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The Magic of Butterflies

My husband called me to the window for this one.   I told him that this  is why  the lavender is there.  The bees had a field day( no pun intended) this week also.   There is something so magical about these insects.  They bring us such joy and   it does not seem to affect them that we can stare for long moments and then try to capture  a picture for our future pleasure too.  Dancing along they do their  job which comes so effortlessly  and  so beautiful.   I think it has something to do with the blue, red , brown, yellow, purple , orange and   other  vibrant  colors and how the patterns on the little bodies  reflect  a natural art that can only be re-created.    Then  the fact that they flutter, as we like to say, moving continually and then not; leaning  toward the flower or bud of their intention to  begin  extraction  of  the juice for which it was made to order.  How can we ever be thankful enough for a creature that will carry this to another area just  so and carefully deposit it for the grace and goodness that we so eagerly enjoy each day.   It is a blessing to watch knowing they are only here for a while and then they will travel to their next post.  Take note , I say to myself !   This is not a video that can be played again.  And the wings smile at me and say,  “ I will travel this route  if you will  watch for me” ?   I respond .  “I  know  that I will”.   ~

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The Greyhound Bus

The car drove away and I climbed aboard the transport to a new life.    Walking through the isle of seats  I soon selected the one two thirds back on the right next to the window and placed my bag on the seat next to the isle hoping it would not be needed.    This was my first choice for my new life and I would carefully think things through so I could correct the damage that had been done so far.   As I waited to begin the trip, I routed through my things to find the paper handed to me before boarding.    Her name and address was there and it felt like a dream that this was truly happening.    Slowly we began to move and then out of the parking lot we drove and onto the main road that would take me north.     The dream kept me awake and so I began to wonder what she would look like and if she would recognize me now.   It had been nine years since my mother had seen me and I was now her teenage daughter and not her little girl.  This could give me an advantage as I would not be in need of care like the younger children and so I would help and be of use.     I was sure that her feelings would be different when she learned that I had left my father’s home in Virginia to come to her in New Jersey.    Once my mind settled, it was dark on the bus.  Some people glanced at me with question.    I felt confident in my decision to leave behind a world of torment that was not of my choosing.  Fear never entered my mind although at fourteen, my naivety   would follow me for many years.      After eating my pretzels   which seemed all I needed to survive, I fell asleep.  It was not until the jerky movement of the bus pulling into the parking garage of the Greyhound terminal did I awake.   Now my mind was   moving fast as I had only a little money of $14.00 and my personal things and I must find my way from Philadelphia to New Jersey.  I went out to the street where the taxis were parked and a cab driver asked where I needed to go and I handed him the paper with the address.   I got into the cab and we pulled away from the curb as he put the meter on and said that we would take the Ben Franklin Bridge.   Not knowing   where I was seemed comforting because he certainly knew which way to go.  So as the cab drove across the bridge and down into a new neighborhood ,  I was impressed when he parked in from of a row of homes on 310 Henry Street.    The cabbie told me the total which was much more than I had in cash and I offered him my opal ring in addition to the $14.00 in my pocket which he took from me.   It was 3 AM at this time, and I was frightened as I approached the steps leading to the door.   I knocked hard; the cabbie waited and then as the woman opened the window on the second floor and said, “Who is it”?  I said,   Mom, its Barbara.

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Go West

Rocky Ocean (click on for video)



It has been a long while since I posted on Krazykin, and I have missed it terriby, like you would miss a good friend. We have been on the go to see some beauty and nature. Also, we went to see our children and grandchildren. These things too are so important. This trip took us to the west coast and the terrain there was spectacular. An ocean with huge rocks that stabilize the whole picture surrounding Oregon. The Rogue River gave new meaning to a river stone massage with its beauty of flora and fauna. Little black bears climb to find mama and an eagle soars in command of his presence The Redwood forest has always been a favorite of mine and to feel really small with the sun’s ray on your shoulder is a gift. The wine country is a blessing to visit and whether you enjoy the beverage or not does not matter as the feeling of the vines envelope you with their pleasure of growth by design. Lakes, and bays in California give a sum of many abundant foods and the life that lives there provides an energy of a certain kind. It is not an energy from the stress of work as much as when you are done your job, the atmosphere of sun, water and beauty of land give back to you. This trip was balanced with visits to see friends who live there as well and this made the trip complete for us. Then again, there is no place like home!

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From a distance

 We watched as baby’s were brought into citizenship in Spain.

