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If we were having coffee: A little of this, a little of that edition

Crystals and light.
Crystals and light.

Imagine a Carthage sown with salt, and all the sowers gone, and the seeds lain however long in the earth, till there rose finally in vegetable profusion leaves and trees of rime and brine.  What flowering would there be in such a garden?  Light would force each salt calyx to open in prisms, and to fruit heavily with bright globes of water — peaches and grapes are little more than that, and where the world was salt there would be greater need of slaking.  For need can blossom into all the compensations it requires.  To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow.  For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it, and when is the taste refracted into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth, and when do our senses know any thing so utterly as when we lack it?  And here again is a foreshadowing — the world will be made whole.  For to wish for a hand on one’s hair is all but to feel it.  So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again.  Though we dream and hardly know it, longing, like an angel, fosters us, smooths our hair, and brings us wild strawberries.

~ Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping: A Novel

Let's take off our shoes and go for a walk on the beach. (Kill Devil Hills, NC)
Going for a walk on the beach. (Kill Devil Hills, NC)

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would welcome you back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  Hugs if you don’t mind hugs.  Let’s go to the kitchen, grab something to drink and something to snack on in case we get to feeling peckish, and go out to the porch where we’ve rearranged things a little.  The settee has been moved to the front porch where it was destined to go once the work on the porch was finished, and we have a quite comfortable futon to sit on instead.  Or there’s always the rocking chair which is one of the best seats in the house and on the porches.

The rocks and shells are smooth.
The rocks and shells are smooth.

How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Have you traveled anywhere, been on any adventures, gone exploring, or seen any new sights?  Has spring finally arrived in your area or is winter still trying to hang on?  For those of my friends who are living in the southern hemisphere, is summer coming to a close while autumn slides in to replace the heat with tastes of winter weather?  What are you reading?  Have you listened to any good music or seen any good films since our last chat?  Been on any walks or hikes?  Do you take note of these questions or does it seem like I ask the same things week after week so you just skip through them?  If you could change something about what’s been going on in the world this past week, what would it be and how would you change it?

Sunbeams on a shell. (You might have to click to enlarge this one to see what I mean.)
Sunbeams on a shell. (You might have to click to enlarge this one to see what I mean.)

If we were having coffee, etc., I would tell you that I just finished reading Housekeeping: A Novel by Marillynne Robinson.  The opening quote in this post was (obviously) from the book.  I tried to pick a small sample that would show you how beautifully it is written.  Sometimes I felt as though I was reading someone’s dream.  It’s not the best description, but it is all that I can think of at the moment.  Maybe it would be closer to say it was like being carried along by someone’s dream.  There was a floating, hard-to-grasp, ephemeral quality to the writing.  It is a beautiful book (did I say that already?), and if the quote piqued your interest, you would probably enjoy it as much as I did.  I think I may want to go back and read it again someday.

The waves are inviting us to play.
The waves are inviting us to play.

I’m currently reading She Is Me: A Novel.  The book was in the to-be-read pile, probably from years ago.  I’m pretty sure it was a Christmas gift, taken from my Amazon wish list back in 2007 or 2008.  I must confess that sometimes I don’t read the books I already have before buying new books.  Sometimes?!  I just heard the honest part of me snort and laugh at that.  Fine, fine.  I will admit the truth.  I am a bookaholic and it is likely I am also a book hoarder.  I don’t hoard books the way I used to.  I donate them or give them to someone who might appreciate reading them when I finish.  But I still buy far too many books, and have a to-be-read pile that will probably outlast my lifetime and my ability to read them all before I die.

Gems on the beach.
Gems on the beach.

I was thinking about how this might have happened.  There was a time when I read books as fast as I bought them, sometimes reading two or three or more books per week, and the hoarding happened on the finished end of things.  At one time M and I lived in a house with a room that had a large wall lined with bookshelves.  There was space and shelving to collect books.  When we moved from there, I donated many of the books to save us the work involved in packing, moving, and unpacking them.  It felt so good to give the books away that I rarely save any now, and that is a wonderful thing because we have very little room to store the books I’ve finished reading in our current home.

