoroughly enjoy what I have when I have it. So I focused all my senses on that very moment. These are the simple pleasures that I will miss in the coming months. I hope they trigger a happy spot for you as you add the sounds and smells to the sights I provide – and don’t forget to feel the cool morning air on your face.

You can find other Happy Places at The Daily Post.

The Landscape of Aging

parkway 300 003-2If you look at a few of my posts, you might be able to learn who I am – at least pretty close. I don’t have any hard evidence but I believe what catches our eye, what we find interesting, reflects our inner landscape. If I shared what my inner landscape looks like right now, you would think I was an adolescent trying to figure out who I am. My inner dialog has been asking questions like; who am I? and, how do people see me?parkway 300 098-2

I am sometimes very outspoken, standing out strong, being different than the people around me. I have always had strong convictions. As I have gotten older my convictions haven’t weakened but I have become aware of the the complexity of truth. I’m finding it is much more difficult to express what I believe because I have grown to know that beliefs about our worlds need to be supported with truths – whole truths. I still want to stand out, but I don’t want to become just another talking head – yelling over the other talking heads expressing opinions as if they were facts.

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Other times I recognize how much I blend in with the crowd, and I like it. It’s not because I want to be like everyone else, but it is a recognition of the diversity of personalities. I enjoy how the random combination of genes created us to be very different but also how we share similar core feelings and experiences. I have grown to appreciate and be comfortable in my relationships with people as I have become more confident in being the person I was created to be. Parkway 100 062-2

One of the characteristics of getting old is that we become more of who we have always been and most people become more complex. Because I have been open to new experiences, I continue to develop new aspects of my personality.

If I were to pick a food that best reflects my personality it would be a well-made vegetable soup. Like all the flavors blending together in the soup, I have developed a rich blend of characteristics. I’m complex, but with nothing hidden. When we lean over that pot of soup we smell the complex aromas but when we give it a stir we understand the nature of the broth; we see all the ingredients. How fun it is to experience how different combinations of ingredients creates unique tastes. It is a simple dish, and with simple variations it has nourished people since fire was harnessed for cooking.

I like being both simple and complex. I like being a unique individual but also enjoy being part of something bigger. I like being who I am but am excited when I feel change happening. The change I am experiencing now seems to be finding a new voice born of wisdom. Would you like to join me around the table for a bowl of soup and stimulating conversation? I’m confident we will all be nurtured.

(My thoughts today were stimulated by these photographs I took on our travels down the Blue Ridge Parkway in Fall 2014.)

Lingering Look at Windows: Fall View

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This week’s window, in a small covered bridge, provides us with a view of fall. 

A Little More Fall Color

I just couldn’t resist the urge. Us folk in the northern half of the US & Canada, too, never seem to get tired of fall color. I have lived through many, many falls and still marvel at the wonder of this miracle. Although I think the leaves are getting smaller or maybe not as many trees because I remember kicking my way through leaves up to my knees as I walked to school.

Anyway, this morning I went for a walk with my camera to record the vibrant colors in the early sun (okay, not so early sun). I started with the trees in my neighbor’s yard – the ones I see outside my kitchen window. Almost makes me want to wash dishes.

This is the scene as I go down the hill and turn the corner.

But this morning, I decided to turn in the other direction to see what was happening there. Here are my favorites.

As I was walking back up the steep hill towards the house, I couldn’t resist the needles from the white pines by a neighbor’s gate. They drop so many and they make excellent mulch for acid-loving plants.