Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Reminder

I really should print this photo out and put it on my wall in a prominent place. It's a reminder that I need, more and more, as our country struggles with the political forces that divide us.

Most of the people I know voted the way I did. A couple of friends didn't, and we deliberately avoid discussing politics.

One of my friends is a very, very witty, intelligent, funny woman who is a meticulous quilter and a superb cook. She's more generous than many people, and spiritual in an independent sort of way. These are qualities that I must not lose sight of because she happened to support Mr. Trump for President.

There are other, long-time friends who I imagine were in the Trump camp, at least initially. As I said, we don't talk about it. We are all still people who enjoy dinner together.

Sometimes, though, when I read things people post on Facebook, I get confused. A piece of me starts to see people as who they voted for rather than who I have always known them to be. And that's wrong. So I need this reminder.

And wouldn't you know that it came from someone I've known my entire life, a good and decent person who isn't racist, misogynistic, or hateful; a person who happens to have a political stance that is polar opposite of mine. And we are part of the same family! Thanks, cousin.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Game

The past few months, since I returned from Spain, have been busy ones. First, of course, was the attempt to catch up with everything that had been neglected during travel: bills, laundry, house, dog. And the game. The game I'd found through Facebook not long before we'd left home. Three weeks away had made me very hungry to play.

Slowly (or perhaps not so slowly), the game edged its way into more and more of my time. Sewing time lessened. Blogging time became nearly nonexistent except for trying to write about the trip. Reading time took a back burner. The game was addictive.

Then, recently, some things happened that seemed to point out the obvious. It took a little while, though, for me to recognize the confluence that was happening. Somehow, these things all came together:

  • My pal Julie wrote that she was leaving Facebook. It had become a life weed.
  • Preparation for the hectic last two weeks of the year caused me to resume my practice of list making. My little piece of penciled graph paper became my constant companion.
  • A new year came and with it came an urge to purge. Himself and I are going through the house and filling bags and boxes with stuff, things we no longer need -- heck, some are things we never needed -- as well as tired clothing, dust catching knickknacks, books we won't read again.
  • A brief visit from my brother-in-law, one of the most goal-setting and self-disciplined people I've known. When he first got email, he developed a practice of dealing with it one time per day, first thing in the morning. And I believe that these many years later, that is still his habit. When he visited, he spoke of the reading he was doing in preparation for an upcoming trip.
  • I found the time to go visit the article that had inspired Julie, the Life Weeds article.
The picture at the top of this post is a bowl of porcelain berries. They are gorgeous. I've loved them for many years and even made a quilt based on their colors. They are also a weed. Their attraction is deadly to a garden. 

The game is a life weed for me. It has consumed time that used to be spent thinking, writing, sewing, cooking, being. 

This morning I pulled it out. Deleted it from my FB page. From my life. Funny how insidious these kinds of things can be. Porcelain berries. Life weeds.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Epic Trip Part Twenty-Two: A Full Day in Barbados

I'd bought us a pair of tickets to a full-day tour in Barbados on Sunday, and it was money well spent.

We were picked up at our hotel at the appointed time and our first stop was Harrison's Cave. Joe and I have seen stalactites and stalagmites before and always found them interesting. This time was no exception. The guide was outstanding and the people on the tour was amiable. One of them offered to take this photo of us inside the cave.

After we left the cave, the tour took us to the Flower Forest, a beautiful tropical rain forest. We weren't surprised that it rained just a little bit while we were there. We walked and walked and saw gorgeous exotic plants.

Some of our tour mates opted for a different experience, so we had a little time at the conclusion of our exploration to relax in the gift-shop lobby and enjoy a complimentary mango beverage before resuming.

We had a brief stop at Bathsheba's Beach, a lovely spot we'd visited before. There was a large group of people in the picnic area and conversation with them revealed that they were from a nearby church and had decided to have their worship service on the beach that day in celebration of Barbados Independence Day which would occur later in the week.

Next we were off to a Caribbean lunch at a place favored by locals.

Then it was time for the absolute high point of the day.

I've never before been to a place like the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. It was extraordinary. Our tour was timed so that we would arrive at the Reserve shortly after the beginning of feeding time.

Upon entering the reserve, the first thing we saw was a couple of huge turtles, lumbering along the pathway, unrestrained by fence or barrier of any kind. They walked with an intensity, with a purpose, and we were going in the same direction. We all arrived (us a bit before some of the turtles) at a clearing where a major feeding was going on. Pumpkins or winter squash or something in that family had been cut up and offered to all takers. And takers there were. In addition to the turtles were the green monkeys (some of whom used the turtles as stools), peacocks, deer, all eating together mindless of those of us within arm's reach. It was absolutely wonderful!

At the end of our visit we were treated to a very tasty rum punch which was totally unnecessary since we were already giddy from our experience.

And the next day, it was time to return to reality. We had missed Halloween, Joe had missed Thanksgiving, and we came home to people selling Christmas trees. Our Epic Trip was over.