Tag Archives: sunset

Sharing My World 13

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The names of my grandchildren in scrabble letters! The perfect gift from a gifted grand-daughter.

Share Your World 2014 Week 51

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?

You get what you get, depending on where you choose to live I suppose.  When we lived in the Arctic above the tree line, the winters were long and dark and frozen solid.  So living way down south in the middle of Alberta (which is way up north to many people) seems balmy in comparison.  I have never liked the snow and the cold, but a winter without any snow at all would probably seem weird.  So far this year we haven’t had too much of the white stuff, but now that I’ve said that we’ll get royally dumped on.  No worries, I don’t have to go out in it or shovel it or even look at it if I don’t want to.  That’s what spouses with snow blowers are for.  And snow always eventually goes away.  That’s the part about it I like the best.

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house?

Usually my umbrella is in a basket on the shelf above the coats.  If it’s not there, it’s in my car from the last time I used it and didn’t bring it back in to the house.  It used to get left at work all the time if it was raining when I left to go there and not raining at home time.  No matter where it might be, there will be no frantic searching.  Coats are made with hoods for a reason.  I like the rain.  It doesn’t rain enough here.

Do you prefer your food separated or mixed together?

I don’t really care.  Either way, it’s purpose is to satisfy hunger and supply nourishment.  Sometimes I feel like I’m living in the Hunger Games city of Panem where food is so plentiful we forget it’s not there purely for our entertainment.  We play with fashion and we play with food while there are people in the world who are going without proper clothes or food or shelter,  and who must look at us and question our priorities and our sanity in the grand scheme of things.  A starving child isn’t concerned about the presentation or the proper utensils.  Or what to do with the annoying cereal dust at the bottom of the Cheerios box.

What is set as the background on your computer?

Well, funny you should ask.  I just changed it yesterday.  I was tired of looking at this elephant.

The-beautiful-elephant-sunsetAnd now I am looking at this, where they should also have mentioned coffee and chocolate.

winter books

 

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for the best Christmas yet (every one is the best ever – funny how they just keep getting better…) with all the grandchildren and sons and daughters and dogs.  It was relaxing and delicious.  I shared a bedroom with W, so I had to either learn how to use ear plugs or live with sleep deprivation.  I chose the former.  When he snores, the walls go in and out, I swear, and you can’t hear planes flying overhead.  Now I know what to expect when what’s left of my hearing finally goes.  It was kind of nice in a way, getting up and wandering around and having no idea at all how much noise I might be making.

This week I’m looking forward to New Years Eve and maybe actually making it to midnight with my eyes open!  That seems like a reasonable goal and one that I won’t be too sorry about if (as usual) I don’t make it.

share-your-world2

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My Big Fat Greek Holiday (SANTORINI)

We put in a lot of days waiting to get to Santorini.  Not that the rest of our visit to Greece wasn’t amazing, but the island of Santorini was the place in this beautiful country that my brother wanted to return to and sadly never got the chance.  We were visiting the island  as much for him as for ourselves.  This was a way for us to see it through his eyes and to remember so many things about him, and to miss him of course, but in a good way.  It was an emotional time for all of us, the final goodbye, but with a promise to never forget.

My nephew Andy (my brothers oldest son) for the entire trip had boundless enthusiasm and such an adventurous spirit.  His passion for good food, his energy and interest and joy in just being there, his obvious love and concern for his mom – it’s so easy to imagine the smile he would have put on his dads face.  Countless times I was reminded of my brother in the things Andy said, his gestures, his expressions; and amongst all of us, the recounting of our many shared memories.

On the ferry to Santorini
On the ferry to Santorini

The trip from Paros to Santorini took three hours.  The ferry was huge, with escalators and gift shops and hundreds of passengers. Our first views of the island were breathtaking.

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You may notice there are no pictures of those breathtaking first views of the cliffs of Santorini on my camera.  The bus ride up the cliff on a winding hair-pin turn road was seriously the scariest ride of my life.  This is an excellent place to find out once and for all if you have some latent fear of heights.  What a relief it was to finally get to the top, and then all I could think about was that we would have to make the trip back down again in a couple of days.

We checked into the Kalisti Thera Hotel with a big group of German tourists and a lot of confusion.  After our Transat orientation we spent a quiet evening enjoying the poolside bar and figuring out our Santorini itinerary.  The next day we were off to Oia on the northern tip of the island.  For some reason or other I decided to take pictures with my phone that day.  A combination of incredibly bright sunshine, polarized sunglasses and this brain resulted in me pushing the wrong button and taking at least a dozen pictures of myself.  They were quite funny.  If you would like to know how squinty-eyed and frown-y you look taking a photo, this is a great way to find out.

Quite by accident we stumbled upon the Paradox Thai Food restaurant (looking for a restroom actually) and ended up chatting with the waiter and ordering drinks and MORE FOOD.  Shrimp, skewers, pot stickers, spring rolls, an appetizer mix, all of it delicious.  We were urged to go to the trip advisor website and post a review.  So I did.  I now have one review there.  In which I said pretty much just what I said here.

