First, I am delighted to announce that the talented Artist, Author, Director, and Producer, Dianne Lynn Gardner accepted my challenge to the 5 Day 5 Photo Challenge. In fact she was so excited about the challenge she has already started. She has already posted Day 3. You can see her blog here: https://diendrial.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/5-day-5-photo-challenge-day-1/ Then check out her incredible website: http://www.gardnersart.com/
As for me, while Dianne is working away, I’m enjoying the view from my balcony, across my neighbor’s yard down to Miller Bay. Nature provides incredible shows with otters or seals swimming and chasing fish. Bald eagles and Osprey often swoop from the trees to go fishing. Bunnies charge across the lawn. Heck, a raccoon even knocked on my sliding glass door looking for food. Sorry buddy, the restaurant is closed. Amazingly, I haven’t seen any deer, but a bear decided to cross the road in front of my husband while he was on his morning walk. The good news is that the bear was more interested in avoiding cars than looking at my husband.
The people across the bay thoughtfully provide music for the 4th of July as they bring in a band. We can sit on our deck, barbecue, drink our wine, and absorb the fun music, as we enjoy the beauty of our view. Tough life, huh?
Now down at the end of my road is the small community of Indianola. It is a fabulous place for kids to play on the beach, swim, or kayak. The town originated in 1886 and could only be accessed via water. The dock has been improved and upgraded over the years as originally it was built for the mosquito fleet. Once the Agate Pass Bridge was built between Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap peninsula, a road was built to Indianola so the ferries were no longer needed. Consequently, the state purchased the ferries and moved them to other locations. As of the 2010 Census, Indianola consists of 3,500 people. They have a General Store, a Post Office, and a Community Center.
The General Store is a fabulous place to go enjoy a cup of coffee to learn what your neighbors have been up to. If you are curious, the local gossip (don’t tell anyone) is that the Powers-to-be are considering putting a Ferris wheel and roller coaster up at the end of the dock. Watch out Coney Island! (Stay tuned!) The kids visit the general store for ice cream cones, and sodas. It is an idyllic location for simply enjoying nature as you stroll the beach, sit on the driftwood admiring the view, or plunging off the dock into the water. Ahhhh, Summer time!
Summer provides many fun and colorful options for playing. What have you been up to this summer?
Are you appreciating life and the beauty that surrounds you? Are you taking the time to be a kid and play, or did you forget how? Take time to smile and find some joy in life… it will do WONDERS for you!
Have a Happy and Fun Summer!!
A New Beginning
As the day ends, what is your perspective on life? Do you see the beauty in the world? Or are you so caught up with day-to-day living that you forget to look beyond your nose? Now, here I could say the world is going up in flames as you look out at the 4th of July fireworks. But I call it a “spark of life!” I look forward to the new day dawning. Do you?
In the following picture, the area is quiet and serene. I love it. Also, in my mind’s eye I see a peacock strutting its’ stuff. Do you see it? I love the quiet of the woods that surround me. I see life as it once was … a new beginning. I moved from a busy town to the quiet countryside. Some people see wild and desolate, but I see peace and nature. Change is good. A new day brings new beginnings.
Here you can see CHANGE zooming across the sky preparing you for the beautiful day yet to come.
Once you look forward to joy and happiness, your whole world will brighten up. The clouds will blow away and the sun and sunny skies will come out to great you. See sunny skies and clear sailing ahead… look what you accomplish when you look for the joy in your life.
Mystical and Imagination
When you look at the three pictures I placed here, what do you see and where does your imagination take you? Or do you look at the pictures and say, “This lady is NUTS. The pictures are boring.” So, pray tell, what opens up your imagination?
To me, the first picture shows a cottony mantle nestling on Dyes Inlet. I imagine Pete’s Dragon or a Unicorn to come swooping up from the depth of the clouds any minute. I love the magic of the earth slumbering in the cloudbank. The world seems to have evaporated. Maybe I’m the only person who exists high up on my perch.
