Friday, November 10, 2017

Family Shots #2

Around Thanksgiving, I try to,wrap up the blog postings for the year so that I can order a printed Blog Book for that year. This year I decided to finish the postings with pictures of our children and grandchildren (previous blog posting Family Shots #1) and with a special final post to include my siblings, my mother and Latona.  

After our last visits with the children and families in October, we started our journey south. Usually, we include visits with my siblings in Pensylvania and New Jersey. Now that my mother is with my youngest sister in Douglassville, PA, we decided to spent a longer visit there.  Happily, my brother and sisters all came together for a big pork and sauerkraut dinner with us and mom.  

Brother Joe and Mom

Joe's partner Nancy and daughterJenna

My sisters Sherry and Dotty

Dottys husband Forrest

Sherry and her partner Jim

Special adopted member of the family Hoppy.

And Mom's cats Hansel and Gretel


My mother and me 74 years ago.

My mother and me a few days ago.

This blog is a tribute to my mother. She grew up in a church-sponsored orphanage, losing her mother at four years of age and her father to an accident on the railroad. She is filled with a grit about life and a survival spirit that must have originated very early in her life. Although she has faced health issues in her life, she never let it determine her way of being with us.  She loved us and did the best for us, like making sure we had enough food to eat even if it meant she didn't have any.  She made our clothes from others hand-me-downs, and made us happy to be warm and clean. She still gives us gifts and has even paid for our funerals and cremations. Wow!   And she taught us her faith.  Her favorite hymn is The Old Rugged Cross. Now she is 96 years old and lives with Dottie and Forry.  In spite of increasing blindness, she continues on, engaged and alert.  Yesterday, I picked up a puzzle page beside her chair and realized that she attempted and filled in the Soduko for the first time! What spunk! I am so grateful for all that she had done for me. I love you Mom.

This blog is also a tribute to my siblings. These people are some of the most generous and kind-hearted people you could meet.  They take us in every time we come for a visit, planning wonderful meals, movies, outings, beer, electricity, and most of all give us their time. They love Latona as much as they do me. Most of all, I want to say that we really love each other and want the best for each other. We do not squabble over money or items of possible inheritance as many families do.  πŸ˜
My sister and her husband happily take care of mom and give her a wonderfully secure home for her final days. I am so very proud of them and proud to be one of them! 

This blog is also a tribute to Latona. We have been partners for over thirty years and have walked many paths together, from Baxter State Park, to the Appalachian Trail, to visits to all fifty states, and to thirty-four countries around the world.  We were blessed to have a wonderful home in Eddington on Chemo Pond and now have managed five years of full-time travel in our Leisure Van. We have an enduring love filled with comfort and contentment.  There is a Shainia Twain song that describes our love. She is " Still The One!"

         God is Love and I have been blessed by His love in every aspect of my life. THANK YOU!

Family Shots #1

Folks often have responded very positively to pictures that I have posted of our visits with our children, grandchildren and now grandpets.  It made me realize that our friends and family don't get a chance to see them very often, if at all. You may have seen them over the years, but here are some very recent pictures. This is a short post that includes pictures of Phillip, Katrina and Carrie and their extended families.

An evening with Phillip watching his beloved Yankees.

His son and daughter, Simon and Azure.

His mother likes popcorn just as much as he does!

His dogs, Frankie, Cole, Cammi and Budget.

We wanted a picture with him😍

Latona's daughter, Katrina

And her partner Mike with Louie

Katrina's daughter Torrey with her Meme. She loves to go on a hike with us and we love this special time with her.

The leaves were like a special bouquet on our hike.

Latona and Katrina

Carrie and Jay having a lighter moment.

Sari and her goat Samme and Spotty Chicken.

Lyla and the horse she loves, Lucy.

Our our visit with Carrie, she and I had fun working on the goat house project.

More of the grandpets!

Although, we travel during the winter and are separated from our families for many months each year, they are never far from our hearts. When summer rolls around, we visit with each of them in between our camping trips to Campobello.  We love to talk with them and share with them.  

They are facing the issues of their lives with faith and spiritual wisdom. They love their children and their those around them. They are generous hearted people.  

That is all we could ask!  We are grateful to be their mothers!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Goodbye to Campobello

It has been a wonderful summer/fall. The weather has been exceptional for us in New England (until the most recent storm) and we have found the fall colours thrilling to behold.  As I reviewed our pictures, many thoughts and reflections came to mind.  There will be several posts over the next few days. Today, we are going to share the end of our time on our "beloved island" aptly named by FDR.

