Magical Mundanities and Spoonie Retirement Episode 5 — And then the storm came

the yard two hours after the storm

And then the storm came …

It’s been a crazy summer. Summer arrived early and with tsunami-like intensity. The temperature rose, the heat became unbearable and stayed that way. We traveled to Oregon for a brief respite but were soon run off by fires, smoke and declining air quality. We diverted to Utah only to run into more air quality problems and a bad wheel bearing. We started slowly making our way home when we contracted some sort of flu. We arrived “home” travel worn and haggard, to discover that through a snafu our RV was not in it’s assigned spot (where we planned to stay the winter). Once that was straightened out, we unpacked, settled in … and then the storm came.

part of a hailstone a couple hours after the storm

It came like a round of mortar fire, as scores of fist sized hailstones accompanied by thousands of smaller stones, pummeled our home. We’re OK. Car is totaled, we’re waiting on the adjuster to determine if the damage to the roof of the RV is repairable. Funny how your world can change in 15 minutes. For 15 years we’ve been full-time RVers. We’ve been through two floods, two fires, three “catastrophic” hail storms. Perhaps it’s time for a change.

living room floor, yes those are hailstones

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we’re very thankful that we’re all OK, nobody was injured. Glass repair will be out to replace the windshield on Friday, the RV repair guys will be out later today to patch the roof enough to keep rain from falling straight into the living room ;-), I got groceries delivered and everything will be alright, eventually.

Til next time, stay safe ~JP

Washing Day

Washing Day

I hung out the washing today
just like I learned in Kaikoura
where any day with sunshine
is washing day

Everything dried quickly
in the summer sun
before the air got sticky and
clouds rolled in

As I began to gather everything
to take inside for folding
I noticed, how I hold your shirts
a little longer

I fold them last, touching them
for as long as I can
before they are consigned
to closets and drawers

It reminds me that once in awhile,
in the middle of an ordinary life
love gives us a miracle
after all, it gave me you

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Tuesday Writing Prompt — Fire

Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda are currently hosting the Tuesday Writing Prompt Today’s Prompt: Use fire, mystic, and identity in prose or poetry

This sounds like such fun, it’s have a bash shall we? Intended to be produce in 10-15 minutes … away we go!

The identity of the mystic
revealed by cowards
closely guarded secrets
of futures and
sometimes of pasts
runes are tossed
and spells are cast
hero’s run when they
should have stayed
she looks at the pyre … and smiles
you see
you can’t make fire feel afraid

Time — 15 minutes

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Crimson’s Creative Challenge 145 — a Fairy tail

Meldimeriel was a small child, or a very large fairy, depending on your own perspective. She was a solitary child, prone to fantasy and play acting in her own yard, where every bush held a hidden fortress, and every hummingbird was a winged fairy warrior.

Her parents worried about her flights of fancy and daydreaming, but it was this very trait that would alter the course of her destiny, and the fate of the entire Elysium Forest Clan.

The small brick structure held a large wheel that was ripe for turning, and there came from inside an odd hooting kind of sound. Meldi gave a little jump and grabbed the wheel letting her weight bring it down. A portion of the roof winched it’s way open. Out popped the head of the littlest dragon Meldi had ever seen. Their eyes locked and a lifetime of friendship and adventure was born.

word count 150

For Crimson’s Creative Challenge # 145

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Spoonie Retirement and Magical Mundanities Episode 4 — Beauty and the Bootleg Fire

Welcome fellow Spoonies and various other sentient beings to another episode of Magical Mundanities where a couple of retired Spoonies seek to find the magic in a mundane world.

We continued our stay in Oregon alongside the Willamette River. I did my daily yoga practice outside our Bungalow shortly after sunrise, while the air was still cool and dew-covered grass tickled my toes. Breakfast of oats with yogurt and fruit, followed by a walk along the river. I became enchanted by the antics of some garden snails and spent probably more time than I should have perched on the front step, tea in hand, watching their escapades.

This guy got his shell stuck for a few minutes but eventually wiggled his way down between the boards to cooler, shaded ground.

We took a trip out to the fish hatchery to watch the fingerling salmon practice fall jumping against the flow of the aerators. I find it so amazing that even at this tiny size (the fingerlings are less than two inches long at this point) they have that instinct to leap against the flow. Even though they are certainly not in a natural environment, natural instincts are definitely at play and I delight in their antics. Much of the rest of the hatchery is still closed to the public but all in all it was an entertaining afternoon.

