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If we were having coffee: Taste of summer edition

Beauty in the morning.
Beauty in the morning.

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.

~ Karl Barth

Greeting.
Greeting.

If we were having coffee, I would be thrilled to see you again.  It seems as if it has been a while since our last coffee chat although I think it’s only been two weeks.  I’m not sure why that feels like a long time, but maybe in blog terms it is.  Hugs if you’re accepting them.

How are you?  What have you been up to the past two weeks?  Have you gone on holiday/vacation?  Traveled anywhere?  Seen anything new?  Have you read any good books or watched any good films?  Gone on any splendiferous walks?  Grab a beverage, have a seat on the porch, and tell me all about what has been going on in your life since our last chat.

Smile.
Smile.

I haven’t watched any films lately.  M and I have started watching season three of House of Cards.  We watched the U.K. version way back in the 1990’s, and this one is just as intriguing as the original.  Maybe more so to me because I’m more familiar with the U.S. government than I am (or was) with how things work in the U.K.

I finished reading Shaman.  Last time we chatted, I wasn’t sure I would because I found the book to be slow, almost plodding.  I hung on, and eventually the plot did pick up.  I liked the earthiness of the characters (even in their grossness) and the story of the clan and the shaman’s apprentice, Loon. I also enjoyed Loon’s sense of humor and practicality.  Would I recommend it?  Oh, I don’t know.  If you’re looking for a book that will slow you down and not rush to gobble everything up, this would be it.

I am currently reading Assassination Vacation.  Jon Stewart of The Daily Show recently interviewed author Sarah Vowell about her new book Lafayette in the Somewhat United States.  Our local library system doesn’t have the new book so I picked one of her older books.  I love history, and Ms. Vowell’s writing style makes it fun.  I’ve seen her writing described as “smart, funny, soulful, and even educational” (Nick Hornby, quoted from Amazon.com).  I am thoroughly enjoying the book.  It’s a fast read, filled with interesting tidbits.  The main topic is the assassinations of U.S. Presidents Lincoln, McKinley, and Garfield.  A few years ago I read her book The Wordy Shipmates, about the settlement of Massachusetts by the Puritans in the 1600’s, and learned a lot about the Puritans and those who came here on the Mayflower.

Curiosity.
Curiosity.

If we were having coffee, I would recommend a recent blog post by Katrina Kenison titled this (good) life.  Visit the link when you have time to read, and maybe, when you need a spot of calm to help you recharge your batteries.  It’s a beautiful piece of writing and wisdom.

A sunflower as interpreted by my youngest granddaughter.
A sunflower as interpreted by my youngest granddaughter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been an interesting couple of weeks.  Two family members were hospitalized, and last weekend we took a trip to Pennsylvania to visit with one of them.  My father was the other and he was in and out for a quick procedure that didn’t solve his problem, but at least he’s home and doing as well as can be expected.  We are in wait and see mode with the other family member and will probably have to take a few more trips to help out while he’s in rehab for physical therapy and when he goes home.

My health reached a “you must make up your mind” point.  Not a crisis exactly, but a hard push.  I had another CT scan and started a round of antibiotics that left me ill and injured (with tendinitis, of all things!).  The good news is that the surgeon I was seeing has more or less washed his hands of me, having decided I do not have what he thought I had, and he has referred me to yet another doctor.  I am not sure I’ll go, but the appointment is made and I have time to think about it.  My gut instinct for now is to let my body do its own healing without the outside help of modern medicine.

Sunset reflections at the Point.
Sunset reflections at the Point.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am doing restorative yoga, and meditating twice a day.  I spend as much time outdoors as I can.  Life is good.

My focus now is on gratitude, healing, the present, and the positives in life.  I am grateful for my recent experiences, and for the way they have helped me work through fear, worry, and my tendency to be negative at times.  I am grateful for all the wonderful advice you all have given when I asked for it.  I am becoming — or rather, I am — the author of my own life instead of a passive participant, and that is something else to be thankful for.  I have discovered that possibilities don’t expire, and that I don’t have to be trapped by what I think of as me because that me is not Me at all.

Wide open.
Wide open.

If we were having coffee, I would switch to lighter subjects at this point.  It’s hard to explain epiphanies.  Words don’t suffice, do they?

I received a summons for jury duty this week.  “Ugh,” I thought (and probably said out loud), when I saw “summons” on the envelope, and knew right away it involved jury duty.  I’ve done my duty many times in the past.  They always seem to find me within a few years of moving.  I don’t understand it.  Many people I know have never served jury duty.  I spent three months on a grand jury in Georgia, followed by a month of regular jury duty right after that due to a computer glitch that sent all of us on the grand jury right back into the system and a judge who said, “Well, you are all here now so you’ll have to stay.”  I served jury duty time (usually it’s a month) in South Carolina and in Illinois.  I was summoned in Ohio, but M and I were on a sabbatical and living in another state or country when that happened.  My jury time starts in September and goes for a month.  I’m hoping there won’t be much to it.  Rumor has it that our local district attorney prefers plea bargains over going to trial.

