The Cost of Free Writing

Writing-Quote

Writing-Quote

Like the image and quote suggest, writing can be like bleeding. I am constantly in awe of writers who can whip out a flash fiction for a writing prompt like my blogging buddy and friend, PJ from Beautiful Words. Or another fellow blogger who writes amazing stories in the Fantasy and Sci-fi genre, Phoenix Grey. Please read their blogs to be inspired by their writing talent.

Fiction does not come out of me very easily. I really do not know how fiction writers do it. I was a journalist in high school and I write non-fiction. I categorize myself as a reporter, or at best, a features writer. That is the voice of my blog. I record and write what I see and experience. It might be a reaction to something I have read or have seen via media, or something I saw with my own eyes. Being forced to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard can be costly in terms of time and to the slightly fragile ego of this writer.

I think that is why I love photography so much. When I take pictures of the places I visit, somehow the photo expresses the message better than I could ever write it. The old cliché, “a picture is worth 1000 words” is true in my book (if I could write one). I have been inspired by photos and have written great descriptions. I rely heavily on the concrete visual for which to be inspired.

Oddly, when there is a photo that someone wants captioned, I fail at that as well. I suppose it takes too much imagination to write a clever caption. I certainly appreciate a great caption when I read one.

Writing humor is also one of those skills that I appreciate and highly respect. I love to read humor and I admire those who can deliver. I have made several attempts at humor in my writing, some okay. With humor, I do better with the spoken word. By the time I write down the idea, I self-edit so much that the humor dries up completely and never makes it onto the page.

What is this free writing costing me? Time? Proof that my imagination is as dry as the drought here in California? This is the time of evening I have my dessert. Be right back……………………………………………Okay, now I can concentrate. Chocolate works wonders.

Clever me, that used up a few more words. Now I know how my students feel when they have to write papers with a word count. I wonder what writing costs them? Besides their grade.

And please don’t grade this Writing 101 assignment.


Writing 101–Day Nineteen: Don’t Stop the Rockin’
Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about. Four hundred words. One at a time. Go.

My Oreo Lives Forever: The Journey

Oreo-Forever

This post marks my final installment of the life of my dog, Oreo and wraps up the three-part Writing 101 assignment, Serially Lost. To catch up, please read the prequel about Oreo and the story of I Lost My Oreo.

Oreo-Forever
The sweetest face

Oreo’s life went on as it does for any dog.

Oreo spent long days in the backyard. He was an outside dog. He had a large backyard with plenty of space to run and neighbor dogs to keep each other company behind their respective fences. I worried about him being alone so much. I know most dogs sleep all day, but I made sure to take him for walks as often as possible. Oreo was the best watchdog I ever had. At about 65 pounds, he had a deep, throaty bark that no doubt scared potential intruders. And he only barked when he needed to.

During the winter holidays when the family was inside, gathered in the living room, Oreo would get our attention by touching his front paw against the slider door as if to say, “Hey, I’m here!” Of course we would all laugh and go pet him. Many times, my brother brought his dog, Ginger, and the two would tumble and chase all over the backyard. Ginger is with Oreo now at the Rainbow Bridge.

When I started grad school, Oreo was 10 years old. With one daughter on her own and the other busy with school and sports, Oreo and I would take long walks every evening. He was always so happy to go for these walks while I pondered school readings and looming assignments.

In 2009 when I met my husband, and we started spending summers at the delta, Oreo went with us every weekend. By now he was 12 years old and dogs his size usually only live to that age; and his age was beginning to show. He was becoming hard-of-hearing and his eyes had the unmistakable cloudiness of glaucoma.

Once my hubby came into our lives, Oreo spent much less time alone. My husband got home from work earlier than me and he would sit on our deck and enjoy a beer. He loved to give Oreo a tiny saucer of beer once in a while.

In his older age, Oreo developed a funny little habit of moaning and groaning with pleasure when we would bend down to hug him and pet him. The sweet, throaty noises he made gladdened my heart to know he was truly happy. My eyes tear up even now as I remember this.

