Down by the lake, evening emerges with the fragrance of tranquility. The shore wears nothing but a few rocks scattered in its sand. A father and son hold fishing lines in their quiet space, hoping their luck will change. A lone sailboat glides by, pausing for the unfolding. An older man with hair the color of an egret leans against a stump. The clouds understand we wait with enthusiasm. To our naked eyes, their smooth edges have been highlighted as though the sun outlined each of their fluffy shapes with a fine yellow highlighter. Occasionally, trout jump out of the still water, unable to contain their excitement.
Then suddenly the sky displays an explosion of color: tangerine, salmon, canary yellow, brighter, and brighter with every second. We are transported to a dreamlike place where a painter gently swishes her brush back and forth on the immense backdrop, to the left and right, repeating with grace of an orchestra leader. Artwork in the sky. Can a presentation of the sun slipping behind the cottony clouds be so spectacular? The sun knows it is time for the moon to shine.
I came across this old photo with one of my favorite quotes and advice that is truly timeless. In these times of instant gratification, choosing to follow Her advicewould be calming to the mind and body...
Lauren Scott (c) ❤️ Photo: my children on one of our camping trips.
Last week my husband and I flew to Virginia to visit our son, and our daughter and SIL drove up from Tennessee. It was a chance for all of us to spend time together while our son acted as tour guide. He had some specific destinations in mind, so on those days, we were out the door by 8am to beat the crowds and get an early start. Fortunately, the weather complied, so no plans were detoured. Our first tour began with taking the Metro into Washington DC, a 20-minute ride from his apartment. This was a fun adventure.
The first stop was the White House, which was a bit underwhelming because of construction. Other historical sites we visited were the Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, National Mall, the United States Capitol, Original Smithsonian Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Air and Space Museum. We covered 11 miles at a moderate clip!
Another point of interest was Harper’s Ferry National Park in West Virginia. This is the town abolitionist John Brown raided from October 16-18, 1859 in an effort to initiate a slave revolt in Southern states by taking over this United States arsenal. Brown’s raid has been called the dress rehearsal for the Civil War.
Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park is located in West Virginia. Paths wind through this quaint town that has 19th-century buildings, a Civil War Museum, and John Brown’s Fort, a key site in an 1859 abolitionist raid. The location where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet, known as The Point, offers views of Maryland and Virginia. The Appalachian Trail Visitor Center has exhibits on the long-distance hiking trail.
In addition to the history, Harper’s Ferry is a small town full of charming shops to entice your wallets and delicious cafes to satisfy your palates. We walked about 6 miles, up and down hills, and on trails by the Potomac River, and also on the bridge overlooking the Shenandoah River. The views were incredible!
Our last stop was at Fort Washington in Maryland…
During the War of 1812 Fort Washington, built to protect the capital from enemy advances on the Potomac River, was captured by the British under the command of Admiral Gordon, three days after the burning of the capital.
It was interesting to read about the history while walking around this huge historic park with extensive hiking and bicycle paths. An abundance of grass made this park a perfect place for dogs to run around, and there were lots of happy dogs doing just that. This is a great destination for picnicking, fishing, and outdoor recreation. Historical re-enactments are held periodically at the Fort, and there is a small museum. Cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom, and they are beautiful.
Now, I ask you, “Have you ever had the Ambar experience?” Ambar is a restaurant in Arlington, VA offering Balkan Cuisine. Our son treated all of us to the Ambar experience which is when small plates are ordered and brought to the table for everyone to sample. If you want more of an item, you simply ask the waiter or waitress. The cost is the same for each person and there is a 2-hour limit. We finished just shy of an hour and a half. The experience alone bursted with energy in the packed and noisy restaurant. We enjoyed drinks first, then we dove into the food frenzy. A few items we indulged in were a Charcuterie board with a variety of spreads and white flatbread. Then came a kale caesar salad, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and a cheese pie. The main course consisted of stuffed cabbage, stuffed peppers, chicken skewers, meatballs, smoked sausage, salmon, and grilled shrimp. Remember, each plate had just enough for the five of us to sample. But even though we ate small helpings, we were full by the end of this food adventure, so we agreed to skip dessert. I’m sure the desserts would have been absolutely heavenly because the food was to die for! I’m sharing a few pics…
Fires raged in the Sierra mountains this summer, forcing my husband and I to cancel our long-awaited backpacking trip. So, what did we do instead? We thought “local!” We found Pantoll Campground located on Mt. Tamalpais that seemed like a good alternative for a peaceful getaway. Only a forty-minute drive from home, we felt like we had traveled hundreds of miles, entering into another world. Mt. Tam is a popular tourist attraction, but with packing up all the gear and necessities for camping, we always wanted to drive farther into the mountains. It’s funny how one setback unexpectedly leads to a pleasant surprise. Here’s a glimpse into our weekend…
Did you enjoy the scenery? I hope so! We’re glad to have found a local option now, maybe not for backpacking, but at least for camping and hiking. Here in sunny and drought-ridden California, everyone waits for some precipitation to reduce fire danger. We hope to slip on those backpacks next year…
Thanks for popping in and stay safe, Lauren ❤️❤️❤️
I hope you enjoyed these snippets of my appreciation, and know that I appreciate all of you who continue to pop in and read what’s been on my mind. The last couple of weeks have been tough in some ways, but today is a new day. I hope you’re doing well and wish you a wonderful week.
As Copper and I enjoyed our morning walk this morning,
I couldn’t help notice the vibrant blooms along the way. Whether they blossom in our garden or in the neighborhood, they have served as an exceptional balm during this time of sheltering in place. Copper even knows when it’s time to slow down
and smell the flowers…
“Miss Bougainvillea, luxuriant and sturdy,
unaware of her magical attributes.”
“The earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Love is a flower you’ve got to let grow.”
“The flowers of tomorrow are the seeds of today.”
“After women, flowers are the most divine creation.”
🙂 Christian Dior
“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
Lady Bird Johnson
“Bloom where you are planted.” Anonymous
“But he who dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.” Anne Bronte
“Their colors bring infinite joy as they are cared for with pride. The thorns do not lessen their beauty – not one delicate petal is denied.”
Yours truly – an excerpt from one of my poems
“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.”
“Spring has returned. The earth is like a child
who knows poems.” Rainer Marina Wilke
A Cup of Spring
Miss Spring sips her tea as we anticipate
her arrival. She says, “Be patient, I will soon bring you
colors so pleasing and new life, delightful.
But first, Mr. Winter
must finish acting
out his scene.”
I believe Miss Spring kept her promise and I hope these gorgeous blooms were as soothing to you as they were to me.
Looking into the future it is a vast horizon – one of hesitation and reservation yet, also one of beauty and excitement It is an ocean of varied emotions like the rolling waves with their uncertainty as they commingle with the mystery among them – and others causing me to catch my breath while watching the presentation of a spectacular sunset Whether joyful or distressed, the future requires careful navigation so that this moment, this very moment doesn’t escape without being noticed