Posted in Autumn, Books, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Play, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Weather, WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee: After the party edition

The heart of the rose.
The heart of the rose.

If you want an interesting party sometime, combine cocktails and a fresh box of crayons for everyone.

~ Robert Fulghum


If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would be thrilled to see you again.  Come on in!  Hugs if you’re amenable to them, a respectful nod and a smile if you’re not.  Let’s grab whatever we’re drinking today and head out to the deck or the porch.  Where we sit is your choice although the weather might have some input on the decision.  There is a good chance of rain until after noon today.  The weather folks are calling it “an elongated area of disturbed weather” (Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog).  It’s been sitting off the coast of the Carolinas.  I mentioned it on Monday, I think, when they were calling it Invest 97L.  Anyhow, it looks as though it’s going to be making its way north, providing wind and rain.  We’ve been under a coastal flood advisory for the past few days from the wind driving the water from the Chesapeake Bay our way, and higher tides due to the moon phase (it’s approaching full moon status).  The flooding has been minor.  Just a little water on the roadways here and there, and water along the sides of the boardwalk that leads to our dock.

I see you.
I see you

Phew!  That was a long “hi, come on in!”  I am feeling loquacious today so I apologize for that in advance.  I will probably talk your ear off.  (Pardon the use of “loquacious” where “chatty” would  have sufficed.  I am trying to expand my vocabulary which, oddly, appears to be shrinking lately.  Maybe “garrulous” would have fit better since my excessive babbling borders on the trivial.)

How are you?  Fit as a fiddle, I hope.  What have you been up to lately?  Have you gone on any walks or adventures?  Traveled anywhere?  Spent time with friends or family?  Have you read any good books or watched any good films?  Have a seat and catch me up on all your doings and not-doings.

Leaning in. (Praying mantis.)
Leaning in (Praying mantis.)

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that I finally finished reading The Abominable by Dan Simmons.  It was near the end of the book that I discovered there are some things I just can’t do anymore.  I wanted to stay up Thursday night until I finished it, but I was so exhausted (with good reason) I couldn’t do it.  When I was younger, I would stay up all night to devour a good book.  Now it seems like no matter how good the book or how exciting the story, I can’t do it.  My eyes cross, my eyelids give up fighting gravity, and the next thing I know, I’m jolting awake as the book falls from my hands.

It was a good book.  It’s the kind of book I think should be turned into a movie.  Epic is an appropriate word for it.  Adventurous, thrilling, and yes, long.  663 pages long.  Simmons’ descriptions are so good that there were moments when I felt as if I were climbing Mt. Everest with the characters in the book.  Some might find all the climbing details, especially when it comes to the equipment, tedious, but I found it fascinating.  If I wasn’t afraid of heights, I’d be a mountain climber.  That sounds weird, doesn’t it?  I used to want to climb mountains until I had a big fall from high up that helped me acquire my fear of heights.  It’s not the going up that bothers me.  It’s the coming down.  And sooner or later, you have to come down.

A path in the meadow
A path in the meadow

I started reading An Imaginative Experience by Mary Wesley last night.  It’s a short book, and I should be finished with it within a few days.  That’s really all I can say about it since I’m only a couple of pages in.

Fall colors peeping out in the meadow.
Fall colors peeping out in the meadow

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that our get-together with M’s colleagues went well.  Everyone had a good time (or at least said they had a good time, and I have no reason to doubt them).  I think about 20-25 people out of the 40 invited showed up.  We had veggie and cheese trays from a local grocery store, but I also made some more substantial food for those who wished to do more than snack.  Well.  It turns out everyone wanted to do more than snack.  The vegetarian chili (sweet potato, black bean, and chipotle chili) was gone before the last few stragglers showed up.  I made enough to fill a large crock pot and thought we would be freezing leftovers for us to eat for lunches or dinners. I was wrong.  The chili was quite popular.  So was the marinated cabbage salad (a highfalutin way of saying “coleslaw”).  The cheese and veggie trays ended up going to work with M yesterday so they wouldn’t go to waste.  It’s more than we could eat.  We did keep a little behind so if you’re feeling a little peckish or just want to snack, feel free to help yourself.

An early morning gathering at the lagoon
An early morning gathering at the lagoon

During the party, I took a couple of tours of people for a walk on the Woodland Trail and to the dock.  The dock was a good place to be on Thursday.  It was breezy, but not cold, with just enough clouds overhead to make the sky interesting.  It was wonderful to finally be able to share some of the beauty of the ranch with more folks.  I’d like to have more gatherings here in the future.  It might be fun to have a once-a-month soup night during the winter months, but I’ll have to give it some thought.  We have had so much going on throughout the summer, and it will be nice to have a little time to ourselves with no visits or travels on the immediate horizon.

