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Exotic Landscapes

The Catalina Mountains in my backyard may not be as exotic as the Himalaya Mountains but in their own way, they are just as wondrous. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

It Depends on the Perspective

The western town of Tombstone may not be as exotic as Timbuktu but it is just a day trip away from Tucson. — Photo by Pat Bean

Kathmandu and Timbuktu. I love the sound of these names, places that I would still love to visit. They are on my bucket list, but at this point in my life, I doubt they will ever be checked off.

Meanwhile, I take pleasure in knowing that I have flown in a hot air balloon over Africa’s Serengeti; I have walked among the giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands; I have white-water rafted through Arizona’s Grand Canyon, and I have spent a couple of delightful days on Japan’s Miyajima Island.

These days, however, find me satisfying my wanderlust closer to home, where the wonders if viewed through the eyes of a far distant visitor, would most likely seem just as exotic as Kathmandu and Timbuktu are to me.

I have the Catalina Mountains in my backyard; Saguaro National Park,

An organ pipe cactus is just one of the many wonders the Sonoran Desert holds for those with eyes to see. — Photo by Pat Bean

with its two sections, as my eastern and western neighbors; Organ Pipe National Monument with its curious cacti and Whitewater Draw Wildlife that is currently hosting thousands of Sandhill Cranes, just a day trip away.

There is also the historic western town of Tombstone and the quaint mining town of Bisbee, as well as several early day missions to explore, plus the scenic drive up to the top of the Quinlan Mountains where the Kitt Peak National Observatory is located.

During my traveling days across America, I was often surprised to discover that some of the sites I visited and found wondrous, had often not been seen by many of the locals. It makes me suspect that residents of Kathmandu and Timbuktu might not think their home landscapes exotic at all.

Bean Pat: Time https://lindahoye.com/saving-time/

A good thought for today.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

I liked What He Said

Another of the Greek poets I liked was Horace (65-8 B.C.) because he appeared to enjoy nature. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

Every cloud has its silver lining, you just have to go through all the darkness to get it.” – Stef Railey

Euripides (480 B.C.-406 B.C.)

As I continue to read quotes from the ancient Greeks in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, I finally came across one of the writers who didn’t raise my blood pressure. It was Euripides.

He was, according to Wikipedia, identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times, especially in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

More important, in my mind, is that he didn’t demean women as so many of the Greek poets so frequently did.

A bust of Euripides

A bust of Euripides. — Wikimedia photo

.

 

Euripides’ written thoughts also agreed with many of mine; and this morning when I was looking back through my writing notebooks for something to blog about, I noted that I had saved many of his quotes, such as:: “I have found power in the mysteries of thought.” And “In this world second thoughts, it seems, are best.”

These appealed to me because the years have finally given me time to think and connect the dots of my life, something I am finding fascinating.

Waste not tears over old griefs,” he wrote, and “Every man is like the company he is wont to keep.” Both actions seem sensible,  I believe.

And his advice: “In a case of dissension, never dare to judge till you’ve heard the other side,” was always an important task of my journalism years.

Thank you, Euripides, for being the silver lining among the majority of those Greek macho old farts whose anti-female words are still being repeated today.

Bean Pat: Glorious books https://isobelandcat.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/books-glorious-books/

available on Amazon

Any blogger who loves books as much as I do deserves a Bean Pat.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

On Being Female

In my 40s, after I had regained my 10-year-old brashness, I bought a raft and learned how to captain it. Bean Pats to the female boatmen who twice took me through Lava Falls on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, females who didn’t let gender stop them from doing what they wanted to do in life. 

          “The fact is that a woman who aspires to be chairman of the board or a member of the House does so for exactly the same reasons as any man. Basically, these are that she thinks she can do the job, and she wants to try.” – Shirley Chisholm

It’s Really a Human Rights Issue

          In my goal to read Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations all the way through, I’ve encountered many a distressing comment from the ancient Greek poets that set my teeth to grinding.

To quote just two: “There’s nothing worse in the world than shameless women –save some other woman.” –Aristophanes (450-385 B.C.). “A woman is always a fickle, unstable thing.” Virgil ( 70 -19 B.C0.)

The attitudes weren’t much different, however, from the social patterns prevalent when I was born 80 years ago. As I recall the attitude back then was “Keep the women barefoot and pregnant.”

