Pre-pandemic (I expect many of us will divide our lives by this event), I had decided that the time was right for me to have EXPERIENCES rather than collect THINGS.
Therefore, on a spring afternoon, I boarded an airplane, crossed my fingers my luggage took the same flight, and became an international traveler. I’m not counting Canada or Mexico for the purposes of this blog — they are fine countries and I enjoyed my time in each — that’s for another day.
Culture shock — to a person raised rural, currently living in a modest size city, and never visiting anything larger than Chicago — London is huge. No matter how many history, fiction, or guidebooks you consult, the trip from airport to hotel introduced me to more of — everything — than I expected.
On an independent adventure my first afternoon, I consulted the map, asked a few questions at hotel and underground station. Then I “followed the herd”. It’s memorable to emerge into rainy, spring air and be greeting by this fellow. “Welcome. My friends and I will guard this pillar. No funny stuff tolerated.”
How’s your hectic? Are you striving to find a balance between work and home life? Do you have conflicting (or overwhelming) responsibilities to either the younger or older generation? Squeezed between both?
During the previous year and a half — or nearly that long — stresses have changed.
While you may no longer be pulled in six different directions at once outside of the home — demands and uncertainly within your family or close community continue.
Dare I go to _____? Fill in the blank with an out of home activity.
Does _________ require a mask? I’ll follow the rules, but would like to know before I open the door.
What if it rains the day of the scheduled outdoor party? Is it safe to move inside?
Yes, life can be a balancing act between social and safety.
This amateur photographer snaps a shot, she does not always pay attention to items (or people) near the edge. Yes, I line things up and sometimes wait a minute or move to one side or the other to avoid including certain things. Often other amateur photographers enjoying the same sight.
Once in a while — when reviewing photos later — I find a gem. The romance writer in me found this difficult to resist.
Put on your story telling hat and make up something about the couple captured when I focused on the sculpture.
I confess — I didn’t notice them until I was editing out a pair of the aforementioned amateur photographers.
A well-dressed couple in the rose garden.
Is he photographing her? Preparing to propose marriage? Will she accept?
Friends, classmates, neighbors all need a way to make a quick little decision. Because some times you just can’t break the cookie into two pieces or take turns. Through the decades, American (and other) children have used variations of a Chinese game and given it the name: rock, paper, scissors.
It works — like most games and ways to make a decision, both parties need to agree on the rules and to abide by the outcome.
Recently I saw the game symbolized in a new way.
Okay — let’s try this again. Who wants to go first?
The first time I saw “The Faces”, I was a small child. We were on a family vacation and it was our first sightseeing destination. Was I impressed? I think so. I remember my parents gifting me (and a brother) with T-shirts displaying the sight.
My favorite thing in the Black Hills during that visit? Two things actually — the “pig tail” bridges and picking out the almost transparent mico from the gravel around our cabin.
My return as a young adult included the purchase of the mug below. Rather than go shopping within sight of the actual Mt. Rushmore — I spent my money at a different South Dakota institution — Wall Drug.
Did you realize the lives of these four US Presidents overlap?
Washington and Jefferson were contemporaries. Lincoln was born before Jefferson died, and T. Roosevelt arrived in his family two years before Lincoln was elected.
Times were difficult and jobs were scarce. Owners of farms and homes became renters when bank payments fell behind. The country, the entire world, was in the middle of a difficult transition.
Young men moved to the city — seeking work. Some ended up in bread lines, sleeping in hobo jungles, or drifting from one place to another.
The lucky ones found a government job — especially the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The work was difficult – pick and shovel, bucket and wheelbarrow — as they cleared roads and build bridges and shelters and retaining walls on public land. They built to last. They learned discipline and teamwork along with new skills. A few years later, many of these young men would use these skills as they fought to preserve our freedom.
Honoring the CCC worker at Babler State Park near St. Louis, MO
You will see their work in many state and national parks in the bridges, roads, trails, and stone buildings.