Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Difference of a Few Thousand Miles

I was a long way from home last week. Out in Monterey Bay, California for a writers’ retreat. There the ocean trumps it all as the waves come in and the sea animals play out in the water. We left the doors open out to the balcony to hear the waves crashing and the seals barking through the night. During the day, we peered out toward the kelp where the sea otters floated along, some with their babies on their bellies. Pelicans lined up in the sky and flew past our hotel. Gulls flashed their wings at us and landed on the hotel deck railings to see what we were having for dinner. Out in the bay, dolphins leaped from the water, splashing their friends. People in bright yellow kayaks rowed around to get close to the sea otters. No sign of fall there with all eyes drawn to the beautiful blue water. All the hills are brown, not green like in Kentucky. In places flowers and colorful plants paint the ground red and yellow and pink. Nothing you’ll see in Kentucky.
Then the retreat was over and it was back on the airplane for the long ride home. 2,310 miles by I 40, but I was traveling Sky 40. An hour and a half by bus to the airport and then four and a half hours to Chicago and another hour home. That didn’t count airport waiting time. A long way home. I wasn’t by a window so I couldn’t see out. We were above the clouds most of the time anyway, but on the little puddle jumper plane from Chicago to Lexington, no one was in the seat beside me so I had a good view of the Kentucky landscape as we came in to the airport. Horse farms and barns. Green pastures and wooden fences. Cows and horses. And the trees got decked out in their autumn colors while I was gone. Reds and golds. Oranges and yellows. A blaze of color unlike anything in California.
So many differences from state to state in our beautiful country. From sea to shining sea. Mountains and rolling prairies. Hills and flat fields. Rocky coasts and sandy beaches. Last week I got to be in two very different states. Life is good. Do you have a favorite state?
The wind was really whipping today when I went out walking to see some of those beautiful fall colors. So this quote seemed perfect.
The autumn wind is a pirate. Blustering in from sea with a rollicking song he sweeps along swaggering boisterously. His face is weather beaten, he wears a hooded sash with a silver hat about his head... The autumn wind is a Raider, pillaging just for fun.  ~Steve Sabol
I’m extending my deadline a few days for my website giveaway. Remember, I’m giving away a NIV Study Bible and a prayer journal and some of my books. If you haven’t entered and would like to throw your name in the hat, just comment here with a way to get in touch with you or send me a message from my my website. I’ve got three days to finish my Shaker Christmas story so that gives all of you some extra time to enter the giveaway since I won’t have time to do the drawing until the end of the week. There will be three lucky winners.
As always, thanks for reading.

11 comments:

  1. I'm with you Ann...I'm amazed at all the differences in different states. Don't really think I have a favorite, but Kentucky is right up there.

    Just finished reading another of your young adult books..." For Sheila". What a sweet story.

    Have a blessed day,
    Cathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, you are so nice to go back and read my young adult books. I did enjoy writing those. For Sheila was fun because I got to write about dogs. I love Kentucky, but there are a lot of other beautiful states.

      Delete
    2. That's what a really loved about "For Sheila"....you writing about dogs. We are huge dog lovers and that story was special.
      Blessings,
      Cathy

      Delete
  2. I love California and hope to return there someday for a visit. But there is nothing like the beauty of the Bluegrass state this time of year. Glad you're home safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Betty. I'm glad I got home safe too. Wish I could have left the nasty cold I brought home with me out there, but I carried it all the way home. :( The trees this year are outdoing themselves. But California was beautiful too in a different way.

      Delete
  3. I lived in Minnesota for 3 years where it pretty much snows 8 months of the year. One February, after two 18-inch blizzards I went back home (Monterey Peninsula) to visit my folks. Brought back pictures which none of my neighbors could believe were just taken. The color and bounty of the blooming iceplant along the coast by Lover's Point in February is unbelievable. It's the most awesome pinkish lavender, so unusual that I doubt there's a name for it.
    But you're right, Ann, our autumn colors can't compare to the Midwest. However, I have to differ with you regarding our hills. Because we have no rain all summer we don't have green hills, but we like to call them "golden" instead of brown. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that was some difference - to go from Monterey Peninsula to Minnesota. You got some differences there. I'm thinking Monterey was a beautiful relief after those blizzards. There are some beautiful colors along the hills in California. I'll remember that they aren't brown but golden - in more ways than one. Did see a lot of irrigated fields that looked very lush. Not sure what was growing, but somebody said it might be garlic. I intended to look up garlic to see how it grew, but haven't thought to do it yet. It may have been some kind of peppers instead.

      Delete
  4. If it was Salinas it could have been anything. There's a wide variety of foods grown all over that valley. Also alfalfa is grown for feed. Garlic growing looks a lot like tall green onions, the aroma of which wafts into a car as you drive by. If the plants were 2 feet tall and kind of wide, it was probably artichoke which are plentiful there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I get time, I'll look up some of those plants, but no, we didn't smell garlic and it didn't look like onions. So guess that rules that out. Thanks for offering some things I can look up, Joleen.

      Delete
  5. Hi Ann, I traveled from my home in Pennsylvania to Arkansas where my mom lives. I left Oct. 5. I wanted to help my mom as she had surgery on her hand with a skin graft. It is a beautiful drive through Virginia, Tennessee and all the way across Arkansas. It's hard to say what state is my favorite since Arkansas was where I was born and raised. Some sadness in my life occurred when my 13-year toy poodle became seriously ill and had to be put to sleep. My heart is breaking. Please keep me in your prayers. My mom is doing great from her surgery. How are things with your mom? Have a blessed week...Linda M.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda, sounds like a great drive at a time when you can feast your eyes on a lot of beautiful trees.

      So very sorry about your poodle. I know how that feels. I've had two very special friends that I've had to let go that way. One, a black lab, I cried and cried. Still get sad thinking about it. So yes, I will say a prayer for you. And for your mom. Glad her surgery went well. My mom is progressively getting worse, but that's to be expected.

      Delete

Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.