Posts Tagged ‘Journey’

One decade ago this week, this blog was launched.

(See below for the very first post!)

I am humbly grateful for having the privilege of being a part of the WordPress community and for the incredibly kind, talented and amazing human beings who together make up this wonderful blogosphere.

Thank you so very much for ten phenomenal years of discovery, growth, friendships and untold joys. A lot can happen in a decade on a beach…tides shift, precious shells wash up and get swept back out to sea, storms destroy and God heals, and the sun always comes out again.

Thank you for sharing this beach with me. xo

It all started with this:


Pull up a beach chair…

July 7, 2011 by Southern Sea Muse

Welcome, my friend…to my blog and to my world. Let’s sit and ponder things together…growing stronger and wiser from having the courage to take the risk of entertaining thoughts both inside and outside of our comfort zones, to find peace in change, strength in weakness, joy in despair.

As we contemplate, our chairs may shift and settle and get stuck in the sand, but we know that the momentary sense of stability in being grounded in what feels firm and solid, will ultimately give way to that disturbing realization of relinquished control as the water rises seemingly without notice. Then we suddenly find  the impetus to pick up our beach chair and move it to a new place to enjoy yet another perspective, building on our previous vantage point. Perhaps a little higher, perhaps a little farther, but either way, we have been moved, forced to change, and to experience a renewed sense of security, even though in the back of our mind we know it will change again with the rhythm of the seashore.

Let this rhythm be our lullaby to cradle us through the sometimes startling, sometimes soothing tides of change.

Come sit a spell, lie back and relax, dig your toes in the warm sand, deeply inhale the sweet sea mist….

….and Listen………..

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Class of 2021, declared major: Aerospace Engineering, emphasis on jet propulsion. Busch Gardens: Where our top rocket scientists get their start!

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God whispers, “Wait!
I’m not done with you yet!”
Greet the sun’s rise
And wait for its set.

“The full day is Mine,”
So sayeth the Lord;
And rest in the night,
Not fearful or bored.

For night, like the winter,
Seeks not to destroy,
Darkness in valleys
Spawns splendor and joy…

Just when you think
You can’t take anymore,
God shows us the shutness
THEN opens the door.

Faith is an exercise
Not to achieve,
But trod as a journey,
Daily gift to receive.

Pause to see beauty 
Each step of the way,
And God will rain mercy
And grace on your day.

Where today’s poem was spawned…

Thanks, God, for faith, hope and love, the greatest of which is always love.

May we learn to be gracefully patient and guided by Love, each step of the way.

Lord, have Mercy, and thank You for unconditional love and the wisdom in Waiting.

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Sea songs and sandals

Bright birds sing of life

In a faraway land where

One finds no strife

Steady the waves rhythmically

Lull one to rest

No wonder so many say

Here, it’s the best!

Beauty abounds and

Art’s seen in all

Nature and man-made

Both having a ball!

Doors, walkways and steps

With fountain or pool

I’ve fallen in love,

Costa Rica’s so cool!

Time to chillax!

Gracias, Dios, por tu creación y por nuevas aventuras. Tu belleza está a nuestro alrededor, esperando ser descubierta.

Hasta mañana, amigos!

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Much of our recent trip west was spent enjoying The Great Outdoors …what splendor and awe we found, most often in the most secluded and rugged places.

Boy meets Pacific Ocean

Redwoods at Jedediah Smith State Park

Yup, I drove through one!

Majestic Mt. Shasta

Beach boy meets snow for the first time!

Fortunately there were only two spots where there were rocks in the road with no place to swerve but off the cliff. Woo-sah, I can still drive high elevations after all these years!

Smith River…my favorite place to see a shade of blue you never see except deep in glaciers or geyser pools

Oregon coast

Now we know what a “sneaker wave” is!

Multnomah Falls

Thank You, God, for an incredible trip, for the privilege of being able to share Your inspired creation with my son, for spectacular shows of nature and for happy memories. God, may all people experience the natural revelation of You. May we serve You through caring for this world and its people, preserving these special and awe-some sights for generations to come.

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I had every intention of posting more along our journey to the West Coast (which ended yesterday)…but our trek took us into treacherous and remote places along the way daily, with internet service ranging from spotty-at-best to nonexistent.

