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Archive for the ‘Country Thoughts’ Category

20160919_180800

Over twenty years ago, Bill planted a sapling.

It was a Red Maple that never turned red in the Fall.

Yellow was always her color.

But this summer she is again sporting her beautiful mantle of green.

Other trees managed to succumb to benign neglect or wicked weather;

  • a gigantic Bradford Pear who split in two during a storm called a Durecho,
  • a Weeping Cherry who never made it past puberty,
  • an enormous Crab Apple who nourished our deer but simply gave up.

But the beautiful Red Maple stayed on as if to comfort and assure,

“I will linger long and grow toward heaven for as long as you may need me.”

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streetview

Lee Highway

This morning I had an appointment in Staunton, Virginia and took the serene Lee Highway.  It is normally a 45+ minute ride but I like driving through serenity with views of a tranquil rural Virginia.  And on this bright, sunny day it felt like I was driving the only car on the road.

That was until the traffic jam caused by an accident up ahead.  First a 20 minute wait with the engine off and then a forced U-turn to start over on the Interstate.   Arghhh!

Lost – Time 

Being a woman of  iron will and firm determination I got on that hated truck-dominated freeway chewing on my cheek from nervous anxiety and made it to the appointment just in time to find the doors to my destination were locked.  Arghhh!

Found –  Destination

Lost – Nobody There

A strange looking fellow dressed in raggedy clothing came up to my car and said, “Can I help you?”  Putting on a nothing-scares-me demeanor, I said,  ” I have an appointment at this place but noone is there.”

And he said:  “No, you don’t have an appointment.  We are closed.”  Turns out the scruffy fellow was the one I had an appointment with.

It is possible I had the wrong date but not likely.

Nevertheless, after some not-so-polite words with the person I was supposed to have the appointment with, I moved on.

Lost – Time and Temper

I next wanted to find Milmont Greenhouses in Stuarts Draft, VA.  I don’t have a GPS but managed to muddle my way to this bastion of millions of blooming and budding things.

 I was on a search for Cat Mint!

Cat Mint is supposedly critter proof (deer and rabbits hate it).  It is also drought resistant, blooms almost all summer, looks a lot like Lavender, and “if you can’t grow Cat Mint you should stay out of the garden.”

O.K., so I miraculously found the place!

milmont-1

Found – Milmont Greenhouses

But then I couldn’t find the Cat Mint.

Lost – Energy (Staggering Around a Giant Nursery)

Milmont

Cat Mint is listed under Nepeta.  Who knew? 

nepeta_cats_meow_cjw14-23

Nepeta – Cat Mint

After wandering around the greenhouses among crowds of manic gardeners I managed to look on the good side and said to myself, “At least you are getting some Vitamin D3 with all this sunshine!”

Found – A Positive Outlook on Life

And finally there it was – the Nepeta.

Found – Nepeta (or YES – CAT MINT)

But my sunglasses managed to disappear.

Lost – Sunglasses

I thought I lost my cell phone too but it was in the car all along.

Tension does this sometimes – causes you to lose your mind.

Lost – Mind

I did find my cell phone though.  It was tucked in the creases of the passenger seat.

Found – Cell phone

It was a very strange Lost and Found kind of day.

 

 

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I love to look long-range too

along with the windblown grasses

as we nod our mutual approval

of a magnificent Virginia view.

Mtn View through the Grasses

 

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It comes as rather a nasty surprise that I am aging.

You too?

Oh, I knew there would be a few aches and pains,

and of course a face with well placed character-wrinkles

and some artfully arranged gray hairs.

But the plan was (and still is) to ignore such minor imperfections and compensate with self deception.

Creams and lotions help (and please try them all like I do).  The commercials might be right after all.

And  maintaining an upbeat, youthful attitude is the way to go.

This means a devotion to nutrition and exercise (if you practise on rare occasions like I do).

But who knew about falling asleep in a chair and waking up

with mouth wide open?

And how can you take charge of keeping

your mouth shut when you’re out cold?

I admit this humiliating onset of age mars my usually proud

and eternally youthful countenance.  And thankfully, I don’t snore!

But

I am now hoping for soulmates out there (those of you with gaping jaws)

to come forward with your learned-from-experience solutions to this ultimate indignity.

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Forest Primeval

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There is a dance that is new to me and maybe to you too.  It is a dance that is “as old as the hills.”

My good friend, Amy, who is always trying new things, filled me in on this enchanting activity that is good clean fun, great exercise, and a place to meet friends and smile.

 Have you ever heard of Contra Dancing?

Well, one site describes it like this: “If Swing Dancing and Square Dancing met in a bar, you’d get Contra.”

  • It is similar to square dancing but not the same.
  • It is considered a social dance that you can attend without a partner, but is danced in pairs.
  • It is danced in long lines and couples progress up and down the lines dancing with each other and other couples in the line.
  • There is a caller who teaches the sequence of figures before the music starts.
  • The music can be Irish, Scottish, old-time, or French Canadian folk tunes.
  • It is impossible not to smile at the music.
  • The fiddle is the core instrument, but can also feature the guitar, banjo, bass and mandolin.

 Contra is a folk dance with mixed origins from English country, Scottish,  and French dance styles in the 17th century and African influence from Appalachia.  Sometimes described as New England folk dance or Appalachian folk dance, Contra Dances can be found around the world as well as in most US states.

Check out Contra Dancing in your state or community.  Guaranteed to make you smile!

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Roadside Vision

I have cars on the brain maybe.

On the road to town there is an old car

that reminds me of old photos Mom saved.

Her pictures always struck me as from a Once Upon a Time era that was never truly real.

But the car I pass en route to town

is a daily reminder of a living past.

I found a photo Mom saved of her family’s new car, but Bill said, “No, that isn’t the same one we see on the way to town.”  Or, is it?

Grandpa's New Car

The Grandparents’ New Car – No Date provided.

Does anyone know anything about this Once Upon a Time vehicle that belonged to my grandparents?

What year is it?  And what make?  And I wonder how much it was to buy?

Even if it is not a match for today’s roadside version, it still stirs my imagination and I yearn to take a trip back in time.

Oh for a visit to my grandparents who must have been excited to have a new car, to the aunts and uncles and cousins who may have lined up to see it, and the kids who wished for the keys.  

They were my own family and their lives went by before I ever got to know them.  But they are all somehow lingering and alive in that flat tired, beat up apparition I  see almost every day on the way to town.

 

 

 

 

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