We had traveled to five ports already on the day that Ellie was born and I had checked our emails daily to get the updates from my son on Mom and the baby’s condition.   It was the kind emotion you wanted to share with everyone and so I did just that.  I told the ship attendants and dinner companions as well as people in the elevator.   The first child of your only son was coming into the world and so from a distance all you could do was wait for the next email.   The internet system aboard the ship does not work well as it works off a Satellite and can cut out on you regularly.  Finally, the email arrives announcing that she has entered the world.   A 5lbs 4 oz. baby girl who we already know as Ellie is here.  Now the email comes with pictures and I try so hard to get it to appear on the screen and yet due to the slow delivery of email it was not possible.  As we came into the beautiful Malaga port, I was not emotionally there, and was beginning to annoy myself as well as my spouse.  I had already thrown something down in frustration which is not my nature.  This would not be the way to handle this situation but I was very much in a mood that I could not shake.  I had gotten my little netbook and made sure that the plugs were correct and that all should be well for me to communicate on board but I however did not count on the internet not working properly.  Well, there was nothing that I could do about the internet and so, we called home.  My sons’ voice was full of joy. And, for this I was truly happy. The following day was our anniversary and I had intended to get my husband his gift from one of the countries that we were visiting but nothing that really appealed appeared so I refrained from any purchases for this special occasion of 12 years which was the reason for the long trip to Northern Europe and Spain, Malta, and Italy.   My husband mentioned that it would be special to do a tour of the bridge on the ship.  His attraction to boats and the sea is certainly being fulfilled as from any view are truly spectacular.  I went to the Guest Services desk to ask if a tour was possible.  I was told that they did not do tours but they would make a special request to see if maybe by invitation only it could be done.   Sparing myself the possible disappointment, I continued eating, drinking and being merry but did not feel that my spirit was with me.   Then yesterday, we went into the port of Cartagena, Spain.  It was told to us that it would be very hot and also that because it was Sunday that the shops would not be open.  So we headed out to see the city by foot.  First we came upon the Castle of Conception.  This dated back to the year 1000 when the Romans owned this country.  We wandered up and up through this stone building watching videos and looking at artifacts as well as lovely views from which they had to defend their country a long time ago.  Walking without destination we ended up finding the main area where a Roman Festival was taking place.  We parked ourselves at the street café and ordered some delicious beer which they served with nuts, olives and bread.  A plate of what we thought was onion rings went by and so we hailed the waiter to bring us that as well.  Only to note that it would be the most delicious calamari (squid) with lime.   Then we wandered down to the festivities where a celebration of citizenship for babies was taking place.  All of the people were dressed in costume and as I understand it will be for ten days.  The pinot (wine) is flowing and young, old, disabled, and children and of course many foreigners like us were there to enjoy.   I took many pictures of this occasion and we truly enjoyed the day.   At our return, I went directly to see if I was able to see my granddaughter’s picture yet.  Not yet, but in better spirits.

This  picture , I posted when I returned home.  It feels like pure joy to see that little face!

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Chocolate and Lace

Today we spent the morning in Bruges. This is a lovely little town in Belgium. We came into this port on the second day of our vacation. Not having slept fully yet from the transfer over the pond, I was still a little cranky, but looking forward to seeing this quaint little place that I had heard delightful things about. We boarded our coach to start our excursion with our number 8 on the left chest to identify our group. The gentleman who was to do the tour on the coach was an older Belgium gentleman of perhaps 75, maybe more. He seemed nice enough and began to give us the information about the area as we drove through the industrial and residential as well as the city that surrounded Bruges. While on this twenty five minute drive, he told us about the countryside and the affect of World War II and we gathered that he had been there. Although his words were in English his accent was very thick and some or most of the words were not the correct ones for the description that he attempted. But we knew what he was trying to say it just took our minds a little while to get the meaning. Then we arrived to the parking area for such tours as ours and began to get instructions on what would follow and if we should get lost, etc. Moving forward we divided into two groups to see the sights of this ancient cobblestone town that had lived through the war and still maintained its beauty long after. The history and architecture unfolded, however we could not hear a word of it from our tour guide who was the other gentleman of the same age as the first. He did not speak loud enough for us to hear nor did he give us any information. Soon the group huddled next to another tour guide from a different group just to hear some of the interesting things being said about the area. So the group began to dismantle to some degree and we were a part of the few remaining . The town was so beautiful that it showed us many things that words could not express. The cars, bikers and horses had the right of way so I was glad that my husband was there to get me through without injury. Then we came to the second leg which was a canal ride. I truly was in dire need of a toilet and had ask when we would be nearing one and each time I was told in a little while. Others began to agree that the little while was wearing thin with our patience and so as we neared the canal I knew that I was not going to make it through the trip without pause. When I asked again I was directed to the man with a captain’s hat ( also, of a certain age). He has his foot out as not to let me pass and then says 50. So I look to my husband for the correct change and then I ask where to go. He responds “ In the canal”. Well, as I said earlier , I was a little testy so I told him that I did not appreciate his humor as everyone was laughing and I was feeling embarrassed running along to do my business. Once relieved, my personality changed for the better. The canal ride was glorious and a English man gave us details beyond our imagination. Flowers were about the windows and the doors were inviting. Drainpipes were decorated with gargoyles and rooflines had creative designs that would appeal to any eye. The bridges were delightful. Each gave way to the new adventure that would come to you once you passed under one. It certainly gave the impression that the Belgium people were interesting and hospitable and as most quaint towns in the world they offer a simpler life. We left the canal with a good feeling of being refreshed in spirit and now we needed to do the same for our bodies as our stomachs began to respond to the sights of the little café’s with advertisement for Moules and Frittes or Mussels and Fries. We knew that the Mussels in Brussels were known to be very good so we set our goal to shop for chocolates and lace, and then attempt to have some for lunch. When we entered the Lace shop it was full with people talking with excitement over the art of the product they were viewing. I realized that I did not have time to wander leisurely so I set myself in the direction of the wall facing me and when the woman handling the counter looked up at me I decided to ask if I should remove this one or was this a display. In her broken English she demanded that the people from the ship need to give her time and have patience. It was true, we all had an agenda and so I too looked around anxiously then then settled on a couple items that reminded me of a slower time that I needed to respect. A time when multi tasking was not status quo, and one thing at a time was our motto so that we could get the job done well. So, I remembered that and then I moved toward the desk. Eight euros and thirty was the final cost, and we moved on to the Chocolate. This was easy as the aroma created a sedative affect on me as I entered the shop and once again I must decide quickly as there was a lot to choose from. Since I am partial to dark chocolate it made my decision less stressful to select an amount and let the lady behind the counter do the rest. She was pleasant and talked to me about the Chocolatier , one of four in Belgium to use the original process. I was very pleased with my purchase. Thirty minutes was all the time left to eat. My husband did not feel that we had enough time to eat. Europeans do not rush like the Americans. We ordered a fruited cherry beer and asked about time for food . As we watched her deliver coffee and beer and an occasional Belgium waffle (yum) to the tables about , we decided on some soup of the day, some garlic bread and yes please frittes ( to go if possible). No problem. It was very good and not at all of the fast food family. The butter dripped from the soft bread with the flavor of garlic and the soup was a light broth of leaks and carrots. The frittes to go were over the top but a must have experience that we shared with others on the bus. I wanted to stay a whie longer to enjoy a horse and buggy ride though the winding streets of shops and homes that said “no hurry”.