Equinox moon
Equinox moon

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that on the days the sky hasn’t been completely overcast this week, we’ve had some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.  I would also tell you that I am hoping to see the eclipse tomorrow night.  Do you have plans to watch it?  They are calling it a Super Blood Moon.  It’s also the Harvest Moon.  The elongated area of disturbed weather (heavy cloud cover and rain) might prohibit us from seeing it.  Fingers crossed that the sky clears in time for the show.

Equinox sunset
Equinox sunset

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I recently had another look at my 15 Things list.  Once the mosquitoes die down (or die out for the season), there are three things left on the list that I will do:

  1. Spend a night, or at least part of a night, outdoors watching the stars.
  2. Spend a day, or half a day at least, sitting in the woods, waiting to see what comes along.
  3. Spend a day, or half a day at least, sitting on the dock, waiting to see what comes along.

Once I’ve done those three things, I will consider the list as complete as it is possible for me to complete it this year.  Some of the items couldn’t be checked off because life interfered with my plans.  I have saved these three things for the autumn months because it is my favorite time of year to be outdoors.

Sunrise clouds on Thursday.
Sunrise clouds on Thursday

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that I have probably taken enough of your time.  If you would like to stay a little longer, we can take a walk in the meadows provided it isn’t pouring down rain.  You might have noticed on your way in that the Bare Meadow Which Is No Longer Bare has become a sea of yellow.  Several varieties of goldenrod are blooming.  It is beautiful.  Mother Nature has a way of painting autumn colors across the landscape that is unparalleled.


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

Autumn light in the woods
Autumn light in the woods

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Put the kettle on, 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.

Perched. (Izzy on her cat tree this morning.)
Perched. (Izzy on her cat tree this morning.)




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.

18 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: After the party edition

  1. If we were having coffee Robin I’d ask you about the flood gates they’ve just put up at the end of our street in Freemason, Norfolk….should I be wearing a life jacket?
    PS gorgeous pics, esp. deer at night.


    1. Thank you, Anna. 🙂 Given that Norfolk is a sea-level rise hot spot and it’s sinking while the seas are rising, I’d at least scope out some higher ground. Or get a good pair of hip boots to go with that life jacket. 😉 I’m kidding. You’ll be okay. Norfolk has a long history of flooding, and I hear that the local folks are very good about keeping people informed about what’s going on so that if you need to move your car or move yourself, someone will let you know.


  2. If we were having coffee – and yes, I am amenable to hugs, they are good for your health – I would tell you, once again, how much I’ve enjoyed the tour. There is not much to tell here – my doings have been mostly non-doings. I have been enjoying the antics of the squirrels outside my windows – our population seems to be growing rather rapidly. I suspect this has to do with the disappearance of my Lily cat. She’s been missing now for two weeks, but still I sometimes think I’m hearing her meowing outside a door. In her absence, Twiggy cat is becoming more affectionate, and is even sleeping on the side of me that Shasta does not occupy at night. I am well cocooned! The soup night sounds like a lovely idea – I often think of having people over, most often I think for wine and snacks – but acting on it is something else. I am not a comfortable entertainer, nor am I a confident entertainer.
    I have decided today, once our visit is concluded, to do what my heart tells me and to let all else just fade into the woodwork. I do think, though, that I should get those clothes that have been in the dryer for mm mm days out and put away. Fortunately, they’re jeans and such, so wrinkling is not such a problem.
    I have inadvertently started a war of the Blue Jays this morning. I put peanuts out – for the squirrels, but the jays got there first – and they seem unable to share with one another. They’re just going to have to work it out, and I’m going to have to see if I can’t come up with a better way to get some peanuts to the squirrels.
    Thank you for the coffee. I have, as always, enjoyed our visit, but really now I must go.


    1. You’re welcome, Carol, and thank you for stopping by. I always enjoy our chats. I’m so sorry Lily cat is still missing. I used to hear CJ the Warrioress Cat after she disappeared. Even a year or so after she went missing, I thought I heard her meow. Then one day I didn’t hear her anymore.

      Blue Jays are really something when it comes to food wars except in the midst of winter when somehow they learn to share. Or at least it’s that way with our jays. The more snow we have on the ground, the more likely they are to share with others.

