Posted in Air, Autumn, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Renovations, Spirit, Walking & Wandering

I am blessed

One of the few
One of the few

If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.

~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Hope
Hope

Yesterday was an interesting day.  By “interesting” I mean it wasn’t a particularly good day.  It started out well enough.  Yoga, meditation, exercise, a walk outside, a blog post written, emails answered, dishes washed, blogs visited, laundry hung on the line to dry, a sweet potato stew prepped and cooked for dinner.

Crepe myrtle leaves
Crepe myrtle leaves

We had some routine maintenance required, one of those things we normally do before winter blows in.  A simple chimney cleaning.  The chimney sweep scheduled to do the job arrived in the afternoon, had a look, and left us with an estimate for work that needs to be done.  Expensive work.  The chimney isn’t built up to today’s code, and needs repairs and a liner to keep us from burning down the house when we use the wood stove.  It’s like that around here.  Routine maintenance is never routine maintenance because there appears to be nothing routine about the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.

Broken
Broken

This latest in a long line of expensive developments was the straw that broke this camel’s metaphorical back.  Everything negative about this place came roaring up, and when that sort of thing happens, regrets surface.  Regrets may serve some useful purpose, but I don’t know what that purpose might be.  As far as I can tell, regrets keep a person stuck in the past, and usually in a dark version of the past rather than in the light and good memories.

Virginia creeper
Virginia creeper

I had made plans to spend some of what will now be repair money on a little reward for myself.  It wasn’t something terribly expensive, but more than I would normally spend on a gift meant for me.  It is not something I need, but it is something I desire.  I will have to put that off for now.  Or get a job, which wouldn’t be a bad idea, but the few jobs there are here are better off left to those more in need of them.

Autumn bouquet
Autumn bouquet

This morning I was standing in the kitchen watching the sun come up.  The sky lightened and brightened, turning a variety of colors from a salmon pink to a brilliant orange.  The light and colors were muted and muffled by fog.  As the fog swirled and began to break up, sunbeams pierced the low clouds and lit up some of the dewy landscape.  Everything glistened and sparkled.  Magic happened, as magic sometimes will during the early morning hours if you’re awake and out of bed to witness it.

A ghost in the fog shrouded meadow.  (It's a large spider web, but doesn't it look like a ghost?)
A ghost in the fog shrouded meadow. (It’s a large spider web, but doesn’t it look like a ghost?)

I am blessed.  Truly blessed.  I forget that at times.  I let myself become overwhelmed by things that, in the grand scheme of things, are not important.  Remember the little things I posted about yesterday?  The kind that can make your life fill rich and full?  Little things have their dark side as well.  I heard an interview with Maya Angelou years ago in which she mentioned something about “being pecked to death by ducks,” one small piece at a time.  If you allow them to, that’s what the small negative things in life will do.  Molehills become mountains, and you find yourself riding the Drama Llama over those mountains.

Webbing in the cherry tree.
Webbing in the cherry tree.

Today I am walking in and with gratitude, reminding myself that all is well, all is well, all manner of things are well.  Because they truly are.  Right now, at this present moment, nobody I love is sick or dying.  I am not sick or dying.  Right now, at this present moment, the wind is dancing with the trees, a small flock of Northern Flickers is convening on the lawn for lunch, the occasional puffy cloud floats across the sky, the washer and dryer are running in the background, Bella is meowing (I think she thinks she’s singing), and my fingers are flying over the keyboard almost as fast as my thoughts are zooming through my head.

Soft landing
Soft landing

And now I’m going to go outside and thoroughly enjoy the gift of this beautiful day.  There will be work (mowing, weeding, trimming, getting the gardens ready for winter), and more walks.  It’s the kind of day you don’t want to spend indoors because that would be such a waste of good weather and fine opportunities to explore or allow yourself to be absorbed in the beauty of nature.  Indoor work can wait for the rainy days ahead.

Infatuation
Infatuation

Thank you so much for visiting today, and joining me on another ramble.  Sunset, at 6:42 PM, is two minutes earlier than yesterday.  Let’s go down to the Point this evening to watch the show.  We have a coastal flood advisory in effect until 3:00 AM on Saturday.  I’m not sure why.  Wind, I suppose.  There might be water on the road in low lying areas, but the road to the Point is usually clear when flooding happens so we should be okay.  If not, there’s always the dock.  You’ll need your wellies to watch from there because the Woodland Trail, which goes to the dock, floods and will likely be covered with a few inches of water.  There’s no current or wave action to worry about.  Just standing, gentle water.