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Isn’t it interesting that we as humans must plan this time in our lives?   I find it to be unusual that we need to exit our lives to get a break.  But, that is what we do, and thank goodness.  The Europeans pride themselves on a month in August.  We ,  Americans take a modest two weeks if we are lucky.  This could be  a combination  mostly  of  our nature of  feeling guilty for leaving our responsibilities too long and our system is not  so leisurely in allowing for that great of time off.   Then there are those who choose to vacate their lives by living in a  resort  area  so as  to mix the business with the pleasure.   One can also get a job on a cruise ship or   at Disney  or live in Key West and feel like they are getting a vacation during the life.  The best in my opinion is to get a job traveling.  It does put stress on the body as you must arrive at the destination required at the required time.  However, once your job is complete you can enjoy yourself and feel that you’ve visited somewhere outside the realm of your life.   A vacation  gives back whatever time  gets extracted from our normal routine allowing us to do whatever we want.   We have a vacation planned for this year.   I am truly looking forward to the time I will spend with myself and also my spouse.  Most days are blocked for maintenance  of  cleaning, cooking, car repair,  house repair,  and other valued chores and , responsibilities that zap strength and time.   If  a job,  caretaking, volunteering  or just the maintenance of life  pulls you into its undertow,  please take time to schedule a vacation.  This can be travel, a spa treatment,  a movie or dinner with a friend or  the necessary time to journal your feelings and unravel the internal thread of life.   For me,  I think the beach will do.

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The Wonder of Boating

The Wonder of Boating by Barbara Harbeson |

As most of us learn by a certain age, life is full of mystery.

Being a single woman of almost 20 years and on my own, I wished for the proverbial partner. Someone I could love, cherish and share the beauty of life. My wish came true, and we were wed 12 years come this September. The question still remains… Why a boater?

I am a person who prides herself on “trying “to walk steady on land. I’ve always stayed clear of deep water and in my attempt to swim, well let us say that it appears that I resemble a frog.

So, to mingle my life with that of a boater does appear to be odd. First, He suggested we look for a strong boat, something I would feel safe on, perhaps a Trawler. What is a Trawler, I say?

We began our search in the Solomon’s Island at a Trawler fest. We made a purchase and I still find myself in a head shaking dilemma. This experience takes you to a spiritual track that I have yet to arrive.

The idea of the Trawler is to be on a boat with a sense of home and that it is! I love to cook and entertain and sleep on our boat. However, there is always, and I mean always a “boating adventure” lurking, and I do mean lurking in the wind. It’s like when I throw the last line onto the dock as we leave for our journey; I say “well, what brings the day?”

Each time to travel by water is something of a mix of pleasure and fear. The sun glistens upon the water, and the breathtaking beauty of the carved land on the waterways that looks as if it were painted there by the brush of an artist, and of course the sound of the winds and swish of each wave. All of these things and more are what is to be looked forward to on every trip. And then we have the numerous mechanical happenings along with mother nature who decides to turn on her heals perhaps to enlighten us as to who is still in charge !

When a thrashing thunder and lightning event of 65 knot winds has completed its point, a boater will say “wasn’t that Exciting? And I say, “Yes, if it were a movie, but to be there is a little unnerving.”

When I discuss my many underlying and outward fears with boaters, they all have the same basic reply….. Well that’s what makes a good boating story! On this we agree!