A Tale of a Turtle

This post is for those who want to take a step back from the chaos of life to view a slow-moving beautiful story. Of course, calling it a story at all is a bit grandiose of me. It’s how my mind perceived it. But here is the simple tale I saw.

Once upon a time there was a turtle. This turtle was on a quest. All its life it wanted to be a rock, and on this particular day, it was determined to find the best place to become a rock. Legend told that it would have to navigate under the bridge of the great unknown before it could become the perfect rock. So it set off toward the bridge.

After making it past the bridge the turtle had a few choices. It could follow its dream to become a rock, make friends with little fish around it, eat said fish, or meet other turtle buddies. For a few minutes, it hesitated. Then it continued on its quest.

When it found the perfect spot, the turtle ducked its head under and let its shell rise in a true rock formation — the epitome of its dream of rock stardom. But all was not simple. In the same arena there was another turtle determined to find a friend with whom to play.

There was Another Turtle Looking for a Friend

But our turtle was a determined sort of soul. It could camouflage and camouflage well, and by golly, it was meant to be a rock. So a rock it was.


Camo turtle
Camo turtle


Meanwhile the social turtle finds our rock star and tries to engage in some play.


It’s not meant to be, however. Sometimes a turtle just needs a bit of its own space. After a minute of “hey, just so you know…I’m here for ya, buddy…” the other turtle goes on its way. Surrounded by fish friends.

Social Turtle Leaves to Find New Adventures

I see two endings for this. Take your pick depending on your mood:

  1. And they all lived happily ever after.
  2. A Simon and Garfunkel connection:

I am a rock, I am an island. I am shielded in my armor, Hiding in my room, safe within my womb. I touch no one and no one touches me. I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock feels no pain; And an island never cries.

https://www.lyricsfreak.com/p/paul+simon/i+am+a+rock_20262017.html

 

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.

Family

I know today is Friday, but it feels like it should be last Friday. This was one of the fastest weeks of my lifetime! It was a week of amazing family-ness.

We traveled from our Massachusetts home on Thursday last week so we could be there when CJ and Lauren came to stay. They were coming from Utah to Buffalo then driving to us so CJ could participate in a wedding 18 minutes from our northern NY home. Yay for us!!! On the way from Mass. to NY, we popped in on my aunt and uncle and one of their daughters for lunch and a yak.

Hannah, Kevin and Linda

Yeah, they look young because they are. Linda, my aunt, is a month younger than me. My family is funky like that. My dad is his own cousin, but that’s a story for another time… 😉 It always cracks me up, though. Linda and Kevin are CJ’s godparents and he calls Hannah, Cassie and Emily his god-sisters. Love that!

We got home a few hrs. before CJ and Lauren. Mom was at camp with relatives, and Hudi and Mollie had come to pick up Star and take her to their home so the house was strangely quiet.

Before the trip, we understood that the wedding was the main event, and we couldn’t expect much time with the kiddos. It was okay. We remember being young like that. So much to do!!! And we get to spend lots of time with them when we travel west. CJ and Lauren showed up around 11 pm, and we yakked until 3:30am. Thank goodness I was afk and well-rested!!!

The next day we got up and headed to camp to see family and the children’s end-of-week program at camp. Lauren met my nephews and their wives and kids for the first time there. I love those grown-up kiddos so much. We don’t see them often, but their parents raised them right. My nephews are the best, and their spouses only make them better.

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I will admit that one of my favorite parts of our time together was being able to play with play-dough with kids again. Kids are so smart. I wish you could see how amazing my little relative is!!! (What do you call the child of a nephew? A great niece?) She is 2.5 and knows a ton of animals — even a playdough octopus. Little Christoper (just over one) was napping at this point, but maybe next year he can join.

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We left camp in time for CJ to get to his rehearsal dinner and bachelor party with his friends. At home we had the rare treat of spending solo time with our daughter-in-law. After a few games of Chaos, I got to splay Scrabble with her. Nobody plays that with me live (although I’m thankful for my Words With Friends buddies) so it was a super treat 🙂 We topped off the night by finding a perfect dress for Lauren to wear. My sister-in-law, Heidi, has impeccable taste and had given me a dress for her son’s wedding, and it fit Lauren perfectly. Along with a scarf we had from our time in Lisbon and some jewelry my mom had given me.

