Shifting Seasons – a poem

It’s the middle of a long hot summer where I live, but I have the changing seasons to look forward too! In a few months my morning walks will be gold instead of green.

 

SHIFTING SEASONS

Roses are drooping

Petals are falling

Ground is scorched by

the heat of the sun

 

Moon is waning

Stars are hiding

Eeriness conquers

the dark velvet skies

 

Summer is folding

Autumn is calling

Crisp, pretty leaves

now crunch at my feet

 

Storm is brewing

Cold is looming

Icy winds bite at

the innocent breeze

 

Color is fading

Nothing is growing

Dreary days plague us

as winter sets in

 

Air is warming

Snow is melting

Clouds weep with joy

for hope has returned

 

Green is bursting

Birds are chirping

Spring has arrived

all’s right with the world!

Portrait of a Glassblower

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Waterford, a seaport in southeast Ireland, is the country’s oldest city. It was founded by Vikings in 914 A.D. and parts of its ancient city wall still remain. Famed glass manufacturer Waterford Crystal began there in 1783. We enjoyed a tour of the company’s facility located near the historic district. As we explored more of the city, we noticed this street portrait of a Glassblower embedded in the wall. Seemed appropriate for both the challenges “travel” and “portrait”.

For RTD #55: Travel and Tourmaline One-Word Photo Challenge: Portrait

When Illness Comes

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When illness comes,

what once was a flawless sky

becomes laden with pending rain.

Clouds begin lurking, spreading, darkening…

intent on swallowing the sun.

Thunder rolls in

on the tail of an erratic wind,

obscuring vision with the downpour it brings.

But beyond the threatening storm,

beyond the darkness,

beyond the fear,

is a place where the moon

flaunts his friendly grin

and, one way or another,

the sun will shine again.

Shortly after retiring, I became a volunteer for a local hospice organization. One of the services they provided was the preparation of a life journal for their patients. As a volunteer, I would spend time with a patient, gather stories and photos of their life, then organize that information into a book they could give to their family. I volunteered for several years, taking a hiatus when a new grandchild needed my care. My grandson will start preschool in the fall, so I decided it was time to get back to journal writing. I contacted the volunteer manager who said they’d be happy to have me return. I look forward once again to being in the company of genuinely honest, often courageous, and always appreciative patients who prompted the poem above.

This is my response to RDP#46 – Open.  Sgeoil has challenged us to “Open your eyes…Open your heart…Open the door”, so I say – Yes, let’s do that – with volunteerism! There is always a cause out there that can use our help!

Photo was taken in the Highlands of Scotland

Foto Friday #6

Beautiful Sedona, Arizona is often referred to as Red Rock Country

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The sandstone formations glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. As multi-hued rocks jut upward from the desert floor, they appear to be reaching for the sky. Sedona is popular for its history, nature, archaeology, art and for the many gorgeous scenic drives that can be taken from there.

This post is also for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge Week 1:  dark red and/or tree and/or bushes

City Scene: Copenhagen

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For the second installment of City Scene, I have decided to re-visit Copenhagen, Denmark. It was from Copenhagen that we departed for our 35th wedding anniversary cruise. We had a wonderful time cruising the Northern European ports on the Baltic Sea, but it all began with an overnight stay in Copenhagen.

After a lengthy flight delay in Kansas City, we frantically ran from gate to gate for our connection in Newark. Once we caught our breath and settled in, the flight across the Atlantic was uneventful – thank goodness! We transferred from the airport to the heart of the city where we, along with good friends who were also celebrating their 35th anniversary, checked in at the historic Palace Hotel.

The hotel, a city landmark in Town Square, is right next to Tivoli and within walking distance of art, culture and museums. We had purchased tickets from home for the Hop On-Hop Off bus tour, so after 30 minutes to rest and freshen up, we made it to Stop One at the designated time – quite an accomplishment, I must say! Unfortunately, it was so crowded and confusing that we thought it best to compose ourselves over lunch. We found a quiet pub across the street from Tivoli Gardens, had a nice beer & burger, then tried the Hop On-Hop Off again. Success!

From Tivoli Square we traveled to Rosenborg Castle, the National Gallery & Botanical Garden, and the Langelinie Pier for a photo stop at the Little Mermaid statue. The Edvard Eriksen sculpture was inspired by the short story by Denmark’s favorite son: Hans Christian Andersen. It is supposedly the most popular tourist attraction in Copenhagen, so we took a picture of her like all good tourists do!

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We “hopped” back on the bus and passed Fortress Kastellet, the Resistance Museum, and St. Albans Church on our way to the next photo stop at Gefion Fountain. From there it was on to Amalienborg Royal Palace, a place we would have explored further if we’d had more time; then to Nyhavn, or the “New Harbor” area, where picturesque houses along the river bank are over 300 years old.

One of the things we noticed about Copenhagen was the large number of bicycles in the city. It is known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. Nearly 70% of Copenhagen’s residents cycle throughout the year, so the city’s bicycle paths are extensive and well used. Cycle lanes are not shared with cars or pedestrians, and often have their own traffic light which gives cyclists a couple of seconds lead, allowing them time to accelerate.

Back on the Hop On-Hop Off, traffic was heavy and slow near Tivoli Park, but eventually we returned to the Palace Hotel for a brief rest. We met up with our friends again for dinner as a light rain began to fall.  Lucky for us the Stroget, a cute cobblestone, pedestrian-only thoroughfare with numerous restaurants and shops was just around the corner from the hotel. We ducked into the first little pub we came to, which turned out to be a wonderful choice. I had the Danish Sailors Stew, or Labskovs, a traditional dish originating on ships back in the 1700’s. It hit the spot on a cool, damp evening! The rain had stopped after dinner, so we continued our walk down the Stroget. A little souvenir shopping, some sightseeing, a stop at the pastry shop; then we found our way back to the hotel and wearily put ourselves to bed!  It had been a long day!

We awoke bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and after a great breakfast at the hotel, were excited to start the day! We had the rest of the morning to further explore Copenhagen before cruise embarkation, so we walked a short distance to the canal area where Christiansborg Palace and Ruins are located. Once there, the buildings were impressive enough to coax us into taking the tour and I’m so glad we did.

The palace was the fifth building to be located on the site. The first one was Bishop Absalon Castle built there in 1167. In 1369, the Copenhagen Castle was located there and was the seat of the royal family of Denmark for more than 350 years. The first Palace was built on the site in the 1700’s, but it – and the second Palace (built in 1828) – both burnt to the ground. We saw the remains of these former buildings when we toured the ruins beneath the Palace. Rebuilt in 1928, the current Christiansborg Palace is home to the Parliament, the Prime Minister, and the Supreme Court and is used by the Queen for formal receptions.

We had just enough time for a few more pictures at New Harbor and to buy one more scrumptious Danish pastry… then we transferred to the docks to board the ship! As we sailed away, we said goodbye to the colorful, captivating “City Scene” in Copenhagen!