dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

A Walk on the Beach…

This afternoon, hubby and I headed out to do some errands and after finishing them up, we headed to the beach.  No, not to sit and sun, but to walk, and blow the stink off.

We walk on the beach often, it is a place that relaxes hubby and he unwinds.  This leads to great conversations that somehow don’t happen other places.

The sky was overcast when we arrived and the tide was out, which is our favorite time to walk there.  The huge expanse of sand that is firmer is easier to walk along.  We walked for about a mile.  The wind was brisk and I found myself wishing I had brought some gloves with me.

As we walked along, we saw some cute dogs with their owners.  They would bound over and we would love on them.  In the distance we saw a couple walking a puppy.  As we got a bit closer we realized it was a Shiba Inu, which is what we have.  The puppy was off leash and started to run towards us.  Of course, we encouraged him to keep running to us.  He arrived in a flurry of excitement, tail wagging, tongue lapping and jumping and nipping.  He was precious.  The couple rushed over, apologizing as they came.  Then they realized that we were loving our time with the puppy.  We looked up and told them what a beautiful shiba they had.  Immediately, we were friends.  They asked us so many questions about the breed and we talked for several minutes.  I should clarify, they talked with my hubby, me?  Well, I was too busy playing with the puppy.  I had forgotten how playful Shibas are when they are puppies.  I forgot how furry and soft and fun they are.  Our poor old pup is past the playful stage.  He sleeps most of the day and sometimes it is a chore to walk to the door to go on his walk.

On the way home I kept thinking of the puppy.  I also started thinking of how we are when we age. We don’t feel any different, but, we do start to move just a bit slower.  We don’t play as much as we used to.

We arrived home.  Came in, dropped the mail on the table and our dog came trotting out to meet us.  I looked down just as he dropped into his playful pose.  Nah, he isn’t as old as I think he is…

As I think about it now, there’s still some puppy in both of us.

Thanks for stopping by.  DAF

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Could it be possibly be?

I really dislike warm weather.  I was excited to go to San Diego at first because I was leaving the 90 degree temps that are so common here in South Carolina in September.

I was excited until I realized that San Diego was hot also.

I felt like I couldn’t escape from the heat.  Upon returning to Charleston the temperatures were warm.  Not the 90’s, but high 80’s.  Yesterday I walked out of the house in the morning to walk our dog.  Opening the door, I was hit by warmth.  My immediate reaction was not positive (which fit in with my day yesterday).

Last night we had rain.  There was a bit of thunder with it also.  Hubby and I took our dog for his last walk last night and hubby remarked how much cooler it was.  We always disagree on the temperature, anything lower than 90 is cool to him.  Personally, the colder, the better.

This morning as I left the house for my morning walk, it was cooler!  I was so excited.  Maybe, possibly, summer is over?  After all, it is almost November.  The leaves are falling off some of the trees.  I think they are just done with the heat and have decided to commit suicide and leave the trees without changing any color.  (It’s hot, I’m done, good-bye cruel world!)

So, hopeful that the sun shining in the woods behind our home is a sign that it is now fall and soon the trees will be bare, I write about my favorite of seasons.  Fall, that season that says we survived the heat of summer.  Fall, that season that welcomes in the holidays.  Fall, that season where we can legally eat pumpkin pie and not be stared at for not eating berries.  Fall, that season that allows us to pull out sweaters and jeans and socks that cover the ankle.   Yes, I am excited.

Technically fall arrived a couple of weeks ago.  It says so on the calendars.  Also the stores are filled with Halloween, a bit of Thanksgiving and  Christmas.  The signs have all been here, except for the weather.  My sweatshirts are calling my name.  I hear them from the closet.  Now, if only this weather holds and gets a little colder…  Maybe, just maybe fall has arrived?

Thanks, DAF

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July 3rd…

We are still in our hometown.  Writing has somehow been harder to do here.  The ideas do not flow as easily as they do when I am in my home and surroundings.

Today is the third of July.  It has been  40 years since I was in town for a fourth of July.  I thought of this while walking our dog this evening.

We actually have no plans for tomorrow.  Hubby will most likely continue to work on family business and I will cook something here and do what I have done for the past month while here.  Nothing exciting.

I had a conversation with an old friend this past week.  We got caught up on each other’s lives.  She looked at me and said that I had an exciting life.  Those words hit me.  I haven’t considered my life exciting.  It has just been my life.

