The Little Things

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Today I went to IKEA for some picture frames. While in the checkout line, the young man behind me had one little thing to buy so I offered to trade places with him. He thanked me, but said he was waiting for his wife and they might have a basketful when she arrived . We talked while waiting, and talked more..the line was long. Our conversation was different because he asked me generalized questions about my life, very curious and interested, not creepy. He asked what my days are made of, and squeezed out of me that I love and care for my people, art and nature. After our conversation, I was amazed at the poignancy of his remarks. This man had wisdom and kindness in his heart. He reminded me, in an indirect way, of all there is to be thankful for in this life and that often the most important things are the little things we take for granted. He had lived half his life in Hong Kong and knew adversity. I will not soon forget our serendipitous, moving conversation.

This evening, I share the little things in my life that I am thankful for (and have taken a photo of…lol). Signs of spring, my grandchildren and their activities, my growing house plant collection, dear friends, new glasses, some sweet pets. Usually I would dismiss most of these photos, but not today….this is what my precious days are made of. I need to take more photos, because there is so much more to be thankful for.

Winter getaway

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The pictures tell my story, but let me elaborate a bit…..

We left early one snowy morning and drove south. We drove 1050 miles that day…well actually I drove the 50, Jeff drove the rest. He does not complain….as long as he had music blasting, nor did I complain about the blasting music. I have a hexagon quilt sewing project for trips, although it is out growing the passenger seat. And also reading materials, YouTube, Words with Friends.

We arrived on warm sunny North Captiva Island the next day to stay with my SIL Patrice and Jim. Love them and their hospitality. A few days later, my SIL Lisa and Cam arrived from Virginia. What a great time we girls had together….talks of old times and the future, the sisters talking about childhood, singing The Monkees (RIP Peter). The guys fished to their heart’s content.

Our friends Kelly and Jim came to visit one day. They just acquired a home about an hour away. They made a delicious meal for us. Us girls laughed away the afternoon, after all we had an official Capri club meeting. And the guys fished to their heart’s content.

The weeks flew by, and it was time to head north. But first a stop to see Kat! We caught up as old dear friends can, and of course kept our hands busy making things all the while.

We rushed home just in time to celebrate our Derek’s grandpa’s life…a wonderful man who left a legacy of love. Home is home, always nice to return to your people.

Let’s talk about summer…

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…because I was in the middle of neglecting the blog back when summer was actually here, and also because I am so “blibbity blop blop” sick of winter.

Last August when we were at the cottage, we had a bit of magic slowly unfold. Monarch chrysalis were everywhere. Mostly near the beach on the milkweed, but also several on the boathouse. We watched them mature and either die or transform.

Sadly all did not make it…black, a sign of death in the second photo. Do you see the tick near the top in the photo directly below….giving the kiss of death:

I had to paint a monarch after enjoying the metamorphosis’…..here is a progression of the painting I completed over the summer.

Watercolor, of course! Now, let’s hope for spring to arrive very soon.

February !!!!2019!!!!

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“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” -Nelson Mandela

Goodness, much has changed since the last time I posted. Over the past 11 months we have had many big life changes. First we moved my mother out of her condo into an apartment. We then moved into that empty condo. That was no easy feat, after living in our home for 38 years. But this new living space is perfect for us. It is lovely and spacious without being too much. I have a sunny studio, and a basement for the messier projects and the inevitable storage we need. And Jeff is happy because his shop is a mile away, the snow is shoveled, and the grass is cut.

I do miss my garden, but I will find a way to enjoy flora and fauna, and utilize my green thumb. I am surrounded by trees and wildlife here, and find myself walking much more than I ever did at our house.

The other big change is that I have officially retired! I am just getting used to this decision and it doesn’t feel real quite yet.

This blob has long been a favorite place, and it feels right to return!

Sunny days

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Just memories now, but what good ones.

We were with Patt and Jim for two weeks! The “kids” were there for the first week too. Patt’s pool got used everyday…the Little’s wanted to swim just about every minute. They all stayed in another beach house, which worked out wonderfully for all. We visited Cayo Costa, Cabbage Key, The Bubble Room on Captiva, Matlacha. We saw dolphins, manatees, eagles, tortoises.

Walking to the beach and viewing the sunset with a glass of wine was a daily ritual.