I started this blog to share some of the thoughts I have along the journey of life. I love to travel and spend time with my family and friends. A good meal, breaking bread with those I love, gives my life meaning. So does travel. I adore dreaming of sites to visit, not just to check them off on a list. Rather, I consider myself a student of life, traveling as an explorer, to open my mind to all the possibilities the world holds in store for me and for others. I love to travel to discover how different the world is in terms of climate, cultures, politics, terrain, economy, etc. but also to discover how SIMILAR the people are. Despite language barriers, much can be communicated with a smile or gestures. Language is simply a means to communicate, yet there are so very many other ways to communicate. Once when I was in French-speaking Canada, I realized that my 7th grade French class didn’t teach me the word for “straw”. However, when I thought about it, I was able to communicate to the very French-speaking waiter in a very French-speaking restaurant about my need for a “cylinder through which to drink” in my limited French vocabulary. Travel challenges the mind and soul, stretching us to problem solve and form conclusions about all that we experience. THAT is the type of travel I enjoy best. “All’s well that ends well”, as they say………….”Life is Good” as well.
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
“Here’s to the ones that we got Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not ‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories Of everything we’ve been through Toast to the ones here today Toast to the ones that we lost on the way ‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories And the memories bring back, memories bring back you”
-“Memories” by Maroon Five
Life is good; enjoy the moment….. ALL the moments…..
I have completed my furniture refinishing projects around the house, have cleaned out some cabinets and closets (but not THE remaining closet), cooked lots of food, made ice cream three times in the last week, gone for multiple walks, laughed so much that my belly hurt, played lots of board games and lastly decided I need a new hobby. I was a Master Gardener, having completed the Master Gardener Program in the Northeastern United States when I lived there, but never really got into gardening here in Florida. It seems so odd to me that the shrubbery surrounding my home are actually HOUSEPLANTS in New England. I also have been petrified of snakes here, living near a pond. However, I really miss the day to day joy of watching something grow before my eyes, noticing subtle changes unfolding from day to day. Sure, I have pots of plants outside with flowers and vegetables growing, and I also have an Aerogarden in my home, but I need something new to look forward to in the plant department while I am cooped up at home.
The French have a saying, “vouloir c’est pouvoir”. Where there is a will, there is a way, loosely translated. This is a saying imbedded within my soul. While many stores and garden centers are closed here near me while I am continuing to self-isolate, I found a local garden center that does curbside delivery. Just like the restaurants. I can order on-line, pay on-line, and pick up my plant on a table set up in front of the garden center, having no contact with anyone if I plan my departure from the car perfectly. As long as we have HOUSEPLANTS growing in the yard, I might as well add another HOUSEPLANT to the trees.
I have long admired orchids growing in trees in tropical areas while on vacation, so I wondered if my gardening zone (9b) could tolerate orchids attached to trees. I noticed that someone dear to my heart has an orchid growing in her front yard and didn’t realize it until recently. She is really my inspiration for my new hobby. I began to think…….. I have a beautiful Southern Magnolia tree in the back yard, near the pool, and decided a splash of some bright pink might be a bit of whimsical fun poking out from the leaves of the tree. I did some research and found out that dendrobium orchids and phalaenopsis orchids do well attached to trees, without pots, in my area. I selected a variety of dendrobium orchid called “Oshin Pink”, which is a pink and while orchid.
“You are never too old to set a goal or dream a dream.”
First I leaned the orchid against the tree to get an idea of the size and scale of both.