So, this evening while walking our little pup, I thought about her words and how I have spent the last 40 fourth of Julys.  Here are some of the ways I have celebrated:

I have had a meal in the mess hall aboard a Coast Guard ship.

I have stood in water half way up my leg while wearing a winter coat watching a parade to celebrate America’s bi-centennial in Japan.  The reason for the water and the winter coat?  It was cold, damp and a typhoon was off the coast dumping rain and wind onshore.

I have gone on backyard picnics along the coast of Maine.

I have camped on the beach and climbed on top of WWII bunkers to watch fireworks in San Diego.

I have sat in a parking lot of a Target store to watch fireworks.

I have stood on my upstairs deck and watched fireworks.

I have been with family and watched them in the D.C. area.

I have gone on a lovely boat ride to watch fireworks shot off a battleship.

Tonight, the fireworks are going off as I write this.  We have not gone to watch them.  It is just one of those years.  We don’t need to see the sky lit up with different colors to know this country is worth celebrating.

This year, my patriotism as well as my faith is quiet.  It is not silent, but it is still.  There is a difference.  This year I feel like the two are intertwined a bit.  I know my Lord is a powerful and awesome God.  He has watched over this country since those rebels of so long ago drafted a declaration of Independence.   I am trusting in Him to keep this country safe and to have it remember it’s roots and beginnings.

So,  I close this post with the words of a song by Irving Berlin that makes me cry each time I hear it.

God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.”

Thanks for stopping by today, Happy Fourth of July!   DAF

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Home smells….

As I have written, we are in our childhood hometown.  We have been here three weeks today.  The time here has been like a series of flashbacks in a bad movie…  Wherever I walk, drive, ride or roam, there are memories.  Some of them good ones too.

Today, as I was walking our puppy (yes, he is along for the trip), I went through all the flashbacks that sort of wait for me at each block, and noticed how I recognized the scents of the area.

Our city is famous for oil and petroleum products.  It is, after all, Oil City.  A few miles north is Titusville, where oil was discovered for production  purposes by Col. Edwin L. Drake.   So, an underlying smell in this city is oil, or petroleum.  I don’t think that scent is as strong as it was in my childhood when Pennzoil and Quaker State had refineries going all the time, along with a couple of other refineries, Wolf’s Head and Amalie.  But, still there is the faint smell of oil.

Add to this, a fragrance of the woods, the damp musty wood smell.  In the midst of those two heavy smells, the delicate smell of lilacs waft between.  It may sound confused and weird, but, to me, it is a comforting smell.

Woods surround the houses here.  I look through them and know my way around.  They do not look ominous, they look like home.

As I walked the dog, sniffing and looking, a verse of my favorite poem ran through my mind, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   But I have promises to keep,  And miles to go before I sleep,  And miles to go before I sleep.”  (Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost)

This time has made me realize that I have been shaped by this town.  Things I hold dear were knit within me as I grew up.  As I grew up and travelled, I feel like the Lord set within me certain things that have sealed who I am.  These things are my love of mountains and rivers.  The sound of wind through trees and the rustling of leaves on the trees and on the ground.  The draw of small towns over metropolitan areas and the quiet that comes when you look at the night sky and see lightning bugs blinking in the distance.

I know we won’t return to this town to live again, and I am fine with that, but, this extended time here has shown me that certain things are important to me, wherever I am.

Thanks for stopping by today, DAF

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A Memory of My Dad…

I have several memories of my Dad, as we all do.  Some good, some not so great.  There is one memory that stands out to me this day.

I remember one Saturday night going to see the movie 101 Dalmatians which, having just looked it up, was released in 1961.  It must have been around Easter time as I remember wearing the short white coats that we got a few years in a row, along with the flowered headbands that we wore in place of a hat, which was required to be worn when attending mass.

We went to the movie at night and I remember sitting in the balcony area of the theater.  The steps leading up to the balcony were a big sweeping staircase and I always felt grand walking up and down them.

Anyhow, my sisters and I went to the movie with our folks, and then came home and most likely were sent to bed.  I don’t think I slept much that night, and I am certain my parents most likely wanted to put me up for adoption or leave me on the curb to see who would pick me up.  I think that because I remember my Dad coming into the bedroom and getting me ready to go to 5:30 a.m. mass.  It was still dark out and once again I had on my little white coat and headband.