But I’m glad to have waited, particularly seeing this week’s challenge topic, since there are now many “on the horizon” shots to choose from. Here are a few of my favorites:

Fog rolling into San Francisco Bay, two nights ago

Crescent City, California

Central Oregon Coast near Newport

Columbia River Gorge, looking towards Washington state

Orchards near Mount Adams

Mt. Hood eclipsing the sun

Between cloud banks on the flight home yesterday

Thank You, God, for the privilege of travel, for affording us new world views, for reuniting with old friends and for rekindling family ties. Your artwork is amazing, Lord, the way You paint each horizon with unique beauty and passion.

Most of all, thank You for the many blessings which continually abound on each new horizon of our lives.

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Being fashionably late to everything, I’m just now stepping up to the challenge due to the hardships of cross-country travel.

But here is what’s NEW through my lens…coming home to Oregon for the first time in 17 years AND getting to share it with my 10 year old son, who was born and bred on the subtropical beach of his parents’ adopted second home.

He had as much fun beholding majestic wonders from above as I did, answering his gazillion questions about the earth, aviation, nature, God, geology, geography and all manner of why-cuz.

His very first flight ever…he remained fixated on the skies both to drink in the experience and to conceal his cheek-busting nonstop grin

Why are we at this angle? What if those rivets weren’t tight?

Mommy!! “What IS that down there? What’s happening to that side of the land?” That is where snow fell. “Why did it just stop at that line?”

The clouds seem to mirror the mountains below. We managed to fly over 12 states total!

Is that frost on the window? What’s it doing way up here?

Rocky Mountain High!

At PDX, a to-scale version of Multnomah Falls, all in Legos!

Later, when he got up close and personal to the live, giant Christmas trees, more questions arose which challenged my memories of college biology and botanical reproduction: How do they get so tall? Why are they so sheddy? Why are there so many pine cones and what do they do?

More adventures to come….

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So for the first time in 17 years, I’m leaving my beach Sunday morning and going on a pilgrimage back to Oregon (and also California), where I spent a couple of game-changing chapters of my life that are near and dear to my heart.

I can’t promise photography as stellar as this video featuring one of my fave talented musicians who has visited my beach (Mat Kearney), but you can be sure my lens will be in action throughout the trip. Stay tuned, musers!


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…for Godot, comes to mind, the play by Beckett.

So Vladimir and Estragon wait and ponder life and that for which they wait…not unlike us.

An entire play based on the journey instead of the end-result…how pertinent!

It encompasses everything from philosophy to the practical, to what to do when things change in the face of growing old together when you wait…and wait…and still never find that holy grail of realization.

Can you grow old with another without finding the satisfaction of the goals you seek? Can you stick with it without squirming too much, without bailing, roaming or wandering off when nature calls, like in the play?

Few of us can…

…but all of us can hope and dream ~ as well we should.

For Waiting is what it’s all about.

Because once you arrive, it’s time to get out of the pool.

And that’s no fun!

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Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of terminating a telephone call with a human who is not familiar with the concept of verbal punctuation. It is amazing that we can get as far as we do in life without applying what ought to be basic instinct. So allow me to move forth from the nicey-froo-froo photos of the last couple of posts, and get on with some pent-up venting about a few issues which remind me of the stench of burnt popcorn:

Robocalls: Since we’re talking about phone calls, I’ll start there. I mean, does anybody really donate time from their life to these? The answer is YES. The political ones prompt an almost-involuntary hang-up response from me, as I take careful note which politician is responsible for sending me into orbit. I don’t even pick up on the unknown numbers. But the ones I am mercilessly held hostage by come from my children’s schools. I am forced into captivity by the office lady’s prerecorded voice for the duration of the call so I can make sure I don’t forget to send my kid with book fair money on the right day, or whatever. I suppose this is only karma in action, for my stint in broadcasting when the population had to listen to my prerecorded robo-weather updates all night long every 30 minutes, long after my show ended and I was home, fast asleep.

I miss the old days of underpaid telemarketers who’d call at the wrong time (it’s always the wrong time, n’est-ce pas?) and get shanghaied into my questions or practical jokes. Or distracting them from why they called and drawing them into the den of my psyche (no, don’t hang up, I was just getting cozy and starting to have fun!). Or the ones I’d wind up performing career counseling on, convincing them to do the country and their self-esteem a favor and find a better job that doesn’t involve commission and the humiliation of getting hung up on repeatedly. Fun with telemarketers is almost as much fun as sharing the beach with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. No, I won’t meekly tell him I have to go. I’m not going anywhere. This is my beach.

