One Journey Ends and Another Begins

One Journey Ends and Another Begins

As I said in my previous post:  Sometimes, when life has kicked you in the teeth, the best thing to do is make some time to find a little joy.  There hasn’t been a whole lot of that lately, but it’s time.

I haven’t felt inspired to write, even though plenty of blog fodder was available from a scenic and educational road trip October 4-9.  Finally, now that another road trip is in the works, I am ready to write about that other journey and the therapeutic road trip that followed.

Just 15 days after my last post, on July 1, Dad passed.  The following months were a blur of activity – everything from arranging flowers for the service over a long holiday weekend to updating my mother’s legal paperwork to changing the name on the phone bill.  Mom had lived first with her parents, then with her husband, so at 85 years of age, it was time for her to learn how to be independent and it was not easy.  By September, I was ready for a change of pace and started thinking about taking another road trip.  When I asked Mom if she would like to go, she jumped at the prospect.

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Life Happens: It’s About The Journey

Life Happens:  It’s About The Journey

Two Women on a Bridge

It has been said that life is what happens when you are busy making plans.

My parents did a lot of planning. In their 20s, they planned how to scrape together the money to buy a modest home of their own. In their 30s, they planned how to pay off the mortgage in 17 years instead of 30. In their 40s, with an empty nest, they planned their retirement. In their 50s, when their parents died they began to think about their own mortality, and they planned some more. Dementia was never in their plans.

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On Doing A 365

On Doing A 365

As 2014 drew to an end, I found myself looking for inspiration.  Photographic inspiration, in particular.  I have been interested in photography since about 2011, but frankly, I wasn’t very good at it.  I had a decent camera, a Fuji HS20-EXR, but aside from an occasional eye-popper, my photos were mediocre.

My brother is a musician and has been known to say that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become proficient at playing an instrument.  Not content with being a proficient bass player and cranking out Blues or Top 40 numbers, he invested at least another 10,000 hours with a Hammond B-3 organ before becoming an organist in an small black church, where he learned the gospel style.  The man has talent, but talent alone has not made him the musician he is today.  It was practice, practice, practice.

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No One Spoke

Don’t ask why I chose to reblog this.
Just read it.
Then you will understand.


Friends and I enjoyed sun, sand, and surf with other beachgoers on a recent Saturday. Sitting slathered in sticky sunscreen beneath our umbrellas, we pointlessly brushed sand from our legs as we discussed evening plans. The seagulls overhead laughed louder than the swimmers splashing in nearby waves while those of us on the beach napped, read, or simply watched people. My friends discussed how relaxing it was and how nice it would be to sleep late the next morning.

Sleep late? I mentioned to them that we only get so many sunrises in a lifetime. Shouldn’t we get up to look at a few?

They stared blankly for a second then shook their heads in unison. No.

In the wee hours of the next morning, alone in the dark, I started the short walk from house to beach guided only by dim lights above the boardwalk. It was eerily quiet at…

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Developing A Passion for Photography (and in the process, learning to SEE all over again)

Developing A Passion for Photography (and in the process, learning to SEE all over again)

I decided to take up photography in September, 2011.  Two things happened to prompt that.  One, my arthritic hip was getting worse and starting to limit my activities.  Two, my 12-year-old point-and-shoot camera with 3X optical zoom quit zooming.  An online friend of mine, N, had recently purchased a Fujifilm HS20-EXR bridge camera with 30X optical zoom and I was impressed with the photos she was posting, so I bought one for myself.  And that was the beginning of my photo-taking hobby.

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Drawing a Line in the Sand

Drawing a Line in the Sand

Have you ever drawn a line in the sand?

Line in the Sand on Pinterest Reina Robinson
(found on Pinterest, posted by Reina Robinson)

Have you ever said, “The line must be drawn here.  This far, no further!”

If you haven’t, maybe you should.
If you do it often, maybe you should reconsider.
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Update: Grassroots Political Activism

Last week, I wrote of my thoughts about taking a public stand on a local school bond measure.  I very much appreciate the comment that Calpoppy posted and it really got me to thinking more positively about taking that public stand.  (link to previous blog:   Grassroots Political Activism)

My husband and I did quite a bit of research since I posted that blog.  He checked into direct mail postcards.  I checked into the legalities of political advertising with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission.  He found out that we could have a mailer printed on 6×9-inch card stock for around $300 and that the postal service has priced DDDM (Door to Door Direct Mail) service very reasonably so that mailing costs for our ZIP code would be around $300 as well.  Nowhere, though, could either of us find a map or other indicator of what area is served by the Toledo school district.  We know that the high school, at least, draws from a larger area than just Toledo, but how large an area?  Husband learned, for example, that students in the nearby town of Vader have a choice of attending either Toledo or Winlock high school.

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Grassroots Political Activism

There will be a school bond measure on the ballot where I live in rural western Washington.  If it passes, local property taxes will increase by about $600 per year for the average home in this area, about a 33% increase.  In round numbers, the school board wants to spend $23,000,000 on improvements and upgrades to a high school that has 300 students.  When I first read about this, in a mailing sent out by the school district last spring, I was stunned.  Since then, there has not been an editorial in the local weekly newspaper.  No further mailings.  No campaigning.  Nothing.  I find that amazing.

People in Washington state vote by mail.  Ballots will be mailed out in a couple of weeks and the deadline for voters to mail them back is November 4.  Since voting can and does happen over a two-week period at the end of October, the time for political advertising and mailers happens about a week from now.

I happen to feel that amount of the proposed bond measure is outrageous for the size of the school.  The property tax increase to pay for school improvements will last for 30 years and — who’s kidding who? — long before that bond is paid for, the school district will have need for further special funding.  Because of my strong feelings, I have been giving thought to putting out my own mailing or newspaper ad to campaign against this bond measure.

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Befuddled, Baffled, and Bewildered

Befuddled, Baffled, and Bewildered

Thank you for emailing me some How-To tips.  With all these new symbols popping up on webpages while simple menus are disappearing, I feel quite lost. It is as if the world suddenly changed all the symbols on traffic signs — I would be lucky not to have a head-on collision with a cement truck.

That was how I began a comment on a friend’s blog recently.  I was rather pleased with my clever analogy at the time, but the more I got to thinking about it, the more I realized that wasn’t clever.  It was quite simply, the unvarnished truth.

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