Thursday, July 05, 2018

For the record...

My children decided to make secret guesses of how many pictures I would take while we were in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Each of them wrote down their number, and I carried on in my usual manner, taking a picture of anything I saw beautiful, interesting, note-worthy, funny, or strange. They had one clue or intimation and that was... in eleven days traveling to and from Oregon, I took 2,300 pictures. So, how many pictures did I take on a twelve day visit to the Midwest? Oh, and I wanted to travel light so this was only with my iPhone. Do you want to guess?

The pictures are still uploading to my computer. And to be honest, I am already regretting the shots I didn't get, the moments I didn't capture. And though packing light was a good idea, I am not sure how good a job I actually did. I probably should have brought the Sony camera, and left my paints and brushes. I never embroidered. But I did crochet. Never wore socks, and I could have got by without the dress. One pair of shoes was fine. Funny... I am tired, and still buzzing from this trip, but am I thinking of the next one? How to do it better? What not to do, etc? Maybe. No harm in daydreaming a little. Can't hurt to be prepared, am I right?

Still loading...

Not all of the pictures are keepers, of course. On the plane home, I went through my phone and pulled out the obvious duds. There are duplicates, but I like to see those on my big monitor, before deciding which ones to delete. Some pictures are notes... a memory device for names, numbers, addresses, ideas. It really bugs me (read: Crushes my soul) when I take a beautiful picture, but don't notice that someone blinked... take two, that's my rule, but I forget.

I love seeing the pictures as they load onto my Mac, and then finding that 1 in a 1,000 that stands out, the one that really touches me, makes me glad I take pictures. It's not always the best picture, but it tells a good story, makes me connect to the moment. I love it when that happens.

Still loading. I am seeing our afternoon at the Milwaukee Public Museum appear on the screen, a moment at a time. All the butterflies, then dioramas, then pictures from the car window as we drove through old Milwaukee looking for Café Hollander.

Sector 67 pictures... still loading. This is going to take a while.

I should unpack, start the first load of travel laundry, sort the mail, send thank you cards, start a diet, pull weeds, clean my car.

No... ah, gee. The vacation is over. The adventure is done. It's back to "normal" and trying to keep the dust buffalo from herding, stampeding. I should probably should get a real job, a paying one, clean my desk, do sit-ups, eat kale. When traveling, I keep it all together. I can manage... my world in a suitcase is small enough to figure out, maintain. I love that about traveling. Now we are home, and... let's just say, I should pack light in my daily, "real" life, too.

Is that why it's so easy for me to fall in love with the places I go? Is it because I am traveling light, and have room to see the beauty? There's something to that, I am sure. Of course places seem wonderful and the grass is greener, when I am on vacation, traveling. But, it's more than that. I mean, for one thing, the grass really is greener in Wisconsin, so are the trees, and the fields. Verdant, lush. And there is water, and moss, and even though those will be gone come fall, then winter, it's the tenuousness that adds to the appeal, that gives the sense of awe, appreciation, and urgency to enjoying it all. To combat the siren's call of big homes, screened porches, tree lined sidewalks, with corner cafes, and lakes, canoes, fireflies, and all of the Midwest's charms, I (m)uttered the following... Chiggers, mosquitos, and ticks, over and over, again. Geoff added, Twenty below, to be sure. And still, in spite of bug bites, and the threat of sub-zero days, I fall in love, all over again, with Main Street and Willy Street, barns, and cornfields, all that green, and the hope for snow.

Now the Door County pictures are loading, and I could cry. I wish we were there, but with our cats, and goats, the chickens, and any of my friends that want to canoe on a lake, pick strawberries and raspberries, then play Scrabble on the porch as the fireflies come out.

Chiggers, mosquitos, and ticks. Twenty below, oh my. Keep saying it.

Alex, Bambi, and Maria went out with Georgia to pick strawberries, and they came home with 16 pounds. They washed and hulled them, and that was our breakfast, with whipped cream and biscuits.

Chiggers, mosquitos, and ticks. Twenty below, oh my. Keep saying it.

I really should start that laundry.

Remember to guess... just for fun. How many pictures do you think I took?