PS Continued blogging after a hiatus, but check out the great cherry tree photo and others below.
I started this blog to make people aware of my book Voice of a Voyage: Rediscovering the World During a Ten-year Circumnavigation, because I wanted people to read it; certainly not because I expected to make money. I had many amazing, exciting, intellectually provoking, not to mention emotional experiences. I wanted people to see aspects of the world they were unlikely to experience themselves. It all boils down to this from Chapter 16: A Wandering Song.
Hatred, bias, divisiveness, and prejudice are as much poisons as those that we use to pollute the soil, air, and water. In the diversity of our languages, skin colors, customs, and beliefs is found the human beauty of this planet. I learned, saw, felt, and continue to believe that there is a desperate need for stewardship by all of us for the cultures and environment of this special planet Earth. This is part of the place I now know. This is part of me, where I started and now have returned.
This blog was about travel. I included photos and information I thought would be of interest (certainly not of the genre of the best cheapest hotel in Istanbul), and my grandson contributed some fascinating thoughts on his first trip out of North America to Asia including Hiroshima, Japan; Siem Reap, Cambodia; and Bhutan.
Nevertheless I have a meager following and it’s time for me to stop. Today I planted seeds, worked on a new small patio where I and my guests can sit and watch white-breasted nuthatches and many other species, admire five mountain peaks over 14,000’ high, and listen to the stillness of piñon and Ponderosa pine. That was much more fun then writing a blog!
This blog is too long to be ‘acceptable,’ but bear with me, you may find it worthwhile.
I did have a wondrous trip back east recently and am including a couple of photos from that, but one highlight couldn’t be photographed. I stayed with an old friend in northern Virginia and she had a party for me of my former neighbors. One was 93 and was a great cook. In fact, she and another neighbor and I had a catering business for a while when I lived there. She formerly had worked for General Mills and told us the story of the invention of Betty Crocker. It was delightful!
Another friend thoughtfully picked me up in Virginia and drove me to their home near Annapolis where I was doing a book talk the next day. He had discovered a wonderful place to view the cherry blossoms that wasn’t tourist city like the Tidal Basin in D.C.
Cherry blossoms in a Maryland suburb. Bravo for friends!
Later I visited my sister and her wife, Leslie and they took me for a lovely afternoon ride in their boat on the Broadkill River. I was quite impressed with the number of Osprey developing nests there.
Osprey along the river. Bravo for family (who are also friends)!
My last stop was at my cousin’s on the Jersey shore. We had to visit Barnegat Light for old times sake.
Here’s a poem of mine about my visits there as a child. But first, thanks for being here. Enjoy the world out there.
The Ice Cream Ritual
It’s nine pm.
We know what to expect,
it’s our third summer here.
Uncle Al turns off the TV,
“Well, I guess you girls don’t want
any ice cream tonight.”
We grin at each other; my sister is 8, I’m 9,
but we keep quiet.
We know what will happen next.
“You know what? I just dished you some by mistake.
I guess you’ll just have to eat it.” He passes us
the old, well-used, well-known china bowls
with the tiny pink roses sprinkled about
full of scoops of creamy, delicious ice cream.
After this we climb up the steep stairs
to the attic and our twin iron beds
with the single light bulb
and its long chain hanging down
that we can barely reach.
Along the slanted walls are homemade bookshelves
filled with books of all kinds that we can explore
before it’s lights out.
At the end of the room, the way our beds face,
is a dormer window looking out onto the bay
and the boats my uncle and aunt rent.
We’re even allowed to take one out
and row ourselves around.
We catch crabs by throwing a line
from shore with a bit of bait on the end
and slowly draw it in, while one of us waits
with a net. When we go to the ocean beach,
our blonde, tanned cousin Tom, nine years older than I,
sits in his high lifeguard chair,
greets us cheerfully;
making us think we’re special.
I ride the waves like my mother
taught me, sand gets inside my bathing suit.
My sister wades about in the shallows;
I think she’s chicken.
We know this will end,
We’ll have to go home
where 9 pm rituals are replaced
with fear, violence, constant uncertainty.
For a time, we are safe.
At home, every night at 9 pm
we can try
what that felt like.
Where I first learned to love the ocean as a young child.