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A Monday meander: Summer vacation edition

Along the way, a field of sunflowers. We stopped to take a look (and a couple of photos).

It’s not enough to love something–or someone. Of course you love a person or art or music or the theatre. But you have to imagine that this person or this thing is trapped in a house afire, and the fire is apathy, and the fire is ignorance, and you have to go into the house all the time, day after day, year after year, and put out the flames and save the thing you love and rebuild the house in which it lives, and show it to others who will come to the rescue when you no longer can. Love is cheap and silly–a moron can love ice cream–but devotion is something worth talking about.

–Eva Le Gallienne

A detour along the way. We’ve seen this church from up high (on a mountain) many times. It was the first time we went down into the valley and passed by it.

Summer vacation this year was spent in the Raystown Lake recreation area in the mountains of Pennsylvania.  I was going to write “western Pennsylvania,” but it appears to be almost central.  A little left of center.  Not really north, south, east, or west.  Pennsylvania is a big state, as I can attest to through the experience of driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Going from one end to the other often feels like it takes forever.

I enjoy the little detours.  The problem with this particular detour was the guy with the car on a trailer.  He averaged about 20 miles per hour on this winding road that led back up a mountain and there was quite a parade of cars behind us.  I think it took about 30 minutes to go 6 miles.  There were places where he could have pulled over and let everyone pass.  I guess he decided he would rather lead the parade.

I had a lovely time for the most part.  We were with family (the Little Wookie, the Little Peanut, and their parents as well as M’s sister).  We had our moments, as families do, but nothing serious or too dramatic, and always reconciled immediately.  There were more fun and loving moments than any other kind.  The Raystown Lake area is beautiful and although we didn’t do a lot of exploring, there was some hiking, some time at a lovely and sandy beach that the boys really enjoyed (so did I), and quite a bit of swimming and/or water play.  It was hot there, as it has been hot here.  That was surprising since it is usually cooler in the mountains.

Testing the waters.

I came home thoroughly exhausted which is, I think, the weirdest sign of all of a good vacation.  I don’t know how I got it into my head that vacation should be restful.  It almost never is.  Our vacations are usually full of activities.  This particular vacation was not as full as others (because we resisted driving long distances to go hiking or exploring, we didn’t bring our bicycles, and we mostly hung out by the lake).  Even so, it was still exhausting.  I think the actual travel part of it is the most tiring aspect of vacation.  There are more people on the roads now, and that turned what was once a 4.5-5 hour trip into a 7-8 hour journey through traffic jams, detours, car accidents (not one we were involved in, thank the gods), and construction.

A sunset.

The boys can be exhausting, too.  They are so full of energy.  Boisterous is a good word for them.  Clamorous, rambunctious, disorderly.  All the things that young and energetic boys can be.  As I’ve said and written many times, there is a good reason people over 50 do not have children.  It’s hard for us to keep up.  lol!

This is all my long way of saying what others have said:  I need a vacation after my vacation.

A gorgeous sunrise.

Today is day 700 of my 1,000 Days commitment to do my morning practice.  I have learned so much along the way.  Watching/listening to the recording for last week’s Yoga Sutras class (which I missed because I was on vacation, and both internet and phone coverage were spotty at best), I thought about how the commitment itself took time for me to decide on.  I didn’t want my personal yoga practice to turn into just another thing on my to-do list.  The idea was a devotional practice.  If it couldn’t be that, I didn’t want to do it.

Side note:  By “devotional” I mean several things including spiritual practice.  It’s a devotion of time, space, practice.  A kind of time out of time, really, for myself and for getting in touch with myself (or my Self) and something higher than myself (even if that’s only the sunrise, but I do believe, now, that it is more than that).

Same sunrise, slightly different view.

Because I am very much human, there were days when my practice did, in fact, turn out to be something on my to-do list rather than something devotional.  I learned from that.  When it is another item on the to-do list, I tend to rush through it without really paying attention.  That sets the tone for the day, and it’s not always a good tone but more like a rushing throughout the whole day.

It should be noted that there is a difference between a rushed practice and a short practice.  On the days when I didn’t have time or energy or both for a longer practice, I modified to something shorter.  The difference between that and a rushed, check-it-off-the-list, practice is that I do the short practice wholeheartedly and wholemindedly and wholebodily.  (Yes, I know those last two are not words, but they fit so well.)

And still another view of the same sunrise.

I’m going to keep this relatively short.  Thank you for joining me on another meander.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening.  We have some lovely clouds drifting in and out, and they have created some dramatic sunrises.  Maybe they will do the same for the sunset.  Sunset is scheduled for 8:05 PM.  It’s hot out there, but the bugs aren’t too bad.  Even they don’t like the heat very much.

Please be safe, be well, and just Be.

