Posted in Art, Autumn, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Family, Gifts, Grandparenthood, Gratitude, Home, Life, Listening, Little Peanut, Little Wookie, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Ohio, Photography, Play, Quotes, Spirit, The Bogs, Travel, Walking & Wandering, Weather, Winter, Wonder

Season’s greetings

This is Tag, an Elf on the Shelf. This is where he ended up on Christmas Eve.

This is the pruning period, when life can look pretty drab; the dead branches of our old habits will be lying all around us and the new leaves will not yet have begun to grow.

But for all of us, if we keep at our pruning carefully, the spring is bound to come.

There will still be gardening to do, but when we see our new ways blossoming and the good fruit we have begun to bear for others, this pruning of self-will will be a source of lasting satisfaction.

~ Eknath Easwaran

Sunrise on the last day of Autumn 2019.

Hello!  How are you?  I feel like I should do an unofficial coffee chat kind of post in hopes of us getting caught up with each other.  How were the holidays?  Do you celebrate anything in particular, or nothing at all?  Maybe you just go along for the ride, as many do, celebrating whatever your family and friends celebrate?  If you had to pick one word to sum up 2019, what would it be?  Maybe one word isn’t enough.  How about a whole sentence?  Or maybe a collection of words?

If we were having coffee or tea or hot chocolate or some other beverage, I’d be welcoming you back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch where, I hope, I am settled in for a while.  M and I just returned from another trip out to the Bogs (NE Ohio) where we spent time with our sons and lovely daughters-in-law, our granddaughters, and our grandsons.  We were also fortunate enough to spend some time with friends on a couple of occasions.

Playing with slime.

We did so many fun things that I’m not sure where to start.  We made slime, played games, took walks outside (the weather was beautiful most of the time, much warmer than usual), read books, ate a lot of good food, talked, laughed, tossed around some balls, and probably a thousand other things.  Much to my disappointment, we saw very little snow.  Oh, there was a dusting of the white stuff in the mountains of Pennsylvania on our way out to Ohio.  Most of that was gone by the time we traveled home on Christmas Day.

At Miss Katie’s Playgroup.

One of the activities that really stood out for me was going to Miss Katie’s Playgroup on the Saturday before Christmas.  It’s held in a big gym where they have gymnastics, a “ninja zone,” and tumbling.  The floor is bouncy.  There are tunnels and bounce-houses and trampolines and all kinds of other things to run or jump or slide down or on.  I can’t remember the last time I bounced on a trampoline.  Or ran around chasing a toddler at high speed.  The bouncy floor made it easy (on the old joints) to run.  I am pretty sure I had as much fun as the boys did.  We also met up with Santa and Mrs. Claus while we were there, giving the boys a chance to talk with Santa.  The Little Peanut didn’t have much to say, but Little Wookie understood perfectly well what his role was in this activity and recited his list of things he wanted for Christmas.

I don’t know who any of these people are. They were sitting in front of us during the sing-along activity at the end of playgroup.

That same evening, we met up with Oldest Son and his family at the Akron Zoo to see the Wild Lights (holiday lights).  That was as much fun as the playgroup activities.  A different kind of fun that involved a lot of walking.  We were well exercised by the end of the day.

Lights in a tree at the zoo.

The lights at the zoo were so pretty that I think I spent more time looking at them than I did looking at the animals.  That’s just as well.  There is something, to me, a little sad about animals in zoos.  A lot of the animals were not out and about anyhow.  The most beautiful of them all, a snow leopard, was awake and pacing around her enclosure.  I have no photos to show you because I was busy admiring her.

Santa checking his list.

All in all, it was a good trip.  I did catch the Toddler Plague (the common cold).  That was almost to be expected this time of year.  I have been feeling pretty miserable for the past few days, and I have given myself permission to wallow in my misery for a little while by resting, taking a lot of naps, and allowing M to help me out.  I’m not very good at allowing people to help me.  I wonder why that is?  How about you?  Are you good at being on the receiving end of help?  Or do you prefer to be the one helping?

I am not quite sure what animal this represents.  A lemur, perhaps.