In 2010, we had the opportunity to get another dog, this one a puppy. My daughter pointed out that all our pets’ names had the letters “E-O” in them: Leon (the cat); Gideon (my daughter’s dog); and, of course, Oreo. See the pattern here? Trying to name the tiny brown Spaniel-terrier mix was a challenge, what with putting E-O together. My hubby came up with Aero. So, yes, calling for Aero and Oreo was tongue-tying! Finally we gave up and just yelled, “Air-ee-yo” and they would both come running!

Oreo and Aero kept each other company for the next 10 months.Oreo-and-Aero In this photo, taken from behind the screen door, you can see Aero lying on top of Oreo all snuggled up. I was so lucky to capture that moment and will never forget how good Oreo was with having an annoying puppy around.

When both dogs were at the delta with us, part of the morning routine was to take them out for their morning relief. One particularly windy morning, as I walked along the levee road, I spotted Oreo and Aero running alongside the pink stucco wall that marked the barrier between the two campgrounds. Worried that Oreo would continue running up onto the road, I yelled for both dogs. I was nearly 200 yards away so my voice went nowhere. A moment later, with the strong wind at my back blowing toward the dogs, suddenly Oreo stopped, sniffed the air and turned to look straight at me. I was amazed at how strong his sense of smell was, and realized that his blindness and lack of hearing would not deter him from enjoying his last few months.

We believe the attention, a puppy companion, and fresh, breezy air added two years to Oreo’s 14-year life.

Rainbow-Bridge
The poem. Image by Suzanne Huddlestun Clark

As humans, we will always outlive our fur-babies.

Pets will enter and exit our lives and we will always cherish their sweet memories. I love the poem of the Rainbow Bridge and I get comfort believing that our beloved pets occupy a special place in Heaven with the rest of God’s creatures.

While I write this story, Aero (now 5 years old) has been leaning next to me as if he understands my emotional state. Dogs are amazing.

I hope you enjoyed reading and I thank you for indulging my memories of Oreo’s life journey. If you have a fur-baby at home, whom you know loves you unconditionally, please give it an extra-special squeeze today.


Writing 101 Day Sixteen: Third Time’s the Charm
Today’s Prompt: For inspiration, ponder the phrase “lost and found.” On day four, you wrote about losing something. On day thirteen, you then wrote about finding something. So, today’s twist: If you’d like to continue our serial challenge, also reflect on the theme of lost and found more generally in this post.

I am also including this post for BeWOW Wednesday, a weekly challenge from Ronovan Writes.

Just two more days of the Ultimate Blog Challenge

Ultimate Blog Challenge

Dear Dock: What if You Never Existed?

Dock

I have written about the Sacramento State University’s Aquatic Center before. Here is a new twist on the writing 101 prompt. I am combining Day 14 and 15.

Dock
The dock at Lake Natoma is at your leisure

Dear Dock,

The Sacramento community is surrounded by lakes and two major rivers. It gets very hot here in the summertime, some days reaching up to 110 degrees, with a summer average of 90 degrees. Your docks are needed with all of their potential for recreational and competitive water sports. Very few universities have their own Aquatic Center, so you are unique.

You provide endless amounts of recreation and leisure activities to college students, high school students and to the public.

Your director, Brian, has been dedicated to you for over 25 years, raising you from just a little one-ramp dock flanked by a metal shed. You have grown up into a gorgeous facility that inspires people to learn new water sports such as wakeboarding, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and even windsurfing. In fact, Brian, was named California State Boating Educator of the Year in 2013.

But what if you did not exist? What if the grant Brian wrote all those years ago was not awarded? What would have become of you?

In the spirit of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” if your docks did not exist on the lovely banks of Lake Natoma, this would be your story.

Your beautiful docks that could have been the centerpiece of the Sacramento area would have never existed. There would be no inland Aquatic Center to attract university students from around the country and beyond.

The annual events such as the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships, the Pac 12 Rowing Championships and various regattas and triathlons would not happen.

Aquatic-Center-Dock
The docks are still colorful even in dreary February

The university students that would have come from all over the country to represent their schools with pride would not be able to experience Northern California. The economic impact from the sizable tourist industry to Sacramento would never be realized.