At a very early age, certainly before 10, I realized that boys had more life options open to them than girls. While I never envied their maleness, my bold, feisty nature emboldened me to vow that anything a boy could do, so could I.

I decided I would never get married and would be a female lawyer, a brash goal for a young girl in the 1940s. The

My mother, shown here in her 70s on the back of a motorcycle with one of my brothers, was a great example for me in her later years.

goal was diverted when puberty hit, and I went off course and married at 16.

But deep inside, I never lost the belief that I could do anything a man could do, with the exception of brute strength. I’ve always been a realist even if also an idealist. But even that assumption was challenged during the Equal Rights Amendment fight back in the 1970s.

I suddenly realized that some women were stronger than some men, even me. I also realized that men, although they had hundreds of more options, those options didn’t include those that were considered feminine, such as nurses or airline stewardesses. So it was that I began to think of equal rights as human rights, especially after, as an ERA supporter, I was asked if I wanted my daughters to go to war.

“Of course not,” I replied. “But I don’t want my sons to go to war either.”

By this time, I was in my 30s and had regained the feisty, brash attitude of my 10-year-old self. While I can’t say that I ever truly was accepted by everyone as an equal to my male counterparts, and I had to fight for equal pay in my chosen journalism career, I was able to have the life I wanted. And that, I’ve known now for many years, is the important right for all of us – regardless of gender.

Bean Pat: To all the women along the way who have inspired me, beginning with Loraine Bright, the woman I first revealed my secret desire to become a writer, and my first female editor Roberta Dansby, plus to name a few of the more well-known: Ellen Goodman, Anna Quindlen, Maureen Dowd, Barbara Jordan, Anne Richards, Molly Ivins and Maya Angelou.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

Stuff Happens

Mother Nature gives us so many beautiful sights for free. I should enjoy them more and buy stuff less. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “Often when looking at a mass of things for sale, he would say to himself, ‘How many things I have no need of.’” –Socrates

The Accumulation Mystery

I went to a craft fair the other day, and fell in love with a ceramic garlic grater. My chef friend Jean, who was with me, bought it for me. I protested, but of course was delighted with the gift. And it’s been a delight to use.

Thankfully, it’s smaller than a regular saucer and fits neatly into my utensil drawer. In recent years, I have become increasingly concerned with having a place for everything and everything in its place — and not bringing home stuff.

I thought I was doing a pretty good job abiding by this philosophy until my recent move. In a seven-year period, I went from moving into a small apartment with only the stuff from my 21-foot RV and feeling like I was living in a mansion to the same apartment feeling a bit too small.

I simply don’t know where all the stuff came from.

Once again, when I moved to a slightly bigger apartment back in December, I discovered I had way too much useless stuff. I downsized and vowed I would never again let stuff accumulate. But that I will succeed in my resolution is not something I would bet my life on, perhaps not even a dollar.

Stuff Happens!

Bean Pat: Birding in Mexico https://www.10000birds.com/an-unexpected-yellowthroat.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+10000Birds+%2810%2C000+Birds%29 A

You can read about hikes I took in my late 60s and early 70s in my book: Travels with Maggie, which is available on Amazon

bit of armchair birding. I’ve never seen the black-polled yellowthroat, but the common yellowthroat, found north of the border is one of my favorite birds, as is this blog.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

The Waterfall at the top of Franconia Notch Flume Trail. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” Anna Quindlen

It Is What It Is

          I’ve said it often, I enjoy being an old broad. Not thinking everything that goes wrong is a life or death situation, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren are just some of the positive sides of the aging equation.

Like everything else, however, there are drawbacks, the worst of which for me are the physical limitations that have restricted my hiking days.

My former canine traveling companion, Maggie, on a hike we took in Arizona’s Tpnto Basin. — Photo by Pat Bean

While I’m in good health for my age, and can still take short walks with my canine companion, scampering up and down mountain trails and silently trekking through deep forests paths are no longer possible. It hurts my soul to admit this.

