Don’t Doubt and Be Dumb

I got asked if I was taking the coronavirus seriously. Yes, I’m not a virus doubter, even though we went ahead with our non refundable vacation. Convenient isn’t it, that the UU Lent word for the day is doubt?

Sunrise on our last day in Myrtle Beach. No doubt that was beautiful.

Lee and I almost used up a bar of soap washing our hands, and we sanitized restaurant settings, once my brother told me too. I’m lucky my brother works for the Santa Clara County Health Department, who publish great information.

We also didn’t go to crowded places and maintained space around us. Still managed to enjoy the beach and each other.

This guy was happily disinfecting all the lobby furniture. He was pleased to be photographed.

Hilton was being really diligent about cleaning, especially the touch screen elevator buttons. We had wristbands that activated the elevators and unlocked doors, which came in handy.

Staying healthy, since I’m old.

We’re now heading to visit more relatives. We will stay at their house and do water activities. If we go out to eat, we will take precautions. When we go home? I’ll be real careful in restrooms. Then I’m staying in Cameron for a while, where there are no virus sufferers yet.

Stay safe, everybody, and don’t be a dumb doubter. Our business is also taking precautions for the safety of our clients, too, in case you wondered. It’s not a time to doubt scientific professionals.

Wisdom: Did We Make a Wise Decision?

The salesperson we dealt with yesterday, the relentlessly flattering Kathy (she kept telling us how smart we were), convinced us to stay an extra day here in Myrtle Beach. So, we pushed our trip out a day. Hmm…that brings me to the UU Lent word of the day, wisdom.

There is no doubt in Lee’s nor my mind that this wasn’t a wise decision! An entire day with no agenda and no feeling rushed is a real blessing to us. After losing more than half of yesterday working out a deal to make traveling easier for Lee (he NEEDS to get out, but doesn’t like to fly), today feels good. And it’s given me a chance to think hard about what wisdom is and where it comes from.

I looked out the balcony this morning and saw a perfect depiction of the path to wisdom. It runs between my watery intuitive side and my my analytical side. I need them both.

I’m not being egotistical to declare that I am a lot wiser now, at age 62. Life’s journey has given me plenty of learning opportunities (or challenges), and while I may have not been as wise as I thought I was early in life, at least I was always open to learning and growing. Like in the picture above, I can never see where I’m going on this path, but there’s always something new coming up. Then at the end, I’ll disappear into the mist. (GEEZ that’s cheesy.)

What Do We Need to Gain Wisdom

Yep, this is what I look like in a mirror and it’s just fine, thanks.

Well, there’s lots, of course, but one thing that’s really helped me is accepting myself as I am, rather than trying to be who someone else wants me to be or comparing myself with others. I like that I can look in the mirror now and tell myself I am fine just the way I look, and that I am really great inside.

Learning to love myself and retraining my brain to send me positive messages was the hardest thing I ever did, and it’s rewarded me more than I can express. I sure see things more clearly when they aren’t obscured by self criticism and insecurity about myself. Go me!

Another characteristic that has brought me a lot of wisdom is curiosity. I’m not interested in staying in my comfort zone and not exploring new ideas, new places, or new activities (after a bit of Suna’s patented hesitation). I love to look around corners, explore nooks and crannies, and see what’s out there, just like the beautiful bird below. That’s helped me see things in new ways, which can’t help but bring on not just knowledge, but wisdom – which includes knowing what to do with what you learn.

“What’s over here?” asks the egret.
I found this picture on my phone, taken by Lee when he was supposed to be taking pictures for me. Made me laugh.

One thing that maybe people don’t think about leading to wisdom is humor. Humor requires looking at life in different ways, not just what’s readily apparent. That’s got to help you become wiser. I’ve found that the wisest people I know laugh a lot, too. Maybe that’s good for you in more ways than are apparent!

Being able to laugh at experiences rather than dwelling on how bad they are or what awful consequences there may be also leaves you more open to learning, even from the hard things that we all go through.

And finally, wisdom requires patience. You don’t get wise overnight (like I used to think when I was an all-knowing teen psychic wonder). It doesn’t just show up. Sometimes you have to experience things multiple times to learn from them (how about those repeated relationships with inappropriate men?). And sometimes you have to wait for life to unfold before you get to where you’ve internalized your knowledge and applied it to your life. It doesn’t help to know something, it’s got to get IN there, and that takes patience.

