Frequently, I’m asked how I’m enjoying my new home.
My response flows.
“I’m loving it more every day.”
Perhaps I’m under the influence of the intoxicating fragrances that waft through the air. Depending upon where I stand on the property today, I might smell orange blossoms, or alyssum, or eucalyptus, or other yet to be identified scents. Each offers aromas I enjoy, and I savor those moments of fragrance.
Regularly, I’m learning something new about the plantings on the property. The former owners enjoyed the diversity found in this locale, so there’s a variety of mature plantings to enjoy. Our styles may be different, but our love of plants and being outdoors to enjoy them is something we share with those owners. We’re grateful they invested in the property. We’ve relocated and moved some things to create different spaces or zones; this visually opened the approach to the house; yet maintained almost all the species we worked with. It’s a process and we’re comfortable knowing that it will all take time. I wake up, look outdoors and say,
This season finds us preoccupied with houses, selling one, acquiring another. What do these different house styles say about us?
We joined our lives together, each owning a ranch style home.
Together we sold those homes, then combined our assets to purchase the lake house. From the street it was a beautiful ranch home that morphed once you entered into a three-story home that overlooked the lake and embraced the glory of sunsets all year long. It was the house where we thought our children would come to make memories. Not so much. Instead, we made lots of memories ourselves there. It was the house with the impeccably manicured yard and beautiful plantings. We enjoyed the changes of the seasons, the wild wind off the lake, the opportunity to sail whenever we wanted, and even the sound of our winter guests who set up shacks on the lake for ice fishing.
From there we moved to the Colorado house, described as an old-style mountain home. We gave up the yard and the effort it took to maintain for more natural and rugged living. This house towered above the ground with the front prow encased in glass. Once you entered the home, you felt as though you could soar into the heavens. Your gaze always drawn into the sky. The air at this elevation was dryer and the skies clearer. All the seasons here seemed to arrive earlier than we expected, but each was a welcome change. Wildlife lived in proximity and sometimes challenged our abilities to cultivate anything green. The wind here surprised me and often prevented us for utilizing our outdoor spaces. It often caused me to ponder the ruggedness of life for the early settlers and wonder how they endured. But even more, I found myself surprised and mesmerized by how close and plentiful the stars appeared; I thought I could reach out and grab one… It was here that we would lie on the deck and watch shooting stars (a first for me).
Now we are relocating, even further west; something I never imagined. This time we move to a Mediterranean style home, in a rural location with different vegetation from anything I’ve known. Our trips these last eight years to California have introduced me to some of these plants so they don’t appear as foreign as they used to, but I know nothing of their care. Something new to learn. The daytime climate outdoors may be warmer, but the house design should keep us comfortable. The more temperate climate and house design should provide the opportunity to utilize outdoor living more—something we’ve both wanted. A dedicated art room instead of repurposing a room will be a fresh experience and the location where you may often find me. Many of the critters I’ve become accustomed to in Colorado will also live there, plus a few new ones. Our new home will allow an opportunity to absorb the new landscapes and vistas, which will thrill me. Enough space to entertain, yet enough private spaces for us to enjoy living in our comfort zone. Who knows what adventures await us there?
Change and change and change. Each house so different from the one before and each filled with pleasant thoughts. I expect the fresh change to continue to offer adventures, hope and another place for us to share our love.
Reflecting on the first half of 2020 brings many thoughts to mind. It’s a year that has affected everyone.
Civilizations around the world all touched by Covid-19 have dealt differently with it, each in their own way. Even in other cultures, individuals have responded diversely to the impact. Recognize that I will only address the affects to me, and in no way mean that to minimize or marginalize anyone else’s experience. Personally, Covid-19 allowed me to slow down; no really, forced me to slow down. I considered myself to be a grateful person, yet this slower pace allowed me to recognize even more things to be grateful for. Regular Zoom meetings allowed me to stay connected with writing friends from Ireland, and the local writing group, now on-line connects more frequently. I’ve been able to establish some new patterns or routines in my life, resulting in more consistency in writing. A new children’s story awaits art work; a compilation of short stories (some new and some former writings) is coming together; there’s noticeable progress on the sequel to “Dream Glasses.” With this slower pace, I find after an initial writing, it’s easier to go back and review it with a more critical eye and make corrections. I recognize I’m more calm. Life feels less hectic, and more relaxing.
