Sunday Stills: The Legacy of Favorite #Places

Tuolumne Meadows

Friday was the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of the official state legal lockdown here in California. It was a beautiful sunny day with mild temperatures. My neighbor and I walked our dogs, of course keeping the appropriate 6-feet of social distance.

I was struck by how many people were out and about, enjoying their front yards, walking their dogs, even some riding bikes around the neighborhood. I feel this crisis, just like 9-11 in 2001, will bring community together even more so.

This week’s theme is Favorite Places

A Favorite Backyard

To spark the creativity for this post, I share a previous photo of my lovely sunflower from last year. You might remember I was home bound for two months recovering from foot surgery last summer, so my back-yard, lush with sunflowers and plumerias was my favorite place for a while. I guess it will be again while we languish at home.

lazy opening of sunflower petals

A Leisure Legacy of Favorite Places Instilled

Some of you may know that my mother passed away in early March. While I am sad and still find myself weeping for no reason, I am content that she is at peace.

For recreation, Mom always insisted we all go somewhere every Saturday or Sunday, whether it was to church, the beach (we lived in San Diego), the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Sea World, or trips to the Cuyamaca Mountains to enjoy winter snow or summer picnics.

Summers found us all at La Jolla shores beach or tide pools. During my younger teen years, we also enjoyed weekly warm summer evening excursions to Pacific Beach after a quick dinner at Wienerschnitzel or Taco Bell.

Pier at Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach Pier

My mom and dad loved camping and spent two-three weeks each summer enjoying the Sierra Nevadas. When we kids were old enough, we joined them.

Woman Hiking
Mom at 41, hiking in the Sierras

I just love seeing this photo of my mom back in 1981, when she was healthy.

Before our 2-week camping trips, a trip to the local library was in order to stock up on books. We did a lot of reading on those 8-hour road trips and read on our down time at the campsite.

We camped in Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, but always seemed to land in Tuolumne Meadows, in Yosemite’s high country. Less crowded than the Valley, with its onslaught of tourists and hot summer temps, Mom preferred Tuolumne’s campground, with Ranger-led evening campfires, endless hiking trails and daily fishing!

Tuolumne Meadows
Tuolumne Meadows

A Leisure Legacy of Favorite Places Continues

“Our camping trips and excursions instilled a strong leisure ethic in me that exists to this day and has been passed down to my daughters, my brothers and their children.”

A Disappointed Daughter’s Perspective
Family enjoying a hike on mountain
Sunset Walk on Lembert Dome, Yosemite, with my daughters and my brother

I had the honor of writing and preparing her obituary for publication in a local San Diego area newspaper. Diane loved her community of Lemon Grove. Services will be conducted in early June, around the date of what would have been her 80th birthday, in a beautiful park near the home where she grew up.

Obituary Image

We have obtained a permit to scatter her ashes in her beloved Tuolumne Meadows, in July, where she loved to fish in the meadows, where we hiked as a family for over 15 years.

At last, she will be at peace in her favorite place.

Today’s post is chattier than usual as I remember my mom and her legacy. Remember, your post should focus on the theme rather than reflect on what I’ve written.

Sunday Stills is taking a one-week break March 29. I will be back to the blog in April to participate in Becky B’s April Squares and resume Sunday Stills on April 5.

Sunday Stills: Your Favorite #Sport or #Hobby

SUP session at the delta

This week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge is all about showcasing your favorite sports and/or hobbies. Your images of sports might show others participating or yourself engaged in one. The same is true for your hobbies. Please share any image depicting doing what you love and engaging in leisure!

I will start you off with some of my examples.

Hobby 1: Gardening

Last teddy sunflower of the summer

Most of my summer was confined to my backyard due to foot surgery and lack of mobility afterward. Many of my photos featured my new-ish hobby of gardening, with great success in growing (yes, and bragging about) my two favorite flowers: plumeria and sunflowers.

I was so excited to grow the Tall Sungold or Teddy Bear from seeds this season, shown in the above image.

My sunflowers are just about done, but even as they go to seed there is still beauty and hope for the next season!

sunflower seed harvest

My hearty little plumeria plant is still blooming and I hope by next season that the other three plants will reveal their blooms.

Unexpected Plumeria blooms

Hobby 2: Photography

I take at least 200 photos a week and perhaps like you, I share a few on my blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

Since I am not yet interested in trying to sell my photos, freely sharing through these creative outlets simply makes me happy. I have enjoyed much positive feedback and encouragement about my photography (and I am sure you have, too)!

One day, I may print images on canvases and sell them in local craft fairs. But for now, these are a fun and creative outlets to help me enjoy my hobby.

I enjoy seeing the astounding photographic talents on Instagram and on WordPress from the fellow bloggers who link with Sunday Stills Photo Challenge each week.

Hobby 3: Writing

I have mostly finished the first draft of my next book, No Excuses Fitness. My daughter, an aerospace engineer and CrossFit enthusiast, is reading it with a critical eye and has already made some excellent suggestions and edits!

Cycling-for-Exercise

I would have never thought about self-publishing if it not been for my blog. I have met many self-published authors through blogging and am now a fan of their published works.

Hobby 4: Caring for my Dogs

Brodie swims for the stick

I don’t know if caring for my fur-babies counts as a hobby since I consider Aero and Brodie part of the family, but they do provide us with endless shenanigans and smiles!

At the Sacramento River Delta a few weekends ago, I enjoyed photographing Aero chasing a ball on the beach, while making sure Brodie chased sticks in the river. They know the word “delta” and stop in their tracks when I utter the word.

Aero the dog chases the ball on the beach

Sport 1 & 2: SUP and Windsurfing

When I met my husband 10 years ago, I had no idea my life would have ever been this exciting! His passion for windsurfing has opened unexpected doors to leisure pastimes I had never considered. He remembered I was athletic in high school, so it was natural for me to jump into windsurfing and stand-up paddling.

SUP session at the delta

I have not windsurfed at all this summer and I’m told there were many non-windy days. I prefer SUPing anyway!

The next evolution of board sports is foiling, giving board sports enthusiasts another way to enjoy these sports. Riding on this foil lifts the board out of the water and creates a smooth ride even on a light-wind day.

Windsurf foiling

Here, you can get an idea of the special board and the size of the foil.

Brodie keeps a watchful eye as his “dad” prepares to launch!

Brodie watching a windsurfer.

Hobby 5: Weekend Camping and Beyond

Truck and Trailer

We have had our travel trailer since spring 2018 and have made excellent use of it, by camping two summers in the delta at our windsurf club’s campground. Alas, the season ends this month and we move our trailer back to storage. However, we hope to camp with the trailer a couple of weekends this fall, perhaps driving north to Lake Siskiyou or to Lake Tahoe before it gets too cold.

We are repeating our winter road trip in late December into January as we head south to San Diego and into Arizona and Nevada. If you are new to my blog, you can read more about our travel travails from earlier this year!

Need some hobby inspiration? Check out Kaiser Permanente’s article on the benefits of having a hobby and enjoying leisure time.

I’m betting you will find a selection of images of sports and hobbies to share and I can’t wait to see what you come up with this week!

Go forth and enjoy your leisure time!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

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 🙂