Back and Up Ramblings

We’re back and settling in after our escape to the Pescadero/Half Moon Bay area – about an hour from home, but a totally different world.  Everything was even more beautiful than we’d imagined…and more peaceful and quiet save the birds and crickets making beautiful  music.  When we were at the cottage, we remained fairly silent and had lovely quiet time – no music – no sounds other than nature’s.  I’m so glad to know that there is this place so nearby.  I would like to escape there alone – for at least two weeks – to see what I can come away with.

Words won’t describe the trip.  Here are a few photographs David took.ellespeth in half moon bayAn afternoon in Half Moon Bay.

lavender fields in pescadero gardenLavender fields seen from the guest cottage in Pescadero.  That redwood tree looked ancient with it’s sooo wide canopy.

side garden pescaderoSide garden off the guest cottage porch.

bunch roses in pescaderoDavid loved those bunch roses way in the back of the garden – just before the overgrazed hill.

We met the gardener!  He must work other jobs in the area, and would arrive late afternoons to do a bit of taking care.  What a beautiful act of love this is!

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Alas, sooner or later, one must (usually) return from a vacation.  And so, here I am.  Here’s what I’m currently reading:

The Constitution of the United States

The Declaration of Independence

The Articles of Confederation

The first chapter to Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman.  (I finished this pre-publication chapter release this afternoon…I can’t wait to read the entire novel.  I hope she’ll write an autobiography.  Maybe she already has it written.  Did you know she grew up living next door to Truman Capote?  Those small Southern towns have given us some great writers!

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – by Stephen King (I’m really liking this book and will finish it this weekend.)

Savage Beauty – a biography about Edna St. Vincent Millay – by Nancy Milford.  I’ve been reading this one for months now.  It’s a great book but difficult emotionally.   Edna St. Vincent Millay is in my blood.  My mother introduced me to her work when I was in junior high school, and that set me upon the road of Poet.

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I’d like to write a novel.

I’m going to attempt a 400 word story about the word “merry”.  I may finish that tonight as well.  The actual challenge, itself, can be found here.

So, I’m pretty much all over the place in my life right now.

Ellespeth

When We Were Smitten – Fiction

Here’s a little something for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction .  The piece is supposed to be about 200 words somehow having something to do with the photo below.  I’ve put a link to other stories for this prompt.  Take a peek 🙂

Thanks to Joe Owens for hosting this challenge.

seagullsWhen We Were Smitten

It had been an odd California winter.  It had been an odd period in my life.  Even the seagulls seemed confused.

“I’m gonna shoot the next seagull that makes a sound wherever I happen to be,”  Sam said.

“Oh honestly,  Sam.   Get over this.”  I said.

We were standing on the fishing pier.  Seagulls, perched on the snowy shore,  had formed a perfect line.  The sun glittered upon the lake.

We were on vacation.  I’d gotten away to write.  Sam had gotten away to fish and hunt and those other caveman things he kept to himself back in the city.

“It’s interrupting the silence, Sara.  Don’t you get it?”   Sam threw his line out one more time.  It sank about 8 feet from shore.  “Now shush up.”

“Excuse me?”

“Shush up now,  Sara. I’m getting a bite.”

I hissed,  playfully,  and bit Sam’s neck.

Ellespeth

photo prompt © Joe Owens

other stories for this prompt

We’ve Made It To The Cottage!

We’ve made it to the cottage!!  What a wonderful drive and day we’ve had.  We are just at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.  The Gold Country part of California.  I can’t say enough how glad we are that the first place messed up our reservation and we ended up here.  Soooo lovely!!  There is a stream outside in front of our cottage…with a trail that would be 3 miles round trip walking.  The cottage is fantastic…nice big kitchen, cozy living room with a wood burning stove.  10 minute drive into town and shoppes.  County Fair going on this week-end.  And the trees!!!  Real autumn colors from golden to orange to red…and perfect weather expected.

