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If we were having coffee: Traveling edition

Brilliant spring color.
Brilliant spring color.

Each day holds a surprise.  But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us.  Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy.  It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.

~ Henri Nouwen

A swath of color.
A small sea of warm colors.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, we would be meeting somewhere in South Jersey (New Jersey).  I’m here to visit with my family, mostly my father.  I haven’t seen him since Thanksgiving and that seems a long way away.  I am so glad you could join me here.  Hugs if you’re amenable to them.  It’s good to see you again.

How are you?  Has life been treating you well since we last chatted?  Have you traveled anywhere or seen any new sights?  Have you taken any good walks or hikes?  Spent time in the woods or the meadows or by the sea?  Have you read any good books or watched any good films?  Grab a beverage (my treat!), have a seat, and let’s get caught up.

It's a colorful life.
It’s a colorful life.

Before we get to anything else, I will once again have to apologize for being a poor friend and not keeping up with you.  With the advent of warmer weather, life has run riot and become hectic for me.  I am a lazy gardener with not-the-best gardening habits but nonetheless, I try to keep up with the weeds and the planting and the mowing and all of the other outdoor chores that ask me to cast off my winter sloth and come play, come work, come enjoy the lovely weather.  I have thought about giving up posting for a while, but as you know, my blog started as a journal or a diary to chronicle my adventures and that continues to be a big part of its purpose.  Life moves so quickly these days that it would take me a long time to catch up if I decided to take off a month or two.  Better to keep up with it as I can (which, I have to admit, is not that great; I still have photos from our trip to the Outer Banks that I haven’t shared).

Nothing wrong with being the different one in the crowd.
Nothing wrong with being the different one in the crowd.

If we were having coffee or tea or something else, you might have noticed that I redecorated Ye Olde Blogge.  I’m not sure if I will stick with this theme.  I like it because it reminds me of where I write and work with my photographs.  In my physical world here in the office/creative space, there are post-it-notes gathering on the wall to my left, reminders of things I want to put in my novel or write about here on the blog.  Bits and pieces of poetry.  Sometimes I rearrange the notes and it becomes a poem.  Then I scatter them again and start over.

The new theme I’m using is called Scratchpad.  I’m not sure about the sidebar.  It takes up so much space.  When I have time, I’ll play around with things and see if I can get everything to fit just the way I like it.  I received the notice about the new theme and accidentally clicked on “activate” when I meant to “preview” and took that as a sign to try it out for a while.  I’ve had the other theme, or one like it, for so long that I know something new will mean an adjustment period if I want to give it a fair chance.

Healing mandala.
Healing mandala.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I finished reading Everything I Never Told You.  I thought it was an excellent, well-written book, and I highly recommend it with the caveat that the subject matter can be somewhat depressing.  I had a hard time putting it down, and might have finished sooner if I’d had time to do nothing but sit and read.

I am currently reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman which I expect, just from reading the first few pages, I’ll love because, as you know, I love a good fairy tale.

Altar
Altar in the Great Hall.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that I went to Salisbury University on Thursday afternoon to see the visiting Tibetan monks create a mandala sand painting in The Great Hall of Holloway Hall.  Their visit was endorsed by the Dali Lama, and the purpose is to promote healing and world peace.  I wish I could be there for the dispersing ceremony today, but I feel blessed to have been able to witness some of the creation.  You can see a time-lapse video of the making of the mandala here.

Colorful sand.
Colorful sand.

If we were having coffee or something else to drink, I would tell you that back on the ranch, the landscape is greening up nicely.  The wild cherries are blossoming while other trees are now leafing out.  The meadow is a mix of brown and green, mostly green these days as the new growth replaces last year’s dried grasses and flowers.  I would also tell you that the bugs are going to be bad this year.  I was sitting out by the Pocomoke River on Thursday morning, enjoying the sunlight, the birds, and the flow of the river, when a hoard of biting black flies found me.  Worse yet, I discovered a few ticks later when I decided I should do a tick check even though it seems early to have to do that.

Details.
Details.

They shared a map with us on the news the other day showing that this area has the type of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus.  For that reason, and others (because Zika isn’t the only illness carried by mosquitoes), the CDC is advising us all to avoid mosquito bites.  As things warm up, it will get buggier and buggier, and the mild winter we had won’t help matters.