I’ll get to use this soon, away from dog toenails, of course.

Yep, I am finally almost done with this lap blanket. If only I’d brought the green yarn to finish the corners. This took both patience and perseverance!

What Have I Missed?

I’m sure some of you have in mind other aspects of life that lead to wisdom. Share them here or on Facebook, because I’m interested to know what you think. Wisdom also comes from learning from your peers!

Birds Birds Birthday Birds

It’s the spouse’s birthday. That’s why we took a trip! What fun that half the day was taken up doing business! Yes! Woo!

Me taking a break and wishing I was on the beach.

Um. It wasn’t horrible and we came out with some future travel fun. I want to go places before I die. Lee will put up with it, or send me off with Anita.

Whew, he’s as old as me again, and can still hold up a tree.

Birds!

We escaped the towering beach resort at last and made it to a state park. There, I had more Nature Girl fun that humans should be allowed to have. And even Lee enjoyed the walking around my favorite thing on earth, a marsh.

It’s a marsh.

The Huntington Beach State Park is beautiful. We didn’t look at all of it, but focused on the wilder parts. The trails we walked on were spectacular, with huge old pines and oaks and much evidence of fairly recent flooding.

What a huge oak tree!

We saw SO many birds. As soon as we got out of the car, I saw cheeky chickadees, and when we got on the boardwalk, there was a family of Eastern bluebirds. They have lots of nest boxes on the island, and they seem to be working!

Blue birds!

I took lots and lots of photos on our walk, and I got more and more excited with each new bird I saw. The causeway was a real hotbed of shore birds, and I had SO much fun with other birders looking at a group of birds hanging around together, with anhingas, ospreys, and bald eagles flying over head. Wow!

Of course, I took lots of pictures of plants. This is a wild blackberry or a dewberry or some bramble.

Enjoy these photos, which are enough to make any naturalist swoon, far as I’m concerned.

After all that, we had a beautiful birthday dinner at the Sea Captain’s House, a restaurant that has been here 58 years. I had she-crab soup and then oysters (of course) for my main course. Then we shared a wonderful birthday dessert.

The picture is dark so you can see the ocean out the window. Nice.

Was it a good day? Oh yes, it was. That blue bird of happiness followed us all day!

Camellia outside the restaurant.

Trying to Do Nothing. It’s Hard.

This vacation to Myrtle Beach is for Lee to get some rest and relaxation, so I am trying to not impose my agenda on him. Today he wanted to scan in receipts and balance his budget, so okay, that’s what he did. I’m not great at just doing my regular job in a different spot (though I uploaded a post for another blog, dealt with a couple of issues for the Austin job, and such).

I just feel like if I’m in a new place, I should go check it out, so I spent much of the day looking around the resort area where we’re staying. This morning I walked a long way up the beach, and was actually glad for all the brightly colored hotels, condos, and resorts on the beach, because everything else was solid gray. The surf, sand, and sky all matched.

Gray sand, gray birds, grayish water, gray skies.

I did get to enjoy something you don’t get to see every day, though. They were tearing down a condo building that I guess isn’t big and tall enough or something. The wrecking ball had to be careful not to damage the building a few yards away from it. Half the building was rubble and half looked like people still lived there. Weird.

Future former building.

The nature watching was limited. I saw laughing gulls, pigeons, and dead jellyfish. The shells here are all broken (it’s the Atlantic, after all) but a lot of them obviously were big ole clams!

Poor jellyfish.

Lee came out of the building and walked with me to the next pier, where we had a very good lunch at the Pier 14 restaurant. Even veggies of the day were good (most places they are not even completely defrosted and have no seasoning, but these were hot and tasty). I had some good scallops. I’m managing to keep eating healthy!

The boardwalk is nice. I assume it’s much more crowded next month.

Most of Myrtle Beach reminds me of Ft. Lauderdale (a place of which I have never been fond). Not a lot of natural beauty, at least anywhere near the water. I think this place is designed for a different kind of tourist than me. If I wanted to drink, hear live music, buy cheap souvenirs, play golf (mini or otherwise), or ride Ferris wheels, though, this would be nirvana.

