A Celebration of Living

It was just after sunrise when I got the call.  “Do you want to go get a cup of coffee?”  And so set the pace of the day.  It’s not either of our birthdays.  It’s just an average Friday,  but for us, it’s a celebration of living.  The “Us” is myself and Rita.  Rita is technically related to me, but we’re so close in age that we’ve been kind of built in best friends all of our lives.  She’s only 8 months older than I am and  we’ve been mistaken for sisters, twins even at different points throughout our lives.   We’ve sang together, we’ve cried together, we’ve laughed together, we’ve fought together – but seldom if ever –  with one another.

We’ve witnessed each other’s weddings; we’ve hosted baby showers and birthday parties for one another; laughed with and at one another over “questionable” choices we’ve made over the years; watched our children grow up in to wonderful young adults themselves, and recognized the blessings all of this truly is.  We’re in the early stages of  planning an amazing 50th birthday event in a few years when that milestone happens for both of us.

Today, however, while much of the world was glued to the news outlets casting opinions and would-be solutions for the issues of the day,  we stepped away for a few hours and went to a little coffee shop overlooking an ancient river swollen from recent rains.  In sight of bald eagles and hawks hunting under rolling storm clouds, we sat for hours with huge cups of hot chocolate and appreciated the fact that we’ve survived to this day.img_8440

It was five years ago this month a series of heart attacks targeted her.  It was two and three years ago other issues attacked me.  We’ve both come to realize April, for all its new life and springtime blossoms, is a time of reflection and true celebration.  Every year around this time we find a day and get together away from the rest of the world. Some years we drop the top in a convertible and cruise the back roads. Some years we sit on old fallen trees in the back woods here with cups of strong coffee and talk for hours with the dogs watching us like we’re trespassing.   Some years we laugh until we cry in realization that we’re still here.

Both of us.

And we’ve been given the amazing gifts and experiences in our lives

There is no way to know what tomorrow holds in store for any of us in the future, and that’s ok.  Today, we don’t worry about that. Today, we celebrate and are thankful for the blessings in and of our lives; and we celebrate the fact that now and again it’s important to take time away from the demands of life and be grateful for the opportunity to be truly living!

 

 

 

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The Friday Sky

I just love how the backdrop of an ever-changing sky can make everyday moments and scenes just a little more beautiful, just a little more spectacular.  For example, I’ve walked down Franklin Street countless times in my life and seen this steeple more times than I can remember.  But this evening, with a band of clouds drifting through an otherwise brilliant blue sky, the view was breathtaking.

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A little further down the sidewalk, a little after most of the clouds drifted out of sight, I looked back through the hanging branches to notice the moon low in the sky.  I probably took ten pictures of the scene.  It must be so frustrating walking with me, stopping every few minutes to take a picture.  IMG_9823

There’s a saying a friend and I have:  “Can it get any better?”  Usually it does, and tonight was no different.  Driving out of Orange County, the most beautiful rays of light streaked across the sky as the sun sank low behind the trees.  So striking I had to stop and take a picture from the side of the road.

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Final picture of the night from the side window on the drive.  There are a number of farms in the area, but this one provides one of the best sunset views consistently.

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And just like that the sun has set on another Friday.     Tonight, if we’re lucky we’ll be able to see a few more meteors streaking across the southern sky and watch a different light illuminate the midnight landscape.     Here’s to the beautiful beginning of the weekend ~ be safe out there y’all.

Morning scenes from Kelly’s Keyboard

FullSizeRenderWelcome to this last Friday of July 2016! It’s good to be here!

I’ve welcomed this day in one of my favorite places, in one of my favorite ways; taking my coffee and my camera out to the porch.  Today, like most late July days, our temperatures will be somewhere in the hot broiler range, with matching humidity.  But for now, and most early mornings the air is soft and sweet.  The sun has reached through the eastern trees to light up the back yard, and huge oak leaves welcome its touch, dancing in the morning breeze, bending and reflecting the light across the landscape in such lovely patterns.   A few cardinals and at least one goldfinch are singing and chirping, seemingly holding a lively conversation with the crowing rooster up the road.

Sending you all hopes and prayers for a good and safe day.  Remember to stay hydrated if you’re out in this heat. And, if you get the chance, look up, there really are beautiful things to see today.

Please be safe out there, y’all.  Watch out for each other!