Saturday, August 10, 2019

life happens now

These past few years have been some of the most stressful I have ever experienced. Many months before our move to New England in early 2018, we began earnestly house hunting for our new home in Vermont. We thought it might take maybe a few months to find a place. Two years later, after making formal purchase attempts on three different properties, each of which fell through, we decided to suspend our house search and sign another year-long lease in our tiny apartment.

We never thought it would take long to find and buy a place. We took this apartment, sight unseen, thinking it would be very temporary, so we could endure the cramped space. Our focus was on finding a place to settle into. As the search rolled on, what we found was that we were not living life - life was on hold. We were waiting to live.

In the midst of this past year, the cats have done fairly well. It took some time for them to settle but they did. 600 square feet is small space for 6 cats. The layout has a small hallway space that connects the four rooms. This poses a challenge for Oliver when Theo or Nahum are camped out in the hallway. Since Theo and Nahum both harass Oliver, he's afraid of trying to get by them when they're in the hallway. Even with such challenges, I noticed the cats were making due with what was available, they were not waiting to live but were living in the now. The cats were settled and doing ok, I was the one living in an unfulfilled future, leaving me intensely depressed and anxious.

The stress load kept increasing between Marvin's health problems, financial challenges, mom's worsening dementia, nearly non-existent family relationships, work burn-out, etc. I realized at one point that I could not change the things that were adding so much stress to my life, so instead, I needed to add something into my life that was relaxing, life giving, something that would breathe life into my soul to counterbalance the drain from the stress.

I bought a small, cheap kayak. I wanted something that would fit inside my mini-van and thus make using it super easy. The idea of a roof tie-down situation was more than my overwhelmed brain could handle. Once I had the kayak, life jacket, and paddle all I needed was to find a spot. I first tried a small lake that was too developed for my taste and too big. And then I found Grafton Pond, in Grafton, NH. This place is incredible. 300+ acre pond that is nearly entirely undeveloped. It's all in a preserved land reservation and thus gas powered motors are not allowed.

I've only explored a small fraction of the pond so far. The bottom left little section keeps drawing me back, maybe someday I'll venture out and explore other parts.

Kayak fits perfectly in the back of the van.

I've been visiting most Sunday mornings, early before many others get there. 

I love loons and this pond has many. One day I saw about 10 loons congregated together - loon fest! Floating around among the loons is so peaceful and soul refreshing. The loon sounds connects deep within my soul. If you are not familiar with the Common Loon, you can learn more at the Audubon Common Loon page. You can listen to the loon sounds on that page too, my favorite is the wail:

and the Tremelo call:

The adults both share the parenting duties including laying on the eggs in the nest and fishing. The parents use these various sounds to communicate with each other over distance, helping them find each other if they get out of sight. 

The little part of the pond I visit has a pair of loons with two babies. I first saw the babies riding on one of the parent's back, it was so cute! 

You can see why I want the telephoto camera option!

This is my favorite part of the pond, this little protected space. It's very quiet and sheltered, perfect place to float and soak in the serenity. Hanging out in such surroundings quiets my heart and feeds my soul.

Playing with taking pictures underwater.

Perfect place for morning coffee and journal writing.

The parent loons catch little fish and then deliver the meal to their babies.

Life is meant to be lived now!


  1. Such a pretty place, thanks for taking us along with you!

  2. We each must find balance; glad you've found a new expression for your soul.

  3. I love how the cats taught you to live now. I too have been focused on the future and it took some major depression to realize I can only change some of the things and to make the best of it all. Love the lake and the Loons!

  4. I enjoyed every word (well, I always do) and the two recordings as well. This is a wonderful way to just be you and to get some alone time to center and focus. I will have a recommendation for you to consider re: a camera with superior telephoto ability. I just have to look in my own morass of info to find it. When I do, I will pass it along.

  5. Nikon P900, Nikon P1000, Sony RX10 IV. These are three superzoom all in one cameras. Each are a good option.

  6. Sounds absolutely lovely... although one of these days I will get you over here for some kitten therapy.. Although the question is, would feral kitten therapy be up your alley?

  7. Wow, we are just amazed by the true beauty you got to see. We want to go on a vacation right this second. Thanks for sharing the gorgeous photos. Have a wonderful day.
    World of Animals


Thanks for sending in your comments!