Then, I took the orchid out of the four inch pot, leaving some dirt mixed in with the roots. Some of the sources I consulted said to use plastic plant ties to attach the plant to the tree, and others said to use biodegradable cotton string or twine, but I simply used what I had in the garage (thin nylon rope). I wrapped the rope around the plant, starting first at the roots, then attached part of the stem to the tree as well. It took all of five minutes to do this. Some sources said you can add in some coconut fiber or bark to the roots to hold in the moisture, yet other sources said that might encourage rot and disease, so I opted not to use any. I read that it is important to spray the orchid with water daily for a week, so we’ll see how it works out. This side of the tree is a eastern/southeastern exposure, which can be pretty hot in the summer. I started out with one orchid first to see if it is in the proper placement, but the garden center told me being in the shade of the Southern Magnolia tree would provide the relief from the hot sun that the orchid needs, regardless of which side of the tree I plant the orchid.
I was so excited when I finished my new project for my new hobby. Adding a bit of excitement to any day is always a good thing in my opinion. I love having something for which to look forward. As Mark Twain said, “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where all the fruit is.” In my case, that’s where all the flowers will be. Always feels good to me to try something new, and I try to see something I love, touch something I love, smell something I love, hear something I love, do something I love, or eat something I love each day. In this tree, I can see something I love, hear something I love, and I’ve already done something I love within five minutes. It doesn’t get any better than that!
“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
-Lady Bird Johnson
Life is good; start a new hobby or find something that adds excitement, joy, and change into your daily routine to give yourself something beautiful to look forward to while you self-isolate.
Today I got up early to see the sunrise. I am more of a sunset kind of gal, a night owl, who always thought one gets as much bang for the buck with a sunset as one gets with a sunrise. However, today I decided to get up early to shake things up and to step out of my comfort zone and my routine. When I got up this morning, I didn’t realize it was raining until I got into my car at 5:15 AM. When I saw the light rain once I was in my car, I decided to continue along with my plans. ” Life”, as the old saying by John Lennon goes, “is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
I traveled to the beach to see the long-awaited, much revered sunrise and couldn’t believe it when the rains began to come down more steadily, accompanied with thunder and lightening as well. When I finally arrived at the beach and found a creative access to the beach with all the beach parking lots closed here in my county in Florida because of the Covid pandemic, the rain stopped just as I was getting out of my car. I walked to the beach and couldn’t help but think about how lucky I was and how lucky I am.
The sky began to show some signs of light at 6:15 AM, and the sunrise happened at 6:41 AM, but it was hard for me to see the sunrise because of the cloud cover. I was initially disappointed that I couldn’t see the sun actually rise above the Eastern horizon, but I enjoyed the moments nonetheless. I saw a woman with silver hair, much older than me, doing yoga on the beach.
I saw birds flying peacefully above the waves at the shore. I saw several people running along the edge of the beach, and I saw two surfers greeting the morning from inside the water. I decided I would wait and watch the morning gradually unfold before my eyes before leaving the beach. I am glad I did, as I literally saw the poetic silver lining in the clouds above me. What a way to start my day. There is a silver living to this pandemic afterall, it seems. I often tell my daughter that the sun will still rise and set on any given day, despite what happens during the day. The moon will rise, too. No matter how bad something gets, we can always count on that, and life still goes on.
“Birds flying high You know how I feel Sun in the sky You know how I feel Breeze driftin’ on by You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn It’s a new day It’s a new life For me And I’m feeling good I’m feeling good…”
-“Feeling Good” by Michael Buble
Once the sun fully illuminated the beach, I saw all kinds of surprises that I didn’t notice in the dark. Dune sunflowers dotted the landscape, and there were so many beautiful shells beneath my feet.
“Here comes the sun Here comes the sun And I say, it’s all right
Little darling It’s been a long cold lonely winter Little darling It seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun Here comes the sun And I say, it’s all right
Little darling The smiles returning to the faces Little darling It seems like years since it’s been here…”
-“Here Comes The Sun” by the Beatles, written by George Harrison
I have decided that there is something special about sunrise, watching the day unfold with endless possibilities and life anew…….
Life is good. Try to see the silver linings anywhere you look today. Enjoy today as a brand new start. Enjoy every day as a brand new start. Today is the day full of endless possibilities if you look for them after the sun rises.