Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


48 Comments

Desperately seeking smiles

We’ve had it rough around here for a few weeks. Though the trees are bursting with color and we had a series of beautiful sunny and above average warm days, no one here was enjoying it.

Katie under the ginko tree with leaves falling in the early morning light.

That’s because husband, brother-in-law who was staying with us, and I all tested positive for Covid a little over two weeks ago.

Yep, no matter that we’d been careful, limited our travel to only necessary trips, washed our hands incessently, wore masks everywhere.

A young cardinal stops for breakfast.

We still ended up with the virus.

And worse, my brother-in-law didn’t survive. So on top of feeling tired with achey muscles and never ending coughs we had to work our way through grief and funeral arrangements.

That early morning light makes her glow.

Now that I’m feeling better, I am recognizing that there were a lot of moments, in amongst the heartache and chaos, that made me smile.

Neighbors and family leapt to help us, doing our grocery shopping, picking up Katie’s perscription from her vet, dropping off cases of water and snacks and flowers and fruit and fully cooked meals.

Red Bellied woodpecker enjoys a snack on the go.

And did I mention soup? We got lots of chicken noodle soup; it’s true that chicken noodle soup is good for the soul. We are proof of that.

Everybody gets into the breakfast act.

Even now that things are settling down we are getting numerous messages and texts, calls and emails from concerned family and friends.

The katsura tree dropped all her leaves at once too.

Covid is a scary, dangerous and unpredictable thing. But it’s possible to smile even in the midst of it if you’re as lucky as we are to have wonderful people surrounding you in love.

Are you pointing that lens at me, lady?

Images are from our backyard these past few days. Lots of smiling there too.

Even our first frost made me smile.


33 Comments

What is true

I know that science is true.
I know that Covid 19 is everywhere.
I know that washing hands and staying away from crowds will slow the spread.
I know that wearing masks when you do go out will protect others.

I know that spending extended months away from friends and family is hard.
I know we’re all experiencing Covid fatigue.
I know we’re feeling constrained, our personal rights being trampled.
I know we’re feeling sad and overwhelmed and frustrated and tired of it all.

And I know we want it to just go away like the President has promised it will.
But that’s not the truth.
We haven’t turned a corner, we aren’t out of the woods, it’s not going away.
There isn’t a magical cure available for anyone to use.

I know there is no end in sight, that the numbers of cases and deaths will continue to rise.
I know that unless people begin to care for each other and respect the science we are stuck with no hope but a vaccine that might come next year.
I know the vaccine, even when it’s ready, won’t be easy to administer to every American.
I know that some people won’t want to take a vaccine pushed through the approval process.

I know that 218,000 people have died of Covid related illness in the US alone.
I know that because one of those people was a family member of mine.
I know that hundreds of thousands of families are strugling with those deaths.
I know that spouses and children and grandchildren and friends are all experiencing deep grief.

And I know it didn’t have to be this way.
I know that I will always place blame on the leaders of our country for not putting together a national plan, for dismantling the process that was already in place, for lying and offering false hope.
I know that blaming doesn’t fix the problem and blaming doesn’t make the pain go away.
But I know that those 218,000 people who lost their lives deserve to be honored, and the countless hundreds of thousands of people left with dilbaitating illness after suffering the disease will need help.

I know that our country is up to the task.
I know that we can look beyond ourselves and do what has to be done.
I know that we can see family in zoom meetings, send virtual hugs for as long as it takes.
I know that we can wear the darn mask.

Because this is the America I know. The strong yet empathetic country that can accomplish anything.
The country I know can come back from the brink of destruction.
I know we can turn this around.
I know this is true.


34 Comments

Walktober in times of covid

Part of our back yard showing up in fall colors.

I look forward to Robin’s Walktober all year. She has hosted it for many years, a period of time in October where we all go for a walk, take a few (or a lot) of pictures, and share the walk with all of you by linking back to her blog. She’ll gather all our walks and present them in a compliation near the end of the month.

Color in the trees dances with the clouds.

I had a lot of plans for this year’s walk. I’ve been thinking about it for months. There are a couple of bird sanctuaries I haven’t visited that I considered exploring. There’s a hilly park closer to home that I think is photogenic no matter the season that I could share.

Light plays in the dying maple leaves.

Our weather has been beautiful, sunny sky, trees bursting with color. Perfect for a Walktober. I just had to decide which direction to take you.

Bitersweet – summerizes how I feel about this fall.

And then covid.

Shortly after Katie did her Walktober covid invaded our house and now we’re isolating at home. My isolation will be up October 18, and though I know Robin would give me a few more days, I don’t know if I’ll be up to tromping up and down hills even then.

The pond across the road provides any number of photographic opportunities.

So this year, reluctantly, my Walktober has been around my own back yard. Katie says I shouldn’t feel sad, that we have a very pretty back yard, and she’s right.

Our yard is beautiful, especially when I’m in it!

Still, the adventurer in me wishes I could get up early some morning and drive across the state to somewhere not seen before. Wishes I could walk new paths, shoot new vistas, breathe free.