Is it just me, or is there something super special about an outfit pulled together from random threads of happy memories?

The next morning the kids slept in. According to CJ the wedding was at 4 pm, although he had to be there by 1 pm to get ready. So we had a leisurely morning. They slept in, and I had an excuse to make Norwegian pancakes (I really miss that. There is nobody left to make them for — so sad). It was delightful.

CJ left and Lauren and I got ready for some serious girl time. We were gonna do the makeup and nails — things moms and daughters do, but moms of sons rarely do. Both of us were quite excited about it. Then we got a call from CJ informing us the wedding was at 2, not 4. ACK!!!!!!! Poor Lauren had a literal 20 minutes to get ready. Thank goodness she is naturally gorgeous. She did some of the final makeup touch-ups in the car, but look how amazing she was, even before that:

Lauren getting ready for a wedding.
Lauren getting ready for a wedding.

Sunday was our time with CJ and Lauren. The young adult kids got in quite late so they slept in again, and we headed to the beach. Lauren is a country girl and is not very used to sand on beaches. We had a small picnic and some swim time. She and Chris have artistic eyes, so they were scavenging for cool driftwood and other natural wonders.

Chris and I were determined to get an ice cream at least once this season. We decided this was the time to do it so it wouldn’t get too late in the season. Southwick Beach has some of the best ice cream around. It comes with happy memories of camping with our kids and friends. Here is a pic of Hudi from 2011:

Hudi in 2011 – pic taken by Nathaniel LaCelle-Peterson

It’s still the same:

This is a SMALL cone!!!!

Thank goodness we did that! While we enjoyed the ice cream on Sunday, on Monday we were informed the season was over. Whew! In just under the wire! Let this be a lesson. Always grab the opportunity while it’s in front of you.

Sunday - Enjoying the ice cream
Sunday – Enjoying the ice cream

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Monday – party is over

We topped off the day with games with Grandma, who returned from camp. She is truly the Chaos queen.

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Chaos
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Mom Pollock and grandkids

The kiddos left around 6 am Monday morning to go visit Lauren’s relatives. And Chris and I went back to work. In all honesty the week and a half AFK made me ready for work. I kind of missed talking with people about WordPress. It was a good work-week. Then before I knew it, it was my “weekend” (Thursdays and Fridays).

We were feeling good, and the magnet of knowing our progeny were in close proximity pulled hard enough we couldn’t ignore it. In short, we crashed their party. CJ and Lauren were going to spend time with Hudi and Mollie in Rochester before heading back Buffalo to fly back to Utah, and we couldn’t stay away from them all, knowing they were only two hrs away. Fortunately for us, they were okay with it, and we all gathered for pizza and chicken wings and bonding time. It was fun seeing Star thriving in Rochester for a bit. And dang it, I love these people! We missed Zeb, but understood work and life circumstances kept him in Utah. He was in our hearts and in our text messaging, though.

Sadly, yet beautifully, the week ended. We left so the kids could spend time together without parents invading, and in the wee hrs, CJ and Lauren headed home to Utah. Thanks to text messaging, we know they made it safely to their abode.

Today Chris and I hit the beach for relaxation time. And the beach we love so much due to fond memories of camping, winter hikes, etc., is now all the more enhanced with memories from the visit this week. Life is so amazing.

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!

Celebrating Birthdays

It was a great day for celebrating birthdays with 2/3 of my beautiful sisters-in-law and Mom. Today was Heidi’s b-day and Mom’s is on Saturday. We had perfect weather as we lunched on the patio by the fountain at Tin Pan Galley in Sackett’s Harbor. Can you believe the size of my Portobello salad sandwich?

Portobello mushroom sandwich and cherry pancakes.
Portobello mushroom sandwich and cherry pancakes.