The water sparkles in the sunlight.
The water sparkles in the sunlight.

Somewhere along the way I stopped reading as much as I used to and now the books pile up on the to-be-read end.  I am given books from my wish list for Christmas and my birthday, or sometimes someone will pass on books they think will interest me.  Someone will recommend a book and I’ll buy it.  Then there are the trips to Ollie’s, a store I’d never heard of until we moved here.  We don’t go often, but when we do, I always browse the book section, and usually leave with 2-4 books because they are so darn cheap.  I mean REALLY cheap.  I usually end up with books that were on my wish list, but sometimes, because the price is right, I come home with books from authors I’m not familiar with because, as I already mentioned, they are so darned cheap.  Usually in the $2.99 to $5.99 range for hard cover books.

At rest on the beach.
At rest on the beach.

If we were having coffee or tea or something else to drink, I would tell you that I have been trying to curb this habit/addiction.  Or at least the buying part of it, at any rate.  That’s where the library comes in.  I’ve been whittling away slowly at my wish list by occasionally requesting one of the books on the older side of the list through our local library.  Unfortunately, that means I’m not putting much of a dent in the pile of books I already have waiting to be read.  As others before me have lamented, so many books, so little time.  *sigh*

Repose
Repose

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I started mowing this week.  Ack!!  I was hoping to put it off, preferably until mid-April.  The month of May would have been nice, but I knew that was unrealistic.  Our grass has continued to grow throughout the mild winter and after experiencing quite a few days of summer-like weather, I could no long deny that the grass needed to be mowed.  It is going to be a very long mowing season, I suspect.  I think it is also going to be a short spring.  We’ve been near 80°F already a few times, and yesterday the heat combined with high humidity to bring us a taste of what summers usually feel like in this area.  I would have left the grass for another week or so except the snakes are now making appearances, and I suspect it won’t be long before we’re into tick season.  Long grasses do a good job of hiding snakes and carrying ticks.

Sea spray.
Sea spray.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I went shopping for new clothes this week.  I am not a fan of shopping for clothing, and this trip was made even more tortuous than usual by the fact that my brain hasn’t caught up with the actuality of my body.  I needed to shop because most of my clothing was too big, and wearing trousers that slide halfway down my backside is hardly tasteful or grandmotherly fashion.  Not that I adhere to any particular fashion rules in general, but there are some things that just don’t work for me or for a woman my age, and I was reaching the point where my pants were more likely to slide off completely without a belt to hold them up.  At any rate, it took me a while to figure out what size I am and come to terms with what size I am not even if I still see myself that way.  The brain is a funny place, isn’t it?  It took some convincing to finally get my brain to admit that I am smaller than I used to be.

All the little stones are so pretty.
All the little stones are so pretty.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else, I would think it’s time for me to stop rambling and let you take a turn.  Would you care to walk out to the garden and greenhouse with me while we chat?  I want to get some flower seeds started.  I meant to get them going last week, but just couldn’t find the time.

In the curl of a wave.
In the curl of a wave.

Thank you so much for stopping by today and joining me for another coffee chat.  You are welcome to stay if you like.  Perhaps you’d like to join me on the dock at sunset.  It’s clear and sunny right now, as you might have noticed, but they’re saying clouds will be moving in later.  It might make for a good sunset if they aren’t so thick they hide it.  Sunset is at 7:21 PM.  You’ll need a jacket.  Yesterday’s heat and humidity were swept away overnight when a cool front moved through.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂  And a Happy Easter to those of you celebrating it!

A little curl.
A little curl.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Thank you to Diana for hosting it.  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.

newcoffee

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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.

