Change Is Hard

…but change is a certainty.


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What to think, whose side to support.

I can’t watch TV anymore.

Round the clock news is filled with plane crashes and carjackings and runaways and murder trials and even worse, war.  Up close and personal reports of war and the ordinary people that seem to be paying the price for leadership failure.  Nonstop footage of dead and dying children.  Interviews with mothers and fathers –  you don’t have to speak their language to know what they are saying.  To feel their grief.

Last night Anderson Cooper asked an onsite reporter the question I wanted to ask; where do regular people go to get away from the falling bombs?  Nowhere is safe was the response from the corespondent wearing his helmet and bullet proof vest, instinctively flinching as incoming missiles shake the earth and light up the sky behind him.

Nowhere is safe.

I know I am not educated enough in the history behind the Palestine/Israeli conflict.  It is generations deep and I don’t understand where it all comes from.  But I listen to the leaders on each side being interviewed and I don’t see how it can be resolved.   Everyone is so entrenched in their opinion of who is right and who is wrong.   No one seems to be willing to listen to the other side. The cease fires expire or are broken, more warning sirens scream, more illumination missiles are shot into the air above Gaza, more people flee.  Some don’t get away in time.

And I post pictures of baby deer and Katie and walks in the park and flowers in the garden and try not to think about the reality of life 7 or 8 hours ahead of my own time zone.   Because I don’t know what to think about all of it; I can’t even talk about it intelligently.  But I can say that it feels wrong – wrong on both sides.  And that innocent people are dying and maybe it’s not our problem but then again I think maybe it is.

Not watching TV feels wrong too.

I am conflicted myself, not sure if I want to understand more of something that seems so unresolvable, but thinking I should learn about something so important.  And then feeling overwhelmed by all the important things in the world that I don’t understand.

Which brings me full circle.  I don’t know what to think.

 


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Reward! Even though I wasn’t very good this weekend…

Katie here!

You were all RIGHT!  My mama finally took me to my park!  I haven’t been there in a really really long time.  Maybe 100 years in dog time.  We couldn’t go in my car because it’s at ‘the shop’ whatever that means.  So when we left the house I went and stood behind the other car, but mama said, ‘No baby, we’re going to take Daddy’s truck!

 

Driving to the park in style.

Driving to the park in style.

Woo Boy!  I get to go in the truck!  I like to do that (I used to be afraid of the truck, but I like it now.  I’m a brave girl.)  I get to stick my nose right in the air conditioning vent!  Not like when I’m stuck in the back and no good air even gets back to me!   When we got to the park I noticed it was the Farmer’s Market!  I get lots of attention at the market so I thought maybe we were going there.

 

Farmer's Market!

Farmer’s Market!

But my mama said, “No baby, we’re going to walk in your park, and you can sniff wherever you want, no rush!”  Hot dog!  Let’s get going mama!   But you know what?  My mama ended up saying “hurry up sweetie” to me a lot.  She said it was because a storm was coming.  But I think she’s just an impatient sort of mama, you know?

 

Storm clouds!  (Dramatic setting on camera!)

Storm clouds! (Dramatic setting on camera!)

I mean, what’s a little rain?  Right?  Unless you’re the Wicked Witch of the West. Hmmmm.  Now that I think about it, she’s been acting a lot like that witch all weekend, so maybe she had a point.  Anyway, we did get rained on a little, but we still stopped and got a picture together at the overlook.  Mama was very proud she figured out how to do the timer thing.  I was very proud that we could both look at the camera at the same time.

Me and my mama!

Me and my mama!

We had a good time and by the time we got back to the truck the sun was back out and it was hot.  So I’m sleeping on my air conditioning vent at home.  Mama says we have a bigger adventure coming up next weekend.

I’m going to dream about it now.  I can’t wait!

That was FUN mama!

That was FUN mama!


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Katie and patience. Not so much

Katie here.

What is wrong with you people?  Why haven’t you demanded my presence on this blog?  You’ve been enjoying my parents’ photos of Maine, egging them on to travel more!  Have you no compassion for me?  The princess?  You realize, don’t you, that while Mama and Dad are gallivanting around I have to go to doggie camp.