The jobs that you would have provided to teens and young adults would cease to exist, as well as the valuable internship opportunities for college students. Local folks in the Sacramento community would not be able to rent your classrooms for events. The thousands of children that would have registered annually for your day camps would not learn valuable water skills. Without your presence on Lake Natoma, a child never learns to swim and drowns.

Generations of people looking for leisure activities would never experience the hot trend of stand-up paddling, nor be able to spend an idyllic, fall Saturday morning kayaking near your peaceful shore.

But…
Because of the vision of the university, the state of California, the counties of Sacramento and El Dorado, and the local water district, your docks will remain pristine and available to all. Your expressive dock eagerly awaits visitors!

Thank you, dock, for being you. Sacramento is blessed to have you!

Sincerely yours,

An Avid Water Enthusiast


Writing 101 Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You
Today’s Prompt: Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force. How does that make you feel?

Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern
Today’s Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there. My word was “dock.” Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter. You have a number of options: you can write a letter to the word or an image, or an open letter to the world inspired by the word.

I Found My Oreo: The Early Years

Oreo-the-Lifeguard

The back-story of our beloved dog Oreo begins here. In a previous post, I wrote about how we lost our Oreo.

Two years after my divorce, my youngest daughter still longed for the dogs we had when her dad was still here. Being a newly-single mother of two young daughters, with no monetary help whatsoever, and as much as I wanted another dog, I waited until some time had passed.

Oreo-My-Dog
Oreo is 12-weeks old when we brought him home from the SPCA

The time was right, so we took a trip to the local SPCA. Without rehashing the details of the puppy we initially brought home, the circumstances changed so that we found the adorable, black and white, freckle-snouted Springer Spaniel-mix pup, who we dubbed “Oreo.”

Oreo was three months old already when we brought him home. He happily accepted his new life in our large backyard. A few months earlier we had acquired a rabbit that roamed freely until…Oreo discovered him. I naively believed they could co-exist in the backyard, the bunny blissfully chewing on our vegetation. Just a few days after we brought Oreo home, I heard a commotion in the yard. Oreo had not only discovered the rabbit, but had attacked it!

Why did I get a dog again? Oh yes, to make my youngest daughter happy. I wrapped the poor rabbit up in a towel thinking it was close to death, and brought it into the garage. Its injuries were not life-threatening, but it was in shock. The bunny recovered and we gave it to a neighbor down the street. Oreo had claimed his territory and had full reign of the backyard.

Oreo loved to dig shallow holes all over the yard to sleep in. It must have been the Australian Shepherd in him that caused him to sleep in the shallow holes. This had to stop, so with help, we built a small wooden dog house for him, which had a flat roof. We put a nice fluffy rug and blanket in the brand-new house, and found him asleep on top of the house! We should have named him Snoopy. And he didn’t stop digging.

Looking back, Oreo spent more time alone in the backyard than I had wanted, because of work and school. But we made sure to play with him and take him for walks. My two young daughters were attentive enough, offering to give him baths as much as possible. One time, my youngest was a little too liberal with the soap and got some in Oreo’s eyes. His eyelid literally turned inside out for two days! From that day on, he DESPISED water and would run the opposite way when I would use the hose to water the grass.

Despite this, he lived a happy, puppy life. Inevitably, as the kids got older, they spent less time with Oreo. With me driving them to their various activities in the evenings, Oreo was alone. There were a couple of dogs in the surrounding neighbors’ yards, so he did have a little company. I took him for walks as often as I could, but I’m sure it wasn’t enough. I still feel some remorse over this.

Oreo grew into a good-sized dog, weighing about 65 pounds with thick, glossy black fur—yes, he shed in the warm months. He was an outdoor dog and rarely did he come into the house. Between the dog house and the pet door to the garage, he seemed content. Still the water-hater, on rainy days, he stayed outside and lounged under the big pine tree. He could have easily come in out of the rain, but he seemed to enjoy it, for some inexplicable reason.

