Thursday, May 30, 2013

An accidental WOW!

It's going to be a real hot and muggy day here today in the 90's at the end of May.  I told myself just to stay home, read a novel or be bored or something.  Then Tom Skyped me with some wonderful delight.  He recently purchased a connector from his camera to his telescope.  And this morning he decided to try it for the first time.  Just as he zoomed across the pond from the window of his great room, he spotted a heron in action.  That little guy caught a big fish, and proceeded to swallow the fresh fish alive after dropping it a couple of time.  That lucky Tom!   I can just see how later he would describe this event to Janice with great excitement when she gets up.  And how lucky am I to have a brother like him who would share his amazement and happiness with me.

I have had my WOW for the day now.  Even being bored for the rest of the day does not seem too bad any more.  Just like that heron probably won't feel hungry for three days now.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Such good looking boys

Steven's kids are VERY cute!  When coming back from S. America, we stayed in their home.  The boys can just bring the best out of you.  Well, of course, I am not their parents, and do not have to worry about any day-to-day mentoring or disciplining activities.  Quite an advantage of being a Grandaunt, I can be so footloose and  fancy free, and enjoy the charm of my grand nephews.

It's a fun watching Tom and Janice loving their Grandchildren too.  Tom learned that trying to spend quality time with the kids before they were fully awake in the morning was not easy.
 Matthew was ready to go to school.

4 Siblings

Dean suggested a visit to our parents' graves in TN.  So we all gathered in a lodge in Beech Mountain , NC, which borders TN, and went to Johnson City together.  The emotions are hard to describe when one sweeps the grave of one's parent.  So much emotions from the past usually are buried, and left undisturbed.
The group had a nice gathering.  We cooked, ate, chatted, hiked, and played ping pong or Marjon together.  For six senior citizens riding in a van, it turned out just as fun.

Perhaps our DNA and our experience instilled enough wisdom in us to love nature, to appreciate good qualities, and be grateful with what we have in life.  We seem to be able to communicate conflict emotions, although sometimes seem raw, and manage okay the terms of endearment.  We value families and friends. And nature always has a way to heal us.

While love exists, the inability or lack of skills to handle/communicate endearment will cause pain.  It seems to me that using a sharp dagger to carve out love/hurt, and toss that piece of soft heart into cold to freeze is not the answer.  To be willing to develop skills to handle conflicting situations is worth it, for the sake of love.
In this aspect, I am still a student.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hola! Machu Picchu

I took the trip of Machu Picchu & The Galapagos offered by OAT with Tom and Janice from April 17-May 2.  Regardless of how many pictures one may have seen, or how many stories one might have heard before, being there in person at Machu Picchu, to see and feel the mountains, the ruins, the terraces, the river and the gorge, and the Inca trails was utterly a grand experience.

We boarded the train at Ollantaytambo, and rode along the Urubamba River for about 2 hours to arrive at the bottom of Machu Picchu.  The view along the gorge of Rio Urubamaba was simply spectacular!

A public bus zig zag upwardly brought us high to Machu Picchu in 40 minutes:
Then the grandness of ancient Machu Picchu revealed itself , which was a place burned by the Incas and never found by the Spanish  Conquistadors.
Surrounding the ruin, one can see mountains and the rio Urubamba below:

A stretch of Inca trail could be seen along one cliff, which we later followed its path to the Sun Gate. Just imagine those Inca slaves moved the rocks, built the temples and terraces, and established the irrigation and anti erosion systems; but all without any written language.
It was a blessing that I was able to share good times with Tom and Janice.
 Tom and I, along with other group members hiked 5 miles to the Sun Gate and the Inca Bridge.