6 Years, Gypsy

Well, sweet Gypsy girl, when we woke on the morning of August 19, 2013, we had no idea that, at the end of the day, we’d have a new fur baby in our world. But, there you were, at the back door of our shop….tiny, scared, shivering, hungry.  But, also very loving.

We tried to find your owners, but were unsuccessful, so you became ours. Or did we become yours?

You’ve made us smile so many times during these six years.

And you’ve made us laugh more than a few times, too.

You definitely entertain us every day.

You’ve greeted dozens of our customers/racing associates/friends when they’ve visited our shop. Other than a couple, you’ve quickly won them over with your charm.

You give Motor Man advice.

And help me with my office work.

You’ve definitely grown A LOT in these six years.

And although you’ve nearly outgrown our laps,

Our hearts will always have more than enough room for you.

Happy Gotcha Day!

(Programing note: my next post will be Thursday of this week, rather than Wednesday.)

~These Days Of Mine~

Advertisements

Animal Adventure Park

Less than 36 hours after our family reunion ended, Motor Man and I were motoring north to upstate New York.  We were, once again, attending a gathering of Animal Adventure Park fans at the home of the famous April, the giraffe.

In case you aren’t April-obsessed (like some of us), here’s the scoop: April had another calf (Azizi) in March, and she and “Az” are now sharing barn and yard space with her 2 year old son, Taj. Meanwhile Dad Oliver has a new mate, Johari.

We arrived at the hotel late Monday afternoon and attended the Meet and Greet that evening. Funny story:  through a Facebook page devoted to the animal park, I “met” a fellow April lover, Carol, who lives in Virginia Beach. That’s about 45 minutes from where we live. Carol and I message on Facebook nearly every day, and have been planning to meet for lunch.  But that just hadn’t worked out.

So, we each drove 8 1/2 hours (her with her niece, and me with my Motor Man) to meet in person in Binghamton, New York. She’s just as much fun as I thought she’d be.

The following day, everyone headed to the park to see “our” giraffe family, as well as the other animals there.

April may be my favorite of the giraffes.

Hi, sweet April

And not-so-little Taj. I was one of the millions who watched his birth live via the web cam.

Baby Azizi was in the distance, so we didn’t get a good picture of him.

But, we did see Dad Oliver, tongue out and just waiting for that carrot.

And this is Johari, fairly new to the park.  She arrived in February, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

That evening, we attended the dinner for the group.  There were upwards of 250 of us, and nearly everyone was dressed in something giraffe-related.

Motor Man took a picture of Jordan, the park owner, with two of the “Virginia” girls.

When Motor Man and I asked Jordan for a picture of us, he commented that he has the same giraffe shirt that Motor Man is wearing.

It was another wonderful time celebrating the animals (especially the giraffes!) at Animal Adventure Park.  Everyone comes away from the park with the same thought: that it is a very special place. The animals are healthy and well cared for, the property is clean as can be, and much thought is given to the comfort and enjoyment of the guests.

If you ever have the chance to visit, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity. You, too, could would become a giraffe fan.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s The Roots”

In my last post before the blogging break, I mentioned that Motor Man and I were, once again, hosting my family reunion this year.  My mom’s family started the tradition of a reunion many years before I was born.  And at one point, the first Saturday in August was pegged as “THE” day, so everyone could plan their summer around the reunion. That’s how important it was to everyone in the family.

My mom was one of twelve, and during the reunion’s “heyday”, there were upwards of 70 folks attending. But, as the twelve children and their spouses passed away, the size of the reunions dwindled. There were a few years when there was no reunion.

But, my generation, the first cousins, seems to have rekindled an interest in seeing each other at least once a year.  So, at this year’s reunion, we had a total of 19 to attend.

Thanks to my cousin, Carol, who lives in Pennsylvania, I had something special to share at the reunion. Carol is the daughter of my  mom’s youngest brother, Stanley and his wife, Betty.  Aunt Betty was very involved in the family, researching genealogy and recording attendance at the reunions for many years.

Aunt Betty passed away two years ago, and in going through her belongings, Carol found the reunion “books”. And she contacted me to ask if I’d like to have them.

YES!

Although, as I mentioned, the tradition of the reunions began many years ago, apparently the idea to record attendance didn’t come about until 1979. These are the only books Carol found, and that’s the earliest date. Several years are recorded in each book.

Perhaps one of the more meaningful entries for me was this one from 1980. It was Marshall’s first reunion; he was 6 weeks old. How proud I was to write his name in the book.

My cousins enjoyed looking through the books, although it was bittersweet  seeing the signatures of so many of our loved ones who have since passed on. It was amazing that, for each of us, our mother’s signature was the first thing we saw on a page.