Ripples and reflections.
Ripples and reflections.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am going to the Chincoteague Blueberry Festival this weekend where I will wander around the artists’ booths to soak up (and maybe purchase) some art, listen to some music, and eat some good food.  After that, I’m headed to the beach for some fun and relaxation in the surf and sand.

The meadow is still a riot of flowers.
The meadow is still a riot of flowers.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we are in need of rain again.  The rain keeps missing us, breaking up and soaking those north and south of us.  The ground here is cracked and parched.  Trees are drooping, and we have to water the gardens to keep things alive.  The positive aspect of all this dryness is that the biting insects have disappeared and it is safe to walk outdoors without suiting up or dousing oneself in insect repellent.  I spent a couple of hours outside yesterday, walking, swimming, and just relaxing on the deck.  I was even able to walk out to the dock, something I haven’t been doing much because the woodland trail is a favorite hangout for the deer flies and mosquitoes.  The heat has returned, but the humidity levels are low, and that makes it seem not quite so bad.

Found Gladiolas growing in the meadow.
Found Gladiolas growing in the meadow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even the marsh seems drier than usual.  The tide still comes in and out, of course, so it isn’t completely dry, but the usual wet, tidal odor that comes from the marsh is almost gone.  You don’t notice it until you get to the dock or at the very edge of the marshland.

Under the old oak.
Under the old oak.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Frank, of A Frank Angle, and I might have a surprise for you on Tuesday.  It won’t be here, though.  You’ll have to travel over to Frank’s place to see it.  I’ll let you know for sure when I know for sure.  I think it’s pretty much confirmed, but as we all know, plans can, and often do, change.

(This just in:  It’s confirmed.  A collaborative post between Frank and I will be going live on Tuesday morning.  Please join us for the fun.)

A window to the sky.
A window to the sky.

If we were having coffee, I would see that it is probably time for you to go.  I don’t want to monopolize your Saturday or your weekend.  Feel free to stay and swim if you like.  You are welcome to stay for sunset, too.  Let’s go down to the beach at the Point to watch.  Sunset is at 8:18 this evening.

Hearts a'fire.
Hearts a’fire.

Thank you so much for visiting.  Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

The lavender is enjoying the heat.
The lavender is enjoying the heat.

Today’s joys:  A delightful breakfast with M; the expansion within that gratitude creates; opening to possibilities; a slow return to a healthier, more varied, diet; my body’s ability to heal itself.

Partridge peas and dapples of sunlight.
Partridge peas and spots of sunlight.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Put on the kettle, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

coffee2

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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.

38 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Taste of summer edition

  1. If we were having coffee at your place I would definitely enjoy the scenery – and ask you to take a walk with me. Every time I see your pictures I revel in the beauty that you show us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Potentially odd suggestion: if there is a Reiki practitioner in your area—a good, experienced one—you may want to consider a session or two to provide some clearing for your health. Reiki is very powerful for removing lingering harmful energies of medications, among other quite surprising things it does. Depending on how sensitive you are to energy work, it may knock you out (as in, someone else should drive you to and from the session if possible) but the healing effect is worth it.

    That Sarah Vowell book sounds quite interesting…heading over to Amazon now to take a look at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not an odd suggestion at all, David. In fact, it’s an excellent suggestion. Thank you! When we first moved here and I wasn’t feeling well, I looked into a holistic medical practice north of us. I just checked and they have a Reiki practitioner. I’ll give them a call sometime this week. Thank you again! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always feel like we actually did visit after reading your posts. I suppose that is the point if this blog subject but I just wanted to say that you do it great justice. Have a good time at the Blueberry Festival. I’m heading out in a little bit to go to a BBQ myself.

    PS. I do love Maddys sunflower.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love those photos! And that artwork by your granddaughter is pretty swell, too. 🙂 Hope you’re feeling better soon and that you find the right doc for you. I’ve a friend who is diabetic and is having trouble finding the right doctor, and it’s a right pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad you are on the mend and going forward with an eye to self-healing. Anything is possible with a disciplined mindset. 🙂 Love your photos and Maddy’s art. The meadow with the black-eyed Susan and Queen Anne’s lace is so lovely. 🙂

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  6. I sit here at my computer, it’s Sunday morning, and I have just had the most wonderful “chat” with you, Robin. One sentence jumped right out at me, “I am the author of my own life instead of a passive participant”, in fact that whole paragraph is very special. I think of you often these days, hoping you are well, knowing that something in your thoughts has gone amiss and is affecting your body, and I often find myself sending you healing wishes.