This is the most nature I found. The blue thing is where I had lunch.

But, I enjoyed sitting and watching the waves this afternoon, while chatting with a lady from Tennessee, and have gotten a lot of good knitting and reading in. Plus a nap. Yes, a nap! And Lee did go for a walk with me around 5 pm.

Mmm, shops and more shops.

So, I succeeded pretty well in doing nothing and avoiding large crowds. Tomorrow, though, I have been promised a trip to a park. They tend to not be hotbeds of disease.

Go Far Enough and You’ll Eventually Hit Water

Boom! I hit water yesterday, a long way from Texas. How convenient that the UU Lent word for today is water! Lee and I are both water signs, Pisces, and this year for our birthdays we got each other a trip to the ocean, carefully planned to be before the onslaught of spring breaks and such.

Kendall and Jan in the neighbor’s forsythia bushes.

We had a nice visit with my cousins (Jan and daughter, Kendall) and my stepmother (Florence). Jan’s the cousin on my dad’s side who’s kept in touch with me the most. I think I’m too “out there” for most of the rest of them. She made us a nice breakfast and then she and Kendall and I took an excellent walk around her neighborhood, which was blooming with daffodils, but no redbuds yet. We even got to pet some horses!

You can’t quite tell, but the paint is sticking her tongue out.

After that, we had a short but good visit with Florence, who’s doing well for 84. She had forgotten we were coming, or had the wrong day, so we didn’t interfere with her day for too long. She’s so cute in small doses, and was so happy to show us her latest paintings. She kept telling me to approach them straight, or they won’t come out right (once a professional photographer, always a professional photographer.

Where Is That Water?

Here’s the waterfall at the rest stop.

We got to see some new scenery on the way to Myrtle Beach from High Point, which was fun. Lots of small towns and pine trees. Yesterday I shared a picture of the rest stop with a living roof. That was so interesting. The view was amazing, too, and it had water!

We had an interesting time finding the place we are staying, because the GPS routed us to 1600 Ocean Blvd in NORTH Myrtle Beach, whereas our actual place was in regular Myrtle Beach. The check-in lady says that if we had been coming from the south, there would have been a third wrong way we could have been sent in the next town south. Great choice in naming roads. This place is trying to get their location fixed on mapping software, but it ain’t easy.

Water makes me happy.

But we are here now, way up almost on the top of a big resort building, with a nice partial beach view. That’s okay, because the land view has a ferris wheel and other interesting things to look at.

Night view of Myrtle Beach. It’s pretty, but I’d prefer a less urban vacation spot. I think the next one will be like that.

Lee and I took a nice walk on the beach, enjoyed a tropical cocktail and mostly just chilled last night. We are having a very nice time, and it’s so nice to not have to rush around for a few days. This is a perfect birthday present for hermits.

And, don’t worry, we will not be attending large gatherings of any sort. I think we are going to go to State Parks, mostly, though I do want to do a small amount of shopping. Small, really.

As for Water

Water means a lot to me, as a symbol as well as bringing life to us all. The way water moves has always fascinated me, which may be why I love that arroyo on the ranch so much. I am amazed that the spring springs and sends water down that little stream. And there is nothing more beautiful than an area after an ice storm, all sparkly and dangerous at the same time. And water brings us clouds!

Look! Clouds and water!

I spent more than a usual person’s time looking at maps of river systems, and love knowing where the water on my property goes on its way to the ocean. What a journey!

Here’s the Instagram of the day, in case you were curious.

The one thing I asked Lee for in the quest for our permanent “retirement” home (yes, I realize we have failed at retiring) was some kind of water. I was so happy to have the cattle tanks, utilitarian as they are, and frontage on Walker’s Creek, even though Ralph said it was the worst land on the ranch, because it floods. Well, I hadn’t planned to build a subdivision there, and keeping it natural is just fine with me.

I had to put the photo up in a larger format, so sorry for the duplication. Here is water in all its forms. There are some icy clouds way up there by the moon. Photo by Lee.

Water ties us all together, too. The water in us has been in many other people, in many other places. When they say we are all one, they aren’t kidding.