Livin’ Life As You Like It

photo 4

 

 

Big city, suburb

in the sticks or on the road

Livin’ life as you like it

can lighten up your load

 

balletBeach body, home body

swingin’ from a tree

One woman’s shady past

is another’s pedigree

So wake up ‘n open up

be ye young or old

Embrace your life and own it

to lighten up your load

 

IMG_1040Mountaineer, desert rat

hermit in a cave

One man’s heroic deed

is another’s loss of faith

So wake up ‘n wise on up

be ye young or old

brave your life and conquer it

to lighten up that load

 

FullSizeRender-155True to self, selfish through

the line is mighty fine

Which side you chance to land upon

others judge evil, divine

Listen not to their shrill call

listen to your own

Claim your life as you see fit

and brighten up that load

 

FullSizeRender-190Yes, big city, suburb

in the sticks or on the road

Lovin’ life where you live it

can lighten up your load

 

 

(Photos in order:  1) “Moonrise,” Angostura SRA, South Dakota; 2) “Ballet,” juvenile eagle captured by my brother, Ross, in Virginia; 3) Angel Lake, Nevada; 4) “Black Vulture Rising,” Manatee Springs, FL; 5) “Resting,” Florida Sandhill Crane under the cyprus.)

Restless

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It has been a lovely Winter here in Florida, with gorgeous weather for the most part.  We had a couple of below-freezing nights this past week, though, causing those huge, funny elephant ears that grow on the edge of the swamp to shrivel up, resembling long forgotten greens in the produce section of a derelict grocery store.  Those are some saaaad elephant ears.

FullSizeRender-249Today it is back up to the 70’s under blue skies and a smiling sun.  Dawny is smiling, too.  She has discovered that not everyone on four legs is a threat and has actually made a few friends.  As for me, two and a half months in one spot has been long enough and I am getting restless.  Actually, I’m surprised it took this long.  It’s time for less “aging in place” and more “hell on wheels!”

Speaking of which, today as I was relaxing in the dog park while Dawny hunted lizards, I noticed an older couple come out of their rig, get into their truck, and drive off.  She walked very slowly and carefully with a cane, and her husband kindly and patiently assisted her entering the truck with a stepping stool.  It occurred to me that they (and many travelers like them) are “aging in place” just as much as anyone who wants to stay in their S&B (sticks and bricks home) as long as possible.  If they can still manage the steps to get in and out of their rig, not only can they enjoy their home on wheels, they can change the scenery outside of their windows whenever they get restless and wish to move–in effect, “aging anyplace.”

So, onward we go.  As I suspect many of my fellow full-timers, part-timers, and snowbirds are doing right about now, I am back to pouring over Rand McNally Atlas pages and Google Maps, looking for the best route for our departure from the sunshine state in a couple of weeks.  We will aim for Chicago first, to visit an old family friend and then skip over to Indiana, to have a couple of things checked by our rig’s manufacturer (Phoenix USA) before the warranty is up on the house part.

Hopefully brutal Father Winter, who has been beating up on everyone in the North and Northeast so relentlessly, will have exhausted himself and things will be gentle and tame by then.  Really gentle and tame, since I don’t want to dodge too many tornadoes as that season kicks off.  “Hell on wheels” sounds good, but I’d like to keep my six wheels on the ground!

Happy Hearts Day

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Technically, I am single, so I suppose if I chose to wallow in loneliness on this holiday for lovers, I could perhaps be excused.  I could join that club that “celebrates” S.A.D. (Singles Awareness Day) on February 14.  Wear black and send myself flowers.  Crawl under the covers, eat a carton of double chocolate fudge ice cream, and watch “Dr. Zhivago.”  But that’s, well… that’s just sad.  Not to mention how messy it would be.

I’d rather celebrate that I am far from lonely.  I don’t feel single.  I feel very connected and my heart is full.  I know that I am loved.  No longer in that way, the Valentine’s way, but in many others.  As a mother, a sister, a friend… including the best dog in the world’s best friend.

And I can celebrate others, especially those who have succeeded where I have failed, by sticking with and through a marriage despite the inevitable and often daunting challenges along the way.  I tip my sunhat to each and every one of you!  Very little touches me more sweetly than seeing a long-married couple walking hand-in-hand.  Simply walking, simply touching, simply together.

Yesterday I saw a news story about a man who has given his wife a personal card, a love letter–sometimes handmade, sometimes scribbled on a napkin–every single day of their nearly 40 year marriage.  His eyes teared up when he tried to express how their love hasn’t faded a bit over time.  That’s downright stellar… probably nigh onto unique.  Most of us are blessed (either now, or in the past) with a more down-to-earth, but no less wondrous, version of Valentine love.

There is an awesome country song that is often played at the Friday night jam session I’ve been attending:  “Picture in a Frame” (recorded by Moe Bandy, written by Dennis Knutson).  I highly recommend googling the YouTube recording of it and listening closely to the lyrics.  I’ll say no more, so that I don’t spoil it for anyone who wants to listen.

Meanwhile, I’m not going to wallow in it, but that double fudge chocolate ice cream mentioned earlier sure sounds good… with a brownie…  And maybe something vanilla or crunchy for Dawny.  Yup, we’re off on a mission to find us some happy hearts food.

Happy Valentine’s Day, one and all!