The question that plagues me is, what of these new patterns will I bring to my future when life returns to some semblance of normalcy?
Have you found aspects of these last few months you want to carry forward? Are you willing to share them?
Yesterday was a beautiful morning, so we drove to town, stopped at our favorite coffee shop for take-n-go drinks and took off.
Took off for a drive up a nearby mountain pass. The spring melt has the rivers flowing at near peak capacity.
The morning air, fresh and cool, offers the fragrance of spring. One could smell the earth, the heat generating from the rocks and the moisture in the shade under the trees. The sound of the water racing downhill, roaring over rock walls, splash landing at the base before flowing into the river filled the air. In one location, the cool spray carried gently by the breeze, brushed against my face.
In another location, we sat nearby and absorbed the sensations of being by water, out in nature.
Honestly, at one site, I got dizzy sitting there. We were in the truck, parked close to the river’s edge. The sights and sounds were relaxing, refreshing yet simultaneously invigorating. As I sat and watched the water, I got the sense the vehicle was moving. It wasn’t. Yet the water was so intense, so fast and so mesmerizing, I lost track of everything else.
Perhaps these photos will take you to these places also…
Please leave a comment in response to any of the questions. Happy New Year!
Do you read my blog because you too are a writer, or just interested in what I write about?
Either is good; I’m just curious.
If you write, do you have writing goals?
How to you track your goals and evaluate your progress?
Does this motivate you?
I use writing goals. It’s a process I’ve refined over the years. It started with generic lists for big projects that I seldom looked at and by the year’s end; I found I accomplished little. Not very satisfying!
My process evolved and suspect will continue to evolve.
It’s important for me to break down a project into tasks; this level of detail ensures things don’t fall through the cracks and provides a more accurate view of the work and time involved to accomplish the project. Making that simple change to my goals has allowed me to be more realistic in what I can accomplish.
As I contemplated 2019’s goals in creating my goals for 2020, I realized how frequently you, my followers have been part of the process. Thank you for taking time to read my posts, for choosing to “like them” or make comments. Those efforts encourage me, as a writer.
My hope for you is that as you reflect on 2019, you enjoy good memories. I look forward to 2020 and hope my writing will bring a smile to your face, or provide something for you to contemplate.
We arrived home yesterday after spending the weekend celebrating the final summer holiday for 2019. Friends, who have an off-grid cabin and host an annual pig roast picnic on their property invited us for the weekend. After enjoying good food with fine companions, we settled in to enjoy a night high in the mountains complete with campfires and great conversation.
Wow! It’s hard to believe we wrapped up week seven in Ireland. In the blink of an eye, seven weeks passed.
Thoughts whirl and twirl through my mind as I try to sort them. I suspect the sorting process will take some time.
Each of us has made contacts in County Kerry that have a place in our hearts, as do many people back in the US. I’ve read each of us only has the capacity to maintain a finite number of relationships, and that number varies little from person to person. That’s not my life experience. I find as I reach out and build a relationship with someone, my heart expands to make room for more relationships. With each relationship I build, it enriches something within my life.
My heart swells at the good thoughts of those who have touched my life; I’m grateful for the simple expressions of friendship, for the caring acts of our family, for the loving arms of God’s expanded family who know no geographical boundaries.
We’ve written about the weekly activities we each take part in, and those activities may sound simple or repetitive, but in many ways that is what life is about—simple, repetitive acts performed again and again; all the while with lives interacting and crossing one another. And so, week seven was another such week for us, full of people, interactions and activities.
We try to take one day each week and drive somewhere. The attached photo is from a seashore town, an area traveled often by tourists which is why I suspect the houses are so brightly colored. It is beautiful, and then nearby is the blue of the sea and the sky.