Beautiful morning
Beautiful morning

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂  And have a terrific weekend!

Today’s joys:  Early morning fog and dew; magical sunbeams that pierce the heart and soul; walking, dancing, singing, whistling, moving through the day; appreciation and acknowledgement of all that is; laughter.

Reminder:  If you’re joining us for the October walk, the dates are October 5 through October 26 (I added a day to get us all through the last weekend).  Post the link to your walk here:  Walktober dates.  (You can also find more information about the walk at that link.)

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

23 thoughts on “I am blessed

  1. It is ghostly! (and the leaf so rich)….sometimes we forget the little “luxuries” life gives. To have the time to see all these little treasures.
    (old houses and fireplaces – frownie face. How about putting a metal pipe up the chimney and attach it to a cast iron type stove placed in/in front of the old fireplace instead? Can you do that and be in building code? We did that in one place. The old type stoves can be quite lovely – and you can cook on them, too…even marshmallows…)

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    1. That is the type of stove we have, PhilosopherMouse. The pipe is fine, but the chimney is cracked and not built to handle the temperatures of a wood stove (according to the chimney sweep). There used to be a gas fireplace, and when we decided to switch to the wood stove, the so-called experts told us the chimney was fine and to code. I’m guessing they just wanted to sell us the wood stove. Or the latest expert just wants to make some money and insisting on work that might not need to be done. We’re going to get another chimney sweep out here and see. This is one of those times when I wish I could ship in someone we know and trust from Ohio. I have learned that the Eastern Shore folks have certain codes of dishonor, mostly to avoid doing the work if they don’t want to do it or don’t want to come all the way out here to do it. Ohio folks, for the most part, would have just declined to come out in the first place. This is a strange place with strange ways.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh snort!
        Did they use a triple walled insulated pipe up that chimney? (Can you look inside one end?)
        Those stoves do get darn hot.
        We used a pipe that was zero clearance allowable next to flammable surfaces (like going through wood decked roof of vertical wood framing. We used to do extensive remodeling on several old houses.) You may have to do some looking around/reading. But then there’s the issue of locals/codes in some areas being difficult to “outsiders”.
        Sigh.
        Can you slide another insulated pipe over the one there? Cut a fire-proof panel to fit behind the stove against the brick if necessary to protect there? (paint black or a bit darker than brick)….possible to slide some fireboard up into the chimney to line it?
        Pays to be a bit suspecious and look for options and different opinions…but winter is coming. Don’t want to burn the wall down (as a kid I remember dad ripping open the mantle and wall right above the hearth – it was a very old brick fireplace. I really don’t remember how he fixed it. It was the only heat in the house. But he did something – and it wasn’t replace the whole fireplace. That old wooden house survived for a long time)

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  2. Robin, may the wind dance through the trees for you every day. You are so remarkable, for your way of thinking and sharing that with us and reminding us of what is important in life and the beauty to be found there. Thank you and Namaste.

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  3. I went through the same thing when we moved to Richmond. The winters in Minneapolis are brutal cold, but the homes are built so much better. I hate the winters in Virginia – you can’t get away from it because everything is so leaky. Our house is doing better now, but we’ve spent a ton of money we didn’t have to fix up all kinds of problems that no house should have all at one time. My attitude about being here is much better, but the first few years I was really sorry I did it.

    Nancy

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    1. It’s tough when there’s one thing after another, Nancy. I think I have to let go of my expectations. I thought we’d be finished with most of the major renovations by now, but it takes so long to get anything done (“Eastern Shore time”).

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  4. I love the positive light you bring to something that was surely a disappointment. I have a tendency to wallow in disappointment, and I should really stop that!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this post, Robin. I like the image of getting pecked to death by ducks. It is so easy to fall into a negative pattern of thought, especially when problems keep cropping up “out of the blue.” I appreciate your determined attitude of gratitude. I becomes you, and I will follow your example… also your reminder to get up early and enjoy the sunrise 😉 With it getting later each day, should be easier to do 😉 Best wishes, WG

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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