Wanna play?

Wanna play?

And let me tell you it’s not so much camp because I know what real camping is!  And I want to go camping again with my Mama but she’s all busy with work and stuff and hardly has time for me at all and I think that is just not fair!

OK, so right after I got sprung from the camp we had a whole bunch of company.  That was fun.  Mama’s brothers and sister and sister-in-law came to stay with us for a few days.  They all thought I was pretty swell and I have to say it was OK to have them around too.  I got lots of attention.

Which is a good thing because as I said my Mama seems to be really busy and ignores me most of the time.  I can only get her attention at night if I bark a lot.  Then she tells me “Katie!  No bark!” and I sigh and go lie down on the air conditioning vent.  I am trying to be a good girl.  I even let her sleep until 6 a.m!

And do you know what I got in return for being a good girl while we had all that company?  I got to go to the groomer today!  GEEZE how much more torture can one poor doggie soul go through?  I don’t really see that the groomer can improve perfection, but if it makes my Mama happy I guess I can handle it.

BUT…

…Mama owes me big time now and I’m expecting a very good adventure soon!  And if I don’t get it there’s going to be no more Ms. Good Dog.  No siree!

She better come through.

That’s all I’ve got to say.

Good night now.

 

I'm waiting.

I’m waiting.


31 Comments

1500

I’ve been blogging a long time.  Since September 2006.  Some of you have actually read every entry, maybe even commented on most of them.  Thank you for that, thank you if you’ve just read some of them.

The blog began when I quit my job and went back to school at age 50, working on a masters degree in Information Sciences, what used to be Library Science.  I met a young man named Spike during my first semester.  He was into technology and was putting together a host server.  He asked me if I wanted to blog.  I didn’t know what a blog was, but I like to write and I liked the idea of having a place to publish some thoughts.  So he set me up.

It was kind of interesting and definitely fun to be back in school at my age with a bunch of 20 somethings.  I felt both younger than my age and older, depending on the moment.  I’d often forget I was so much older during discussions, but then someone would say something or do something and I’d realize I was old enough to be their parent.  Perhaps their grandparent.  In group projects I felt like their mother.  I lent money to them to get home during stormy nights.  I brought cake to the class with the snack break.  I reminded them repeatedly that this or that assignment was not the end of the world, that there were bigger issues in real life.  I told them often to enjoy the freedom that being in school affords.  I luxuriated in that freedom myself, loving the public bus rides, the walks between classes, the work in public libraries where stories were always presenting themselves.

I especially like being in school at the university that both parents attended, graduated from, with most of my classes in the building my dad studied chemistry more than a half century previously.   I liked walking the stairs he climbed.  I said hello to them as I passed the house he grew up in.  I thought about them when I wandered near the river.

So I wrote about school, and life, and my folks.  And when I graduated in 2008 I wondered if maybe I should just close the blog down.  After all, I was no longer an interesting student.  I was back in real life and it wasn’t all that exciting.  But I still liked to write, and I had a few readers, and while I tried to figure out what the blog was, it was still a place for me to put thoughts.  To get support on life’s challenges.  To offer my own support to others.  To explore ideas.  To play with the dog.  To express sadness and joy sometimes in the same post.

1500 posts later I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  And whether or not I will ever make a difference.  And if any of it matters.  Social media has changed.  Now there’s Facebook and twitter and a whole lot more that I don’t even know about.  And going into the future I suppose blogging will become even more old fashioned.   On the other hand blogging allows people to express complex, more complete thoughts than Facebook or twitter.  It slows people down for a bit longer, makes them think a bit more.  It can be elegant.  And thoughtful.

Or not.

So I’ve rambled enough.  This post was supposed to be something significant, and here it is all nostalgic about my student life.   But that was significant.  And I’m glad I did it even though I didn’t get to work full time at a public library.    I’m glad I did it for lots of reasons…

…one of which is because it led me to all of you.

