Travel and fun!

Posted by Whiz on December 22, 2015

Wow, here we are almost at the end of 2015, only a small amount of time left in the year for another entry in this blog.   Many more adventures this year that are not yet reflected in the few pictures that I’ve posted, nor written about either. I hope to add more once I track down the pictures on my new computer.

What a beautiful year…filled with adventure and expansion….both of which I love and look for as often as possible. Can it really be almost 2016?! 2015 seems that it flew past.

I’ve driven many miles this year, 2500+ of which were on an exciting adventure traveled with my two grandsons.   They graduated from high school this year, and both agreed they would love to drive back with me from California where I went for a conference in Los Angeles. I drove out there by myself finding many fun and interesting places along the way. Then the boys met me and we drove back together, helping with the driving, allowing me to enjoy seeing the country along the way as a passenger. How cool is that?!

Many fun stops as we followed the old Route 66, that Interstate 40 now closely mirrors, and is filled with beautiful scenery with interesting and historic places all along the way. The adventures began with Jack and James flying to LA, where my friend Diane, who lives there, agreed to meet and pick them up at airport to then take back to my hotel.  The boys were to have met in Charlotte so that they would then fly out west on the same flight. Diane would meet and bring them to where I was at conference. That plan looked great on paper, and it was except for one major hitch…..Jack missed his flight out of Knoxville, thus his connecting flight in Charlotte, arriving at different time on different flight in LA, and  that no one knew which one.

Diane adapted so very graciously to this rapidly changing schedule of events, made all the more challenging when Jack’s phone was no longer working because he forgot to hook up to charger before he fell asleep.  Fortunately, Diane has the patience of Job, plus James did meet up successfully with Diane and family as scheduled, and James knew what Jack looked like so he could recognize him as passengers arrived from flights out of Charlotte! James had been in contact with Jack before the phone was out of commission and knew that Jack had missed his flight, but wasn’t certain of his new flight number or airline.

Not a stellar beginning to this first time adventure of flying, by themselves, out west, to meet people they’ve not ever met before as they stepped out on their own for travel and adventure! All ended well even if a few hair raising moments for the parents and friends to go through while Jack was out of touch and until all were finally connected and together at LAX! Thank you Diane and family for all that you shared with the boys and me while in LA!

Adventures begin.  Including learning to surf in the Pacific with some beautiful girls (Diane’s daughter and friends), dining in many fun and cool places, including the Shrimp House in LA, then dining high above all of Las Vegas while overlooking the city, walking across the Hoover Dam, then creating rock cairns while visiting vortexes in Sedona, walking on (and getting lost) on the Grand Canyon rim trail for several hours without extra water (texting mom and dad back home telling them they’re lost in the Grand Canyon causing few more gray hairs on parent’s heads), where taking the wrong turn  lead to the added miles of hiking away from where we had agreed to meet, experiencing snow in summer time at some of those higher elevations, plus discovering the awesome beauty of the Petrified Forest in Arizona, to name just a flew of our awesome adventures.

Beauty and laughter were everywhere we went, from the grand vistas of the Grand Canyon to the fun and comedy of discovering off the main road, a small western museum that allowed us hands-on fun of taking pictures of boys playing cards, guns in hands and cowboy hats on heads, then another with them in jail, next driving Model T Ford, and last but not least, hanging from a noose around their necks and appearing to be dangling from a full-sized hangman’s tree.

Jack and James found friendly and beautiful girls wherever they went (suggesting that I was their chick magnet). Evidently traveling with their grandmother proved to be a great conversation starter that helped them meet these girls and worked as a trust factor……they must be nice people to be traveling with their grandmother, right? Who knew or could have predicted that? I’m grateful that I am cool enough they’re willing to travel with me.

They found courage and talents they had not yet discovered within themselves as they did with donning wet suits to learn to surf in the Pacific Ocean, to the jumping off 100-foot rock ledges into ice-cold mountain river below…and where at each location the beautiful young girls were there, urging them to join in these feats. They would not dare admit to being too fearful to attempt when girls were already there doing them!