Fingerling Salmon practicing

In the afternoons, after the sun slid west enough to cast shade from the privacy fence, I went back outside to lay in the shade on a beach towel and listen to some vlogs I follow. While there I watched the progress of a “bleeding tooth” mushroom. So named for it’s white cap dotted with red spots. It reminds me of something Alice might have found in wonderland. Although not toxic, the mushroom is too bitter to be considered edible and, so far as I can tell, has no medicinal value. It was interesting to watch the red dots slowly grow and dissolve the entire cap in a matter of days.

Bleeding tooth mushrooms are beautiful. Creepy, but beautiful.

Impending smoke mixed with low cloud cover leads to declining air quality.

Alas, our relaxing three week idle was not to be. Lightning strikes ignited several more forest fires in the area and between the Bootleg and local minor fires, air quality began to plummet. Once it reached 150, we packed up and resumed our travels, rerouting as best we could. The Bootleg fire alone has already consumed over 413,000 acres of forest. It breaks my tree-hugging heart and I fear for the animals and birds. I fear for us all. It seems the entire western half of the US is on fire right now. Ah but that is a story for another time. Right now, there are still tiny moments of magic and beauty to be found along the way.

Give a listen to the Cottage Fairy, a fellow Oregonian, who relays the terror and hope of our current situation.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills and Weekend Coffee Share in the July heat

Welcome fellow Spoonies and various other sentient beings! Come in, grab your favorite cuppa and let’s visit a bit with Natalie at the Weekend Coffee Share and Terri at Sunday Stills. Our Sunday Stills prompt is “angle” and I found oh so many on our recent adventures.

Last week, we visited Mountain Home, Idaho and took a mini tour of Penny Alley which is a local alleyway that has been dedicated to dozens of urban murals in this tiny rural town. According to the local brochure “in 2016 a group of local artists came together to transform a nearly 320 foot stretch of alleyway in the city’s downtown into an outdoor art gallery featuring a collage of different works of art painted on the walls of local businesses.” We spent a sunny (yeah read that HOT!!!) morning walking the alley, snapping pics, and eating outdoors.

It’s business hours so a lot of this collage is blocked but still sooo worth the look. I can totally dig the wild angles in the dream catcher. Dude!

Adventure is out there!!! LOOK at all the angles in the mural, each sun ray had it’s own design. Plus, it’s purple … and pink! 🙂

I considered cropping this shot but wanted to keep the “OMG this is the alley of actual working businesses” feel. I like the lines of the bricks through the murals and the way the angles are broken up with curves and blending of the individual pictures in the mural.

I particularly love this. Maybe it’s the quote, I am a John Muir fan, or maybe it’s the scene, or maybe it’s the style. This shot is not pixelated, the rough “texture” is intentional. Up close it rather resembles one of those photos transferred to canvas texture. However it was done the result is much in keeping with the alley-feel. I shot this from a straight-on angle with my hinney squeezed up against the far alley wall, stupid camera phone. ;-p

After a long stroll we made our way back to the car through a little craft fair. It was fun to see the offerings. We returned to our hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool, splashing, relaxing and practicing that wonderous vacation ritual of napping. So many great angles in the rock water feature.

Hope you’re staying cool in your part of the world. We’re enduring another round of record breaking heat here in the west and midwest USA. To read a bit more about Spoonies and summer, check out Magical Mundanities Episode 3 –Summer Spoons.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Magical Mundanities Episode 3 — Summer Spoons

Buddleia gone wild

In the early morning I step outside. The air is already heavy with heat. Summer is in full swing. Blackberries and blueberries hang gravid with sweet juice, begging for harvest. Yellow squash and bright red tomatoes peek through verdant leaves. Wild roses are faded and dry in the heat while marigolds and buddleia proliferate wildly much to the delight of the cavorting swallowtails. All the sweet abundance of Summer.

But with the sweet, comes the bitter. Sweltering heat brings fatigue, enough to crush the body and soul. Discontent and maudlin anxiety taunt me with reminders of all I can no longer do. I step outside into the heat of afternoon and see the dull haze, the bane of forest dwellers everywhere, wild fires. It is hard to breathe through the acrid smell that fills the valley. There will be no evening stroll along the river tonight.

