Longing for Sunny Skies

On Saturday, we were blanketed with about two feet of snow. It took days for things to clear and, now, instead of pristine white, we’re left with partially melted piles of grayish sludge. Even though I love my office window, when I look outside, all I see is icy gray, murky skies, and barren trees. It’s dispiriting.

Plus, this has been an exhausting week.

Work has been especially busy, not helped by having no less than 5 hours of meetings a day. It’s so hard to get things done when all of your usual time is taken away. Plus, weird things seemed to crop up more than usual. I ended up declining a meeting yesterday with the note, “Things have gotten progressively more strange and I need to be at my desk.”

Plus, I haven’t slept well, so I’m physically exhausted, too.

It’s hard to be optimistic during weeks like this one, hard to see that they’re not always like this. It’s so hard not to be dragged down by all of the gray and murkiness and frustration.

Beach ReadingSo to remind myself that there is something better, I think of days like the ones we had in Puerto Rico, days filled with abundant sunshine, good food (not pictured), feet in the sand, The Dude, reading, crashing waves, and endless blue skies.

The Weight of Winter

I’m… not a fan of the winter. Unless I’m sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, holding a mug of tea in one hand and book in the other, I don’t like the cold. I don’t like the way it steals my breath and chaps my skin. I hate that my hair become electric, constantly standing on end, and that I shock myself every time I open my office door.

Don’t even get me started on the snow. The ordeal of shoveling and scraping and sliding, is something I dread every year (even when The Dude does most of the shoveling!). Plus, the black, half-melted snow just makes everything feel… dirty.

Still, it can be kind of lovely, can’t it? The way it swirls and twirls toward the earth, weightless until it piles into a heavy, sparkling mass. The way, just for a short time, the world is wrapped in softness and glitter and quiet.

Falling Snow

Even so, I’m glad this picture was taken years ago, not last night. I know what the forecasts and almanacs have said, but I’m hoping for a snow free winter. A girl can dream, right?

Snapping Pictures

I used to take my camera everywhere, snapping pictures whenever something caught my eye. I didn’t care what it was, I would document it.  I stopped in part because my camera was heavy and I was tired of carrying a (super) huge bag (not that I carry a small bag, but it’s too small for my camera). But, I also stopped because I felt like I was sacrificing experiences in favor of imagery. I would sometimes get hyper focused on getting the perfect shot, and I felt like I was always missing out on something. Sometimes, I felt like I was removed from whatever was going on.

Still, I really miss taking pictures. I miss going through the images I captured and saving the best ones. I miss the times when I accidentally caught something unexpected. And, I miss having fun with photo editing.

This is picture was taken outside of a restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland (Seacrets, for the curious) and I remember having so much fun playing with the image until the word “Taxi” seemed to glow from atop the circular metal sign.

Taxi Stand

I guess I could start taking more pictures with my phone, but the camera really leave a lot to be desired. Then again, maybe that’s just an excuse. What would it hurt to try?

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Dreaming of Monkeys

This time of year, work is crazy. Classes start in less than a week and everyone, vacation-brained and sunburned, is stumbling back onto campus, trying to make the transition between summer and endless reading and essay writing. Since our department does a large chunk of project work during the summer, I only get to take a few days off here and there; no vacations for me until late September or early October.

So, I dream of vacations, both past and future.

I loved Mexico. I loved the food and the people and the ruins peeking out where you least expected them. One of my favorite places was Calakmul, an ancient Mayan city buried in a tropical preserve. I loved climbing around the ruins, surveying the jungle below, and eating our bagged lunch at the foot of a crumbling temple. I especially loved the monkeys swinging through trees right above my head; I had never experienced anything like it.

Monkey

Young Spider Monkey in Calakmul

This little guy, silhouetted against trees and sky, was my favorite.

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Beachy Keen

I want to go to the beach.

I want to sit with The Dude and watch the sun set over the ocean and buy too much salt water taffy. I love hearing the waves break against the shore and the gulls screeching overhead. I want to squidge my toes in the sand, look for shells, eat seafood until I burst, and smell the briny air.

Cape May

The Dude and a Sunken Ship

This picture is from our first vacation together. We went to Cape May for a few days and did everything I mentioned above. I want to go again.

Today.

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A Home for Ladybugs

Rose

Lovely Ladybug and Fuschia Rose

One of the things I love about our house is our rosebushes. I love that they don’t take too much effort on The Dude’s part (Gardening is something that should have been on my list of can’t dos; I have the brownest of brown thumbs), but they always look beautiful and smell heavenly. Sometimes, the roses even contain surprises like dewdrops and ladybugs.