Signs of Spring

Renewal

Thursday at lunch, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot, and the weather was just perfect. I had my sunroof open and was leaned back and relaxing a while before I had to go back to work. This tree was framed in the opening of my roof, so I took its picture and how it is already starting to show buds again. I have no idea what kind of tree this is (Anyone know?), but I thought it was nice to see some of the first signs of spring showing forth.

Proud “Barner”

Just Stopped by to Say "Hay"

While on my lunch hour, I drove around the area behind my office complex, on roads that I rarely use. I wanted to enjoy the sunny day and explore a bit.

I saw this old red barn sitting off in a field. I went down the road a bit, then decided to turn around and go back to take a photo. I parked in a church parking lot nearby and walked over to get a better view. I enjoyed the short walk in the sun AND got a decent picture.

Interesting that on the day I take a picture of a barn, I read the awful news about someone poisoning the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn. The damage is done to the trees, and I hope the offender is caught and punished to the full extent of the law. What I hope going forward is that this kind of damaging prank ends here… no revenge, no retribution. It’s got to stop.

For the first time today, I heard that Nick Saban’s lake cabin had been vandalized with orange and blue paint. I had no idea, and I’m just as angry about that as about the trees. Vandalism is a cowardly, expensive, and violating crime… no matter the motive.

Instead, I’ll pay homage to the somewhat disparaging sobriquet that Alabama fans like to give us Auburn fans and wear it proudly. Heck yeah, I’m a Barner! :)

Cinco de February

Belly Up to the Bar

No, it wasn’t February 5th when this photo was taken. It was yesterday, when I joined some friends for lunch to celebrate another friend’s birthday. We met at Cinco which serves some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had!

I’ve been to lunch there several times, and every time I go, I see some new feature in the decor that I’d not noticed before… the cowhide-covered chair backs at the bar, the Chihuly-inspired lamps (which you can’t see here), the bottles in the windows which give the impression of stained glass, and wonderful large art on the red-clay-covered walls. The decorator of this place really knew what they were doing!

They also have live music at night on the weekend, so I’m determined to make it back for dinner one night… perhaps when it’s warmer weather and sitting outside on the large patio seems like a good idea.

If you live in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, and if you like Mexican food, you should check it out.

Going Up?

Steel Sky

I’m going to eventually post of my best pics from my wonderful birthday celebration weekend, but I’ve been too busy enjoying the days to work on my photos… as it SHOULD be! :)

In the meantime, here’s one that I really liked. Just a random shot going up the escalator from the MARTA station up to the CNN Center area… the combination of glass, steel, blue sky, and sunshine looked so neat, I had to catch the  moment.

Weekend Celebration, Pt. II

Anneaux Olympiques et les Tourterelles

After a wonderful party with friends last night (Celebration Part I), I had the option to sleep late, and I took it… always a good start to a day. I had a couple of cups of coffee, enjoyed leisurely, and a wonderful homemade cinnamon roll made by my friend, Connie, just for my birthday!

As part of my celebration weekend, Sandee and I decided to get away from our respective homes, pets, and responsibilities for the day and checked into the Hilton. Around 2:00, we rode the train into downtown, and since I’d never been on the train, this was an adventure for me… only got a little bit of motion nausea toward the end, but made it through.

We walked through the CNN center to get to Olympic Centennial Park where I wanted to take photos. We thought we might go to the World of Coke, but decided not to so that we wouldn’t get back too late. The weather was so pretty (if one was in the sunshine, if not, it was very chilly!), and it’s supposed to be even nicer tomorrow. I’m so happy this weekend is turning out so nicely weather-wise.

Finally got back to the room, settled in, and ordered room service, which was delicious! Now, I’m going through all of my photos and selecting the ones I want to post on Facebook later… probably tomorrow. The one shown here is my favorite from the park.

This photo is the sculpture honoring Pierre de Coubertin, considered to be the founder of the modern Olympic games. I thought about zooming in more on this image so you can see the detail in the doves (it’s hard to tell that two of them are carrying a laurel wreath), but I thought it was more interesting to get all of the Olympic rings and all of the doves in the picture… against the blue sky, it was just beautiful.

Turning Nifty

A New Day Dawning

My friend, Maureen (who just turned nifty herself recently), and I decided that instead of turning 50, we’d turn nifty, and at 60, we’d turn sexty. I like the concept… not sure how it will play out in reality.

And so I’ve been thinking about what my photo for this milestone day would be, and there’s been nothing that just leaps to my mind as being an obvious choice. (I hope the graveyard photo I took a few days ago is no portent of what it might be. :) Maybe by the end of this post, I’ll have the answer.

Someone asked me recently if turning 50 was bothering me. I said, in all truthfulness, it is not. I like where I am in my life… with my relationships, my work, where I live, etc…. and that helps immensely to be satisfied with my age as well. Of course, I don’t enjoy the physical issues that come along with aging. In my youth, I was always very energetic and athletic, and now, energy is limited and athleticism is bedeviled by aches, pains, strains, and other irritating little things that remind me I can’t shake off injury like I use to. (Granted some of my issues now are not so much age-related as giving in to a sedentary lifestyle, but some are not.) Several people have told me in times past that I have nice hands, but now, they’re a bit spotted, and definitely more wrinkled than before. And since I use my hands constantly in my work and they’re always in front of me, they’re an ever-present reminder of time marching across my skin.

Then of course, there are the changes to the people around me… people I care about, who I’ve known all my life. Every time I talk to my parents, it seems someone else has been diagnosed with something or has passed away or has Alzheimer’s disease. And my parents themselves, every time I visit home, they seem a little slower, more stooped, more forgetful. That is the part of aging that I don’t like, that seems unfair… too much suffering involved in the culmination of lives well lived.

Apart from the physical changes, however, I feel like I’m more the “better” person that I really want to be… more appreciative of little things and little moments, less struggling against things that are totally out of my control (perhaps that’s the relinquishing of a controlling nature in general?), and more in tune with what is really important to me. George Bernard Shaw had it right when he wrote “Youth is wasted on the young.” It’s not that I want to go back to being young, it’s the wish that I’d understood then as I do now, more about the immense importance of relationships, beauty, spirituality, and being mindful of the brevity of life.

I used to act as if I needed to impact the world in such a way that someone would know I was here, and not just because of a grave marker. I wanted my life to be of consequence, but looking back, I realize that was more about my ego than it was wanting to make a real difference. Now, I realize that every thing I do and say has consequence. The way I speak to someone, the tone of my voice, has the power to hurt or encourage that person. Doing a kind deed in anonymity. Doing my work to the best of my ability. Making creative endeavors a priority. And of course, making (or attempting to make) people laugh.

Learning new things takes a bit longer, but the old girl’s still got it in her, and even more so, the desire to learn, to understand, to discover new and interesting things is as strong or stronger than it was back when. I hope that some disease of the brain never takes that away from me, as it brings me so much joy.

So I’ve started to ramble, and I want to get up and get going on my day. I decided to post a photo of the lake. I have reasons for what it means to me, but I’ll keep those to myself.

And now, on with the rest of my life!