We went to mass and afterward, instead of going straight home, he took me for a drive.  We drove up to the cemetery  where my Mother now rests and he parked the car.  We walked through a field that was roughly mowed and had just a few run down tombstones.  This, he told me was  Potter’s Field, a place where people were buried who didn’t have money or family.  I remember looking at the field with wonder.

We continued walking to the end of the field.  I never knew before this that there was a steep hill on the backside of the cemetery.  This overlooked the river.  The sun was about to rise fully and we stood there, just the two of us watching the sky turn brighter.  We listened to the birds waking up and we saw the flowers that were in bloom in early spring.

I have thought of this many times through the years.  It is just lately that I figured out that I must have been a pain throughout the night with not sleeping.  But, I remember that he was not angry with me, but took time to spend with me.  Most likely, it was my Mother who yelled at him  to do something with me so she could get some sleep and so could my sisters who shared a room with me, but to me, it was a special time with my Dad.

We did not have many moments like this, as life got in the way, but, today on Father’s Day, I choose to remember this and be grateful to the man who raised me as best he knew how.

Thanks for stopping by today, DAF

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As It Was In The Days of Noah…

Yes, I know it is Easter time and Facebook and blogs are filled with words remembering the significance of this week.  Yes, I heartily agree with all of this, but, no, this is not a spiritual post.  Just a reference.

Noah built the ark, and the rains started.   Last night I was thinking of pulling out the plans for a boat, just didn’t know how quickly I could get it made.

The rains started yesterday afternoon, as expected.  The winds blew, the rains came and stayed.  It was cozy inside.  We donned our slickers and took the dog out a couple of times for a wet walk.

Last evening we looked at the pond.  It’s not a particularly lovely pond anyhow, more like a culvert with water in it.  There is an area of brush at one end of the pond, the brush stands at least ten feet in height.  Last evening the brush was half covered in water.  The pond was almost full.  The roads were full, as was our front yard.

Now, I know the house is raised just a bit for times like these.  I understand that.  My concern in all of this?  The three alligators who live in the pond.  Two of them are pretty little and I half expected to look out this morning to see them on my porch.

But, as the sun attempted to shine today, I looked out to puddles, a pond that had drained and no gators on my porch.  So, now we are waiting for the next round of storms and again we will watch the pond.

Have a great Easter weekend.  Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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Winter Walking…

My mom died in 1966 in the fall.  That winter, walking to school was a chore.  My older sister at the time was a sophomore in high school, my younger sister was in fourth grade and I was in the sixth.

The three of us would walk together until my younger sister and I headed up a hill to our school and my older sister would continue to walk down to the high school.

I remember the walks to school, the early cold mornings, gray, icy, snowy.  I remember some of the conversations along the way.

It wasn’t until recently that I had a conversation with my older sister about those walks.  She mentioned that they were hard times for her.  She wanted to cheer us up as we walked.  She did a good job, since obviously, I don’t remember them being hard except for the cold weather.

One of the things she would do is sing.  The song that reminds me most of those times is ‘California Dreamin’ by the Mammas and the Pappas.  I hear that song today and I am transported to walking to school.  I can picture a bend in the road and I can remember every detail.

It’s amazing to me how music can transport you to times and seasons.  You feel, smell, think and remember with clarity where you were and what you were doing.  How you were feeling and what you were thinking.  I love that!

California Dreamin’ made me want to go to California.  I remember at that young age determining that I would make it one day across the country to that magical state.  I always pictured myself as a single girl in Los Angeles.  Living a glamor filled life and meeting one celebrity after another.

I did make it to California.  My first encounter to the state was San Francisco, where hubby and I spent four days before heading to Japan to live.  I fell in love with that city.  The hills, the water, the food.  I could still eat my way through San Francisco, enjoying each hill and view.

What I didn’t realize in my young dreaming days was that I would live in that magical state for almost 27 years.  It wouldn’t be a glamorous life as a single, but a loving life with children and a husband.  I saw some celebrities through the years and I met a baseball player who struck me dumb and all I could do was nod my head and smile.

While I had many adventures living there, I spend this winter day thankful for being where I am today.  I am thankful for my sister who kept her siblings going forward.  I am thankful for the memories that song gives me, how it ties my youthful past into my recent past.   I am thankful to be once more on the east coast of this great nation.

