It was a long overdue visit with my
mom's 88th birthday and my Aunt's 83rd this past
Fall. At 83 my
Aunt Helen finally decided to hang it up and retire from the beauty shop she had run for the past
60 years. Nine months had managed to get past without me seeing them. We talk a lot but that is
not the same.
It was a dreary week of clouds and rain, along with the gray of
winter coloring the |
hillsides. I only wanted to hibernate at home. With my brother Gary making daily visits,
friends dropping by, and a few short jaunts to town with Mom and Helen to have their medical
checkups and a trip to Walmart, I succeeded in my goal to do absolutely nothing except
spend time with them. (Monkeyshine the Bengal Cat celebrated his 20th birthday this
year, pretty old in cat years).
With rain most of the week this was
my only chance to see the mountains except for the one out
my mom's front door. You can see why they are called the "Blue Ridge Mountains".
As I left the observation deck at the
airport to check in, the windows reflected
the view very nicely as I said my goodbyes to Mom & Helen.
Once checked through security the
windows gave another great view of the hills surrounding the
airport which is nestled in the valley. My airplane was right on schedule unlike my departure on
leaving the Sanford Airport.
|Up, up, and away leaving the hills and mountains of North East Tennessee.|
One last glimpse of one of my
favorite mountains as we are quickly engulfed by the cloud cover.
The sunshine had managed to find a crack in the sky, and thankfully the hard
cold snap they had experienced along with us all, had gone away.
Although the whole trip was
above a beautiful cloud covering, it became more dramatic as we reached
the Jacksonville area, where we had been warned of turbulence. The sun, in breathtaking
views, created a "silver lining" on the edge of each cloud.
As the sun washed the sky
between the two layers of clouds I sat mesmerized trying to absorb it
into my artist brain. The decent into Orlando was spooky for me though with deep cloud cover and
as I later learned tornado warnings all around us. It was bumpy and to not be able to see past the
wing tips always unnerves me, especially when I could see flashes of lightening mixed into the fray.
As I made my way through the long
walk to my waiting ride outside the terminal I passed the Haitians
I had hoped to see. These were taken through the window so not great photos as I was not allowed
to take them through the doorway where I could have gotten better shots. I already had these in my
camera when I was told not to use the camera.
There were tables with banks of
computers processing the children (and adults?). The children
different colored wrist bands, pink, yellow, etc. which I am sure had significance as to where they
were to head after leaving there or possibly with which group they were with.
Large handwritten signs outside with
lists of what workers were to do especially if they were able
to speak Creole.
Outside another very large transport
plane had just landed with more. From what I understand
there will be something like 5000 brought into this airport.
Although I was anxious for some warm
weather my only taste was on landing in Orlando. On my trip
home to Amelia the next morning it was warm on entering the car but exiting to buy gas on Hecksher
Drive in Jacksonville it was a different story. I could see a wall of sea fog toward the east all along
the coast line and as I reached the string of islands leading up to ours I was in the fog. Bruce snapped
this photo of the river on the other end of the street from our home on his way from the gallery.
We decided since I was tired from
traveling that we would buy a rotisserie chicken and go to the club at
the end of the street for a covered dish dinner, no cooking, and no dish washing tonight. You can see by the
high tech AV equipment that this is a pretty fancy place to hang out. It was fun to see old friends and
catch the beautiful sunsets this spot provides from its back deck.
It was the time of day when all the
birds are looking for their final spot to roost for the night.
These Egrets almost look like Spoonbills with the colors reflecting off their normally white wings as
their synchronized flight pattern looks like they are executing some carefully planned aerial maneuver.
The sun is sinking fast and we opt to
eat out on the deck with some other hardy friends despite the
chilliness so as not to miss any of it. The fog had lifted in a matter of 30 minutes to give us a
bright sunset with beautiful reflections on the water.
The tide was at its midpoint
partially showing the oyster beds in the marsh with the
Waterway and Amelia River beyond.
Once the sun drops behind the horizon
the colors soften with the silhouette of a Heron as he waits
to see if this is indeed a safe spot of sleeping. Maybe not as he suddenly flies away.
The colors in the sky are such a beautiful soft flow one into the other that it makes an artist long for
the skill to be able to recreate them on a sheet of watercolor paper or canvas. It was good to revisit
my birth home but very good to come back to my very different adopted home.
My overnight stay in Orlando was to pick up a great new piece of sculpture by a new-to-the-gallery artist,
Jack Nelson. Please stop by to see this huge, 65 lb. new addition, "Moon Child", a beautiful blue sea turtle.