Snow in April and other stories

As I mentioned in my last post, I traveled to Maine last week.

I was expecting spring weather, flowers blooming – but oops! The difference in latitude could definitely be seen and felt! I left the balmy almost 80 degrees of my Texas Gulf Coast home, where flowers were blooming, and experienced 4 days of snow and ice!

It was just a “light dusting” to the locals, but if we’d gotten that much snow at home, it would have shut down the schools and a good many businesses. But as those of you who live in those climes know, it is just another ordinary day of life in the north. So now I’ve got DRIVING IN SNOW and WALKING CAREFULLY ON ICY SIDEWALKS on my list of new wp-1460251451251.jpegexperiences that I don’t particularly want to repeat. The thing about snow is, it makes ugly beautiful. All the trees looked pretty dead. Add snow, and voila, a picture postcard appears.

I stayed in a bedroom at the home of Michael and Diane, found through airbnb as usual. They were great hosts, my bed was really comfortable, and their dogs were awesome. It was way better (and cheaper) than staying in a hotel.

The snow and ice were followed by rain on my day of departure from Portland. The temperature warmed to the lower 50’s and it almost seemed like a Houston winter. I meandered down the coast a bit, then turned inland through New Hampshire and down to Northampton, Massachusetts to spend a few hours with my son who lives there. In spite of the rain, I enjoyed the drive, staying off the main roads as much as possible, going through the mountains, and appreciating the old architecture in the small towns along the way.

Northampton is in a beautiful part of the country, nestled along the west bank of the Connecticut River. I enjoyed my visit with my son (22 years old, and works as an early morning baker), and spent the night in an upstairs bedroom of a cool old house I found on airbnb. wp-1460255086849.jpegIn the morning, after a latte and zucchini oatmeal muffin at the Tart Baking Company,  I chose Route 5  instead of the interstate and fell in love with the beauty of my surroundings. The road runs parallel to the river for a bit, and I could imagine how it must look in the fall when the colors of the trees are changing in their full glory. It was the most beautiful place I drove through, and I’d like to return in October!

I had decided, since my flight from Boston didn’t leave until 5:30, that I would go to Rhode Island, since it was the only New England state I hadn’t visited. I found a vegetarian restaurant called the Garden Grille Cafe in Pawtucket, and I wasn’t disappointed. My lunch was a quesadilla filled with roasted butternut squash, black beans, avocado, and monterrey jack cheese. Best meal the whole trip!  Before I headed to the Boston airport, I visited the Seekonk River and communed with the ducks for a while.

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I was overcome with gratefulness for much of my time on the road, in spite of the less than desirable weather. I have been able to travel to so many beautiful places, and there are more to come. I have been enriched by the people I’ve met along the way. Life is good!

September!

This is one of my favorite months! I live in the south so it is still hot, but the promise of cooler weather is there – although not for at least another month!

wpid-wp-1441467245884.jpegLife shifts and changes, and I haven’t been here so much lately. After my two  out of state trips in May and June , I felt a bit unsettled for a while. Taking a weekend road trip to Austin in late June capped off the summer travel, and left me wanting to move there! My son has lived there for five years so I’ve visited quite a bit since then, and every time I go I want to stay!

July was very hot, and my spare hours were filled with finishing Term 1 of my ayurvedic studies. The term concluded with a Nutrition Intensive, so I spent extra time in the kitchen. A major change that has happened since I began these studies is that I have become much more particular about what and how I eat. I prefer fresh food, and have learned that it’s not hard to prepare simple meals of grains and vegetables. I haven’t eaten meat since April, and over all feel much more balanced. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain prana, or life force, and it just feels better inside.  So one of the things I hope to do is develop ayurvedic cooking classes to the end of better health for more people.

Carol Nacogdoches Aug 2015August was hotter than ever, getting up around 100 degrees in the early part. I took a day trip to Nacogdoches for a visit with my youngest daughter, and found that it has a great oldtown shopping center. Carol and I had a great time shopping and cooking and getting her more ready for the next school term at Stephen F Austin University where she will continue her vocal performance studies.

David and RoniLast week my oldest son, David, got married. I have to say that when he announced his engagement earlier this year, I was surprised, but not surprised. He and Roni have known each other for 13 years, and it was on again, off again, and they finally decided to take the leap. They got married on a Carnival Cruise Ship before taking off on the cruise ( I didn’t go!) and it was very nice, lots of fun, and a wonderful opportunity to spend time with people not often seen.

Now I am looking forward with great anticipation to Sept 28, when Robert and I will leave the heat and humidity and fly north to spend three weeks road-tripping from western New York through Massachusetts and Maine to Nova Scotia and then back down to the Boston area before flying home. I have been wanting to do this for years, and am very excited! We don’t have a real fall here, so the timing of it is to experience peak fall foliage.

In the midst of all these experiences, I go to work, I watch a movie, I take a walk. I meditate, I do yoga. I visit my granddaughter, I try to stay connected with all my seven children. I meet new people, mostly only in that moment, then we each go on with our lives.  I occasionally write and paint. I ponder the meaning of life, but less frequently than when I was younger. I look for ways to practice kindness and compassion every day. I embrace uncertainty.