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Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

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Sometimes snow falls so high in the mountains that it never melts, even in the summer. Over time, layer upon layer, the snow pack builds. Soon the weight of the snow in the upper layers presses down on the layers beneath. Eventually some of the layers morph into solid ice allowing the whole thing to slide. That’s when you have a glacier! Alaska is full of them, each one different and magnificent!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

Photo taken on a cruise of Glacier Bay, Alaska

The Last Rose of Summer

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“‘Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone”

Out in my garden, this may or may not be the last rose of summer, but the droplets of rain from an early morning shower must think it is. They hang on as if there’s no place else they’d rather be!

“The Last Rose of Summer” is a poem by the Irish poet Thomas Moore. He wrote it in 1805 while staying at Jenkinstown Park in County Kilkenny, Ireland. He was also a singer, songwriter and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of “The Minstrel Boy”.

This is my response to today’s one-word prompt: Thorny. They may be hard to see, but the thorns are definitely there.

The Thrill is Gone

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My affair with coffee started in earnest during my working years. As an accountant, I was married to my desk. My computer and I could finish each other’s sentences. Week days were nothing but debits and credits and budgets, oh my!

To divert the monotony, I began to visit the break-room for coffee. One cup became two, two became three – you see where this is going? It used to be just a morning thing, then I decided why not drink coffee all day long? To make the infatuation even worse, my place of employment installed one of those fancy little machines where you could make whatever flavor you wanted! Mocha, Hazelnut, and Butter Pecan were my favorites! When I retired nearly five years ago, I’m sure the line item amount budgeted for coffee was significantly reduced.

Retirement came with considerable changes in routine, but the amount of coffee I drank was not one of them. I still spent hours on the computer, but instead of plugging numbers into spreadsheets, I would string words together to make a story or a poem. Coffee continued to be a reason to get up, take a break and refocus. My affair with coffee lived on!

Soon, I began to rely on coffee to co-author my writing. Some mornings, words awoke with the first cup and sometimes they didn’t appear until after the third. I was convinced there was a direct connection between the number of paragraphs on the page and the amount of coffee I consumed. I remember one chilly morning trying to come up with just the perfect word to fill the void in a poem I was working on. I struggled to find a compromise between the expected word and one with an abstract meaning. I lifted my cup and there it was, mingled in the black liquid magic! The perfect word! Would I have found it were it not for coffee?

Unfortunately, coffee and I will have to part ways! On a completely innocent visit to my doctor, he discovered the truth about my romance with caffeine. For assorted reasons, he suggested I drastically ease my fling with coffee or he wouldn’t allow it at all! Imagine my grief!

The good news is that we don’t have to break-up completely, coffee and me. We can still see each other two times a day. But now, when I go into the kitchen to drain the pot; when the last drop of motivation is in my cup, I wonder where I’ll find the words if they don’t show up before the cup is empty!

My response to today’s one-word prompt: Sympathy (because it is with great sympathy that I end my affair with coffee!)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Structure

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Located on a hilltop in the fertile Verde Valley, this structure was once an ancient pueblo. Tuzigoot National Monument near Clarkdale, Arizona, was home to the 12th century Sinagua Indians. Construction at Tuzigoot spanned over 300 years, from about 1100 to 1400 AD.

Don’t you just wonder what occupied the minds of the Sinagua people all those years ago? Certainly, they were not worried about whose finger was on the nuclear button or which political party’s agenda made the biggest splash in the news. I suppose they were more concerned with surviving the heat of an Arizona summer, what the length of the next growing season might be, or how to build tools to accomplish tasks more easily.

Despite the comfortable natural setting not far from the Verde River, the Sinagua left the pueblo at Tuzigoot for unknown reasons around the year 1450.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Structure

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