Sunrise, the day after we returned home.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  2,061:  Sunrise clouds that look more like the aurora borealis than clouds.  2,062)  A week with family enjoying nature and each other’s company.  2,063)  Pyrrole red, the July Monopalette color.  I am just getting started on July’s lessons.  I didn’t think I’d like pyrrole red since I’m not a big fan of red.  However.  It’s so vibrant that it’s hard not to like it.  2,064)  Getting the mowing done today.  The clouds were cooperative, blocking the sun as they moved in and out.  Even though we have a “feels like” temperature of 107°F, the clouds made it seem cooler just by virtue of their shade.  2,065)  Bella recovering well from her surgery three weeks ago.  She goes for her follow-up visit today (it should have been last week but we weren’t here to take her).

Isn’t this amazing?


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

23 thoughts on “A Monday meander: Summer vacation edition

  1. Those clouds ARE amazing! I’m glad you got to vacation and see family, even if you need a vacation from it. 🤣 Such beautiful photos–though the first one looks so ominous to me–and that church, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing sunrise indeed. The first photo of it brought to mind the saying, “Red in the morning, sailors take warning.” Were there storms that day? There’s been lots of storms in the mid-Atlantic lately, it seems. I would love to take a few storms away from the flooded areas, we need rain desperately. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so dry here. The soil is baked and cracked. The stream has dried up and the river is low. Hard not to worry!
    Your vacation may have been exhausting, but the worst will fade and the best, like cream, will rise to the top!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It did storm that day, Eliza. We have had just barely enough rain. We’re located near the widest part of the bay and the storms tend to break up as they go over the water. Not all of them (they had the water spout that turned tornado on Smith Island recently), but many either go north or south of us, leaving us in a bubble of dry weather. We can often see and hear the storms as they are passing us by. I hope you get some rain soon.
      The best has already risen since there really wasn’t anything too bad to unremember. 🙂


    2. Yes, vacations can be exhausting, especially when young, energetic children are involved. But also a time for making sweet memories. Yes, a devotional practice, no matter the length. A good lesson for all that we do.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Even if you came home exhausted, it still sounds like a wonderful vacation. Hanging out by the lake most of the time would suit me fine!

    On another note, I have to comment on your beautiful pictures. I read your meander and saw the pictures in my email that is set to dark mode. Then to comment, I had to go to your website which is a light background. I noticed that the pictures look very different in the light background than they do in the black background. Still beautiful in both, but to my eyes, very different.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Corina. 🙂 I like a dark background for my photos but a few of the folks who read my blog have mentioned they have difficulty reading against a dark background. So, here we are. I do change it occasionally by clicking on the “change background to match header” button. That little feature comes up with some wild color combinations at times.


  4. Looking at this on my phone I thought the church was on fire with smoke coming out…figured maybe I should look at it on a larger screen since you didn’t mention a fire. LOL. Then when I got to the sunset images I KNEW I needed to look at this post on a larger format. 🙂 LOVE that last one, but like the first sunset ones too, thought they’d make a good watercolor. I’m glad you got to spend some time with the family. It’s a long drive for sure but worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All those sunrise pictures are outstandingly amazing! Wowzers… I so wish there were a place around where I live where I could capture the sunrise but unfortunately, not. I can get some doozy sunsets, however.
    Glad you had a wonderful vacation with your family 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale. 🙂 I’ve found that sometimes capturing just a tiny piece of the sunrise (or sunset) can be enough when I’m in a space that doesn’t give me sweeping views. A glimpse of color through the power lines or tree branches… that sort of thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed your first quote, Robin. It’s really given me something to think about. So often, we all claim to “love” something or someone, when — by that definition, at least — perhaps a more accurate word would be “fond of.” Glad you had such an enjoyable vacation, though I wonder why it is that we often have to come home to REST?!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debbie. 🙂 I keep wondering the same thing. Why DO we need a vacation after taking a vacation? Doesn’t make any sense. I agree with you about the difference between “love” and “fond of.” I have a friend who gets quite peeved at the way people are always saying they “love” this or that. She feels it demeans the word.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh ty hp! I was experiencing to do list/devotion, and thinking about it far too much with folks suggesting to-me religious prayers and things that to me are false and simply check listish. Possibly the committee in my head latches to the shift toward to do list with fear that I’ll never be in conscious contact again, and then chimes in with not being good enough to prevent the shift from happening. One might never (all or nothing) note that the clipboard checkmarking ones on the committee might be under all of that, sigh, smile. Thanks for reminding me I’m not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you, Elisa. 🙂 I think it’s just part of being human in this culture. Productivity, goals, and to-do lists. It’s difficult to get over that kind of conditioning (including the all or nothing). sigh

      Liked by 1 person

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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