I’ll be spending tomorrow working on poems.  Well I’m already working…in my head I’ve planned how the lay out will be:  perhaps 50 love poems.  A poem and piece of random love prose side by side.  So that’s exciting to have that idea at play.

I’ll work all day tomorrow – between walking and cooking.  I’ll work half days Saturday and Sunday – between attending the County Fair and walking down Main Street window shopping and cooking.

Breakfast and coffee will be taken to the porch/deck.  Also lunch will be there.  We are smack in the middle of a forest – mainly pines with some sweet gum looking trees – flat leaves…I can’t wait to greet the morning birds chirping!

It’s unlikely I’ll be able to check other blogs again until Tuesday….I’ll try enter my progress…

Ellespeth  

On Keys and Editing and Lost Reservations…

Well…
Our cabin reservation was lost. It’s a small town.  When we called to  make the reservation, the lady couldn’t find the reservation book but wrote it all on a post-it note. This was about three weeks ago. Lovely place. All that. So I called today – you know – just on the slight chance that all those post its hadn’t found a real home in the reservation book. Sure enough – she had our reservation for December and our cabin is rented so there! She could give us a studio. Hmffff. I don’t think so.

Teary eyes. I go to a homeaway website and YAY! There just so happens to be a cabin, in the woods beside a little creek available on the days we’d planned to vacation. So we booked it. Has a wood stove and even a nice deck and porch. Very nicely done inside – from the looks of pictures and sounds of reviews.

So one problem solved…

I moved on to transferring all of my poetry onto the memory key. That wasn’t easy. A scavenger hunt through my blog poems and copy/pasting. This I had begun in July so I just added to the document from July forward. Then I started thinking…I’d best have page breaks. And I’d best print out two sets. That will make it easier to put them in some sort of emotional flow order. Hmmmm…

The page breaks are all done. 97 poems made it to the key and a few are still in a hard copy folder. Hard copy folder ones aren’t counted…they’re old…maybe a line here and there will still mean something to me enough to work with…one day.

Tomorrow I’ll print one set and then print another set Wednesday. I’ll start gathering my writing tools. I’ll pack everything into a satchel. Oh! I suppose I should copy the key to our laptop so it’s there before we leave.

I guess that’s it…I’m on a mission. Part of that mission includes going to bed so I am bright eyed and chipper when I greet the toddlers tomorrow morning 😛

Ellespeth

Some Bits and Prayer/Thoughts…

Our trip began with clear golden blue skies. Up the Coast Highway to Stillwater and the cabin you’ve rented since your abalone diving days. A very nice evening’s silence – meaning no internet connection. We’d left our one and only cell phone – reserved for when you are hiking – at home. We grilled veggies and drank wine and played chess and slept as though we’d been knocked out. We spend the next day up the Coast and into Mendocino to the B&B. A lovely walk through town and a supper of feta cheese somethings with hummus. Early this morning… at breakfast, we hear of a fire near to Yosemite and our hoped for destination. Sigh. We listen and ask. This is one issue with refusing to watch television or connect to internet. We take another walk around town and head back home.
I’m keeping the towns bordering NW edges of Yosemite in my thoughts and offering prayers and thanks to the brave fire fighters attempting to contain this huge fire 😦 I wish I could surround their little families with prayers. I keep thinking of the catastrophe last month when we lost so many brave fire fighters 😦 And for all the residents near the fire who are losing their homes and property…let us offer our prayer/thoughts.
In lesser interest, I have some poems from our trip. I’ll work these a tad and post again later.
Ellespeth

The Traveller Has Landed…

to a guest room filled with balloons.  You’re calling me on Skype – wow!  Free talking!  That is way cool!  Copenhagen for a week, then flying to Norway, then back to Copenhagen for another week.  Then home.  Today you went to a castle in Copenhagen and walked around town.  Not bad on this end either.  I think I’m going to make it!