    All of your photos are amazing, but I’ve got to say, Miss Maddy’s photo is brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing it here with us today. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joanne. 🙂 I sometimes wonder if the something in my thoughts that has gone amiss is related to the decades of wishing, praying, hoping, trying to be thinner. I have lost 20 lbs. since the beginning of this experience, and I have learned something that no diet has ever taught me: How to listen to my body. I am eating foods that feel right, stopping when I am given those subtle messages that say “enough,” and learning to savor the food. I’ve always been a slow eater, but I’ve discovered that I was also a distracted eater (which may account for missing those “enough” cues). I have stopped exercising like a fiend, thinking I can somehow punish my body into weight loss submission. I am treating myself with kindness and compassion, and surprisingly, I find myself being so grateful for/to this body that has allowed me to experience life. More loving towards myself, I suppose. There are days when I feel like my entire body is filled with a loving, healing energy, and that’s cool. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is really cool! I hope those feelings continue and your body “heals” completely, very soon. I agree with what you say about listening to your body too, if something starts to feel “off” you should act upon it, be it an uncomfortable feeling about something, or eating too much, or the wrong food for you. I’m feeling really happy for you now. (Maybe I can stop “worrying” so much about you now that you are on the right track. 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

  7. If we were having coffee I’d still be bouncing from my holiday. My attention span is that of a gnat at the moment (although I don’t really know how long a gnat can concentrate for) my mind darts off from one half thought to the next, to the next… sometimes settling on the original thought from time to time before darting off again.
    I’d best have a fruit tea if you’ve got one please, I’ll add a sugar though, I kept my caffeine levels balanced on holiday but ate far too much sugar so have to bring the levels down slowly to avoid a migraine, not too slowly though, I’m sure the hot weather has made my jeans shrink. 🙂
    I’ve recently bought the dvd set of the UK house of cards. I watched it on TV when it was first on and thoroughly enjoyed running it again.
    I know what you mean about modern day medicine, I try not to use it unless I have to, but often the diagnosis can come in handy to know the best way to help your body to help itself. 🙂
    I’ve never been on a jury, I hope I don’t get picked, I’d probably be held in contemt of court for falling asleep or day-dreaming.
    I’ll try and remember to catch you and Frank on Tuesday, if not, then I’ll hopefully make it for coffee again next weekend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol, Sallyann! You ARE bouncing around. I like it. 😀 I’m not sure about the attention span of a gnat either, but given the way they flit around, it probably isn’t great. lol! You are so right about a diagnosis coming in handy. I think it settles the mind a little, too. The unknown can be so scary at times. Even ruling something out, as the doc did in my case, can be settling.

      Funny you mentioned day-dreaming in court while on jury duty. I was wondering if that would be a good excuse to get out of jury duty. I know I would tend to drift even though I should be paying attention. I doubt they’ll accept that as an excuse. Ah well, I’ll go and think of it as another adventure in life. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. If we were having coffee I´d say that I haven´t watched any movie lately either but I watch some online tv shows at night before going to bed because I need the distraction. I´d tell you that I tried to read a book by Hanif Kureishi but I cannot turn on the pages for some reason so I left it unfinished and tried another one about an autistic boy who is trying to write a novel about the murder of a dog. I´d say that I´d like to serve jury duty in a trial if the boy found the perpetrator! I´d say that I love your blog so much and that I recomend it to others. I´d say you have to listen to your mind and body and try to see if you can heal without a traditional doctor. One that practices chinese medicine would be a good idea. I´d say I´m sorry to hear your relatives and specially your father are having health issues but I hope they feel better soon. I´d tell you that your positive thinking and constant struggle to be better helps you and others too because sometimes your doubts are mine and your way to look at the issue helps me look at mine. I´´d say that my focus now is finding some sense or normalcy again since my life has been not mine lately. I´d say that your place is lovely and that I need a towel after swimming to sit and watch the sunset. I´d tell you that I´m very happy for the coffee and the chat and that we should do it more often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ellen. I am so glad you were able to stop by. It’s always a pleasure to see you. 🙂 Here’s a towel. We keep a small stack of beach towels on the porch so they’re are handy for when you get out of the pool.

      I like your suggestion about finding someone who practices an alternative to what we call traditional medicine. I am going to call a holistic health center this week to see what they have to offer.

      I’ve read the book about the autistic boy and the murdered dog. It’s a very good book. (The title is escaping me at the moment, but I bet it comes to me as soon as I finish typing up this reply. Oh! There it is “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”) I have another book by the same author on my bookshelf that I’ll be reading soon. I am looking forward to it.