The big picture from above.
The big picture from above.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, it would be time for me to turn the chatting over to you while I finish up my drink and get ready to go see my father.  Thank you so much for traveling along with me.  I always enjoy our coffee chats.  I don’t know where I’ll end up for sunset this evening, but will try to get a glimpse of it from wherever I happen to be.  Sunset is a minute earlier here than it is down our way at the ranch.  I think it’s at 7:39 PM today.

Be good, be kind, be loving, be well.  Just Be.  🙂

Meditative work.
Meditative work.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Thank you to Diana for hosting it.  Also, a big congratulations for the #WeekendCoffeeShare being featured on WordPress’s Daily Post.  So glad to see it being shared among the rest of the community!  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.

17 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Traveling edition

  1. Wow, so cool. It’s like a dance. Thanks for the video and pictures.
    Sorry about your bugs. Black flies are awful. I hope they don’t start spraying mosquitoes all over the place, and killing all the other critters. We were just making a little headway with that. How do you feel about that?
    Thanks for the coffee and chat.
    Peace
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary. 🙂
      I have mixed feelings about spraying because there is still a problem with the West Nile virus killing birds, and it would be difficult for us to get outside at all if the county didn’t spray a circle around the house occasionally during mosquito season. The county has been working on a project since the 1980’s that has cut the mosquito population in half without spraying. They built ditch systems and ponds as habitats for fish species such as sheepshead minnows, Atlantic silversides, and American eel. The fish feed on the mosquito larvae.

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  2. You’re in my area! It’s funny that I was in yours last month. Sometime we’ll have to coordinate. 🙂

    The thought of mosquitos and ticks–ewww. It makes me feel itchy just thinking about it.

    The mandala photos are stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The amount of detail in that mandala is amazing. I can’t ever see myself being that patient, I have to get and move a lot. 🙂
    Slowly, every day I get a bit more done in the gardens. This has been a year of dividing, thinning out and getting the beds back in order after several years of letting things go. I always feel good when I make good progress.
    Ticks come early here (black-legged ticks). I received a bad bite Wed. after stupidly not checking after working outside and found it well attached by bedtime. Not thrilled. One really has to be diligent. I was lightly bitten already this month, but it was still moving when I got it. Arrgh! All these health threats via vectors >:-(
    I hope you enjoy your visit with your father.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. It was a great visit. I was able to see all of my siblings, too. 😀
      I thought the same thing about the sand painting. My back would be killing me from all that bending over the mandala!
      I’m sorry you’ve already had some bad encounters with ticks. The way things are warming up here, I don’t think it’s going to be a good year for people or pets when it comes to the biting insects.

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  4. I am trying to get used to a new wordpress theme for my website … I spend more time editing than posting … Will take time to get it right … Your site looks great on my tablet, but I can’t see the side bars so I will have to check it out on bigger computer! Jane

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This new blog theme is really neat! Today is the first time I’ve seen it on my computer screen and it looks cool. I was away for the weekend and had a glimpse on my phone, but it didn’t do this theme any justice. I agree the sidebars are a little big, but knowing WordPress there probably is a way to adjust it.
    Tulips in bloom! How nice to see!. My world’s latest blooming daffodils are just starting now, lol. The details in the mandala are beautiful. You always inspire me to want to write a blog post 🙂
    Maybe I’ll get to that this week while I’m on break from school.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Karma. 🙂 I hope you do get to it. I’d love to read about and see what you’ve been up to lately.
      I’ve been playing around with the theme this morning, but can’t find a way to decrease the size of the sidebar without paying for premium service. I could move it to the bottom as a footer, but eh. It disappears down there and I like having some things over on the side. Maybe I’ll adjust to it. 😀

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  6. Oh this was a great share. The monks painstakingly making the intricately detailed mandala for five continuous day only to disperse it in the end, is some feat. Reminded me of my time at Rikhiapeeth – an Indian ashram where I had the opportunity to make a Mandala of Krishna Yantra in colored sand, and how blessed I felt while making it.Thought I must clarify the Yantra was definitely much, much simpler than it’s Tibetan counterpart, and it took two of us 8 hours, which to me seemed LONG! 🙂

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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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