      I am not a comfortable or confident entertainer either. I’m terribly shy and introverted. A glass of wine usually helps with that. Once I get to know people, it’s not so bad, but it’s the getting to know people part that makes me nervous. I’ve been recovering from Thursday’s party for two days trying not to mentally replay any gaffes (and there were plenty, usually involving getting someone’s name wrong since I am terrible with names). These coffee chats are so much easier for me. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your meadow flowers and beautiful skies. Izzy is so beautiful and how cool that you spotted a praying mantis. They are so good at camouflage that I rarely see them. I’m more apt to if they are flying, but they try not to do that too often in case a bird sees them.
    We walked up to the top of the hill tonight to see the moon across the valley. There were light clouds, but it was still pretty. I love walking in the moonlight. I think we may be in the clouds tomorrow night unfortunately. We would have to drive to VT to see the Big Event I guess. Unlikely that we will do that! We aren’t that adventuresome. 😉
    I spent hours today shopping (something I rarely do) and am exhausted! I live a quiet life and whew, the stimulation is overwhelming at the mall! But I needed a decent outfit as nearly everything I own has grown old and shabby. Can’t go out and about with stains and holes, which are fine for the garden, but out of place at a social gathering. 😉
    I admire your putting on parties when you find it hard to do. I have never hosted a large party except a family gathering, which isn’t the same since I’ve known them all my life or since their birth.
    Thanks for the tea and hugs, I always enjoy our visits! 🙂


    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I always think of praying mantises (mantii? lol!) in the same way of think of sand dollars on the beach. They are not easy to see, but once you spot one, you realize they are everywhere. I was so excited when I spotted my first mantis that I told M about it and his response was, “Oh, they’re everywhere.” But they aren’t everywhere until I see the first one! lol!

      Shopping exhausts me, too. It’s not a favorite activity of mine. I agree about the mall, any shopping mall. Far too stimulating!

      I think I’d have to drive to Vermont, too, to see tonight’s moon. The heavy cloud cover doesn’t want to move on. I saw the sun briefly this morning. A ray of hope soon dashed when the clouds moved back in. You never know around here, though. It could clear up at sunset. A walk in the moonlight sounds heavenly.


  4. I LOVE mountain climbing books!…. I’ll try that one! And Robin, a few weeks ago I set up a screen top, 2 person backpacking tent in our backyard….added chair cushions, pillows and blankets…and go out there when it gets dark and listen to the crickets and marvel at the stars in the sky….no bugs, no critters…I don’t sleep out there..well, I nap!….but come back in the house a few hours later….simply lovely!


  5. I always enjoy these coffee chats so much! I usually end up reading on Sunday morning while I really am drinking coffee. You’ve got some beautiful colors in this post, and despite the bit of a chill I’m feeling this autumn morning, they are wonderfully warm feeling. It was a beautiful, perfect sunny day here in the northeast yesterday, and I was grateful to have spent it with my younger daughter who came home for the weekend. I’ll be sad all over again when I have to bring her back today but it was worth it.


    1. Thank you so much, Karma. 🙂 I enjoy the coffee chats, too. They’ve become my favorite posts to do. I’ve been considering cutting back to just the coffee chat posts, but then something comes up that I want to share or at least record (since this is a diary for me).

      Sending you hugs. It’s true that you’ll be sad all over again, but it will get easier each time. I promise.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You always have such lovely photos in your coffee shares! I quite enjoy looking at them. 🙂

    Sounds like you’ve had a good week. I’ve been reading a lot too, lately, and suddenly I’m staying up late again to finish books. I haven’t done that and enjoyed it in a long time, because grad school kept me so busy.


  7. Hello Robin. I often wonder who wouldn’t care for a hug! I find that when I see a person who I know well, I tend to automatically hug them, and on the odd occasion that I don’t, I realise that their body language has already put up a “don’t touch me” sign, so there’s never an awkward moment.

    I think I may still be in recovery from holding my son’s wedding here at our house! Entertaining can take a lot out of you, especially when meeting new people doesn’t come naturally, although all of the wedding guests made themselves comfortable here and were all very easy to talk to. I think the most difficult part is the anticipation of how the meeting will go ~ will we find things to say? will they like me? And I wouldn’t be too concerned about forgetting people’s names, if they are nice people who will remain friends with you, they will accept your forgetfulness as part of you.

    Did I tell you that I was reading “Go Set a Watchman”? I think I may have. I’ve finished it now, and I’ve been thinking of writing a book review of sorts on my blog, but haven’t done so yet, as I want to share more wedding photos first. I think the book left me with more questions than answers, and it puzzled me on so many different levels. I must get to those wedding photos this week so that I can write the “review” while the book is still fresh in my memory.

    Please, please, weather, be good for you! I would love to see the Super Blood Moon through your eyes, as it won’t be visible here in Australia. 🙂


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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