Tag Archives: clouds

People who drive convertibles …

learn some things that the average Joe may not consider.

Now, Jeep owners (which I dearly hope to become one day), consider what they drive a Jeep, but it is, without room for argument, at the end of the day, a convertible.

I’m not talking about the Jeeps that aren’t really Jeeps but call themselves one.  Those don’t count and will never count.  Sorry if your toes are stepped on, but really?

That being cleared up …

We learn to watch the sky.

We know the difference between just plain clouds, rain filled clouds and clouds that are in the process of emptying themselves onto the earth.

We know the difference between a fog bank and a rain band.

We know, when driving in familiar places, all the little turnouts that serve as places to put the top up quickly when there are rain bands and cloud emptying ahead.

We know how hard it is raining just by looking and as such, whether we can get by with leaving the top down and letting the sprinkles simply fly right past us or take the next turnout we come to and put the top up moments before the typhoon hits.

All of this being said, I found myself caught by surprise tonight.

I was nearly home after attending an event my daughter had invited me to at her University.

Eight miles to go.  Only eight.

But I wasn’t paying attention to the sky.  No, I was blasting the Eurythmics at earsplitting and singing along with Annie and David.

I ran into the rain, in between turnouts, and it was, as people around these parts say, a frog strangler.

Before I could get to the next turnout, pull over and put the top up, I was soaked to the skin and so cold, my goosebumps had goosebumps.

I find it ironic that the song I was singing at the top of my lungs while driving much faster than the law allows was none other than “Here Comes the Rain Again”.

Coincidence?  I don’t believe in them.

Fate?  Hardly.  What would it have to prove?

Pure ecstasy at driving free and wild with the music loud and getting rained on?

Yep.

That made my night and smoothed over a minor “simply couldn’t be helped” disappointment.

Life.  It often isn’t easy, but if you can live through it, it’s a lot of fun.

rain is one of my favorite things ... it comes just after snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes ...

rain is one of my favorite things … it comes just after snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes …

As the last light of the day …

ebbs behind the mountains and the now, multicolored clouds, I find myself on the back porch.

Grilling.

Making my lunch for tomorrow.

With the job I have been training for, I find that I could have Subway every day. 

One of my cherished fantasies.

But I find that, sometime over the past few years, I have become cheap.

Too cheap to buy lunch every day.

And I like grilling.  I love the smell of the smoldering charcoal.  It is even more prevalent this night as I forgot to bring it in last time and it got rained on.

Love those waterproof bags, but if enough wet gets on them, well, I don’t have to elaborate on that.

The chicken and onions are sizzling and the smell makes my mouth water.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow mostly because of my lunch break.

I feel quiet in my mind and peaceful in my spirit.

Thankful.

thistle

Beyond imagination

As I look out upon the amazing and vast ocean, one of God’s most magnificent creations, I find that what I can imagine doesn’t come close to what God is.  The sheer magnitude of creation is, in its own right, breathtaking.  Maybe it just seems more beautiful than before because this is my last day here, or perhaps that’s the mystery of paradise, that it really does get more unbelievable as each day passes.   Whatever the reason, I know that I will miss this place and though, for now my home is in Virginia, my heart will stay by the sea… until we meet again, I will see you only in my dreams.

Just Another Day in Paradise

The trip from Southwest Virginia to the beautiful area on the Gulf Coast of Florida known as Madeira Beach seemed to take forever, but, as with all great things, the time is passing rapidly and, all too soon, it will be time to return to the mountains with nothing but a tan and some wonderful memories.  While vacations are meant to be taken at a slow pace with sleeping late, lazy brunches, lounging around and doing a whole lot of nothing, those things have been elusive.  Before the sun shows its face, I’ve been out on the beach looking for shells in the moonlight, listening to the song of the ocean and watching the fishing boats going in and out of John’s Pass, a Channel which was named, allegedly, after a peasant turned pirate called John Lavique.  Spanning the Channel is a magnificent drawbridge, waiting patiently for the tall masts of the sailboats to signal their arrival or departure, then slowly lifts to allow them passage.  Although I’ve seen drawbridges before, I continue to be fascinated by the mechanism and the whole idea of breaking the road in half, raising it up to a near ninety degree angle and then putting it back in place again.

Even though it is quiet in the wee morning hours, before the beachcombers and kids start pouring onto the sand and into the surf, there is no way to get up too early for the fishermen.  With their tackles, nets and

waders, they come out early to try to catch the big one out of the sea.  For many fishermen, my dad included, it doesn’t really matter if they catch anything or not, although it is always cause for excited celebration when they feel that familiar tug on the line.  Just the act of having a line in the water is enough for them and outwitting a fish is just a bonus.  One of the birds that hangs out near the outcropping of concrete and rocks that bellies up to the Gulf has befriended my dad, or rather has learned that he is quite adept at outsmarting the fish.  He’s also learned that if he hangs around, there’s a good chance he’s going to get a saltwater snack and is ever so willing to wait.  While he doesn’t mind that other birds come near where he waits, when the fish comes in, he starts moving closer.  At first, he would only come within ten feet or so of where Dad would stand, but this evening, when I went down to photograph the sunset, the bird was just a couple of feet away.  He has obviously learned that the hand that feeds him is a safe place be near.  Although I can’t prove that it is the same bird, I am fairly sure, just from the markings, that it is.  Why mess with success has likely become his new motto.  I’ve seen pelicans dive into the water and these large cranes skimming the surface, but until this past Sunday, I had not witnessed one of them actually eat a fish.  Usually, squeamish would describe me best in such situations, but in this case, I couldn’t take my eyes off the bird as it maneuvered the fish into a position where it could just gulp it down.  That long skinny neck doesn’t look like it could swallow a fish, but as with many things of nature, looks can be deceiving. Before long, the throngs of people will flock, pardon the pun, to the water and the sand, bringing with them their chairs, towels, toys, sunscreen (hopefully), drinks and children.  The kids will splash, the adults will toast and the sounds of summer fun and helpless laughter will fill the muggy, tropical air of this little slice of perfection that we have been allowed to enjoy.  The sky is a blue that is often seen in October, the water a lovely shade of light aqua blending, churning and merging into a deeper, darker shade of the same beautiful tones.  The Channel is alive with activity including wave runners, parasail boats with their smiley face parachutes, motorboats, yachts and of course, the ever-present fishing trawlers.  I can’t say I have a favorite as I like to watch them all, but hope that I never have to be out in the ocean on something that lets my legs hang in the water.  Irregardless of the beauty in front of me, if my feet are in the water, the image of Jaws is always in the back of my mind.  So for now, I will  continue to feast my eyes on the beauty and activity around me, watch my nieces play and splash in the surf and be content that I get to be a part of what the locals would consider just another day in paradise.