Thankfully, I have my memories of the trails I have hiked – from the view of the Virgin River atop Angel’s Landing in Utah’s Zion National Park to the waterfall at the top of Franconia Notch Flume Gorge in New Hampshire. I’ve also hiked Waimea Canyon in Hawaii and many, many trails in Yellowstone National Park. Actually, I’ve managed to take at least short hikes in 49 states and Canada – I’ve missed Rhode Island.

In addition, I am collecting the memories stored in books by so many others who have loved the freedom of being out of sight and sound of civilization. Currently I am reading In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin and Monkey Dancing by Daniel Glick, who took his two children on a trip around the world.

You can read about hikes I took in my late 60s and early 70s in my book: Travels with Maggie, which is available on Amazon

The truth is I’m addicted to reading travel books by authors like Tim Cahill, Edward Abbey, Jan Morris, Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson, Isabel Bird, Freya Stark, William Least-Heat Moon, Jon Krakauer and Peter Matthiessen, just to name a few.

Thankfully, being an old broad, means I have more time to read.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

Words from a Long Ago Age

Morning Thoughts

When Scmp gets bored, he looks for things to shred. This morning it was two bookmarks. At least he doesn’t eat the pieces, and I get plenty of exercise picking up after him. — Photo by Pat Bean

With a cup of cream-laced coffee in hand, and my canine companion Scamp squeezed into my recliner with me, I continued my morning perusal of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotes, the first edition of which was published 165 years ago. Just for fun, I’ve been reading a couple pages a day of the old book.

It’s arranged chronologically and I’ve only gotten up to the 300 B.C.s. This morning’s reading included words by the

Theocritus — Wikimedia photo

Greek poet Theocritus’ His thoughts echoed in my own mind, speaking to an old broad who has finally slowed down and longs for peace in her life — which given the chaos in the world has been difficult to achieve.

Wrote Theocritus: “Sweet is the whispering music of yonder pine that sings. Our concern be peace of mind: some old

crone let us seek. To spit on us for luck and keep unlovely things afar. Cicala to cicala, and ant to ant, And kestrels dear to kestrels, but to me the Muse and song.

“The frog’s life is most jolly, my lads; he has no care … Who shall fill up his cup; for he has drink to spare … Verily, great grace may go. With a little gift; and precious are all things that come from friends.”

I thought it interesting that on the same page, Bion, another Greek poet, also mentioned frogs: “Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs do not die in sport, but in earnest.” A good point to ponder, I think.

And now I’ll go put up Bartlett until tomorrow morning, and go walk Scamp, He has been looking at me with injured eyes because I have been ignoring him.

I wonder if Theocritus and Bion ever used a dog as an analogy in their writings?”

Bean Pat: Never Assume https://forestgardenblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/23/sunday-dinner-never-assume/ My thoughts exactly.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

The Good Old Days, Or Not

Pondering the Past and Present

“Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.” – Franklin Pierce Adams

I suspect I would have had less time to piddle around with my watercolors if I had been a pioneer woman. — Art by Pat Bean 

I’m reading Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life. At one point in the book, he is told by his mother’s boyfriend that children shouldn’t be bored, that there were plenty of things to keep them occupied, and then he went on to note that when he was a boy there were no TVs or record players.

A sketching day is always a  good day. Art by Pat Bean

The words brought up the times I had used similar phrases to younger generations. “When I was your age, I walked two miles to school, and I was 14 before our family had its own television,” are things I specifically remember saying.

The implication is that those were the good old days. But were they really?

My five children, now in their 50s and 60s, are all still living. In the olden days, before vaccinations, they probably wouldn’t. As an American woman, I can vote. Before 1920, I couldn’t have

I have more time to read, and more books to read than I would have had as a pioneer woman. And I have the internet, which I love despite its flaws and capabilities to spread lies and hate. The Web satisfies my curiosity for knowledge and keeps me connected to my widely scattered family, and eventually exposes the world as it is.

While it certainly would be more peaceful without such knowledge, we are thinking beings and not ostriches that stick their heads in the sand, or so it is said when danger is on the horizon.

As an old broad, I’ve experienced a bit of both the old and new days. Like everything else in life, neither was or is perfect. I. however, I prefer to live in the present, and enjoy the advantages even if I have to live with the disadvantages.

Bean Pat: Friday Wisdom https://andrewsviewoftheweek.com/2020/02/21/friday-wisdom-end-meeting/ Short and true.

Blog pick of the day.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.