A wintery scene, an old stone barn surrounded by snow-laden fields all lit with the magic of a full moon … a scene from my imagination … and from my life.
I can remember sitting in the backseat of the car as my parents drove home from Sundays spent at my grandmother’s farm … the snow with an amazing icy crust on top and the moon gleaming and glancing over it as the car sped along. To my little-kid self, the moon and its glistening light were following me … playing a quiet, private game with me … all the way home. I also remember a night many years later, again the passenger in a car. This one driven by my former husband … the moon following me, comforting me … as I contemplated the coming end of my marriage.
I am a leaf-peeper. A bona-fide, card carrying, dyed in the wool autumn leap peeper. This past fall was a bit of a let down, though I did give it the old college try, I was disappointed with the images I got. In addition to my quest for the perfect autumn image, one of the reasons I stopped by the battlefield at Antietam (Sharpsburg, Maryland) on this particular October day, was the interesting things going on in the sky. As I gazed over at a somewhat ordinary looking field (though heaven only knows what went on in this exact spot 150 or so years ago … far from ordinary) I was amazed to see a rain squall coming up in the distance, and coming up fast. Loved seeing the still-clear blue sky to one side, while the other end of my field of vision was going to get a drenching. (Notice I did not say “left” and “right”?) And soon the whole scene would be rain soaked.
One of the odd things I like about the internet is sometimes tripping over a pretty cool quote. A personal favorite, which at times I’ve added to my bio here (and may be here now?), is by author Roald Dahl who wrote “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory,” among many other stories. He was actually a pretty interesting guy. First book was “The Gremlins” … he’d been in the RAF and he and his buddies routinely blamed the gremlins when things went wrong with their aircraft. I mention this, not because anything went wrong with the image I’m including here, “Hidden Gems,” but because that’s what my dad always used to say as he puttered around the house … and things would go wrong. I frequently have occasion to fuss at the gremlins myself.
Anyhow, the quote that I wanted to include is this one:
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” I believe that with all my heart.
I’m not a hoarder, I’m really not … but I do admit that once I love a book, it’s pretty hard to let it go. In fact, I don’t. If I didn’t hate it (yes, there have been a few), chances are I’ve still got it around here someplace. That is, with the sad exception of a few super favorites that I’ve lent (as in … expected to get back!!!) to people I trusted and loved … who never gave my book back.
Main reason is, not that I’m all that selfish and stingy, but I do love to re read my favorites. “Ben Hur,” pictured here in the center of this stack of dear old tomes, is one such. I read it for the first time when I was a teenager. Some of it probably sailed right over my head, but that was fine. I got the gist. I read whatever was in the house and if a word didn’t make sense, by the time I got through the paragraph, it usually did. I read “Ben Hur” again a few (10? 20?) years ago and I’m thinking it might be due for another go-through. The cool thing is, every time I re read a book, I discover something new.
I found several fun quotes about books and reading while I was researching a title for this image, and thought I’d share some here.
I visited Antietam National Battlefield in October of 2016 .. I’ve been here before. Years ago I was a parent chaperone for one of my son’s high school field trips. That was my first visit, or so the rational side of me said. Something else in my heart said differently. I remember the ghostly sensations I felt as the kids recited and re-enacted scenes from that long-ago bloody day.
Though she’s long-deserted and becoming quite dilapidated, she fascinated me. Even if the sign on her door’s message is an inhospitable “Keep Out,” I guess I’m haunted by the romance of the what-once-was. As far as I know, she’s been vacant for all the years we lived in the area, and in all that time Mother Nature has been quietly and gently taking the little cottage back.
An adorable calico kitty sits on the edge of the porch on a gentle spring afternoon. I can’t help wondering what has captured her attention. The lawn and garden are dancing with butterflies and moths, enjoying the warmth of the day. It’s my guess Kitty is just about to pounce out into the lush green and try to play with her elusive winged friends.
Lordie how I do love kittens!!! Love my dog(s) to bitz and back, of course, but ahhh … kitteeeee-ahhzzzz … well, maybe one of these days. This particular darling was discovered at one of my favorite haunts, the Juniata Crossing Mercantile, between Bedford and Everett, Pennsylvania along Route 30 … and of course, the beautiful Juniata River.
The morning dawns bright and crisply cold after an overnight snowfall. It brings the golden sunshine and a sharp, strong wind which blows the light snow across the fields and uncovers the stalks of the previous season’s now harvested corn. Your eyes are stinging from the cold and you reach into your pockets, hoping for a tissue. In the distance can be seen alternating snowy fields and rows of trees and the hint of the lovely Laurel Highlands on the horizon.
While I spent the weekend on another of my annual hunts for red October (and orange and yellow and purple … the leaf peeping season) … and hope to give it another go this week and coming weekend, I added to my portfolio today (October 17th 2016) an image of glorious springtime daffodils from my garden at our old house in Maryland.
Well, here we are in mid September and my last blog post was all the way back in the beginning of July. No excuse is good enough … though I did catch a whopper of a cold right around the 4th of July which morphed into something dastardly and evil. And not only evil, but tenacious. It’s only been since last week that I’ve finally begun to feel normal again. And no, I didn’t go to the doctor …