We drove all over the place, trying to read a map and asking for directions,  looking for the cable cars and the place where the donkeys take you up the hill to Fira.  It turned out to be about four blocks from our hotel.  We parked the car in a gravel/garbage bin lot squeezed into an impossible space and set off walking up to a cobblestone walkway on the cliff edge beside the sea.  There were the usual gift and souvenir shops and some cliff hanging bars.  At the Palia Kameni the waiter informed us that Mythos is not authentic Greek beer and urged us to try Yellow Donkey instead.  We met a couple from New York, a lady from London, people from Ontario, Athens, Italy.  Many people spend six months of the year working here.  One man told us he would love to visit Canada in the dead of winter when it’s thirty below.  Obviously it’s possible to be out in the sun too long.

It was late in the afternoon and the donkeys were heading home for the night, so we had to take the gondola down to the sea and back up again.  Thank God the donkeys don’t work around the clock.  The gondola ride was enough stress for me.  Our Transat rep had told us that the donkeys smell bad and poop and stuff.  Just in case we weren’t aware of them being real live animals I guess.

We had three full days on this delightful island, spent by the pool, on our balconies, going back up the hill to the shops and the fish spa.  We watched the sunset from the Zafora Café.  Lots of fresh air, sunshine, great food, long walks on cobblestone streets and up and down stone and marble steps, good wine, great company – I don’t know about everyone else, but I was happy for a soft bed and sweet dreams.

Now I know why my brother wanted to come back to Santorini.  It was sad to leave.  Off to Crete tomorrow and our last two days in Greece.

September Sunset

Due to diabolical schedule changes at work, I have been slogging away in that hell hole for the past four days in a row.  Normally three days one after the other is enough to kill me, so last night I was exhausted enough to pass out by eight p.m.  Yes, I know that’s pathetic.  I made up for it by getting out of bed at six this morning.

Although I haven’t done anything more strenuous yet than catch up on some reading and word game playing that I was too beat to even think about last night.  I wonder what people with interesting lives are up to?

These pictures are of a fifteen minute sunset from the other night.  I can’t be more specific than that because I really don’t remember what day it was.  Even as I was clicking away the lights were fading.  Makes me wonder what other wonders I’ve missed by working in a box with no windows and sleeping the rest of my life away.

As quickly as it happened, it was gone and there was nothing left but indigo.  Ever heard of sky-blue-pink?  I think that was it.

Q is for Quintessential

I never use this word in polite conversation.  My attempts at sounding sophisticated come out sounding prissy instead.  Plus I would probably stumble over its proper pronunciation and make a quintessential fool of myself.

quin·tes·sen·tial

adjective

1.  of the pure and essential essence of something: the quintessential Jewish delicatessen.

2.  of or pertaining to the most perfect embodiment of something: the quintessential performance of the Brandenburg Concertos.

The purest, most characteristic, perfect example of a particular type.

Yesterday I fell asleep in the afternoon heat.  I used to watch my grandmother do the same thing.  She’d sit down to read and her eyes would close and her head would nod and the book would fall from her fingers onto her lap.  Once I gently touched her shoulder and startled her awake and she told me she wasn’t really napping, she was just resting her eyes.

So!  Yesterday I was resting my eyes in the warm sunshine.  When I opened them the sky was overcast and a cool breeze was chilling me to the bone.  It’s how the seasons change.  One day it’s summer and the next day it’s just not.  I know the autumnal equinox does not officially begin until the 22nd of September, but here in my little spot on the northern hemisphere it is already fall.  These chilled old bones do not lie.

Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt, 19th-20th century poet.
Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt, 19th-20th century poet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found the quintessential bit of poetry to describe exactly how yesterday felt to me.

It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.

–Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

 

 

 

Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt is probably the quintessential name for a poet.  If I ever expect to make it as a poet I can see I will have to seriously lengthen my name.

English: Sunset at the autumnal equinox

We had the quintessential autumn sunset the other night as I was leaving work, but I didn’t get a picture of it.  Look at this photo and imagine a half deserted parking lot in the foreground, a few power poles here and there and a Wendy’s sign twinkling in the distance.  And take out the waves.  There.  Quintessentially perfect.

Hmm.  Did I just say perfectly perfect?  I’m never using this prissy word again.

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears

(Fiddler on the Roof)

Both can be extraordinarily beautiful. The only thing wrong with the sunrise is that you have to get up so damned early to see it. It’s lovely over the river from the deck at the cottage, but if it’s chilly and misty and the coffee isn’t ready yet it somehow loses a lot of its appeal.

I’ll take a gorgeous Lake Huron sunset any day. They’re breathtaking. There’s just something about that golden globe sinking into the water and out of sight leaving a kaleidoscope of pinks and yellows and oranges behind it that stirs the heart and soothes the soul.

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