Carol and I were messaging each other recently, and she mentioned how much work is involved in hosting the reunion.  And I responded that that was true. As hosts, we provide hot dogs, condiments, beverages and paper products. And in addition to that, we of course, want the house, the garage and the yard all as tidy as can be.

I loved her  reply:

“And honestly deep down, we all know it’s not the house we are there for …
it’s the roots.”

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Break Time!

During the next two-to-three weeks, my blog posts will be sporadic…or maybe just non-existent.

Motor Man and I are coming up on a busy time: preparing for and hosting my family reunion,

a couple of boat races,

and perhaps a little “adventure” or two.

With life being so hectic right now, I think it will be easier to just put the blog on hold for a little while.

So, stay cool, enjoy your summer, and I’ll be back soon with, hopefully, some interesting blog material!

~These Days Of Mine~

Nature Is Home

Today, I’m sharing a few recent pictures from around our yard.

I had company a few days ago as I was enjoying an early morning walk.

Gotta love that golden hour glow.

Look into my eyes and repeat after me: “I will NOT eat your flowers”.

Although it seems a bit late in the season, we have ducklings!  Earlier in the week, this Mama Duck came for a visit, quacking loudly and showing off her little ones. It was difficult to count them, because they were all huddled under her. I believe there were seven.

The following day, there were three.  I may be falsely accusing, but I believe the osprey that have a nest at the end of the marina may be to blame. I hope those three babies can survive.

Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
― Gary Snyder

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

Sadness On The Beach

Over the weekend, the Corolla wild horse herd suffered a loss.

A mare ran headlong into an unmarked guy wire.  It is believed that she died quickly from her injuries.

She had given birth to a foal in March, the second-born of this season. The foal was given the name Rosie. What’s especially touching to Motor Man and me is that we saw Rosie and her Mom in April. When I took this picture, they were up near one of the sand dunes. It was close to sunset, so they had a little golden hour glow.

We saw them a short time later, and they were by the water’s edge.

There have been a couple of  posts regarding this tragic incident on The Corolla Wild Horse Fund Facebook page. That is the organization who oversees the wild horse herd. They posted that  Rosie is old enough to survive without her mom. She’s been observed eating and drinking water, and the other mares in the harem are staying near her. At this time, there are  no plans to remove her from the beach, but they’re certainly keeping close check on her.

They also reported that the power company was notified, and on Monday, they immediately began marking the guy wires in the area that weren’t already marked.

Run wild and free on the other side, beautiful Mama.  Your little Rosie is being watched over here by humans and horses alike.

~These Days Of Mine~

The Little Yellow Bench

Some time ago (perhaps a couple of years or more?),  I saw, in front of a nearby antique shop, a little faded yellow wooden bench. I don’t recall the details of that day, but either the shop was closed right then, or I didn’t have time to stop. But I called within the next day or two to ask about the bench.

And was told that it had just been sold. Yes, I was disappointed.

A few days later,  on my way to Marshall’s house, I spotted, in the yard of one of his neighbors….. the little yellow bench. Sigh.

Every time I was in the area, I’d look over at that little bench.  Sometimes it was in the front yard, then in the side yard. Sometimes it would be turned over from the wind. But each time I’d pass by that house, I’d look  for the little yellow bench.

About a month or so ago, as I rode by, I thought the bench was missing. But then, I spotted it: “dumped” upside down in an overgrown area near the house. (Let me just say that the homeowners don’t keep the tidiest yard.)  I decided then that, should  I ever see one of them outside, I would stop and ask if they’d like to sell the little yellow bench.

Friday afternoon, Motor Man and I were in the area, and there were two people standing in the front yard, chatting.  We stopped, and learned that it was the homeowner and his neighbor. I asked if he would like to sell the little yellow bench.

He said that I probably didn’t want it; that it had some issues, it was a little wobbly, etc. So he dragged it out of the flowerbed, pulling up weeds and vines along with it.  I asked what he’d take for it, and he said he’d give us $10 to take it away.  I offered to give him $20 for it, but he refused, and helped us load it in our truck.

Poor little dirty yellow bench.

You don’t know how long I’ve had my eye on you.

So the next day, I gave it a gentle bath, decided to angle it differently on our deck, and added a little throw pillow. The next step is to protect it with a clear finish to prevent further damage from the elements.

She’s definitely looking better than when she was  upside down in an overgrown patch.  And I’m definitely happy to have finally brought home that little yellow bench.

(And now that I’ve written this entire post about the little yellow bench, I’m thinking it’s actually more of a love seat.…)

~These Days Of Mine~