Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rolling Around

I am starting to find many treasures around where I am. I have climbed that highest mountain, well at least the tallest Loess ridge, a feat in itself. Shopping has also taken its toll; I am still keeping my other home so getting all new. This going to work each day hasn’t been a priority for over two and a half years, so I am trying to get use to that regime again. It was hard to leave an area I had played hard on, but this area has some of the older prairie remnants for the state. It has been hard getting around to some areas, the Missouri River flooded real bad around me. Many small bridges are still out, and this often is only one way to get into many towns.

It was nice to return to the area. This is a new piece of land to survey between mighty hills and gentle croplands. A familiar sight was a tiny strip of restored prairie that offered a chance to remember a few friends from around my other home. Dried clumps of goldenrod caught the sunlight acting like tiny lanterns to lead the way. A Red-breasted Woodpecker greeted me in almost the same area it had my previous visit. Perhaps this was a sign to return many more times to enjoy this wonderful area. Harvested soybean fields become a challenge for the mountain bike. They are easy down, but hard to navigate up without taking the slope in a series of switchbacks. I laughed today thinking I need a toboggan to exchange for my bike in a few weeks perhaps. If you have one you aren’t using please send it over to me, I have some nice areas to sled. I would love to have you join me.

As I rounded the bend a pair of male Eastern Bluebirds flew off in one direction, while the females went the other. There are a pair of houses nearby I think they are using; maybe they are related staying into near winter. They aren’t ready to pose for a picture yet, I missed them both directions hiking in today. It was nice to hum, “Mister Bluebird” and remember the happiness they give me when I watch them through the summer. This was a slow year for fledglings in this area, only forty-nine found, some years have approached ninety.  When the Missouri River flooded it approached this area through a series of creeks, flooding out the picnic area and trails. The main overland flooding stayed back to preserve this archeological dig. They are trying to locate a Woodland Indian encampment through a series of post holes dug across the area. Some exciting finds drew studies to the area.

 Bittersweet looks almost like Chinese Lanterns

This looked like a squid when I found it in the middle of nowhere. LOL Sometimes I feel so remote, yet I am 20 minutes from Omaha, Nebraska.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let The Good Times Roll

She slowly moved toward a new toy
Her mother stood near watching intently
She had been touching and learning
While all around joined in animated conversations
The hand stretched toward new horizons
Fingers set to touch all the buttons
I handed it too her, putting the strap around her neck
And created a confusion with her brother
He wanted to join her seeing the attraction
She tried to run, the camera pulling her down
I laughed with a deep heartfelt sigh
Remembering her mother doing the same
So long ago, out on the prairie.

The ripples remain motionless
Frozen in time on a frosty morning
Ice coating, slowly growing across the waters
To where I will skate across it soon
New horizons will be opened
And winter happiness carried across the land
On a gentle prairie breeze.

There is always a charm to be part of a new day, watching the sun peek over the horizon. It is a pleasure always to be part of this awakening, full of simple pleasures for one to enjoy. I am now part of a new holiday season, full of many holiday memories I often share with others. This helps me build new thoughts with old ideas, and find happiness with each new experience. Someone asked what I would like for a gift, and I thought to myself, the gift was sharing our lives together. It is so simple and never that costly to share friendship and love with all we hold dear in our lives.

I spent another day helping carry the boxes upstairs to decorate. This was the second time already I have been the muscle to help decorate for the holiday. I watch as each ornament is carefully placed, an art form in it's own right. I think of all the boxes of lights and decorations I have accumulated over the years, and wish to share a few here, but they have too much as I do too. A trip down memory lane always follows when I help with this. I can still remember my father wanting the biggest turkey, the perfect tree, all part of our family tradition. I remember him trimming off a tree, just so it would fit in our ten foot ceiling. My mother commenting she wanted the smaller of the two,watched him carefully. I wonder now if it was the mess we were making in the living room, a place she always kept so pristine. She stopped him when he threatened to cut the top off, holding up the angel who always adorned our tree. The tree was raised and I was lifted up to place the angel. I always day dreamed looking at her through the years, and gazing at my reflection in the glass ornaments.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Happiness

 I called to her to get her attention
She turned, golden hair glowing in the sunlight
We stood far apart contemplating each other
And then continued walking in different directions
Enjoying our day out on the prairie.

It is a week of happiness for many as we enjoy a Thanksgiving feast with family and friends.Many forget what they are thankful for until this day, but I have to say I am thankful to have a new area to explore and enjoy. This is a tough change for us flatlanders. A simple hike often is up or down the beautiful rolling hills. The fauna is all new also to enjoy, I forgot how plush the tall grass prairie was until I left it. This is an area with some of the older prairie remnants in the state, but most has met it's fate with agriculture and grazing. When you walk out over the hills the difference in variety is a new treat, just like taking a child into a candy store. I have been greeted by a few bluebirds still, I wonder what they find to eat this time of year.

We need to take a moment and look into our lives as the holidays all approach and not be overwhelmed with them. I always look for continued happiness and hope all of you can take a little time and do the same. I took my van in for servicing last night and wandered through a huge shopping complex looking through the stores.I laughed thinking of standing in the Barbie aisles,wondering what my children didn't already have. Then I realized there were many who didn't have a whole lot for their holidays, so we gathered a variety of dolls my kids liked and placed them in the Toys for Tots box, teaching my children the true meaning of the holidays. This expanded each year, and we soon had this as part of our family tradition.The trees with wish cards are fun for me, it only takes a small gift to make someones life happy. Remember when you are enjoying the holidays with those close to you that the gift of love is the most precious gift we receive in life and have a great holiday season.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A day to remember

 Sunrise pours over the hillsides
As far as the eye can see
A new day begins again
For you, nature and me.

 A relic found in the woods, part of a coke bottle.

It shouldn't ever take a lot in our lives to be happy. Watching young children at play today made me remember the last words my mother would say when going into someones house. "Don't show off, and be in your best behavior",she would say. Why did  she have to remind us we thought? At times we had the best of fun showing our abilities in a variety of areas, such as wrestling, running, jumping and generally having fun. Three boys cut in front of me to get some soup. Their mother apologized and I said I was enjoying their antics. Being the middle of three boys I saw a vision of my childhood.

My grandson only needs to see me, he enjoys all he knows about his Papa. Everything in my life is remarkable to him, and we try to always do something different each time together. Learning numbers we recited them in a variety of languages and order. His mother had started him with French and I expanded to Spanish. As we walked down the sidewalk we shared song and numbers with each other. We walked past a drive reciting in Spanish and a Latino man sat on a stool polishing his car. I gave him a nod and he beamed a broad smile. A shared moment of happiness swept over the neighborhood and we continued on our talk, walk and enjoyable day, happiness found so simple.

Friday, November 18, 2011

 So nice to see a few dandilions, almost makes me want to pick a bouquet for my mother.

 I liked the oranges when it stretched, but isn't this Wooly Bear a denizen of soon to be cold?