Time out to smell the flowers

mermaid sprinkler

red canna lilyI’m finding life a bit stressful these days. There is a lot happening, and a lot of it is not always positive. As a “small” example – there’s another borderline Category 4/5 hurricane aimed at the US Virgin Islands. Why is this of interest to me, you may ask. Long before the term “bff” was in vogue, I had a bff from 1st grade on. She moved to St Croix and made her life there. I’m not sure that we are BFF anymore but I am sure that I still care about her and her family greatly. I remember when Hurricane Hugo hit St Croix in 1989 and she and her daughter had to come back to NJ to live for several weeks. There was no power, no water, just disaster all over the island. Her husband stayed there and was part of all the cleanup efforts. St Croix was spared the worst of Irma, and Jose, but now the reports sound as if it may be Hugo all over again.

We here in NJ were supposed to be side-swiped by Jose today. large dahliasI decided to work from home instead of trying to drive to Corporate amid winds and rain. As it happens, it’s lovely here today. Although it’s overcast, it’s warm, and there is that lovely pre-storm moist breeze blowing through all the open windows, and the air smells of open sky. I’m loving it but it does make it a tad difficult to concentrate on the strategy plan I am supposed to be composing. The breeze evokes memories of summer days down the shore before a storm rolled in – birds perched on the wires a la Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ and bike riding in the cool air and sitting in the kitchen emailing to my St Croix friend as my young son read on the living room floor.

orange canna lilyI was sure that we were going to have lots of rain, and that my flowers would be washed away. I took some more photos of the garden because I wasn’t sure there’d be much left. If you’d told me years ago that I’d spend my time taking pictures of flowers, I’d have thought you were crazy. Because taking pictures of flowers is crazy, no? Many many MANY years ago we went out to California to visit my aunt and uncle. I have always felt extremely close to my aunt even though I almost never see her, but I didn’t have much of a relationship with my uncle. Again – didn’t see much of him, what was important to him was not important to me. For instance – he loved photography. He loved to take close-up pictures of flowers. I mean REALLY CLOSE UP. CLOSER. Weird, right? And he had them framed and hung about the house. Pink mandevillaI just didn’t ‘get it’ at all.

Well, here I am, taking pictures of flowers, cropping them, enlarging them, sharing them. *smile* I guess I’m weird, too, yes? I find such peace and joy when I look at flowers and plants and water and rocks. Nature. Nature brings me joy and peace. I know it can be violent and deadly, but it’s those moments of serenity that heal my soul.

So much to do, and so much happening that is out of my control. I’m not very good at accepting that there are things out of my control. *smile* But tomorrow is Erev Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year (well, one of FOUR Jewish new years) and thank goodness that is one of the absolute stops I give myself. No data loads, no strategy plans, no bills, no rushing here, being there. I’m looking forward to it. And I’m looking at flowers.

butterfly in flower
I’m not the only one enjoying the flowers

dual pic tree and hibiscus

Walk Along the River

ready to motor Sometimes the obvious stares me in the face for ages and ages before I see it. I enjoy taking pictures of flowers and water and scenery. If you were reading the Transcontinental Tales posts, you have probably figured that out already. I like to take pictures, I like to share them, I have a blog where I can post…. Well okay, I can post my photos to my blog!!! Major revelation. *grin*

The week after I returned home there was a festival in the neighboring town. My husband and I walked there and walked along the Raritan River to the festival. canal during festivalPart of the old Delaware Canal is still in existence here and we walked back along the towpath. There were ducks and a heron and seagulls and fish. I tried to take pictures of the heron but it was on the far side of the river and my camera (my iPhone) was insufficient to the task. Or perhaps it was the photographer. Always a possibility. 🙂 I am sparing you the blurred pics of a white against brown.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day with bright sunshine and warmth and people were smiling and having a great time. Oh, well, except for the man on the stage at the festival who was spouting hate and rage. I didn’t hear him (I’m getting quite good at selective hearing) but my husband listened (of course) and he pointed out to me what was being said. beside a rockSigh. Looking at the faces we passed, I think most people were in much too good a mood to be roused to anger at that moment.

It was a good walk – maybe 2 miles all told. We’ve walked into town before to go to dinner. It feels like “oh my what a long walk” but everytime we actually walk the trip we are surprised by how close it is. *smile* NOT in bad weather, however. Then it IS too far too walk. Especially over the bridge. Have I ever told you about my bridge phobia? The Delaware Memorial bridge is the “bridge of my nightmares” for one set of bridge-nightmare. The Raritan River bridge is yet another. *grin* But I’ll leave those details for another time.

I hope you enjoy these photos. They are nothing spectacular, only happy memories of a lovely walk along the river.
ducks on a shady river

calm river

river flower

reflections on the water