One oddly cloudy July 4th evening, as neighborhood fireworks boomed and lit up the night, I had walked outside the front door to see if I could see the nearby church’s fireworks display. I came back in to find Oreo lying on the couch (I had forgotten to close the screen door). He was afraid of the noise, as most dogs are, and made himself right at home.

A couple of years later, when I became the aquatics director in 2002, we held an event the weekend the pool closed for the season. This event was “Doggy Dip Day” where we let the dogs come swimming. Think of an off-leash dog park with a swimming pool to play in! Of course, the media came early and wanted photo ops, so I brought Oreo with me and dressed him in a lifeguard shirt. Oreo did a great job patrolling the deck, careful not to put a toe in the water.

Oreo-the-Lifeguard
Oreo wore the lifeguard uniform at the first annual doggy dip day.

Oreo’s young years were happy and full of joy. This also serves as my post for BeWOW Wednesday, a weekly challenge from Ronovan Writes.

Stay tuned for the final part of the story coming soon!


Writing 101–Day Thirteen: Serially Found
On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today’s Prompt: write about finding something.
Interpret this theme of “finding something” however you see fit. Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.

I Lost My Oreo

Oreo-Loved-the Delta
Oreo-Loved-the Delta
Oreo at age 12 years

Oreo was my beloved 14-year old Springer Spaniel-Australian Shepherd mix. He was 12-weeks old when he and his twin brother were brought to the SPCA. My daughters and I had just gotten a Chow puppy and were taking him home when we saw the cute, freckle-faced black and white pups.

The next day, I came home from work for lunch to check on our little Chow and he had died. Weeping, I wrapped him up in a towel and brought him back to the SPCA. The vet later told me he had died from an infection brought on by the neuter surgery. Who performs neuters on 6-week old pups?

But that is not the story.

Within two days, the SPCA said I could take one of the black and white puppies we had seen earlier. We brought him home and named him Oreo for all the Oreo-cookie crumbs that freckled his nose. Here is what Oreo looked like when we got him (yes, that is me 18 years ago).

Oreo-My-Dog
Oreo was 12-weeks old when we brought him home from the SPCA

Fast forward to 2011.

In early 2011, Oreo had already exceeded his estimated life span by two years. Dogs his size usually die by age 12 or 13 years old. I attributed his extra years to going with us to the delta when my husband entered my life in 2009. Oreo loved the delta. In 2010, we acquired Aero, our brown cocker mix, who also kept Oreo company in his last year on Earth.

When Oreo died, I wasn’t even in town.

For several months, Oreo had been losing weight, had lost his hearing, and had cataracts. He never lost his strong sense of smell, so he could maneuver pretty well around the yard.

In late June, at the delta, Oreo got severely tangled in his long lead to which he was tied next to our trailer. We tied him up so he wouldn’t wander over the levee and get hit by a car. Most of the time, he could be off his tether under our supervision. On this particular Saturday morning, having gotten tangled again, I drove the hour drive back home where he would not have to be tied up. When we got home on Sunday evening, my daughter said that he had fallen down the two steps from our backyard deck. He was unharmed but this was not a good sign.

I took him to the vet shortly after. He had gotten into very bad shape very quickly. In a few days, we were travelling for a 5-day vacation in Yosemite. I felt in my heart that Oreo should be put out of his misery and hoped the vet would agree. Instead, she prescribed him some pills (for older dogs). Although I was relieved and hoped that Oreo would get better, that did not happen.

My daughter’s friend agreed to look after Oreo while we were in Yosemite. There is very little phone service in the high country, but we happened to be visiting Yosemite Valley one of the days.

That is when I got the phone call. When Darla checked on Oreo, she found him sprawled across the deck stairs. He was very near death. While trying to reach me, she and a neighbor put him in the car and took him to the closest vet.

As the vet described Oreo’s condition over the phone to me, wanting to run tests (why??), I told the vet to put him down. In writing this, it sounds so cold and factual, but since I wasn’t there, I cope with this by being so. Darla agreed to stay with Oreo while they injected him with the life-ending serum. She was the last person Oreo sensed.

To this day, I carry the guilt and immense sadness that I could not be by my dog’s side as he was euthanized. I can barely write this even now.