During one of my periods of so-so energy yesterday, we went to the library and stocked up on some movies to watch over the weekend.  When that gets old, I have plenty of reading to keep me busy while I rest and relax.  Books are always on my Christmas list, and I did receive several as gifts.

Yes, it is a lemur.

The Winter Solstice is when I usually take on my new word or theme for the year.  I did not do that this year.  I was so busy that I didn’t have time to think or decide.  I’m hoping to do that this weekend.  Before the trip, I was seriously considering the word Surrender.  Since returning home, I don’t know.  Words arise, words fade away, and I’m thinking that I might not have a word or theme for this year.  What I find most interesting about that is how okay I am with the idea of no word or theme.  You might even say I am surrendering to the idea of no word for 2020.

Hummingbird lights.

I reckon that’s about it from me on this warm and sunny Saturday.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  Let’s go out to the Point for sunset this evening.  I don’t know if there will be much to see.  Our evenings have been cloudy lately, the sunsets gray.  The clouds are not as heavy today.  They are more of the high and thin variety, which could lend themselves to beautiful light and colors.  Sunset is scheduled for 4:51 PM.  It’s usually chillier by the water so you might want to bundle up, especially since the temperature drops pretty quickly once the sun dips behind the horizon (the low tonight is predicted to be about 39°F).

Be good, be kind, be love.  ♥

A red fox.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,196)  Light, and the dark that makes the light stand out.  1,197)  Warm and beautiful December days.  1,198)  A visit with a squirrel in the cemetery today.  She sat in a tree near me for a while, sunning herself.  Our squirrels are not as tame as those in parks and the suburbs.  Our squirrels are quite wild and shy and quick to run away.  I felt honored that she was willing to stay awhile.  1,199)  Hot and soothing soup.  1,200)  Home.  I do, of course, miss my family.  But.  It is nice to be back in my own comforting and familiar surroundings.

My granddaughters and the Little Wookie, at the zoo.

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.

16 thoughts on “Season’s greetings

  1. Sounds like a busy, but happy holiday out in OH. I know what you mean about being glad to settle in at home. We had many parties to attend this past month and as fun as they were, it was always nice to come home and let our hair down.
    Happy New Year, Robin and M!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems you had a wonderful time with your family! Your posts are so much fun to read…it’s as if we can experience it all with you. Thank you for that! I’m with you on the no word choice for the new year…although as I have traversed a dark period, Surrender is the theme that I’ve adopted as my companion on this part of the journey.

    Wishing you a happy new year, dear Robin. My hope for brighter, peaceful and love filled days for all of us in 2020, will likely begin with a bit more darkness…however as I always remind myself, the sun is always shining, even when we cannot see it or it is otherwise obscured by dark clouds. 💟☮️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so far behind in reading blogs! This was wonderful, you did so many fun things. I would love to try the trampoline, I was maybe 7 last time I jumped on one, at the YMCA, and I’ve always wanted to do it again. And our zoo does the light thing too and I’ve thought it would be fun, but never gone. Maybe I should try to fit that in next year. Hard to believe this year is nearly gone. Let’s try to male 2020 the best year yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was so much fun, Dawn, that I want to put bouncy floors and a trampoline in my house. LOL! The zoo lights things is, I think, much more fun when there is snow on the ground. It was a fairly warm night (considering it was NE Ohio) so there didn’t seem to be much need for the hot chocolate or warming our hands at the fire.

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  4. Ah, that Toddler Plague! The grandchildren couldn’t make it up here this year so we Skyped. The one-year-old was quite snarfelly and I laughed to myself that at least I was spared being sick this time around, even if I did miss seeing them. The gym with bouncy floors sounds amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Skype is a wonderful thing, Barbara. We use Zoom. It’s the same thing — a video chat. I think it’s amazing that we can do that, see and talk with our grandchildren from afar. AND that allows you to escape the germiness of the little ones. 🙂

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        1. Zoom works better for us than the other video chat platforms. Skype kept going out all the time. Could be our satellite internet (which isn’t all that great).

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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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