Category Archives: Contemplation

Writing from the heart!

~thank you sir for your service~

not once, but twice,

joy fills my heart,

bringing tears to my eyes.

~

I pass a stranger and on his head,

a cap, which he wears with pride,

I read the words, Gulf War Veteran.

~

I catch his attention,

as his eyes glaze down upon my face,

I say:  “thank you sir for your service”.

~

His eyes sparkle,

he tips his cap he so proudly wears,

 and he tells me, thank you.

~

not once, but twice,

joy fills my heart,

bringing tears to my eyes.

~

A few steps more toward the door,

what are the odds,

I pass an elderly man sitting with another.

~

on his head, a cap,

which he wears with pride,

I read the words, WWII veteran.

~

I try to catch his attention,

as I glaze into his eyes, which are non-seeing,

I speak loudly, I know I need to.

~

“sir, are you a WWll veteran”,

his friend tells me, yes he is,

I kneel down and look into his face.

~

“I thank you sir for your service”,

He replies, as a big smile spreads across his face,

thank you young lady.

~

I look up,

into the eyes of his friend,

just as mine they were wet with tears.

~

not once, but twice,

it feels right, to express my thanks,

to those that protect my country.

 

And, to think they thank me! This experience happened to me yesterday.

 

~Homeward bound, and still enjoying the journey~

 

The rhythm of the coach tires rolling across the highway, through dry west Texas landscape, is a pleasing sound. The wheels on our faithful coach keep turing, bringing us closer to home and further away from family and our southern friends.  For now it is a pattern of life we have chosen and one we are extremely happy living. Leaving is the natural way of things; this is how it is suppose to be, but still sad.

As  I look out my side window at the stark beauty of the areas we pass, I can’t help thinking how fortunate we are to be able to travel. It is with happiness that we roll along talking about past experiences and planning new adventures.

Caught in Flight
Caught in Flight

We feel excitement when preparing to leave home, knowing we will see family and friends. We anticipate meeting new people along our route. We know we will feel delight in the discovery of different and beautiful places. We know fun times will be shared and fond memories created.  

We also know our 2013/2014 winter trip is almost over.  

At the end of October, 2013 we rolled out of Colorado, leaving home and friends behind. It is with excitement that early next week we will roll into our home town with friends to see, a stationary life to enjoy, projects to complete and of course new travels to plan. 

On Friday, as we rolled along, we passed a sign. The sign made us both shout with joy. What did the sign say: You are entering Mountain Time Zone! Yes, our beloved Mountain Time Zone. Our bodies are once again in rhythm with our minds!! {grins}. Thank goodness for that! I asked Howard if he thought it would work if we just kept our clocks set to Mountain Time. What do you think?

A Pretty Face
A Pretty Face

Recent Travels:

As planned we left Beaumont, Texas on a Sunday, knowing that we would have to drive through Houston. We don’t like driving through Houston and choosing to drive this route at mid-mourning on a Sunday works best for us. Straight through driving on I-10, no problem! Another reason from leaving on a Sunday  – it is the only way we can get reservations at Stephen F. Austin State Park. This park is located close to Houston and Katy and is a popular destination for local nature lovers, especially on the weekends. 

We had a wonderful four days there and moved on to Kerrville, Texas staying at the Buckhorn Lake Resort. While there we ate some locally made Catfish Gumbo (always wonderful) and had the coach washed and waxed, which is the main reason for stopping in Kerrville.

Leaving Kerrville, we traveled less than sixty miles to South Llano State Park in Junction, Texas. As I have stated before, this is one of my favorite state parks. We met a lot of birders from all across the US and Canada. It is amazing how many people travel to Texas during this time of year to bird.

We also met some very interesting amateur and professional photographers and some astronomers. I am looking for a new lens to go on my Canon 70D so I spoke with some of these photographers to get their opinion on which lens to purchase.

After four wonderful days, it was sad leaving South Llano, because I enjoy the birding so much. We drove to Balmorhea and spent one night at Balmorhea State Park and then headed to Brantley Lake State Park in Carlsbad, New Mexico. 

This is where we are through the Easter weekend, leaving tomorrow. We drove this route last year on our way home and enjoyed the area, so we decided to take this route again. A few flowers are blooming, but for the most part spring hasn’t fully arrived in this part of the west. We had hoped to walk around The Living Desert Wildlife Museum, but the weather is not cooperating, another time perhaps.

IMG_0639

As I sit here, in my comfortable home on wheels, looking out across the prairie, I  hear rain hitting on the roof, I see dark grey storm clouds rolling across the sky, driven by spring winds and I feel content.

The Rambling Rose, our home on wheels, keeps us happy and safe!