We requested the vet to freeze Oreo’s body. When we came home, my husband dug a deep hole in our backyard under Oreo’s favorite pine tree and buried him there. My husband made a cement grave stone and we managed to use Oreo’s own paw to make a print in the wet cement.

Once Oreo was laid to rest under the tree, what amazed me is how our puppy Aero reacted. He could smell Oreo and spent several days laying on Oreo’s grave, sniffing and “crying.” Sometimes he would run around the yard looking for him.

I am consoled by the knowledge that Oreo had some extra time on Earth and a puppy companion in his last days.

I have wanted to write this story for a long time and this prompt for Writing 101 is as good a time as any. The twist to this prompt, to make it a three-part serial, will give me the opportunity to continue the series with the back story to celebrate Oreo’s wonderful life…stay tuned.

I’ve Got the Music In Me

Climb-Every-Mountain

Climb-Every-Mountain

Day three of Writing 101 asked us to write about three of the most important songs in our lives and why they are meaningful.

Now that Easter has just passed, a song that holds deep meaning for me is “In Christ Alone.” Although strong in my Christian faith, I still fall short every day. Too often I try to solve problems myself or needlessly worry about things that are out of my control.

A few years ago, when a particularly stressful work situation came up and I was literally alone, I stopped and gave it all to God. During the moments I prayed and asked God for help, I could feel the tension leaving my body. As I leaned on the Lord during that difficult time, I knew He was “my light, my strength, my song”…and in His power I would stand, as the lyrics state. Here are the first and last verses of the song.

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry, to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Six years ago on April 9th, I (re)met the man who became my husband in 2013. I thought for weeks to what song I would walk down the aisle at our wedding. I finally decided on an instrumental piano and guitar version of “Climb Every Mountain” from the Sound of Music. The musical is my all-time favorite, not just because of the incredible Julie Andrews and the talented cast, but what the message of the true story conveys. Here are some of the lyrics.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.

The third song that holds deep meaning for me, is from the beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas’ “Linus and Lucy,” by Vince Guaraldi Trio. The sheer happiness and joy that emanates from this song is really indescribable.It was 1968 when I first saw this show at Christmas time. The kids dancing were actually performing the popular dances of the day (1964)…the “pony” was one of them.

Who doesn’t feel like a child again when you hear this merry tune? And later in the show, Linus walks out on stage and proclaims the passage from Luke 2 to answer Charlie Brown’s question “Isn’t there anyone, who knows what Christmas is all about?” That never gets old.

Enjoy this Youtube version of Linus and Lucy and do a little happy dance today to celebrate your childhood!

What are your favorite songs and how do they make you feel?

The Beauty of Community

Beauty-of-Community

Beauty-of-Community

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.” ― Jean Vanier, Community and Growth

I spent more than half my life in public service working for a leisure organization. Within leisure spaces, whether they are swimming pools, public parks, campgrounds, or community centers, my job centered around providing recreation programs for people. Inevitably, these opportunities enabled participants of all ages to build communities on summer swim teams, in water aerobics classes, and in pre-school programs.

The same is true for our blogging community. I have read many excellent posts about “how to get more followers to your blog,” or “Six ways to Build Your Audience,” etc. Other bloggers sharing this information know that to accomplish these goals, you (and I) need to read others’ blogs, like and follow!

The following bloggers offer and host blogging events to help you grow your blog:

One blogger whom I now consider a friend, Janet Wald, offers excellent advice on her blog, Reflections. Read her recap that includes a linky party and blogging tips.

Suzie, of Suzie81speaks is hosting a blog party this weekend, where bloggers can share their favorite post in her blog’s comments section. Suzie also will retweet your post on Twitter.

Jason, the Opinionated Man, does the same thing on Harsh Reality, potentially sharing your blog with 50,000+ followers. Watch for his blog announcing these events.

If you favor photography over writing, link your photos and posts to another blogger I call a friend: Lucile DeGodoy’s Photo101 Rehab event.