I’ll tell him he’ll have to go.

I hope this dude gets paid as many dollars an hour as it is degrees outside!

Street Advertisers: From the vote-hungry politicians standing on all four corners with their twenty best friends, to the dancing foam rubber Little Caesars, to the staggering and hung over Furniture-Store-Going-Out-Of-Business sign-holders, the entities responsible for these road hazards had better carry good insurance. I can’t believe I haven’t heard an account of them causing someone to run off the road and commit manslaughter from the terrible distraction these people pose. As if we’re not already distracted by our gadgets on board. Geez. Now we have something else to keep our eyes off the road while we’re driving. And to the Newt Gingrich puppet perilously occupying the busy intersection: your standing there holding Newt’s sign while looking down texting with your free hand pretty much summed things up for the only-half-in-it Newt camp this time around. Yawn.

The only sign-holding I’ve condoned recently was a declaration created by our third child when our eldest was helplessly two time zones away last December. The younger one, with a big grin, decided he was now “man o’ the house,” held this under his chin and had me text the picture to the older one:

Sibling rivalry at its best...

(Free handwriting analysis: note the correction of the originally small-case ‘o’ in ‘forever,’ to emphasize his intent to emphatically communicate eternity)

Moving on…

Anything by Journey and REO Speedwagon:  (Apologies to my readers who like these groups) Why, oh why can there not be just one day when a song by these bands does not enter my ear canals? All I ask is ONE. Even on days when I go out of my way to control what I listen to, I’ll walk into someone else’s office or into a store and it’s like their songs are everywhere. Must be some kind of monopoly on the airwaves. Their songs were great the first decade or two around. Can we PLEASE retire their songs, already? I’d rather listen to crusty ol’ country songs that predate my birth…at least they sound fresh and meaningful when you’ve never heard them before.

Lipstick: Okay, this stuff got old after the first 20 years of wearing it. There are too many complications with it. Finding the right color, the obligatory blotting routine, not having it go gooey on you in a warm climate, leaving its mark on whatever my lips touch, having to reapply it, losing it, the all-day crap that will not come off without turpentine, and my all-time favorite, having it wind up where it’s not supposed to be, like a streak of it upside your face. Or all over your curious toddler’s face when you’re not looking. I am too active, too distracted, too busy, too inattentive and too impatient for this stuff. Same goes for foundation. I am not a china doll. I can be cute and lipstickless. A little this and a little that, and I’m good to go. I suppose this is what I get for growing up with brothers and being outnumbered by men in the house now. I’d rather spend more time and money on things that pretty me up for the beach, and let the sun paint my sweet lips instead.

Other Peoples’ Meatloaf: Mine is the best. There is little more to say on this subject. All others fall short. (Don’t we all say that?!) One’s own family’s meatloaf must be one of those things we grow up with on our palates that causes all others to pale in comparison. You know what I mean.

Fog Alerts: These always seem to magically appear dead in front of you in a heavy fog. Like you didn’t know you were driving in thick pea soup already. What is the point of having fog alerts and flashing lights if everyone is creeping along as it is and nobody can see past the car in front of them?

Crooked Switch Plates: Really? Really you couldn’t see the screw holes weren’t lined up, and you went ahead anyway and slapped it on the wall for the occupant of the room to have to deal with in perpetuity? Don’t you have a built-in vertical level, or did you forget to plug your eyeballs into their sockets this morning? When we built a couple of homes once upon a time, I either put them in myself or oversaw each one’s installation, only because the crooked switch plate is a needless, careless violation of electrical un-handymanship that occurs far too often. In my office some ditwad put a switch plate in crooked; it was like this when I moved in and I’ve had to live with it five days a week. Worse, it was painted emergency red, as though it controlled the fire alarm system, which it didn’t. I finally got fed up and brought some paints from home and visually righted the damn thing by painting a bright, fiery sun on and around the plate, with solar flares traveling as far as the door jamb (and I painted some flares ON the jamb, too), just to distract the eye from the shoddy plate job.

And, yes, I am the person who goes around righting crooked pictures on the wall. I have trouble relating to those who seem not to notice nor care about such things. I am training myself to tolerate crookedness, however, applying therapeutic interventions to myself at home, seeing how many days I can go with a picture cockeyed. I’m getting better…I’m up to a week, now.

Thanks, God, for stuff to gripe about. Life would otherwise be dull.

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