Music ties you to many things.   Thank you for talking a winter walk through my memories.  DAF

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Winter…

Yes, I know.  I know that I lived for almost 28 years in Southern California.  I know that I now live in South Carolina.  I know that both of those places are not known for their ‘winters’.    I know that.

There was a time though, that I lived in snow.  I was born in Oil City, PA.  A place in northwestern Pennsylvania.  It is situated in the foothills of the Allegheny mountains, part of the Appalachian chain.  It was cold there, still is.  Winter is part of my DNA.  I know it.  I remember the feel, the smell, the taste of the cold and I miss it.

I truly was one of those kids who walked almost a mile to school (high school it was a mile and half).  The bus routes just missed our home, so, we walked.

We walked uphill and downhill, and yes, that was each way.  Living in a hilly area you had to go up and down both ways to get anywhere.

When I was in school girls weren’t allowed to wear pants.  The nuns would allow us to wear our snowpants to school, but they were hung up in the cloak room as soon as we got there.  In my junior year of high school we were allowed to wear dress pants to school.  In my senior year we were allowed to wear jeans.  I think there were only two days where I did not put on my jeans that year.

So, yes, I can relate to the snow and the cold and the frigid air.  I remember it.  I can remember sitting in a classroom watching the weather turn bad.  It would be cold at lunch time and gray.  The gray would turn to rain and sleet and then snow.  We would leave the school and head home.  Some days the boots would be sitting warmly at home because they weren’t needed in the morning.  So, off  we would head down Seeley Avenue slipping and sliding.  This street would go down hill a ways and then climb up to another street, where we would cross over to.  Going uphill we would try to walk on the grassy part of the curb so we could keep our footing.  Heading across Cedar Avenue was easy.  It was straight. It was level.  It let you catch your breath.  We would then cut across the alley by the cemetery where it was normally oiled, in the snow it was mushy slush.  By this time your feet were soaked and felt like bricks to walk on.  Your knees were burning with the cold.  Your nose was running and your mittens were clumpy with chunks of snowy ice where you had put them down to pick yourself up from falling.

By time we got home we were ready for warmth.  We were ready for flannel pajamas.  But, more than anything we were ready to get our homework done and go back outside, this time for fun.

Yes, I may live where snow is a rare happening, but I remember and I miss the snow.   I lived in snow as an adult also, but that is another post.  Thanks for stopping by today, stay warm!  DAF

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Out with the Old…

We live in a small neighborhood, there are two roads in this subdivision and there are 37 houses here.  So, when I walk the dog we walk the entire neighborhood.

This morning as I walked onto the porch I could hear the wind.  I love days like this.  The neighborhood has tall pine trees, oak trees and some sycamore trees.  Each house is surrounded by trees, especially ours, which has a buffer of trees in our backyard.  Beyond the buffer is a large reservoir.

I love hearing the sound of the wind.  It rustles the branches and the trees sway in choreographed motion.  The sky is gray and we are having rain off and on.  It is a delightful day.

Some small branches were strewn across yards, wind chimes were not melodically chiming, they were being slammed against porch posts.  The remnants of leaves were flying around as if the trees were trying to shed the last of this past year’s foliage.

I enjoyed my walk this morning.  I watched as the trees bent and birds flew on the air currents.  What truly came to mind, is this, the wind is blowing the rest of the year away.

That thought has kept coming to mind.  To get rid of the old year.  It is tired and has had its day.  It was filled with good things, but it is almost empty.  So, as I listen to the wind outside, I sit here thinking of what I will do with the remaining days of 2013.  How will I end it?  What else is in store for me in the waning hours?

Anticipation begins to fill my heart.  A new year coming.  A new season of buds and blossoms and leaves.  Pretty exciting, huh?  I think so.  Thanks for stopping by.  DAF

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Today… 31 Days of Observing…

31 Days Observing

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can. ~Cary Grant

My observation today…  I got up, and I will get to bed shortly.  Today has gotten away from me and I have not written a post.  It’s been a good day though, so I don’t mind much.

I took a walk on the beach with hubby, got some groceries and a couple from church came over for dinner.  On the whole, a good day.

Not much to write about, so I decided to use a quote from Cary Grant, after all a day with Cary Grant  is indeed an enjoyable day.

Thanks for stopping by… DAF

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