I had hoped that Jack and James would keep a journal so they would have the events to relive over and over.  They’re convinced that they will remember them perfectly without writing them down.  I am grateful to be writing about some of these adventures in this blog for me to keep track.

Happy memories. Happy travels. I discovered how beautiful this country is, how friendly people are everywhere, and just how wonderful my two grandsons, Jack and James, truly are, for which I am so very grateful!

22Dec
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Love Letters and blueberries

Posted by Whiz on June 15, 2013

June 15 was my mother’s birthday.

Today is day 16 of the shift to wealth exercise I continue with. And today’s exercise is to write a love letter to myself day. This morning I did just that, Sat right down and wrote myself a letter.

Wasn’t that fun to watch!? !had to look it up as the words rolled around in thought

Writing myself a letter is an interesting experience. Wonder what future self will have to say when she gets this letter. Remembering that there is only NOW, I believe that she will enjoy reading about where I am(was) when I wrote it. Interesting experience. Try it sometime.

As I noted above, today was the day we celebrated my mother’s b-day. No particular sadness as I think about her. Yes, I miss her, yet the gratitude I feel for who she was fills my thoughts of her more than sadness.

And thoughts of blueberries come to mind when I think of her.

My mother baked delicious blueberry pies. She was delighted to learn that I had a blueberry bush in the back yard of the place she would call home after moving in with my husband and me a number of years ago.

This was a remarkable bush that unfailingly produced perfect amount of blueberries, enough for several pies, batches of muffins, crisps, brown bettys, and enough for sharing with the birds, raccoons and squirrels those berries that grew on branches too high to reach or those that fell to the ground and were buried in the ivy that grew beneath this bush. I called it remarkable because this bush grew and produced a perfect crop of blueberries every year while growing under a canopy of tall pine trees, mixed in with several dogwoods. We know that blueberry bushes love open sunshine.

The blueberry requires a male and a female in order to reproduce, as well as bright sunshine, so how was this lone blueberry bush able to find exactly what it needed to not just grow, but thrive, right there planted under dappled shade and with no obvious male bush present or in sight? It was always a delight and wonder to me. I had the added delight and benefit of fresh blueberries on my cereal in addition to all the baked wonders wielded through my mother’s culinary touch and love of baking and blueberries.

Yes, June 15, brings memories of my mother. And has me thinking about blueberries. Missing them both yet grateful to remember how remarkable both my mother and that blueberry bush she so loved were.

After writing my love letter to myself, I did a Google search curious as to where I could find fresh blueberries to pick in this new location of where I now live. I discover that there are many. Enough to provide me with several new adventures of day trips to not too far away You-Pick Farms. And I discovered that there is a farm with fresh you-pick blueberries that’s less than few miles away from where I live.

Perfect.

Now I’m off for a fun day trip, singing this song of writing myself a love letter playing in my head as I drive.

Hmmm, wonder what Google search for blueberries might turn up?

No, not Fats, but will have to do.

I’m off to my adventure while cherishing fond memories of my mother, blueberries, as well as husband, and father close in thoughts too what with Father’s Day tomorrow.

Filled up full with love, letters, and happy memories.

15Jun

Majestic Angel Oak

Posted by Whiz on March 3, 2012

I have a story to tell....

Home again, home again, jiggety jog….one of the many beautiful images I brought back with me after visiting with grandchildren in Charleston. Many fond memories formed together during the week’s visit. More pictures to follow.

Hoping that with posting this tree I will discover just how to add this and others to pinterest. I have followers without having pictures. Lessons to follow and share as learned.

3Mar

Hello, I’m back!

Posted by Whiz on August 31, 2010

It feels almost like a lifetime ago that I last wrote in this blog.  I apologize for the unannounced leave of absence.  Many travels, inward and outward have gone on since last April.  I will recap some even if not in chronological order.

Last week a friend and I visited the Biltmore Estates in Asheville, NC.  While I have not visited for many years, I loved revisiting and seeing it through the new eyes of the friend who had not ever been there.  It’s such a magnificent place filled with beauty, magic, and tranquility, that it’s difficult not to get transported back in time with thoughts of having lived there in a life of splendor and grandeur in a former life.  Yes, I can well imagine sitting around that dining room table with 40+ of my closest friends and family enjoying an intimate Christmas dinner.