~

Homeward bound, and still enjoying the journey!

~

 

IMG_0631

 

 

~A Sunset: Gentle, True and Intense~

Gentle
Gentle

~

A sunset, at the beginning,

the light is Gentle.

 ~

As it progresses,

the light is True.

 ~

As the setting sun descends,

Its light is Intense.

Let nature be our guide,

Be gentle, be true and live with intensity.

~

True
True
Intense
Intense

We enjoyed a spectacular Sunset this evening! I hope you did as well.

IMG_4583

~Another~

Another Day, Another Walk

Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Jonathan Dickinson State Park

~An old dead tree, shelter and food that endangered birds call home

~

Old dead tree.
Old dead tree
This has to be the funnest photo of a bird I have ever taken.
This has to be the funnest photo of a bird I have ever taken.
Florida Scrub Jay
Florida Scrub Jay

~

~A high lookout, for a winged sentinel, an advantage against its enemy

~


~

~A River bank, protection for Herons hunting for prey

~

~

~An underground burrow, shelter for a Gopher Tortoise

~

Gopher Tortoise
Gopher Tortoise

~

~A fallen leaf,  a moment in time to reminisce of days past

~

Evidence of a past Fall
Evidence of a past Fall

~

~Lush bushes, a hiding place for birds to feel safe

~

A Peek-A-Boo Treat ~Palm Warbler~
A Peek-A-Boo Treat
~Palm Warbler~

~

Another Adventure, Another Journey

Another Chance for Mother Nature to Fill my Heart

One year ago…..

Wapiti
Wapiti

I turn over and take a peek at the clock. It tells me, “Not time yet.” It is 4:00am and I had set the alarm for 4:30am. I lie here with emotions of excitement, anticipation and a smidgen of apprehension as I think about my day ahead.

I know I won’t fall back to sleep, so I quietly try to sneak out of bed; with my two four-legged friends close by, hearing and watching my every move and a hubby tuned into every stir, there is no sneaking. Okay, everyone up!

I get dressed, enjoy my send off filled with encouraging words, gather my gear and out the door I go. Out of my subdivision, I turn right!

Right!  It is rare, especially in the early morning hours before sunrise, that I would turn right and head up into the mountains. Alone.

On this morning I do.

The narrow, winding road is two-lanes, so I need to pay close attention to my driving. I turn on the radio thinking it might help me relax, but after a few minutes, I turn it off. I want to think about my day. I don’t hurry, but I need to be in Estes Park at 6:30am.

I enjoy the ride into the mountains; as darkness zips past my window, I feel the known landmarks passing by, more than I see them. The closer to Estes Park I get, the more my excitement increases along with my smidgen of apprehension. I arrive at the prearranged meeting place right on time. The golden arches are smiling down at me, I smile back.

I park so I can observe the activities in the store, carefully watching the occupants. I tell myself, just go inside. I leave my gear and purse inside the car and head into the McDonalds. As I am looking around, a man walks up to me and asks “is your name Sheila?” I look at him directly, willing his eyes to tell me his character.

He has kind, friendly eyes so I shake his offered hand and tell him yes. He then leads me over to another gentleman, whom I recognize from a photo and I am finally introduced to the person I drove into the mountains to meet. After a few minutes of conversation, I tell them, “I will be right back, I need to call my husband.”  They look at each other and looking back at me ask: “To tell him you are okay?” I reply “exactly.”

We eat breakfast, while sharing with each other tidbits of who we are. Then the man I came to meet asks me: “What do you want to learn today?” I open my iPad, and tell him what I had carefully thought about and jotted down. He listens carefully and then asks to see my photographs and offers his critique. I listen carefully and with an open mind.

After breakfast we load my gear into their vehicle and head into Rocky Mountain National Park. I am on my way to a new experience, one that brings me out of my comfort zone (remember my smidgen of apprehension) into a new life adventure and one that brings me such joy it is hard to describe. Excitement and anticipation are still with me, but apprehension seems to have faded along with the dark sky.

A full day of instruction, with a successful, professional, wildlife photographer and his business partner, whom captures a darn beautiful image himself, Begins!

After an enjoyable morning, photographing wildlife in the park, we break for lunch, then head back into the park for afternoon lessons. The afternoon lessons are different, because the lighting is different, and we have fun adjusting to the mountains’ array of moods.

At the close of this day, September 24, 2012, one I will treasure always, I leave them, standing under the golden arches, with hugs, appreciation, admiration and friendship.

As I head down the mountain, I look forward to sharing my day with hubby. I learned a lot, built a strong foundation of confidence in my abilities and realized “no matter” I will enjoy, my passion, this hobby, always giving my best and continuing to learn each and everyday.