Last but not least, is another gracious blogger, Ronovan Write’s, who encourages bloggers to write about something positive and uplifting for BeWOW Wednesday. He will retweet your post using #BeWow hashtag which puts your blog out in the Twitterverse to attract more readers.

Please check out Diana’s Adventures’ blog as she shares a recent post “Tips for New Bloggers.”  I’m bookmarking this one myself!! These bloggers, and countless others, know how to build community. They will faithfully read your blog, comment on, and like your posts. These tasks are invaluable to us as bloggers to feel the community’s appreciation of a well-written post or beautiful photograph.This is also my post for BeWOW Wednesday.

I am also participating in April’s Ultimate Blog Challenge, another community opportunity on Facebook. I have found and followed several new bloggers there.Ultimate Blog Challenge

I am participating in Writing 101 this month. Not only am I working on my skills as a writer, but I am part of a new community of bloggers who want to do the same. By being part of “The Commons” where we can share our latest posts, we can get to know brand new bloggers who are just starting out. If you are a seasoned blogger (and I feel I can call myself that now), we help build community by reading, liking and following these new bloggers.

After all, we are a community of writers, photographers, hobbyists, friends, colleagues…the list is endless.

And that is the Beauty of Community!

I would appreciate it if you could share this post if you found it helpful!

No Room; But There’s a View

Tuolumne Meadows
Tuolumne Meadows
The Mountains are calling and I Must Go–John Muir

I never get tired of visiting Tuolumne Meadows in the high country of Yosemite National Park in California. My parents traditionally took their two-week vacation to the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which from San Diego was about an 8 hour drive. By the time I was eight years old and my brother was five, we were old enough to finally go with them!

I have been to Tuolumne Meadows 23 times (twice in 1979). “The mountains are calling and I must go.” ― John Muir. Muir wrote volumes about Yosemite and referred to the Sierras as the “the range of light.

Unicorn Peak overlooks Tuolumne Meadows
Unicorn Peak stands watch over the meadows

Although I am not nearly the writer as John Muir, I am still staggered by the beauty of the high country of Tuolumne Meadows. Nearly impossible to capture in a photo, the sunlight shines off of every pine needle, validating the incredible glow as the stately Lodge pole pines reach toward the cerulean sky.

Adding to the light are the granite peaks reflecting their surreal splashes of what one might believe is water. Tens of thousands of years ago, the entire continent of North America was covered in ice. As the Ice Age ended, massive avalanches carrying untold tons of giant boulders and debris scraped and shaped the domes, creating vast, shining sheets of polished rock.

Glacial Polish on Lembert Dome

At sunset, the remnants of glacial polish reflect the fading sunlight, back-lit with an effect known as alpenglow.

At nearly 9,000 feet in elevation, even the night sky is ablaze with the light of billions of stars. The Milky Way is so bright it looks like clouds have made their way over the meadow.

Alpenglow
Alpenglow lingers on opposite peaks after sun’s descent

A day or two before our family vacation, my mother would schedule a trip to the library where we would check out a stack of books to take along. It was probably then I developed my love for reading. There was the 8-hour drive in which to enjoy a great book, as well as plenty of leisure time in between hiking and fishing trips. Laying on the meadow among the sedges, listening to the Belding ground squirrels’ high pitched warning whistles, with the gentle breeze whispering in the pine trees, created an imaginative setting for whatever I was reading. As I grew older, I was inspired to write in my journal about whatever teenage troubles I experienced.

Tuolumne Meadows

The Range of Light has infused inspiration into my soul since I walked these meadows in 1968 as an eight year-old. While the camera has its limits to what it can capture, my eyes see the miracle of the incredible beauty that John Muir saw. What scenery he described and illustrated in the late 1800s, I can now capture on my phone 125 years later. That in itself is an inspiration and a step back into time.

As a leisure educator, I revel in these special leisure spaces. Without them, humankind would certainly shrivel and die. I never tire of visiting, whether we stay in the campground or motel camp in nearby Lee Vining. Even more fun is when we go with people who have never been there, and experience the awe and joy through their eyes.

Show-Your-World

I have been invited by Tiny Expats to share this post on “Show Your World.” Please enjoy my backyard 🙂