Friday, October 4, 2019

Nice Break

I had a nice break, especially during our daughter's visit.  The weather was gorgeous although much warmer than usual for the mountains.  After one of the wettest summers on record, we are now near drought conditions.  But we take what we get.

As usual, our daughter and I spent a lot of time driving through the mountains.  We were a bit surprised to find the leaf color in the high mountains about the same as it is here.  That is to say, not much color except among the shrubs and the occasional tree.  The prognosticators have widely varying leaf prophecies.  At first most of them predicted an especially good year for intense color.  Most are now saying the color will be subdued and some are suggesting that the leaves will simply turn brown and fall.  A few good days of gentle rain and cooler weather would change that.

Near the 4,500-foot elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway

We were treated to the fall migration of one of our favorite visitors, the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.  The males always arrive first and spend a week or so and then they leave shortly after the females arrive.  We do enjoy their visit, short-lived though it may be.

A male grosbeak looks right at me, perhaps seeing his reflection in the camera lens

The females arrived along with some of the first-year males.  While we are glad to see them, we know it means the more colorful males will soon leave our woods and continue on their journey.

Not as colorful, but beautiful nonetheless

The American Cardinals are permanent residents so they give us brilliant color all year.

I continue to feel pretty good and had a lot of fun with our daughter.  It is so wonderful to be able to drive, shop, eat at good restaurants and cook good meals again.  And I am thankful every day for being here and feeling so well.  That is always tempered with a bit of reality of ovarian cancer's nasty habit of returning.  I try to keep that on the back burne to bring forth only if/when required.

The first of today's quotes is from Marcus Aurelius and it is something I think about if the future turns more negative:
"Here is the rule to remember in the future:
When anything tempts you to be bitter:
Not "This is a misfortune":
But "To bear this worthily is good fortune."

The next quote is from the great Tecumseh.  It's a repeat but it is one that I think about every single day and it has a very deep and personal meaning for me:
"When you rise in the morning,
Give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."

I'll leave you with a photograph I recently came across.  It's our beloved Golden Girls standing inside and looking through the screen at us.   They never understood why we would ever be in the yard, leaving them inside.

October 1st marked the end of the holy days of Rosh Hashanna so we wish a good year to our Jewish friends.  And to all of us.





Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you had a nice break and time with your daughter to enjoy the mountains and the subdued fall there. Love seeing the grosbeaks and cardinals. We don't see them here It's good to remember to enjoy these moments we have in our lives. Thank you for these quotes and for the new year good wishes.

Arkansas Patti said...

So happy that you had such a lovely visit and that you are feeling so well.
I am really anxious for cool or even cold weather. Think we are expecting the same leaf conditions as you. Hope we are both wrong. Loved the picture of the girls.
Tecumseh's words "If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself" have always rang true to me.

The Bug said...

Your visit with your daughter sounds lovely - I'm glad you had a good time. The weather has lost its mind (and we know why, don't we?). Today our high is supposed to be 92 & tomorrow it's supposed to be 64. What the heck!

Vicki Lane said...

So glad you had a pleasant time! Nice weather for riding around. And such fine quotes.

Barbara Rogers said...

Great words of wisdom to follow. I've never been one to greet the morning joyfully, so as I stagger in the direction of coffee I say to myself something about "This is the day the lord and lady hath made, be glad, give thanks, rejoice!" and thanks for waking up for another day! So happy you had a good family visit, and tried to spy out the colors. I'll try on the Parkway next week sometime. For now I'm way out west, and hope to see some this weekend before getting on the homeward bound road.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Everyone needs a break and it seems you had a wonderful time spent with your daughter. The colors here are not that spectacular yet except in some of the colder mountain areas as well. we are finally getting the fall weather here in Nashua, NH with daytime temps in the 60s now (yeah) and even frost warnings in some higher elevations!

Busy Bee Suz said...

The grosbeaks are so very cute. I'm so happy you had a nice visit with your daughter and that you're feeling well.
I don't recall if you ever said so or not, but did you have your ovaries removed once they found cancer? I ask because I'm torn about keeping mine after menopause because OC runs in my family. Mom was actually shocked to find out that she still had an ovary; she thought they'd both been removed when she had her hysterectomy at 40 years old.

Gene Bach said...

Very nice post. Have only seen one cardinal ever that wasn't in a picture.

Nance said...

Glad you had a pleasant break and a good visit with your daughter. It can be so restorative to have a visitor that you enjoy and love.

I've only seen a rose-breasted grosbeak once in my yard here in NEO; as a bird lover, it was quite a thrill. They are a pretty bird, made even moreso since for me, they are so rare.

KB said...

I am so happy to hear all of your good news - keep enjoying these wonderful days. I know that you will. Your bird photos are really beautiful - I love Pine Grosbeaks.

And that photo of the Golden Girls made me smile widely. What a love-filled life you had with them.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Robin - Yes, we do need to enjoy even small moments of joy.

Patti - It has turned into fall weather here and we even got a bit of rain.

Bug - I agree. The weather is making crazy highs and lows.

Vicki - It was great for riding. Too hot for much else although we did stop for some typical tourist things.

Barbara - You must be near home by now. I've enjoyed following you on your trip.

Beatrice - I suspect that the color is spectacular there even when it is muted and less than normal.

Suz: I sent you an email to answer your questions.

Gene - We see lots of cardinals. They come early in the mornings and are the last ones in the evenings.

Nance - Though we usually see lots of them (for a short while), we are still amazed by their beauty.

KB - Thanks. Yes, life with dear sweet Ellie and funny Lucy was love-filled for us and for them.