Become a Child Again, Time Permitting.

Schedules, lists, calendars. They rule our daily lives, with some deadlines and events unmovable and others set arbitrarily in our minds. (you know, the to-do lists and laundry that MUST get done on a gorgeous day).

As we become adults with more responsibilities, I think it’s easy to become more rigid in our routines, our expectations of completing “tasks” and reaching goals. We can easily lose our sense of childlike adventure and impromptu schedule changes. I am starting to reclaim that whimsical side, and the results have been….fun.

Be spontaneous—take an opportunity to change your course. What will you find? It can be a simple reward, the hummingbird who enjoys my flowers while we sit on the front porch. It can be so much more, too. Freedom. Memories.

This weekend we stopped into a new distillery in town that was extremely fun, warm, welcoming, and served up some delicious cocktails. We will be back.

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The Copper Fiddle.  Lake Zurich, IL

And an unplanned invitation to ride on a neighbor’s boat after kayaking turned into an extremely fun evening with new and old friends.

Realistically, I know that I won’t be able to grab these moments every day. Heck, even be offered them that frequently. Some days truly are scheduled from before wake up to bedtime. But I have become more flexible when I CAN change my schedule. I find that the more I do the unexpected, the more moments of chance encounters appear.   Or maybe I am just more aware of them.

Perhaps wanting to embrace new opportunities has even subconsciously encouraged me to handle those “to do” lists in a more effective manner. Summer is arriving soon—make it a summer goal to be more free spirited. Find some chance moments to explore your locale—solo, with friends, with family. Hopefully, you won’t end up wishing you had done more this summer when autumn arrives. Summer will feel well-lived.

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Often my fave moments are found on that road less travelled.  Photo taken by me outside Scottsdale, AZ.

C

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Untitled Poem

boat sunset

Enchanting blue waves
frolic and play
chasing those they cannot outrun
before they collapse back onto themselves
merging with the surface,
tiny white caps
with their spittle of salty froth
spraying jumping
then vanish as they mix
with the undulating surface.

Caribbean secrets swirling, swimming, sucking, sexing beneath
as we glide south
the horizon beckoning
topaz and navy
unmoving
endless
timeless
as it remains unchanged since before man
and will long after
hopefully not too spoiled by humans,
unconquered.

27 March 2016

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written and photos taken on Independence of the Seas cruise ship

Thinking in French

By the end of the week in Quebec City, I was thinking in French.  It reminded me of my high school learning days, when I suddenly realized I didn’t have to translate each word back into English to understand it.  I was surprised–but loved–that I remembered so much.  Not everything, but enough so I could think about the basics.  I wanted to share my French with my husband and friends, but alas they speak English…and Sicilian…so that did not help.

I was able to communicate with waiters and shopkeepers, but an interview I might have failed.

Frontenac Hotel

Quebec City, a lovely place to visit and re-learn the past and experience the moment.  And realize that learning French and photography in high school were definitely classes worth my while. C

Patti’s Private Pumpkin Patch

The garden smells of decay, the leaves drying and swirling, flowers blackening, bees swarming for the last of the nectar.  The tomatoes are fading, the pumpkins ripening, neon shades of orange, some still a faded green.  They are stocked in bins outside the grocery and hardware stores, gourds in nets, ready for picking–and payment by weight.

But, my friend Patti has been visiting a pay-by-the-carload pumpkin patch north of the IL border for fifteen years, packing the car with a rainbow of pumpkins. We played a couple hour of hooky to visit her secret spot earlier this week, gathering pumpkins on their opening day.  What fun we had on a lovely autumn afternoon!  The first car in, we parked by an open field dotted with pumpkins, scattered gourds on the ground. We traipsed back and forth, pumpkins in hand, tiny ones in a bucket piling higher, the trunk filling.

babies
babies

Once the car was filled with green and orange pumpkins, tall and round and skull-shaped ones, the search was on for the elusive white pumpkin.  We wandered in the fields, sneaking a few more treasures, but we only found four small white ones intermingled with the orange ones.

A full load!
A full load!

All this, for only $65.  Plus an afternoon of  sun, searching through fields, spending time with a good friend.  Worth the late nights catching up working. Plus, the porch looks great with the decorations, and the kids are ready to carve them, toasting the seeds.  C

Cyber kisses and handshakes?

Yesterday I felt like Alice who slipped down the tunnel, caught in a maze of doors to open, lost in the keypad of my laptop.  I had a couple spare hours–what should I update first?  Excluding work, there was a myriad of electronic options–write on my blog, update my facebook page, find new contacts on Linkedin, upload and sort vacation photos, post new pictures on my Flickr page after categorizing photos, visit my family’s new social networking page, surf the internet, respond to an evite, donate online to a friend’s upcoming charity walk, start on a new freelance project…the list expands as I reminisce. 

I chose to start with a short facebook update, donation, then uploaded my photos woefully after the fact on my flickr page; hopefully the friends I sent emails to remembered attending the events with me!  But since I had photos from a school function to turn in, I can cross that item off my “to-do” list.  And there is now a new “2009” photos folder on my computer, already bulging with pictures from San Diego.

I was satisfied with my choices, but I continued to think about my long  “to-do” list that all involved the computer.

A day later, still rambling through the Gateway, I wonder if people still make face-to-face or voice-to-voice contact, with all the electonic conversations, bullets, rants, thoughts that pulse through the airwaves all day and nite.  But is a cyber handshake enough to cinch the deal?  If my friend is scared for the future, I can’t give her a hug online or reassure with the written word like the timbre and tone a voice and touch can give.  And when emotional, skittering fingers across cold, unfeeling letters can misconstrue words and thoughts. 

Yes, the computer (and the cell phone with texting) is a wonderful, useful time-saving  tool, but what are we losing, with the lack of  human interaction? Only time, measured in milli-seconds and over analyzed, will tell. C