Sunny Day

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #84: Sun

Let’s evoke the power of the sun this week, with images, poems, and stories to warm us up.

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It’s warmer here Mom, my daughter informed me last week.

I was preparing to visit her & her family in Washington DC to babysit my 3 ½ year old grandson for 3 days of his pre-K school vacation.

I interpreted that to mean Spring warmth. Big mistake. It was still too cold…for me. I did not pack accordingly. Obviously too much wishful thinking.

I arrived on Tuesday to temps in the 40s, but with little or no sun.  Which continued into Wednesday, along with a cold biting wind that slowly but surely froze my hands and ears walking with this very active little boy…5 blocks to the library for story time. Next on to the park to climb, slide and run around (him not me) on Wednesday and again on Thursday. The grey day cold seeped in deeper as I had to retrace our steps to get on the right street (he redirected me). Five blocks turned into six…seven….

What is it about a cloudy cold day that can drain your energy more than usual? Even when you are doing exciting things like walking down the street hand in hand with a conversational little boy…following an orange garbage truck to watch the stopping and emptying of trash cans.

Or…Waiting and observing and discussing why 3 workers across the street are just standing around an open manhole cover clearly marked with caution tape…
Grandma what are they doing?
Waiting to see what happens next.
Grandma why are they doing nothing?

The temperature feels colder under a cloudy sky when you stop at every alley to watch for cars or trucks or whatever may come zooming out. Or walk the wrong way…twice…
Grandma that’s the coffee shop! We have to go that way over there!

I have no sense of direction – I freely admit that – but my brain was also frozen. That’s my excuse this week. As well as not being properly dressed for walking the streets of DC in February. My grandson remained unfazed by the cold and our adventurous routes around the neighborhood.

The overcast skies continued…until yesterday.

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What a difference that sun can make.

back yard sun

We played closer to home during my last day of Grandma time.

It felt just a bit warmer.

scooter

I love sunny days.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Looks Like a Face

This post inspired by Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge. The topic this week: Looks Like a Face

 

A grill with a sense of humor?

Back in the days of home ownership, we left our gas grill out on the side deck all year. Covered up. It was too big and cumbersome to lug down 4 stairs en route to storage in the garage.

So, why not use it year round?

Winter arrived. Every year…bringing snow and more snow. Burying the deck. Including the grill.

Just needed to shovel a path. Clear away the snow. Bundle up. Grab a flashlight. Move fast. Hope the gas hadn’t run out. Grilling hamburgers one New Year’s eve comes to mind. Much to the surprise of our visiting guests.

Only steps from the kitchen door, the grill was also my route to avoid using the broiler pan. And the resulting greasy, crusty mess. Including scrubbing out all those slats. Never a popular chore…especially for my teenage son who was often recruited for the task.

One snowy January day, this is what greeted me when I opened the side door…

snow face 2005
…either mocking me…or offering a friendly greeting.

I could never decide which.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Bank

Here is my entry for this week’s challenge hosted by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo

The prompt this week is: Bank

 

The day-after scene from one of many memorable snowstorms.
Before the white turns gray…
…then black…as it morphs into slush.
Snow banks everywhere.
Courtesy of city plows and resident snow blowing and shoveling.
Whew.

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Snow bank in the winter

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River banks.
Same river. Different spots.

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River bank in the fall
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River bank in the summer

 

Bright Spot

img_7886It is cold…
And rainy (yes rainy).
Snow covered ground outside my window.
Clouds. Gray sky.
A black and white day.
Recipe for gloom.

Except for my…
Bright Spot.
The miracle plant. Back from the dead.
The phoenix rising.

My first – and only – Christmas cactus.
I brought her (I’ve decided she is female) home 20 years ago. A Christmas gift from a patient who faithfully arrived weekly for weight checks and diet advice. My former job in my former life.

Ms. Cactus hid her true glory for years. Alternately near death…yellowed leaves withering and dropping off onto the living room floor. To be sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. Or mashed in the carpet by a teenager clomping across the room.

Even though nutrition was the centerpiece of my professional career, I often overlooked…plant food…on a regular basis. Perhaps because I was otherwise occupied with a job, kids, house and such. Feeding the family…remembered that.

For years she just sat there getting dusty – sprouting no buds – no matter what I did. Houseplant books never agreed. The internet couldn’t decide either. I pruned. I overwatered.  A branch broke off. I under watered. Changed locations: bookshelf…garden window…coffee table…side table…. No luck. No color.

Maybe because it’s a cactus…which would imply it is meant to somehow grow and thrive in the desert…explains why it hung on.

And then we moved.

My cactus flowered somewhat at our beach rental 2 years ago, crammed in the corner of the tiny living room.

And then nothing.

Last year, a few blooms randomly appeared.

Now…right in the middle of January…when I needed it most…Ms. Cactus exploded in color. And has rightfully earned a place of honor on the kitchen table (when not posing for pictures).

One happy plant. Looking pretty good for the old age of twenty.

Downsizing to this condo apparently was just what she needed.

And so did I.

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Cee’s Flower of the Day