The special feature of this visit was the beautiful floral display made up of thousands of blooms arranged and modeled after a stained-glass window.  Walking around the edges of the garden while taking in the distant mountains and hillsides, I was filled with a sense of peace and wonder, and then viewing the gardens from above standing on the vine-covered balcony overlooking the design, it was truly uplifting.

I found that I had not taken as many pictures as I thought, so  I shall return for more….so grateful that I purchased an annual pass and can make the hour and half trip back there often!

And I shall return with more regularity to this blog to write about more of my travels, discoveries, and many more inspirations.  Thank you for visiting and sharing the adventure.

31Aug
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Lessons from a goose

Posted by Whiz on April 26, 2010

We usually see geese traveling together in a group, right? How often does one hear mention of a goose other than reference to Mother Goose or as a Christmas dinner? So imagine my surprise when I saw a single and lone goose recently.

I had been spending some quiet time standing near a lake, embracing a beech tree whose dense leaves were protecting me from the gentle raindrops that were falling. I noticed a lone goose walking across the street nearby from where I was standing. I wondered where he came from….why didn’t he fly in? Why was he alone? Calling him “goose” sounded a bit strange as I stood there observing. I’ve always thought of them as geese, not goose….don’t remember ever seeing one fly alone. I was alert to seeing the symbolism of the scene.

My goose continued walking across the sandy area then quietly entering into the water with a gentle grace causing small circles moving out slowly from his body as he transitioned from walking to floating in one effortless move. These circles were soft and gentle, rippling outward on the surface of the quiet lake waters, symbolizing and feeling like the epitome of gentleness to me.

Imagine my surprise and wonder as the quietude of the event was broken with the loud and plaintive honk, honk, honking as the goose began sounding out to the community as if calling for a friend or mate. This repeated and unanswered honking continued without pause for upwards of five minutes. I watched closely to see whether another goose was in the area. No response. No new goose appeared on the scene.

After the honking session, the goose proceeded to tuck his head under wing and took a nap, evidently quite unperturbed that his cries were unanswered. I stood and continued to watch for a long while, then left to go on with my day carrying the gentle peacefulness of the scene within. The thought of melancholy did try to attach to my thought as I thought about this lone goose that appeared as still alone even after repeated calls out to the vast openness of the empty waters. I let it go and stayed with the picture of peacefulness of him at rest, trading the sad for peace.

Looking up “goose” in Animal Speak, I was delighted to find the references to Mother Goose stories and rhymes that were designed to quiet children, and how these fairy tales captured the imaginations of children and adults. I have always loved Mother Goose tales. The goose can thusly be reflecting stimulation of childhood thrills and beliefs that author Ted Andrews recommends we go back and revisit some of these loved stories that will help us to see how and why they resonated with us so strongly, also to help us see the patterns in our own lives.

I reflect on other mentions in the book. Does my goose carry a message that I need to add more vegetables to my diet? Is that why my goose that I saw felt so alone in view of the fact that geese typically mate for life? Where was his mate? Are we both looking for our one special person/goose? Is this why I love the “happily ever after” endings to fairy tales? Or could my message be coming to me through exemplifying migration patterns, and stirring imaginations to want to search out new worlds? I discover that the incessant honking could represent a calling to us to follow them on a great spiritual quest. Is this what’s speaking to and calling me? Calling with messages of fulfilling promises that great quests may bring?

I love discovering how this idea that as goose comes into my life, I can expect to have my imaginations stirred toward new travels to distant places. I love how the goose epitomizes the constantly shifting formations, creating wind drafts and easier flights for those traveling behind in the formations. I love the image that geese never fly directly behind one another but rather each goose’s view is unobstructed through flying in the V-formation and how this arrowhead formation points to new directions and new possibilities. I love discovering that the letter “v” comes from the Hebrew “vau” meaning “nail” and how this formation indicates that we are about to affix ourselves to a new path, What a beautiful symbol. What a powerful voice and great strengthening message I hear from my lone goose that visited me that rainy day and that has triggered and stirred my imaginations towards new travels.

26Apr