The oaks are beginning to glow.

So far the symptoms my husband and I are experiencing are mild, and we hope they stay that way. The hardest part, for me, is the staying at home part. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s only two weeks.

Last bit of summer hangs on for a few more days.

So, I hope you enjoyed the images in this post of my official Walktober meander through my back yard. And I hope each of you can go for a walk and share it with us too! Just link to Robin’s blog, we look forward to seeing another part of the world.

Royal color welcomes fall.

Especially since we can’t go there in person.

The view from our deck.


29 Comments

Katie’s Walktober

Hi everyone, Katie here. Mama told me Ms. Robin was hosting Walktober again this year. I’m so glad, it’s always good to have an excuse to go for a walk. I think everyone benefits from getting outside, don’t you agree?

I did my Walktober on an interesting weather day!

I definitely believe in getting mama off the couch as often as I can. She’s not always so appreciative.

Well, anyway, this time I owe mama cause we walked at a new park, Rose Oaks, which is about 6 miles from our house. Even though it’s not far I’ve never been there and mama has only been there once.

Those are the clouds that hailed on us!

She went this summer but the mosquitoes made her run out of the woods. She said she wanted to go back and she thought maybe she’d do her Walktober there. But when she told me she was thinking about heading over there I made it abundently clear that I needed a Walktober too, and this park sounded perfect for me.

There weren’t a lot of flowers, but this one was pretty!

So she sighed and said she’d let me use our walk at Rose Oaks as my Walktober this year.

Turns out it began to rain and then hail on our way to the park. But it cleared up just after we arrived, so we got to explore almost right away. First thing mama took me out on this long dock.

You sure you want to go way out there, mama?

I wasn’t sure I liked being on the dock, I could see water right under my feet! As you know I am a Princess, and I do not like getting my feet wet, so I wasn’t happy that water was so close. But I’m also a good girl, and since mama wanted to go out there I went too.

Well come on then mama! I’m always waiting for you!

The view was pretty spectacular, what with the storm clouds moving overhead. Still, I wasn’t all that comfortable out there, so mama and I headed to the woods. But first we had to walk over another long bridge.

Hurry up, mama, the woods are right over here!

Finally we got to the woods. Since mama forgot to look at the map she wasn’t sure which way to go. So she let me decide.

Which way should we go, mama?

I thought this way looked pretty. What do you think?

There’s a little bit of color over this way, mama!

To be honest, mama took a lot of pictures of stuff that wasn’t me. She kept stopping, and the worst thing was when she was taking pictures of flowers I didn’t get a treat!

Mama liked these yellow flowers with that red background.

I think I’ve made it clear that when she takes a picture I’m supposed to get a treat. It’s in my contract. There’s nothing in there that says the picture has to be of me. One shot, one treat, that’s the rule.

Sometimes mama likes me to sit next to big trees just because they’re cool. I’ll do that for a treat.

We walked a ways into the woods looking for color.

There wasn’t a lot of color, but what was there was really pretty.

And then you know what happened? It started to rain! Well, not on us, not at first. We could hear it coming though, mama said it sounded really cool coming from way off in the woods. And then she said I needed to hurry up because we were a long way from the car.

Wait mama! You said we needed to find color, how about this? 

I, of course, was not in the hurrying up sort of mood. I wanted to sniff stuff some more. And don’t forget I’m almost forteen, a forteen year old does not hurry. Unless treats are offered.

The sun came out and so did my shadow!

So we mosied along toward the car and you know what happened next? Nothing! The rain never got to us. So when we came to another trail I decided we should go explore that one too and mama signed and rolled her eyes and followed me along.

It was, after all, my Walktober.

Come on, mama, let’s keep walking!

We wandered a bit more, until mama said we should turn around. At which time I sat down and refused to head back to the car unless I got a treat. She gave up after she saw I was serious. Not turning around mama unless I get something!

Not going anywhere, mama, without a treat.

Sometimes mama is smart and just goes with the flow and this time was like that. Mamas can be trained.

Pretty when the sun shown through them.

After my treat I trotted along willingly. To tell you the truth I was getting kind of tired anyway.

Mama stopped and took a few more pictures but pretty soon we were back at the car. I know there’s a whole lot more to this park than we got to see, and I hope mama takes me back again, maybe when it’s cooler and I feel more like trotting along.

Wait up mama!

Meanwhile, I thought you’d enjoy seeing my new park. I call it Katie’s Park III.

Last bit of sun on the leaves before we left.

Time for a nap now. I bet Mama will take one too, we’re both getting older, don’t you know.

Thanks mama, I got sort of dirty, but that was fun!

And thanks to Ms. Robin for hosting Walktober.  Mama and I look forward to it every year and we know it isn’t always easy to host these kinds of things.  We sure appreciate it!

Reflections

Now I need to get mama off the sofa and out into the woods somewhere so she can go on her own Walktober.  Personally I think she should take me along, because I’m the best Walktober pal she’s ever had.

Don’t you know.

Your park guide gal,
Katie-girl.

Mama’s artsy-fartsy picture. She always has one.