Stretching My Wings

The germ for the trip was planted years before. But I built in a delay.

Are you going to go overseas? My reply for years was — so much to see in the United States first — or a little more specific — I want to set foot in all 50 states first.

Well — the above stated delay no longer applied. Now I needed a destination — easy to decide — I want to go where they speak English. So what better place than England.

I’d taken a tour for my vacation in Hawaii and knew it was the best way for me to see as much as possible in a limited time.

All that remained were two things — save the money, and use my courage to actually sign up.

Trafalgar Square

First impressions — walking out of the Underground Station all of an hour or so after arriving in London. The largest city I’d actually visited prior to this was Chicago. I was awed most of the trip from airport to hotel.

Yes, it had rained. It was April in England. I came prepared with hooded windbreaker and umbrella. Grateful I’d poured over the tourist guidebooks from the library. The map purchased at a bookstore proved useful also — I found a direct route from hotel to one of the free museums.

The adventure started well.


April Journey

April calls me to venture out — out of the house, out of the city. It’s time to see new sights and do new things.

One year the destination was Chicago — actually, I’ve visited Chicago more than once in the spring.

Driving from St. Louis, you watch spring retreat. The trees are no longer in blossom. Is that ice on a farm pond. It’s like stepping back in time a few weeks.

However, the city offers many attractions which are excellent no matter the season. Spring breaks for my sons included adventures to enjoy museums and zoos. I’ve gotten a “high” view of things from the observation floor of the John Hancock building.

Twice I’ve attended a spring writing conference in the city. The days were full with workshops, meeting new people, and having new experiences.

My very first book signing — books, chocolate, and business cards.

This is a nice romance writers conference — I planned to attend in 2020 — but like so many events it was rescheduled and held virtual. Stuffed my brain listening to the workshops in my office.


Going South in the Spring

Spring Break! The phrase has come to mean crowds of young adults — plus some high school age teens — swarming to the beach in late March.

Actually, once my own children we “out of the nest” I’ve managed to take several memorable spring trips. It’s a great feeling to emerge from the gray skies and heavy clothing of winter into mild temperatures and interesting sights.

This is my favorite photo from a 2010, late-March trip to Alabama.

Three female college friends joined up with a group and spent several lovely days touring around Mobile Bay. The weather cooperated. Crowds were minimal. The day trips were interesting. The lectures taught me a few new things.

Like a vacation should — I returned refreshed and with an improved outlook on life. I’d like to think the experience and attitude rubbed off on my friends and co-workers.


Invisible Force

You can feel it. Sometimes you can hear it. You can see the reaction of other things to its presence.

But WIND is invisible. How do you see rushing air?

Smoke? But are you seeing the air or the particles it carries?

Grass and trees bend. Flags flap. People shiver. Hang on to your hat! Wind makes a winter day feel colder, cools you on a summer day, and plays games with jacket selection in spring and fall.

In this puzzle, assembled during the early (we didn’t know it then) days of the 2020 pandemic orders — the artist has fun showing the spring breeze via kites.

Did you fly kites? As a child? Or adult? Mine seldom got off the ground. Many years ago, I enjoyed watching a group fly kites on the shore of a large lake.