 


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What people do

Most people were surprised when they learned we were going to Maine for ten days.  Why Maine they asked.  What are you going to do there?  Well, it turned out there is a lot to do in Maine.  And I noticed lots of people doing lots of things.

Want to see?  Click on any photo to see more details.

People take lots of pictures.

They capture the beauty.

 

They play in water.

They play in water.

 

They go fishing.

They go fishing.

 

The make sand castles.

The make sand castles.

 

They read.

They read.

 

They share the moment.

They share the moment.

 

They put their toes in the ocean.

They put toes in the ocean.

 

They look for whales.

They look for whales.

 

They search for beach treasure.

They search for beach treasure.

 

They enjoy the view.

They enjoy the view.

 

They explore mountains.

They explore mountains.

 

They watch waves.

They watch waves.

 

They lean into the wind.

They lean into the wind.

 

And sometimes they text.

And sometimes they text.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Bits and pieces

I can’t show you everything we saw in Maine.  As I’ve said frequently, you need to go there yourself and explore.  But here’s just a few more instances of things unique and/or fun that we ran across in our travels.

Did you know that Maine is the biggest exporter of wild blueberries?  You would if you visited Blueberry World and talked to the owner for a bit.  We noticed her shop as we were heading somewhere else.

Blueberry Land!

Blueberry Land!

It’s kind of hard to miss, or to resist!  Inside were all things blueberry.  We bought a few things and talked to her for a bit.  She and her husband have a few hundred acres of wild blueberries.  They used to be university professors, but they’ve ‘retired’ to become blueberry farmers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
She’s concerned that they can’t do it forever, that help to ‘rake’ the blueberries in the field is getting harder to find.  She’s worried about foreign investors buying up all the farms.  She’s wondering if she should develop her land, turn it into a subdivision.  But she’d lose the wild blueberries, the view, her lifestyle.  She says the only way they make it is through sales direct to tourists, that the blueberries going to processing plants don’t have enough profit margin.

Buy a pie!

Buy a pie!

We wished her and her 80 year old husband good luck.

Later in our trip, as we were driving through a small coastal town we saw this:

What's going on over there?

What’s going on over there?

We learned a long time ago on our travels that if you see a crowd headed somewhere you should just fall in and see where it goes.  So we turned around, parked the car and wandered up onto the bridge as well.  Turns out the crowd was watching lobster boats race.

 

Who's going to win?

Who’s going to win?

Now I ask you, where else but Maine could you see such an event?

And all along the way we saw pretty things, interesting things that just didn’t fit into any particular blog.  But I thought you’d enjoy a few more shots.  Wouldn’t you?

We saw lots of fishing shacks.  Some looked like they were being used.

Anyone home?

Anyone home?

And some didn’t.

Long abandoned.

Long abandoned.

We saw lots and lots of boats on trailers in yards.  Some had some pretty neat names.

Resting on land.

Resting on land.

I wonder how people are making a living if their boat is in the yard.

We saw beautiful buildings too, a school sitting in a field of clover….

Summer break.

Summer break.

…and a church along a river in a tiny town.

 

Church bells rang.

Church bells rang.

And finally, these birds just made us laugh.

Linear birds.

Linear birds.

I hope you chuckle too.

Soon I hope to give you an idea of what people do while in Maine.  There’s really too much to share.

But I’ll try.

Chainsaw man.

Chainsaw man.

 


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Moxie falls

Pretty lake along the way.

Pretty lake along the way.

Just a short post to show you Moxie falls, another aspect of Maine.  We drove two hour north of where we’re staying near Lisbon (I think we were only a couple of hours from Quebec!) where the country  begins to roll with small mountains, and there is a beautiful 30 foot waterfall.  It was way back in the woods, so after we applied the usual sunscreen we layered on bug spray.  It’s a lovely combination.

Walking in the woods.

Walking in the woods.

The woods was cool and green and beautiful.  But nothing compared to the falls.

Moxie falls

Moxie falls

The upper part of the river was beautiful too.

Pretty cool.

Pretty cool.

We had a very good day.

Woodsy.

Woodsy.

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