Contrast

We live a bit more than 10 minutes from the beach (Lake Ontario). When Lauren and CJ were visiting, it was cloudy, but we told them it didn’t necessarily mean it was cloudy at the beach. Although it’s only 10 minutes away, the weather is often quite different. We shared this story with them:

There was one day a couple of years ago where I thought Chris would be joining me at the beach. I waited and waited, and I managed to get a nasty sunburn while waiting (unusual for me–I usually tan). When I got home, I found out Chris had been thinking I’d show up any minute all day since it was so rainy 🙂

Anyway. Coming home from the beach we had a decent illustration of this, which I find so fascinating. It’s in the featured image for this post (at the top). Check out the grey skies as we face home, then look at the image in the rear-view mirror. That’s the beach.

Sunset at the beach

Bonus image that has nothing to do with the post — except that it’s a pretty shot from my favorite beach. Couldn’t resist adding it 🙂

Perception

When visiting museums, I appreciate the art. This is true. But even more so I appreciate the creativity spawned by the living art around me.

On a visit to The Clark  I looked at the works of some of the old masters, and I totally appreciated the talent while I was there. Then I moved on.

When the day was over Chris and I realized we missed a really cool part of an exhibit (Jennifer Steinkamp: Blind Eye) and decided to go back to the museum the next day ( a great perk of this museum deal we signed up for) . Since we were in art-mode we watched a movie entitled Renoir, and suddenly, I was seeing things in a different light.

When we went back the next day, we visited the Renoir paintings we had seen the day prior, and suddenly I found myself analyzing the brush strokes, color choices, and I related to the passion of an artist who wouldn’t let go of his gift even if his hands were in excruciating pain. The paintings took me to a completely different realm of appreciating than the day prior, thanks to some time and the film — another beautiful form of art. I think his son would have approved 🙂



The exhibit we missed was a computer rendering exhibit in which the artist used programs like Maya to create magnificent art. I was intrigued by the actual images, while Chris was absorbed by the display itself.



How did the cameras work and show the full canvas? I never would have thought of that if he were not in the room. But it certainly added to my experience. Thanks, Chris 🙂

A few days later we were talking with some of our kiddos, and I was rhapsodizing on the museum experience, expounding on how it was so much more than the art itself. It was about how people reacted to the art, and the history behind it, and all that jazz. Even the walk through the woods between buildings was beautiful.

We saw a tree that had fallen, and I thought it was pretty cool. My imagination kicked in, and I wondered how and when it fell, and I imagined the new animal homes the fall created. A children’s book was niggling in my brain as Chris commented on the amazing support system that naturally occurred under the tree in the fall. At least until rot kicks in. It made a natural bridge with support. Without his eyes and comments, I don’t think I would have seen it, but it made the experience all that much more magical.



CJ pointed out that it’s like that for him on the slopes when he is with friends and students he teaches. He observed that is was really interesting to see the lines they chose to navigate down the mountain. Apparently one friend has a really unique eye, and the lines he chooses bring all sorts of unexpected adventures ranging from new trails on new hills one didn’t previously notice to complete drop-offs (ack!).

My eyes have been opened to the importance of perception and seeing what others’ see. It’s so interesting!As you might have noticed in past posts, I’m kind of into quotes. So I’m going to leave off with this one that I love:

No two people see the external world in exactly the same way. To every separate person a thing is what he thinks it is — in other words, not a thing, but a think.Penelope Fitzgerald

Summer?

Goldenrod in the Berkshires
tiny school GIF
Back to School

Are you finding your social network feeds filled with kids going back to school and off to college? I am, and I’m loving it. Recently, a friend asked how my summer was wrapping up. Laughing, I responded that life is going so fast recently I hadn’t realized it was summer.  🙂

But I see it’s true. The leaves are changing color, and the Goldenrod heralds the incoming of autumn. 