19 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: A little of this, a little of that edition

  1. Love the close-up photos of the sand and the little treasures you found along the way – including your new header, very nice!
    I’m surprised you didn’t find clothing shopping in your new size more pleasurable! That has been one of my joys since losing weight and getting in shape – I feel like finding clothes that look good is much easier now!
    On the book hoarding – my husband was always the same way. There are paperbacks tucked all over the place in this house. So so many books, most not to my taste so I don’t read them, but he doesn’t get rid of them. Not sure what to do with them any more as interest in paper books wanes in the world around us. I will say that is another way to stop hoarding – I do most of my reading on my Kindle now. Luckily he has gone to listening to most of his books now through Audible.com.
    Can’t believe you’re mowing already, wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 I can’t believe I’m mowing already either. lol! I keep reminding myself it’s good exercise (the parts that involve the push mower, at any rate).
      I did enjoy the fact that I was looking for smaller clothing, but found myself frustrated until I figured out what size fits me. Or at least what size I should be aiming for because the other frustrating thing is that sizing differs from brand to brand and store to store. Some places are big on vanity sizing, a concept I don’t care for because it’s not honest. On the positive side of things, I’m wearing regular sizes now which means I have better choices and I love that!
      I have the Kindle app on my tablet and only have one book on it so far (a book that it is taking me months to read!). So far, I don’t find it comfortable to read on a screen. I much prefer paper books. I find them easier to hold (my tablet seems heavier than a book to me, but that might be because it’s bigger and more awkward to hold), and my eyes get tired looking at a lighted screen. I know a lot of people find it the opposite — easier to hold and read from an e-reader. Maybe if I used it more, I’d adjust. Right now I save it for when we’re traveling at night. I don’t have to worry about having a light to read.

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  2. Beautiful pictures! I love walking on the beach, especially when it is wet and so colorful. Love the wave pic too. Wow,80 degrees there? It’s snowing here today. Enjoyed a walk on the beach a lot. Always nice to be with you, Robin. Happy mowing and Happy Easter!
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary. I’m so glad you could join me. 🙂 Enjoy your snow. I miss it. We don’t see too much of it here, as you probably know. It’s always a treat when it does show up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Took 3 boxes of books to the library a couple of weeks ago, to donate to the Friends book sales. Still have more that could go. Hard for me to give them up, but not so hard when I know someone else will enjoy them. I buy more before I read the ones have too, it’s even easier to do with a Kindle. Sometimes I forget that I have books there I haven’t read. I read less too…tend to fall asleep reading now days. Sigh.

    I am headed for DC in the morning, for a meeting on Monday. I hope to get over to see the cherry blossoms on Sunday evening before I end up stuck inside at the meeting. I’ve never seen them in bloom. I’m looking forward to that part of the couple of days I’ll be there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s the key to letting go, Dawn — knowing someone else will enjoy it. 🙂 I wish I could join you in D.C. I hear the cherry blossoms are at peak now, and I really, really, REALLY wanted to get there this weekend, but it wasn’t possible. Every year since we’ve been here I end up saying “Next year.” I’ve never seen them in bloom either. Wishing you plenty of time to enjoy the blossoms, and good luck in your meetings.

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  4. We seem to have same desire for books. I have given away so many books in my life time and still have paperbacks of some of my favorite authors. I won’t mention our Wild and plant life books.
    I not into buying clothes. The last time I brought to my side and to my disgust they feel too tight for me. I leave them hanging in the closet and wear my old ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That seems to be a commonality with those of us who like to read, Betty. Maybe I should just think of it as being normal. 😀 I’m not a fan of shopping for clothing, either, but it had to be done.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely macros of shells and sand, which show sand is really just teeny-tiny, pretty stones! You’ve captured some beautiful wave action, too, not so easy to accomplish with stills.
    We made another round of the booksellers today to unload some books that we’ve culled. We used the cash to treat ourselves to lunch. 🙂 One more section of the floor to ceiling bookcase to go. We still have way too may books, but at least we have lightened the load. We stopped buying books about 10 years ago (my spouse was really addicted!) and switched to interlibrary loans. We only buy when we can’t find something at the library, which is rare. A friend gave me a gift certificate to B&N 2 years ago and I still haven’t used it! I think I will eventually use it in the music dept. 🙂
    I heard we’re in for a cool first part of April, so your grass might take a hiatus, hopefully. 😉 Have a happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 I loved all the tiny stones on the beach in North Carolina. It was different from the sand on the beaches here (which is smoother). I am trying to be better at using the library (and the interlibrary loan service), but if I had a gift certificate to B&N, I would probably have used it as soon as possible just for the excuse to wander around a bookstore. One of the things I miss most from some of the cities we lived in are the independent bookstores. University City, near St. Louis, had a fantastic one where I would go just to wander and look. And then there is this place:

      http://www.bookbarn.com/

      I think I could wander through there for months and still not see all of the books they have. It’s easy to get lost in Baldwin’s Book Barn, but at least there’s a kitty or two to keep you company along the way.

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      1. What a charming old barn and I love bookstores with kitties. There is one in the next town over called Boswell’s. The original Boswell has passed, replaced by Boswell #2. Sweet, lazy fluffy guy.

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  6. I had to chuckle at your comments about books. I am doing as you are in trying to downsize my book collection. I certainly hope that I can read them all before I die! 🙂 I have basically stopped buying books except for one on my Nook which I read while traveling. It always feels good to take bags of books to the library for their used book sales and to give friends and family books that they may enjoy. When I get done with the books that are unread, I most definitely will go to the library to borrow more! Enjoy reading your blog and seeing your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s funny you should mention that, Linda. I keep saying I won’t die until I’ve read all the books in my to-be-read pile which means I will probably have to live forever. lol!
      Thank you. 🙂

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  7. Oh to be the size I was for most of my adult years again – not even smaller, but just a little less girth around the mid-section, which was very sneaky in its appearance, coming gradually until suddenly it was there, in all its non-glory. As for books – I only read on my iPad now – mostly using Kindle but I have a couple of other apps too. Still, when I go where books are sold, I must wander through, look, and remind myself not to buy because a paper book will now just sit, unused. I have gotten rid of many of the books we had accumulated, but still have more than really need to be kept. For awhile, I would get ebooks from the library, but I find now that it’s very easy to get them cheaply from Amazon. I do tend to pay more when one of my favorite authors has a new publication.

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  8. My declining eye sight comes with mixed blessings. On the one hand, my eyes are so bad that the doctor says I have to be 20 feet in front of something to read it when normal visioned people can see that same thing at 400 feet! Four hundred feet! Four football fields away! And I can’t see it til I’m 20 feet in front of it! Pretty bad, huh? Well, that also means that reading is very difficult so I end up only being able to read digital books because I can increase the font size to one I can easily see. That also means that I can have 1000 books on my virtual shelves and they take up no room at all! Nice bonus! Of course, not all books I want to read are available digitally so that’s not good but that’s what I’ve been dealt!

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  9. I have to admit your photos distracted me as I read. I was imagining myself kicking off my shoes and walking on the sand and shells. I could almost feel their texture on the soles of my feet.
    Since I don’t have any beaches handy, I did take a hike with my son yesterday at a local waterfowl park. It was a gorgeous day to be outside.

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  10. Thank you for the coffee and I am more than happy to try out that rocking chair! I am visiting a day late today because Easter Sunday was crazy and fun, filled with family and good food but very little computer time. I’ve not seen any good movies or taken any walks (see, I read the questions.😉) but I am jealous that your weather is warm enough for a stroll on the beach. Here in NJ it has been pleasant but not quite that summer like. I am, however, very glad that we don’t have to worry about snakes in the lawn!! I enjoy walking barefoot and I think that would make it tricky. I, too, dislike clothes shopping for myself but I agree that pants that fall down are a good reason to suck it up and go! Enjoy the rest of your week and thanks so much for the chat.

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  11. I love the beach photos…makes me want summer to come right now! 🙂
    I have the same problem with unread books piling up and storage issues with those I can’t part with. I even have some sitting in my garage in boxes from my last move over 3 years ago, waiting to be unpacked and squeezed in somewhere! However, as I have gotten older, I have fortunately learned to periodically go through and give away those that I am no longer interested in, which helps somewhat.

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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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