|From Astronomy Picture of the Day|
It's time for me to take a longer view,and expand my horizons. That picture at the beginning of my post thrilled me, when I saw the moon, and behind it Jupiter and four of its moons. In order, you are seeing Callisto, Ganymede, Jupiter, Io, and Europa, peeking out from behind the crescent of our own moon. You can read more about it on the link from Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Every morning, part of my routine is to read the blogs I follow that have popped up in my news reader, take a quick look at the news, visit Facebook if I have the time, read my emails, check the weather, and look at APOD. Only then do I close the laptop and get up to start my day. My friends smile at my need for routine, but they are all pretty used to it by now. As I sit here on Sunday morning, which is the only day that I actually write a post before I get up, my partner is sleeping soundly next to me, with a dim light on the end table next to me, which also holds my tea and the latest book I'm reading. It's very quiet, and it seems like I'm the only person stirring in the entire surrounding area. My fingers tapping the keys is the only sound I hear. This is my favorite time of the day, when I'm up and everybody else is still asleep.
For other people, like SG, his favorite time is at night when he's up and everybody else has gone to bed. Both of us enjoy these moments of solitude, because we also have each other and active lives the rest of the day. Sometimes I'm aware of when he comes to bed, but mostly I simply find him sleeping next to me when I get up to use the bathroom.
Yesterday morning when I met my lady friends for a couple of trips around Lake Padden, we were all feeling the need for companionship and sharing. I was relieved to find that I was not the only one in a fragile emotional state. Many of us came because we knew that exercise would help us get through our grief. And sure enough, when we were finished we all felt much better and were able to go into our day with a lighter heart. Our leader, Cindy, is traveling at the moment but she has still given us a schedule to follow on Saturday mornings while she is away. She's in Iceland right now, and when she returns from her travels she intends to get another spaniel puppy. It's been long enough since she lost her sweet Luna to old age and cancer that she's ready to begin again.
People who love animals always need to say goodbye to them long before they want to, even when they are long-lived, they don't have life spans that correspond to our own. My friend Gene still misses his parrot three years after it died. He had that parrot for 25 years. I remember watching Poopstain crawl inside his shirt and settle in for a nap on his chest, and I was amazed to watch how that parrot had trained Gene so well. We still gain so very much from our interaction with our pets, and I do occasionally miss having one these days. But the other side is the freedom from caring for them and not having to say goodbye way too soon. When I talk to my sister Norma Jean, she never fails to tell me of the latest antics of her dog Icarus. She got him as a puppy, and he's now five. How quickly that time passed!
Yesterday I decided to pick up a book that would be uplifting, and I was fortunate that several books had come from the library this week. After perusing them all, I started to read Bill Bryson's latest book, The Road to Little Dribbling. It's a sequel to "Notes from a Small Island," written in 1995, both about being an American in Britain. That link takes you to Goodreads, and several commenters seem to dislike the latest book because they are comparing it to the first one. Since I didn't read the first, I came to the book with little expectation. I've spent quite a lot of time laughing, sometimes out loud.
Bryson is 64 and has written several nonfiction book that have been very well received. I've only read A Walk in the Woods of his previous books, a story about his trek on the Appalachian Trail, and I enjoyed it very much. More than the movie, I must say. But in this current book, he comes across very much as a curmudgeon, a grumpy old man who finds fault with pretty much everything, but in a very humorous way. Here's an excerpt:
The worst part about aging is the realization that all your future is downhill. Bad as I am today, I am pretty much tiptop compared with what I am going to be next week or the week after. I recently realized with dismay that I am even too old now for early onset dementia. Any dementia I get will be right on time. The outlook generally is for infirmity, liver spots, baldness, senility, bladder dribble, purple blotches on the hands and head as if my wife had been beating me with a wooden spoon (always a possibility) and the conviction that no one in the world speaks loud enough.I laughed out loud when I read that, because I can relate completely to what he's saying. And he's ten years younger than me. It's possible he is exaggerating, but then again, maybe not. His take on the world involves large doses of humor about things that are perhaps not to one's liking. It's a good way to approach the world today, in my opinion.
One of my blogging friends, Ronni of Time Goes By, posts on Saturday about things she calls "interesting stuff." Yesterday she posted a wonderful video about fireflies. I've never lived anywhere that has them, so I was really intrigued by this particular view of a rather magical creature. Not to mention that it's also very soothing and gives yet another view of this beautiful, wonderful world in which we live. It's just a little more than two minutes long. The music is lovely, too.
And with that, another post has been written. I hope that when you are finished, you will feel a little lighter in spirit than when you began. That was my intention, anyway. Please remember to look around at the beauty of the world and think of all that gives you pleasure. And when we meet again next week, I'm hopeful that many wonderful adventures will have taken place in our lives. Be well until then.