Goldenrod in the Berkshires
Goldenrod in the Berkshires

It reminds me of a time when the kids were small (although that was my perception of summer in reverse), and we basically lived on the beach one summer while visiting with my in-laws. That year felt like an endless summer. I didn’t realize things were changing until they told me I had limited flavor selection at the commissary where I get ice cream.

Leaves changing color
Summer slips into Autumn in northern NY

Now that the kids are older, we don’t have to tuck our travels into certain months and weeks. Perhaps that’s how I missed summer this year (although I thoroughly enjoyed each day of it). And we had such a nice spring, beach time came in April/May so there were lots of opportunities to swim and enjoy the sand.

Yet now that the leaves are starting to change, and the calendar tells us it’s time to prepare for winter, we’re slogging around in 31-32 C/ 88-90 F temps.

No wonder I’m confused.

Inspirational Quote

It seems from the time my dogs are puppies they are continually trying to win my heart and I theirs. What a joyous relationship. Robert G. Wehle

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we did that with all humans, too?

  Imagine a culture where we were all trying hard to win each other over by enjoying life together and constantly trying to please each other without a selfish agenda. Lat year, I wrote about the amazingness of Wehle State Park. And I posted a picture recently from this place. It’s still a dream place, especially if you have a dog.  

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Porch Work

Working on the porch
Working on the porch

One of my favorite things to do in Massachusetts is to walk from my place down to the main lobby, grab a cup of coffee, and head out to the front porch for an hour or two of work. Since I work from home, it can get quite isolating.

When I’m on the porch, people come and go around me, and I love hearing all the different accents, and feeling the energy around me. Since most people are there on vacation, it’s a very happy place generally. There are lot of people from the New York city area, and I have to admit that I feel like I’m home listening to their accents.

I grew up on Long Island then moved to western NY, where I spent a few decades. I hadn’t noticed that I missed the accent, but when I hear the accents around me, it feels so right.

Chairs on the porch

Aside from the general conversations and energy mentioned, I love the view I get. In particular, I love when it’s raining, and I’m cozied on the porch, under shelter, listening to the rain fall as I work, looking at a beautiful view when I glance up. My image collection doesn’t have a record of that, so I will try to get that photo sometime in my future. But I bet you can imagine hills framed by rain and immerse yourself in the beauty of that mental image.

And then there’s one of my favorite parts of porch work. I have a work buddy who is there almost every day. It’s really tempting to offer treats, but I don’t. And yet, the little one still comes regularly to check things out. So fun!

January Thaw — a Time to Step Back

Yankeerosecreations sums up the benefits of the January thaw perfectly (and beautifully), imo.

It is 50 degrees out here in Belfast, New York this morning as I write this. A soaking rain has been falling since last night. Almost all the snow we have gotten over the past month has melted, and flood warnings are in effect for many nearby creeks and streams. It is our January Thaw. […]

via January Thaw —

Trails for Dog Lovers

I sat on a rock for nearly two hours last Thursday. It was just Star, Chris and me, watching waves roll in.  And it was heaven. Last month our friends Mary Ann and Ken showed us a park in our area that we had never heard about. Wehle State Park quickly became a new favorite. Before it became a NY State Park, it was owned by Robert G. Wehle–a sculptor and nature enthusiast who had a passion for dogs.

When you arrive at the park (which has no entrance fee), it’s immediately inviting. Picnic tables are nestled under trees, and there are huge lawns beckoning people to run and play. Signs tell of the history of the place (it was once a military training ground then later, a cattle ranch). There is a visitor’s center with more interesting details about the place. Outside that is a sculpture of a dog that is real enough that Star got all excited and tried to greet it as a new friend.

There is a road, right past the enclosed dog-run area that leads past an apple orchard into the trees, and at the beginning of the road there is a water spigot, with a dog bowl at its base. We walked the trail for nearly two miles before arriving at a pavilion on Lake Ontario. That led to a stone stairway that led to the  rock where we picnicked and rested. Since the area was relative small and somewhat closed off, Star was free to play and didn’t try to roam, making for a super-relaxed afternoon. Want to share the delights of the day (and our last visit there) with me? Here you  go: