Circle of Friends

This sculpture by Gary Lee Price was a part of last year’s special sculpture display at the Naples Botanical Garden and I was so excited to see it is still on display. I made several attempts to photograph its spirit last year – but deleted most of the photos. On this visit, clouds blew in as I was finishing my […]

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Living Different Lives Together

We frequently laugh with our friends, Lynn and Gary, because every time they talk about somewhere they went or something they did, they disagree about details. We laugh that they went on different vacations together. Maybe we laugh because Jim and I see ourselves in the mirror they are holding up. We have always been very close, enjoying doing things together. Someone in our past complained that we were too close, we spent too much time together. Fifty-nine years doesn’t feel like too much togetherness because now we fear that we don’t have enough years left. Its not that we have big goals like starting a new family or building new careers. No, we just hope we have a few more years for camping in the Upper Peninsula, working in the flower beds on warm Spring days, eating eggs and pecan pancakes at the counter at Blueberries, and running over to the grocery for some milk and carrots. We want more time for laughing with family and friends, or talking, just the two of us. I’ve noticed that our conversations, as we are doing and going, are lit by little jolts of memory, flashbacks to earlier experiences. Flashbacks of things our children said or did, vacations we took, people we knew during all those growing-up-together years, things we both remember, usually. What differs are the details. He remembers my father telling about Grandpa building his house and I remember being […]

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Traveling Relationships

We heard them arrive the night before, well after dark when backing into an unfamiliar and dark campsite is always difficult. I heard the patches of conversation waif under our open window, like a summer breeze that may develop into a storm. It brought a smile as I remembered the hundreds of times I would have to take a deep breath and do a walk about in a tight circle to cool myself. I was curious about what our new neighbors looked like, what kind of lodging they brought with them; as if these two pieces of data would tell me their whole story. I was sitting at the table by the window the next morning, with laptop open, mostly minding my own business or maybe engrossed in the photos of the previous day. They were getting their breakfast supplies, moving in and out of the door of their one-room bedroom/kitchen, just a few feet away. I heard words about the size of bowls and amount of cereal and sharing blueberries, a male voice with an edge but not escalating. I didn’t hear the female voice even though they seemed to be having a conversation. Then they sat down, eating their cereal, talking quietly. Have they been married a very long time, or are they newly-weds on their first trip together? I’m not sure I would want to start a new relationship traveling in close quarters – we appreciate the fact […]

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Coping with Change

It’s that time of year when things are a-changing for me. It’s that time of year when I move from my winter home in sub-tropical Florida to very early Spring in Michigan. This isn’t the first time I’ve made this change and probably not the last time I’ll write about it. I’m at the point in the process where I have to stop to think where I keep the sharp knives, the spoons for my morning cereal, my favorite spatula, and my whisk. It is the time when I turn on the bathroom faucet to a harder flow instead of turning it off because the faucets work in different directions at each place. It’s a time of achy body and exhaustion – for a little while until I adjust or the weather gets warmer. And it is the time of shifting friendships. Most of the migratory condo residents had left before we did so I had to give good-bye hugs and feel the sadness of loosing them for a few months. We have lived there long enough to become close and really care about each other. We left a few behind who won’t be leaving until May and I worry about them becoming lonely – like I was becoming without everyone being there. I really appreciate that we have made close friends who will be excited when they see us next October or January. There is a bond that has […]

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Commitment

Commitment has been on my mind a lot during the past week or so. Probably because we celebrated our anniversary this week, and being married for 53 years requires a lot of commitment. An acquaintance in his late forties and never married, someone who had been hurt by a failed relationship asked me, when I was writing about being married […]

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