      I am sorry to hear that your life has not been yours lately, and hope that you find a sense of normalcy and peace soon. Hugs

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      1. Now I know where the towels are so next time I won´t have to ask!! thanks!! Let´s hope that the holistic center has an interesting approach that helps you. Yes!! that book, I didn´t remember the tittle either! besides, I couldn´t find the original so I´m Reading the text in spanish. Not the same. I have faith that very soon things will start to feel different and I´ll re connect with what makes me feel like me. Nice to see you too!!! hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel like I repeat myself often in my comments to you, but once again I just love the quiet beauty of this post and your photos. Maddy’s sunflower is adorable. If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I just came back from yoga class and I am feeling very refreshed. I’d love to learn to meditate too – can you recommend any books about getting started with this practice? Most of the time, unless I’m sitting at the beach, I find it nearly impossible to empty my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 You don’t have to empty your mind to meditate. Thoughts tend to come and go, and the trick is to let them come and go. When I catch myself thinking, I usually remind myself by saying to myself, “Thinking.” That helps me to let the thought go rather than get caught up in it and start spinning yarns. I’ve been using some guided meditations lately from davidji.com. You have to register to use his free meditations, but that’s no big deal. I get an email occasionally (usually on the weekend with a weekend meditation), but he doesn’t spam you to death or give out your email address. The Meditation Room on the website is a great place to start because he explains the different types of meditation, how to get started, etc. I also love Matthew Frum’s website, stillness.org. He has a free 30-day email course that helps you get started. The meditations are short, but you can continue to meditate once the guided part is over for as long as you wish. Frum’s email course is, I think, great for beginners because he explains meditation in such a simple way.

      (Sorry if this shows up twice. Had a glitch in the system.)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. If we were having coffee, I would tell you how much I enjoy our walkabouts and the coffee. I would tell you how much I enjoyed a few days in Portland with my adult children, enjoying some beer at the brew fest, delicious meals at various restaurants, a visit to Powell Book Store, walks down the streets, laughing at our silliness and sleeping till we woke with no alarms, furry or otherwise. I would also tell you how happy we are to be back home now. I would hug you and tell you I’m sorry you’re having health concerns, and I hope it all straightens out very soon. Then I would thank you for the visit, tell you I wish I could stay a bit longer, but there are things that must be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sounds like great fun, Carol! I would love to visit Powell Book Store. I’ve heard a lot about it. I think I could live in a book store. lol! Thank you for the hugs, the well wishes, and for stopping by. It’s always good to chat with you. 🙂

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  12. If we were having coffee, I’d give you a big hug and wish you the best with your health issues, your self-healing, and your authorship of your own life! I’m always impressed by what you share of yourself on your blog. I hope you enjoyed the Blueberry Festival; it must have been fun! That kind of thing is perfect for summer, unless it’s too hot of course. I envy your meditation practice and, though I’ve tried to get into the habit before, I’ve never been successful.

    If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am settling in at home in Virginia, and I’ve seen my boys and Mike and am very happy to be home again. I also was lucky to spend a week in Los Angeles with my sister and to visit Joshua Tree National Park with Rosie Freed and Anacapa Island with my sister. I’d tell you that my body is still very confused and wants to sleep when I’m awake and wants to be awake when I’m asleep. I’m sure it will take some time to sort itself out.

    Have a great week ahead, Robin, and I hope you find peace in both body and soul. 🙂

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    1. Welcome back, Cathy! I am a little envious that you got to meet up with Rosie. Joshua Tree National Park is on my list of places to visit, too.

      Thank you for the good wishes. I hope your body sorts out the travel and time zones soon. Are you posting on a different blog now? Or still posting to your China blog?

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      1. Thanks for the welcome, Robin. It’s funny, Rosie and I talked about you when we met in California. Rosie said she found me through your blog. We talked about how we liked your blog because you share so openly and honestly. 🙂

        I’ll still be posting to China for some time to come because I am really behind in my experiences there and in what I want to say. I will also alternate on my “home” blog: nomad, interrupted about reacclimatizing to life in America. I’m still also have to backtrack and talk about my Myanmar trip on rice paddies & papayas, my southeast Asia blog. Too confusing, I know! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for the long letter and all the news. I’ve had the same experience with jury duty. It’s the welcome stranger – since you’re new you’re SCREWED because we wouldn’t want to inconvenience those who live here! In Wisconsin, if you sat on a jury, that was it and you were done. In Virginia, you serve the entire time and can be on multiple juries. Thankfully, I only had to sit on one jury and it was done in a day.

    It’s too bad about the doctor. Some are so incredibly good and others, just are not.

    Have a good week!

    Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad you enjoyed it, Nancy. I have “Meditations From the Mat” that she wrote with someone else (I can’t recall his name right now), but have not read any books she has written on her own. I’ll have to change that. I really enjoy her blog. 🙂

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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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