So much of what we experience is coloured by the perspective of our mind and spirit.  I believe this is so often distorted by our feelings of health, safety and well-being. We have found a place of peace and calm on Campobello Island.  Because of this, we have booked a seasonal site for next summer and hope that we can spend many more days in this place.

Latona and I have just had an interesting discussion on "reflection".  (You may want to google this word and follow some of the thought-provoking definitions we found.) Basically and crudely, a reflection is caused when light is not absorbed (like by a water surface) but bounces back and casts off a picture exactly the same as the original, but of course, not the thing itself. We marvel at this and share here some of our reflections.


I wonder if reflection shapes our memories of things we have seen and experience, and "reflects" the experience back to us when we recall it. 

The surprises to our eyes 
Another thought came from our encounter with a small tree. How much does what we see and our reaction to it, depend on the light that shines upon it?

A peeling piece of bark...

How beautiful the little piece of bark...

Another surprise that caught our eye. What is this growing from a dead Birch on our site? We still don't know!

Taking risks on the Journey: 
On another hike, as we usually do, we walked the mark paths that were very familiar to us.

But we also got another lesson from the Beavers who lived in the area. "Don't be afraid of an unmarked path. Create your own journey".  Here is a path made by the Beavers, and it acts as a runway to their pond. Wonder if the Otters use it too. 😍

Look ar what you see:
On this particular hike we found some sphagnum moss and gloried in the star-shapes on the close up.

Importance and excitement of keeping in touch:
And we had a visit from our friend, a member of the dragonfly family that we named Red.  During our last lunch on the Upper Duck Pond trail, the fly came to sit on my shoulder.  Each day we hiked, we carried a lunch for a break and enjoyment of the day. I was so excited to see this creature who visited us for the third time.  Goodbye Red.

In my heart I also,thanked our friends Joan and Lucille for awakening me/us to another wonderful creature in nature.

Willingness to be expanded and humbled:
On Campobello, we have great opportunities to allow ourselves to be expanded into the sky and the ocean...  At the same time, we feel our size!  As important as a grain of sand the creates the beach.

Campobello island has been a peaceful and calm summer home for us that has taught us so many things. The importance of Light in our hearts, and the preciousness of reflection and memory. The value of keeping in touch as Red taught us, and the gifts we receive from our friends. The opportunity to allow ourselves to be expanded and humbled at the same time, and the joy of walking with the eyes of our Spirit open and ready for the surprises in nature. We continue to find the ease, the peace, the calm, the beauty and the harmony in allowing our work to be loving the world...

A few more shots from "work"😍

My worldπŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

We miss our "beloved island" and look forward to enjoying our reflections until we return!
With gratitude...

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

My work is loving the world...Mary Oliver

Postscript to last Post on Friendship.  During that same two week period, I had another unexpected call from a long time friend from Upward Bound days.  Seemed like a lot of abundance in a short time. 
One other thing to mention is the special gift of lobsters we had while Janet and Harriet were here.  So many generous, special things happened during our time with them.  I am so blessed that they would come to see us from Pennsylvania. This is a tradition we have had for many years. I hope it continues!


Being retired seems like a great change, and a chance to play and avoid the responsibilities that used to fill the middle years of life. It was a saving moment when I remembered a poem that our friend Ingrid shared with us when acquainting us with Mary Oliver, the poet. For me, this new definition of my work fills me with gratitude and joy.  I will share this poem with you and hope we can all love the world and all the beings it holds. All lives matter.

 by Mary Oliver 

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird -
Equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
Keep my mind on what matters, 
Which is my work,

Which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart 
and these body's-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, 
Telling them all, over and over, how it is 
That we live forever.

Here are some pictures from my recent "work" days. 😍

At Liberty Point. What a beautiful array of colours.

Early turning leaves.

The white wild rose is lasting longer than the pink.

The fall version of Fireweed. It is the same color as my mother's hair. πŸ’•

This dragonfly stayed on the bench and share a lunchtime with us.

Fall asters
Mountain Ash berries

A wise creature prepares for winter. It is cutting down birch to store the tops under the surface 

Of its pond.

Rose hips 

A collection of mushroom pictures after the rain the day before.

A beautiful bow made of clouds.

My work is loving the world and sending it joy and gratitude! I send the same Spirit to you!