This is deep summer for a Spoonie. Equal portions of bitter and sweet, joy and sorrow. I cannot change the heat, the fatigue, or the fires. All I can change is how I react to it. So for today, and probably tomorrow, I will stay sequestered indoors with windows closed and A/C on until the smoke passes. I will read, and write, craft, and rest. And I will be grateful for the precious, magical moments of my life. I missed so many moments, days frittered away in anger and impatience, back before I knew that life is lived in those tiny moments of grace, filled with joy and laughter, and strung carefully together into the journey of a lifetime.

In a few days we venture on to our next destination but for now it is enough to know that we are still relatively safe from the distant fires, my health will return, and the berries will make an excellent topping for shortcakes.

Abundance of blackberries

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Stream — a Quadrille

A stream rejoining the Willamette River

WhimsyGizmo is our host for dVerse Quadrille. De being in Southern Nevada (ooohhh I’m sweating just thinking about it) has asked us for a poem of 44 words including “stream.” I am currently enjoying the relative cool of inland Oregon where streams, creeks, rivers, and lakes are abundant. Ahhhh … sigh. For your perusal, “Stream”

Stream

Thoughts flow through my mind

like this meandering stream

curling into switchbacks

as I watch the crows

fishing in the shallows

raging water once lifted

rocks and boulders

depositing them here

for me to sit upon

while I dip my toes

in cooling water

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

The Taste of Lammas — a first harvest celebration

feral blackberry brambles Westfir, Oregon

For Earthweal’s open link weekend — Happy Lammas

The Taste of Lammas

I hold a peach in my hand
the sweet scent lifts my spirits
with all the promise of summer
blackberries growing wild
sparkle like obsidian jewels
in the dry summer sun
plum butter rich and thick
on a freshly-baked scone
I close my eyes,
the explosion of sensations
color my spirit
as I taste the gifts of Gaia
catching a stray crumb
with my tongue
I sigh with gratitude
and contentment
thank you for the flavors
thank you, thank you, thank you

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Magical Mundanities — Episode 2 — Spoonie Travel in a Pandemic World

Welcome fellow Spoonies and various other sentient beings to another episode of Magical Mundanities where this Spoonie seeks to find the magic in a mundane world.

After returning from a short trip to visit grandkids and wrap up pre-retirement details with the home office, we had three weeks to rest, recuperate, see doctors, repack our suitcases and pack up our tiny home for storage before heading out on the “big trip of being somewhere else.” This is the first significant road trip we’ve taken in several years.

Butterfly on a purple coneflower bids me farewell in South Dakota

We left South Dakota on a sunny day. The weather had been mostly hot and sunny for the weeks prior to our departure and we were looking forward to some cooler temps.

Spoonie travel requires some adjustments. We discovered early on that traveling by car is no less draining than travel by air, and it TAKES LONGER! Bear in mind that neither of us travels well these days, we’re out of shape. We took the drive in easy steps traversing no more than 350 miles of state highways per day. We stopped at virtually every roadside rest and touristy place along the way (aka restrooms).

Independence Rock — along the Oregon Trail — Alcova, WY

We loosely followed the Oregon Trail most of the trip and picked up fascinating tidbits about the pioneers and their perils, as well as the Eisenhower Highway Act which connected this vast country. The story goes that when Eisenhower was a young Army officer, he participated in a cross country convoy from New York to California. The trek took 62 days and Eisenhower later wrote that this was when he first envisioned a cross country highway system.

The road was long, the journey arduous although certainly not a patch on what the pioneers or post WWI travelers must have gone through. Breaks became less frequent and fatigue crushed the mind, body and soul of these two spoonies. Wyoming holds many, many hundred miles of, well, nothing. At all. I have always said though that if you LOOK for beauty, you’ll find it. Above, during a brief break at an otherwise unremarkable rest area, thistles behind a dilapidated parking lot.

Penny Wall, Mountain Home, Idaho

Finally after three days of bone crushing travel fatigue, we stopped for a two-night R&R in the little town of Mountain Home, Idaho. While there we took in some local sites like “Penny Alley” which encompasses an alley full of murals. More on that later.

Hand Mural – Penny Alley — Mountain Home, Idaho

For now, if we were having coffee at the Weekend Coffee Share, I’d tell you that our travels have been full of tiny steps and beautiful moments, and some fairly huge stumbling blocks as well. I’d remind you that you have but to open your eyes to see the beauty around you, and “those who do not believe in magic will never find it.”

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP