Image #31- Fireflies

I wish I could claim credit for this incredible picture of fireflies in a North Carolina forest. The true photographer is Spencer Black and this photo was featured today on the website.  I borrowed it for two reasons: 1) to demonstrate the magic and wonder of fireflies, and 2) to publicize  They feature a picture every day of this beautiful blue orb that we call home.

Fireflies dart about my new home every night.  Sometimes the three of us — me, Tango Dog and Rainbow Cat — will stand on the porch together and watch the flickerings here, there, over there, right here…they seem everywhere.  We collectively gape at the wonder of it all. Thank you Spencer Black for capturing the wonder.☙

Image #30 – Rainbow Meets the Front Yard

Image #30 (1)That’s my cat, Rainbow, getting acquainted with the front yard at our new home in Franklin, NC.  I took picture with the iPhone…just so you know my photographic skills have not completely abandoned me.  🙂

Yesterday my post was about the process of moving at the advanced (!) age of 65.  My critters — Rainbow the Cat and Tango the Dog — have also experienced the upheaval of moving and, bless their hearts, they bore up very well.  On moving day, June 21, we got a very early start, departing Sarasota at 4 a.m.  Rainbow, caged in the back part of the van, cried all the way to the Georgia border.  It was finally light enough that I felt comfortable in pulling over in a rest stop and, after walking the dog, I took Rainbow out of her cage and sat in the doorway of the van with her in my lap.  Then I climbed into the back seat, closed all the doors and took a nap while Rainbow explored the van on her own.  Tango, as always, was totally non-plussed and took a nap with me.  Twenty minutes later we were on our way.  Rainbow was a bit quieter but the true cat relaxer was the soothing tones of Edward Hermann reading “Unbroken,” a fascinating book by Lauren Hillenbrand.

My point?  Pets, like us, have trouble with change.  Cats are notorious for hating change.  Dogs, ever eager to please, put up with a lot just to get that scratch behind the ears. But you can see the stress in Rainbow’s eyes in this picture.  Today was her biggest excursion to date — she ventured beyond the front yard to the adjoining woods. Of course I worry about what she might find there, what trouble lurks in the cool darkness. But just as I explore my world I think critters have the right to explore theirs. There may be trouble … it comes in life. But Rainbow returned safe and sound, her countenance more relaxed, her posture more at ease.  They are both asleep at my feet.  Tango, as usual, seems engaged in vivid dreams. Rainbow is stretched out and relaxed.

Life is good. ☙

Image #29

Image #29The super moon of 2013 occurred this past weekend.  I was able to grab some photos of the event from the front yard of my new home in Franklin, NC.  Arriving on June 21, the summer solstice, the “Super Moon” happened the next night and, as you can see, we had nice clear skies.

Pulling up stakes and moving on is always daunting.  I can recall a period during my college years when I moved every six months but I was in my twenties then and what I owned fit in a VW beetle.  At worse I was faced with two trips in the VW.  Today, at 65, things are quite a bit different.  The move did give me the opportunity to “lighten the load” but there is still a very sizeable quantity of “stuff” on its way to NC.

I won’t bore you with another essay on “stuff.”  Rather I will cut to the chase — moving is scary business. As a species we seem to abhor change which is ironic because life is nothing but change.  This move came about in fits and starts and as I sit here in a relatively empty double-wide trailer, on the side of a hill in a town I can barely find the center of, I will readily admit to wondering what in the world am I doing here? The answer is simple.  I am living my life and a part of me has always wanted to live in these hills and enjoy their wonders.  Life presented me with a chance to do that and I have seized the moment.  It pleases me that things seemed to conspire so that my arrival was on the solstice and that the universe presented such a wonderful show on my second night in my new home. Where will the next solstice find me?  ☙

Image #28


The sunset at Point of Rocks in Sarasota, Florida. It is likely my last Florida sunset for a while. I am moving lock-stock-and-barrel to Franklin, North Carolina. I’ve rented my home in Sarasota and the movers are due next week. I am on my way in about eight hours.

It is funny how life sends you little affirming messages that you have made the right choices. I have been staying at the home of my cousin while I finished the chore of packing and closing up the home where I have spent the last decade. She has this gorgeous piece of property on Point of Rocks. It has been in her family for more than 60 years. I was getting ready to leave in the morning when my eye seized on a pair of pruning shears and I decided to tackle some of the invasive potato vine that is at the foot of her drive. A couple drove by and stopped. The woman in the passenger seat was holding a cell phone and she said, “The tourist guides say we should see Point of Rocks and our GPS says we are there but where is it?” I explained they were within a few dozen feet but the problem was finding a place to park.

When I was growing up in Sarasota, back in the 1960s, it was no problem to find POR. You simply parked on POR Road and walked to Crescent Beach. But everything is over-built these days. The “public access” is about 18″ wide and well-concealed. The Point is groaning under the excessive McMansions of today’s neuveaux riche.

On a whim I asked where they were from. North Carolina! It seemed as if fate had sent me a sign in this young couple and I immediately invited them to use the access at my cousin’s house. They were stunned and rather tentatively drove up the drive. I showed them the gate and told them to take their time even though their reddened skin said they should probably limit their exposure.

About twenty minutes later they returned. The woman hustled past the door to the car but the young man lingered and I opened the door. He extended his thanks, still looking stunned that I had invited him up. He insisted I had been very kind and I thanked him. “Just paying it forward,” I said. “That’s how I was raised,” he said, “good deeds create more good deeds.”

It was a simple exchange and a nice way to close a chapter. Sarasota, Part II is closed. On to the next.

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