Tag Archive | natural beauty

Fall Has Fallen

My Neighborhood in Autumn

My Neighborhood in Autumn

I live in an older neighborhood where trees are tall and colors in the fall are plentiful. Maybe it’s because I grew up rather poor, but I can never remember a time when fall color is something I didn’t revere.

As a child, all of the neighborhood kids raked leaves that had fallen in our yards and then arranged them in rectangles on the easement between the sidewalk and street. We pretended these rectangles of fallen leaves were our shops. We had a doctor, a barber, a bakery, a school, etc. Other rectangles served as our homes. We would play with no-cost leaves all day, visiting each other and our imaginations recreated the real world as we saw it as five and six year olds.

When I went to college, I drove down a county road which lead to campus. This road was flanked on both sides by old, large trees of several different varieties creating a breathtaking tunnel of dramatic Fall color. Rich oranges, reds, golds, and burgundies breathed a certain wonder as I drove to a day of classes on campus. It was a perfect way to begin every fall semester.

Now in retirement I still search out the color. Luckily I don’t have to go far because as you see in the photo above my neighborhood provides plenty of color. Oh, I still take a pilgrimage down to campus whenever I can, but I also can look out my window to witness the beauty of Fall which never disappoints.

If you live in a place where the seasons change, you are blessed. Just take a few minutes every day to become part of the Fall season. Recapture that childish joy of wonder because if you don’t winter will come and you would have missed the big show.

Springing Into Action

iris 003I live in a part of Racine that dates back to the 1950s. All of the houses are different and most are well-kept. People in this area love their homes and their city lots and go to great lengths to take care of both. I am no exception. However, keeping a yard looking good on a small budget is more challenging than you might think.

On Saturday, I treated myself to exploring a new green house  about 30 minutes from my home. This place is in the middle of Nowheresville, but the flowers were amazing. I was in dangerous territory on a limited budget. I could do so much damage in there because when I’m around flowers, I’m like an alcoholic in a saloon. I had to restrain myself from filling up the entire back of my SUV with pretty plants, and I’m proud to announce I didn’t get drunk. . . only a little tipsy. With a few blooms in the back of my car, I turned up the oldies channel and sang with the radio all the way home.

Then yesterday was a perfect day. The temperature was in the mid 70s, with a light breeze, the sun was bright, and the sky was blue. If I ever find a genie in a bottle, I will instruct him to make everyday like yesterday. It was as close to San Diego weather as possible.

The first thing I did was purchased two cans of spray paint –one red and one sage green — for $3 each at Big Lots. Then I went home and started spraying. My old pots that had seen better days got to look like new with a fresh coat of the Rustoleum make-up. The rusty iron umbrella stand got a coat of the sage green (which matches the umbrella), and one of the old park benches got a new coat of pale yellow paint that I had in the basement. I felt like a little fairy going from one item to the next with my magic wand, spraying or slathering color where there was none. It was great! After things were dry, (and it didn’t take long on this warm, breezy day), Ken and I celebrated out patio with a glass of ice tea.

I was so happy with my accomplishments, that is, until I sat down in my chair to watch 60 Minutes and within a few minutes, I couldn’t move. The arthritis in my body let me know it wasn’t happy. Even my fingertips were screaming that I had made them work too hard. But tough. I was happy. I spent my day doing things I love to do, so I got out the Advil and let myself recover.

I love this time of year when I can watch things grow and colors fill my yard. It’s just too bad I’m getting older and have to pay for my efforts. I just have to learn to take small sips of spring excelsior.

Appreciating A Sunset

I love sunsets. I love to watch the sky explode with beautiful color and then fade to black. The ebb and flow of exploding color always takes my breath away.  Sunsets are kind of like the fruition of a great movie. They excite me, then calm me, and leave me with something wonderful to take away. In fact, I’ve seen a couple of sunsets that I will never forget.

I’ll never forget the sunset I saw while sitting at a restaurant in the Miami harbor. In every direction there were vivid yellows, pinks, corals, and lavender, that blended with hints of blue. The color reflected off the water of the harbor and the whole area was alive. But I seemed to be the only person who was enthralled by the sight. While others shoveled down their meals, I sat with my mouth open looking out the window. I was in my own world not able to speak.Miami_sunset_3

The second sunset I’ll never forget was when I was flying home from Puerto Rico. This time, I didn’t have a picture window to view the amazing sight; all I had was the tiny window of the plane that revealed only a small part of the amazing colors. I sat with my nose pressed against the glass, my eyes darting from left to right to witness flying THROUGH the color. But again, I seemed to be the only person who was extremely excited by by the event.sunset from a plane (1)

In both instances, the indifference of people around me was a great annoyance. Was what they were doing SO important that they couldn’t pause for a couple of minutes and bask in the beauty? I don’t think anything is THAT important! After all, sunsets are fleeting moments of only a few minutes. The color fades away quietly without fanfare. So why do so many people take this amazing event for granted? Why can’t the sunset get its due appreciation?

I’ll never get the answer to that. I suppose it can be chalked up to people being different. Perhaps they see beauty in other places. Who knows?

All I know is, I will never tire of seeing an outstanding sunset. There’s nothing more romantic than sitting on a beach or holding hands in a restaurant while gazing out a large picture window, or even on a plane looking out the tiny window while mother nature paints the sky in a way no human can. It’s simply heavenly. It’s natural, but it’s a miracle. And it’s there for the taking–everyday. (Well almost everyday. Can’t count the rainy ones, can I?)

So the next time you have a chance to see the sunset, relax. Be quiet. Let the sun and the reflecting clouds fill your soul with excitement. After all, it will be over before you can get comfortable. And best of all, it’s FREE.