Ellespeth

Now Entering Slow Meltdown Mode

Any day  now you’re leaving for Copenhagen.  It’s that summer vacation I’ve been dreading since last Christmas.  Of course, I could be going, too but…not only do I never want to drive on a California freeway but I also don’t want to fly all the way across the US and an ocean and back again.  So, I’m not going.  That was the original reason I wasn’t going.   Then we purchased your ticket and figured out expenses while you are gone and whoa!  That’s pretty expensive for just one person.  And she’s your daughter 😛  Works out well all the way around…  Except I will miss you.

I can’t think very clearly about what I’ll do with myself for three weeks.  I’ll watch the toddlers three mornings a week and have a park date with another toddler one afternoon a week and…OMG!  It’s dawning on me that for the first time, in my adult life, not only will I not be working (I’m retired) but it’s just going to be me for many hours each day.  I mean like silence.  I feel like that picture up top – sailing towards me.  I wonder what I’ll discover?

I’m now entering a slow meltdown mode.  I have no intention of mentioning this again until after 1AM Thursday morning.  That’s when your plane will land in Copenhagen.  Later that day, Lana and Melinda and I will go to the new burger joint for comfort food.  I may bring home a piece of pie.  I’m not sure.  I’m already full thinking about the pie parts.

Ellespeth

 

Day of Reckoning Take One, Two, Three

Take One:

14 yrs ago in a chat room on the internet:
“Have you ever been camping?” you asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“I mean, do you like to camp?”
“I think so,” I replied. I was trying to remember being a Girl Scout and having the Scout Leader ever available for assistance. (“Help!” And some grown up would come figure it all out)

We have a lovely courtship. You fly to meet my family. I fly to meet your family. We marry.

Take Two:
Two years ago (a few months into my retirement):
“John and Sue are going camping in the Sierra’s again this year. They really would like you to come this year. So would I,” you say.
“Oh dear!” I’d been able to get out of this camping trip each year, until now, because I was working. “We would have to practice first.”
“Practice?”…
So, one night, we pitch your tent in our living room. We are quite ceremonial about it. Late that night we crawl into the tent and tell stories by flashlight. Then we cover with the zippered together sleeping bags and go to sleep. I have a nightmare:
RATS ARE RUNNING PAST THE ENTRY TO OUR TENT!!!!
I awaken. It’s 2AM.
“OMG! Honey wake up!” I shake you and shake you. “Wake up!”
“What?”
“Rats at the camp!”
Of course you try to assure me that I was dreaming and I try to assure you that a rat ran past the entry to our tent. Eventually, we crawl out of the tent and sleepily make our way down the hall and into our nice and soft and comfy bed.
Sigh. You went on the camping trip without me and I thought that had settled any camping fantasies you were harboring.

Take Three – Today:
As if it weren’t bad enough that I was having an allergic reaction (see previous entry)  but that….
Sue calls. Another camping trip this year 😦 I was so glad to be alive that I agreed to go.
“We’ll have to practice again,” I say sadly.
You pitch the tent. You turn it away from the balcony this time. You put it an air mattress and I cover it with an old quilt. Sniffles. Tonight we will be sleeping here:

tent 006

There’s A Tent In My Study! (real life pic)

We will sleep here for three nights. That is how long I have agreed to go camping and you seem happy with that promise. I, on the other hand…
I shall gather up my Girl Scout Stew recipe and my scouting badges and all of my courage and – sometime in July – head for a camping trip in the Sierra’s. OMG!!!!

Ellespeth

Novelty

I don’t know what I’ll do while you’re away this summer.  I don’t think I’ve ever been alone before when my life was picture perfect perfect.  It will be a new experience. I’ve always wanted to write a novel.  I’ve wanted to dance around all the empty spaces of my life.  In and out of rooms.  Just to experience emptiness as happiness.  I don’t want you to know that I don’t know what I’ll do while you’re away this summer.

Ellespeth