The clouds also appear to be a giant tsunami bubbling up and over the world. Maybe this is the earthquake and tsunami that is rumored to destroy us? I can see the waves crashing on the shore… Surf’s Up!
What do YOU see in the clouds?
Now, what do you see? SMILE! You’re on Candid Camera! This is my Happy Face that travels with me everywhere I drive. Two cute little eyes, a button nose, and a great big grin… can’t you see it…
Some people simply see a Honda steering wheel. Not ME!! When I’m feeling down, this smile brightens my day. I see a funny little monkey grinning from ear to ear. So, do you even see the smile or the silly monkey?
Now, most of you have seen this picture before, but I LOVE it. This picture depicts nature sending its’ sign of love to me. Some people will only see a puddle of water but I see a heart. They might even stomp on it since the heart is in the middle of the walkway. I treasure this spot as it is near the path that I walk every day. I immediately say “THANKS” to nature for providing me such beauty.
Or you can be like my daughter’s youngest daughter who says, “GRANDMA, it’s JUST a puddle!”
How to Make a “hit” with your New Neighbor and Sink a Bridge at the same time.
Tuesday, February 13, 1979 my husband and I had just moved into our newly constructed home in Kirkland, Washington by a few days. Heck, we hadn’t even met our neighbors yet. My daughter was about to turn three in less than a month, and I had a three month old son. The weather report talked about storm warnings and high winds. Usually, our high winds would flip a kite around a bit faster than usual in the sky, but they weren’t anything to write home about. But that night the winds howled and the tree branches thrashed against the house. So much for my “Poo-pooing” the storm warning! Then in the wee hours of the morning an earth-shaking crash made us do a horizontal jump in bed. Our house was intact, so everything must be OK.
When we awoke that morning, we looked out our front window and to our horror we saw that one of our massive fir trees had up-rooted and had fallen on our neighbor’s home. We were told the winds reached 90 MPH. So we ran out the door to see if our neighbors were OK. We couldn’t tell if the tree had squished their home or not. Puffing as we ran up to our neighbor’s front door we exclaimed, “We are your new neighbors. Can we remove our tree off your roof?” Startled, our neighbors had not realized that our tree had hit their home, so they ran around room to room inspecting. There in the back bedroom a branch had stabbed clean through the roof and extended into the bedroom by about two feet. My neighbor exclaimed, “I wondered why it smelled like Christmas in here!” This is how we started our friendship with our neighbors. Fortunately, their homeowner’s insurance dealt with the problem. The good news is that it turns out they needed a new roof and the structure of the roof had some dry-rot, so our tree saved them quite a bit of money as the insurance paid for the new roof. We even remained friends all these years later.
Our tree wasn’t alone in coming down. It turns out that the winds further northwest were far more violent. We made a “hit” with our neighbors and sunk a bridge at the same time.
The Hood Canal Bridge is the world’s first floating pontoon bridge. This 7,869 foot bridge, Hwy. 104, connects Kitsap County with the Olympic Peninsula. But after being battered with 80 to 120 M.P.H. winds, heavy currents, and gigantic waves the western half of the bridge sunk. The storm snapped the three foot in diameter cables that tied the pontoons together and down went that section of the bridge!
Senator Warren Magnuson, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, immediately lobbied for federal funds to restore the bridge. In the meantime, people commuting to work from Port Ludlow and Jefferson County to the Kitsap County side of the Hood Canal resorted to using a ferry. October 3, 1982, the Hood Canal Bridge was reopened. Now, when a storm approaches and the winds reach a velocity of 40 MPH for 15 minutes or longer, vehicles are forbidden from the bridge.
Storms here in the Northwestern part of Washington State really make a hit with one’s neighbors. Heck, you don’t even have to worry about burning your bridges with people… they just sink!
