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Archive for the ‘Mysteries’ Category

Like New Cars

Was this a Precursor of Today’s Used Car Lots?

I was driving to Staunton, Virginia (pronounced “Standtin” by the locals) on what was once a major north-south highway now displaced by the Interstate.

This stretch of U.S. Route 11 (known as Lee Highway here) is a country road now that slows for thriving little towns and interesting stops along the way, with farms and barns and majestic mountain views.

But what I love most is to see the remnants of a bygone era – abandoned gas stations, diners, pre-chain motels, and other businesses I actually recall as they were in their “haydays” in the 1950’s.

There are crumbling buildings as timeworn as I sometimes feel.    

Surely they have stories to tell of lives and lifetimes.

Would that we could get close enough

and remain still long enough to hear the echoes of the past.

 

 

 

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One Leaf

And so it went.  Day after day after day I waited.

At first, from my faraway post it might have been an injured red Virginia Cardinal fluttering on a barren branch in a forest now devoid of any leaves.

On closer inspection it was actually a lone leaf fluttering in the breeze.

“It may be the only leaf still clinging to life in the state of Virginia,” I thought.

Then we had 60 mile per hour wind gusts.

“Surely it will release its grasp though this,”

But there it stayed and stays still.

I never see a singular leaf like this even though I look along our roadsides.

Now it is snowing and raining and snowing with a sometimes stiff breeze making for peculiar weather.

And there she is, hanging on

as if dreaming.

She is to be admired – an Autumn leaf dreaming of turning green again for one more chance at life.

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Elsa Who Me

Elsa Ostrich

Elsa, our new little friend, puts on a mighty show of strength and valor

until her safety is threatened by a plane above or an unexpected sound.

 

 

 

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Big Feet SlippersThey say, “With age, comes shrinking”.

Gravity is the culprit and I am no exception.

I was once 5’ 4 ½”, but now measure 5’ 3” at the doctor’s office.  This explains why cabinets are higher now and the upper reaches can only be accessed by standing on tiptoe.

The truth is, I am now a shrinking woman.  This is not a huge surprise.

But did you know FEET are also affected by the creeping/creepy years

I have just learned a second truth about aging –

BIGGER FEET!

Because none of my regular shoes fit anymore (which I thought was because of the intermittent  swelling of BigFoot), I was recently fitted for new shoes.

Foot MeasurerThe measurements were taken the old fashioned way you know by an orthotics expert who used one of those metal things you stand on.

Out of curiosity I asked, “So, what size am I?”

And the answer was, “9 to 9 ½.”“WHAT?” I practically screamed. “I have always been a Size 7 ½ to 8!  Are my feet GROWING?  No, your feet are going flat.

Your arches are falling.”

This revelation required some serious mulling over.

No wonder all my shoes are too tight to put on!

The old feet are growing as the arches fall  – a ridiculous/obvious fact with annoying repercussions.

For one thing I have a nice shoe collection.

It does not compete with Imelda Marcos, but includes:

Dress shoes in different colors and heel heights, lace-up athletic shoes (even though I have not been athletic in many a year), sandals in different colors and styles, boots in all their iterations, and all the various sizes of Walmart Specials to help during the BigFoot-Boot-Cane-MRI years.

Should I throw them all out and start over?

And how much more will these feet grow?

Maybe the solution is to stay inside wearing slipper socks until the feet reach maximum growth!

Life is full of mysteries.

It is my sincere hope that these Notes from An Incredible Shrinking Woman with Big Feet will inspire you to buy shoes with “give”.  Although you may not know it, your feet are definitely growing.

 

 

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Tree Heart

They say there is always the heart of a tree and so I believe this one conveys a secret message.  Can you see the carefully inscribed letters?  

Nature was the artist here and Nature provided the carved heart inscription and the mysterious code.

IF ONLY TREES COULD TALK!

Or can they?

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Cloud Shower

I was gazing skyward at a woven tapestry of clouds

seemingly moving in an organized palette

to a pre-planned downward fall

 in a Cloud Shower.

Heaven offers an endless array of artistic views

and some need to be remembered.

 

 

 

 

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mr-trash-wheel-waterfront-partnership-of-baltimore-3 (1)

We were in Baltimore, Maryland and enjoying breakfast.

Discussing sightseeing adventures might have been a good topic of conversation.

Instead we were concentrating on Naming An Unidentified Floating Object we could see out the window!

The “thing” was a giant water wheel with no familiar or observable purpose.

Being rather shy and reserved people (from the Virginia countryside) we are usually hesitant to ask questions.  But the temptation was too great, so Bill finally asked the restaurant manager, “What is that thing?”

Not being shy or reserved, the manager gave us a mini-history lesson.

l_baltimore-water-wheel29

Inner Harbor Water Wheel, Baltimore, Maryland

“That is a water cleaner, said the Manager.”  It has been here for four years.  People would dump things in the water and it was 80% polluted.  Now it is 40% polluted.  The goal is to make the water in the Inner Harbor swimmable by 2020.  Very young engineers maintain the project and it costs almost nothing to run.”

“Does it have a name?” I asked.

“What is that shell you hold to your ear?….you know – a Conch!” he said.

I decided to look up the conch shell water cleaner when we got home, but couldn’t find a thing until I began looking up Cleaning Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.    If it is called a CONCH, I find no reference to it, but here is what I did find:

The Mystery Barge is called the Water Wheel or Mr. Trash Wheel or officially – The Inner Harbor Water Wheel.  It is a hydro and solar-powered barge parked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor since 2014, slurping up all garbage that makes its way downriver.  And it uses nothing but the current and the sun!

Historic ship manager, John Kellett, was getting sick of watching garbage in the rivers on his way to work, so he invented this giant floating wheel that turns with the current.  It places trash from the harbor onto an on-board conveyor belt which then routes it into dumpsters on board.

The “Wheel” is part of a Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore’s Healthy Harbor Plan which has a goal to clean up the harbor enough to make it safe for swimming by 2020!

Baltimore Polluted Harbor

Before Mr. Trash Wheel

On April 20, 2015, Mr. Trash Wheel removed 19 tons of garbage in that one day.  And at the end of the first quarter in 2016 it was noted that the Wheel had collected over 1,000,000 pounds of trash since its inception.

The ingenuity of man seems boundless and The Thing in Baltimore Harbor restores my faith in our ability to clean up our own messes and make life pure again.

Now if only we could figure out how to control traffic!

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