View of the new Hood Canal Bridge… 2015
My dear friend, Samantha Mozart, author of The Scheherazade Chronicles blog (http://thescheherazadechronicles.org/?p=4707 ) challenged me to participate in the 5 Day/ 5 Photo Blog Challenge. You will find her pictures striking and her stories fun and informative so I invite you to take a look. So in the meantime, I’m racking my brain to see what I can pull out of my memory bank. Ah-Ha! An idea looms!
The drum roll begins with the first strains of “Circus,” the music theme. The trombones, clarinets, and saxophones sing their merry strains; the audience expectantly waits, while I look around for a way to escape, as a mouse caught in a trap. I’m wondering how I managed to get myself in this position of modeling a floral float at the Teleflora Headdress Ball at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle in front of this huge crowd and TV cameras.
Oh yes, I remember now, I had always wanted to model, but I was too shy. So, my life changed when my friend, Carol, said to her parents, who owned a small Telefloral shop, “Gwynn’s tall, she could wear a sizeable headdress.” What I do for friendship. Now visualize the Rose Bowl Parade and all those gorgeous floats covered with flowers. I am about to wear one of those as a headdress on my head.
The theme of my hat is “Under the Big Top” and I’m about to put a six foot wide, three-ring circus, as a hat on my head. I have a bareback horse rider in one ring, a trapeze artist in the second ring, with a lion tamer in the center ring directly over my head. The clown above the caged lion is holding a dozen helium balloons floating six feet over my head. I forgot to mention, the “lion” happens to be a 9 week old kitten, sitting in the cage frantically meowing, “Let me out of here!”
By now my knees are shaking, my hands are sweating, but I’m more worried about the pool under my arms overflowing and running down my sides. I’m petrified. Yet, my brain frantically churns as I work on convincing myself that I CAN DO THIS!
Since I’m supposed to be wearing a circus hat, we decided that I would pretend to be a tightrope walker out on the stage. Someone handed me a ten foot pole, as my supposed balance beam, just before my turn to head down the runway facing the crowd of people in the packed ballroom. Now picture a “Y” shaped ramp and runway. We are to enter from one side of the stage, walk down the ramp, and return on the other side of the stage. What no one thought about was the fact that the orchestra was seated in the open space of that “Y” with their music stands and instruments inches from where I’m walking.
Now, not only do I have to balance the floral float on my head, but I also have to worry about not wiping out the musicians, their music, music stands, and instruments in one fatal stroke. Both the musicians and I realized the problem simultaneously when I rounded the corner from back stage onto the runway, as their eyes bugged out in fear for their lives. I managed to lift my pole, only seconds and inches from the first musician’s head. But changing body positions changed the balance of my headdress and my balance, so then I worried I might fall into someone’s dinner plate below the stage. Fortunately, despite my waver toward the edge of the ramp, to the relief of the viewers below I managed to stay on the stage.
As the kitten screamed and fidgeted in the cage on my head, I prayed that he wouldn’t let loose with a piddle or a poop. Then how would I react? Would I pretend it didn’t happen, to go on with the show, or let out a scream while I was being filmed by Channel 11 TV and the nation for the 10:00 news? My forehead felt as if it would be permanently indented from the weight of the headdress. I tried to smile, but what showed up on the cameras was a grimace as I pretended to bounce down the tight-rope and the stage. The whistles rang-out, the flashes from the cameras popped as if it were the 4th of July.
I successfully walked the length of the ramp, leaving everyone intact. The “lion” was delighted to be released from his cage, my forehead was black and blue for a week, but I achieved my aspiration of becoming a famous model on TV for a whole minute!
Then being a glutton for punishment and being a good or crazy friend, the following year I became Neptune’s Bride for the TeleFloral Headdress Ball. This time I wore a six foot Oyster shell on my head. The good news is that this time there were no live bodies or fish residing on my headdress. The best part is that the headdress was formed so that it did not indent my forehead. I also was not carrying a fishing pole so the musicians did not have to worry about my snagging them, their music, instruments, or their stands.
See some of the other headdresses below.