Posts Tagged ‘Sunrise’

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” –  Cesare Pavese 

I don't drive at night, but I do like to be on the road in time to catch the sunrise. I caught this one on my last road trip to Texas. = Photo by Pat Bean

I don’t drive at night, but I do like to be on the road in time to catch the sunrise. I caught this one on my last road trip to Texas. = Photo by Pat Bean

Upcoming Road Trip

            I just started reading A Way to See the World by Thomas Swick, who begins the book by explaining how he became addicted to travel while still a teenager. It’s kind of how I begin my just completed travel book, Travels with Maggie.  

Pepper and I didn't see any rattlesnakes at this rest stop on one of our trips to Texas to see family, but in an unmanicured area just beyond the building, she got into a nest of burrs that took me a good half hour to pick out before we could continue on our way. Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper and I didn’t see any rattlesnakes at this rest stop on one of our trips to Texas to see family, but in an unmanicured area just beyond the building, she got into a nest of burrs that took me a good half hour to pick out before we could continue on our way. Photo by Pat Bean

          While our stories are quite different, both of us clearly have a gene of wanderlust in our souls that made itself know at a young age.     As I’m reading Swick’s book, it gets my mind thinking about my upcoming road trip to Texas for a writer’s conference. It’s a 900-mile adventure over familiar territory, so I know I’m going to have to look at the roadside landscape with fresh eyes.

But then that’s one of the best things about travel, at least for me. I just can’t wait to get on the road again,” as Willie would say.

Or as Robert Louis Stevenson said: “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

And I’m going to follow the advice of Molsih Eddin Saadi, who believes we should use our eyes when we travel: “A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.”

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: More Travel Quotes: http://tinyurl.com/3p8msma I love them all.

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Sunrise in a Different Place

“Know where to find the sunrise and sunset times and note how the sky looks at those times — at least once.” — Marilyn vos Savant

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Sunrise at my apartment in northeast Tucson. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Sunrise at my apartment in northeast Tucson. — Photo by Pat Bean

“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?” E.M.Forster

Fuel for a Wanderlust Soul 

I spent the night at my daughter’s home last night. We live 13 miles apart, she on the southwest side of Tucson, and me on the northeast side of Tucson. When I took Pepper outside to do her business this morning here, the sky was still dark, but with a creeping streak of blood-orange color barely peeping through swaths of low-lying inky black clouds.

A more fiery Texas sunrise. (I didn't have my camera with me to photograph this morning's sunrise here in southwest Tucson.) -- Photo by Pat Bean

A more fiery Texas sunrise. (I didn’t have my camera with me to photograph this morning’s sunrise here in southwest Tucson.) — Photo by Pat Bean

Fifteen minutes later, when I rechecked how the sunrise was progressing, the entire eastern horizon was ablaze with streaks of fiery orange color and purple swaths of clouds set beneath a deep blue sky. It was a magnificent sight that took my breath away.

On my side of Tucson, sunrise comes a few minutes later, usually rising up above a landscape ridge in a golden glow. It offers a quieter awakening to the day. But sunsets as seen from my apartment’s balcony usually go out with a bang that rivals any fireworks display.

I find no better way to welcome the day than by watching the sunrise, nor a better to way to end it than by watching a sunset. I’ve watched many in my lifetime, and have found each one beautiful in its own way. No two are ever alike.

Watching these miracles of nature makes me feel good to be alive — and  thankful for my many blessings.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: Medicine Lake http://tinyurl.com/l55ztkk Jasper National Park. Beautiful photos that rekindled my memories of when I visited this awesome landscape.

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“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and behave very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed … and everything collapses.” – Collette

Morning sunrise at about 6:40 a.m. here at Lake Walcott State Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

In the Flicker of an Image

I never tire of waking up to a sunrise here at Lake Walcott. Each one is different, but all are usually awesome.

Flags at half-mast in front of the Lake Walcott State Park visitor center. — Photo by Pat Bean

This one, since my canine traveling companion, Pepper, let me sleep in an extra hour, was taken at about 6:40 a.m. The days are slowly getting shorter here now. This would have been too late to catch even a glimmer of sunrise when I first arrived.

And I noticed last night that it was now getting dark before 10 p.m. Lake Walcott is far enough north from southern Texas, where I grew up, that there’s a significant difference in how long summer days can be. That was emphasized when I was on the phone the other evening with my son. He noted that it was dark outside at 8 p.m. while there was still two hours of daylight left here.

It’s also finally gotten hot here at the park, not by Texas standards perhaps, but enough that I take Pepper for long walks only in the early mornings and late evenings. On this morning’s walk, I saw that the flags at the park’s visitor center were at half-mast.

It took me a moment before I realized that this was probably done to honor those whose lives were so senselessly lost in Aurora, Colorado. Because I don’t have a TV, that tragedy is only brought to my attention when I read the news on my computer.

A single sunflower reminded me that life goes on. It’s just that after the Aurora tragedy, it will never be the same again for those who lost loved ones or those who will carry scars of that day. — Photo by Pat Bean

Suddenly all the joy of my morning evaporated.

Like the rest of the caring, honorable, law-abiding people in this world, my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones, and to those whose lives will never be the same again.

I know life will go on, just as the sunflowers I left dying when I left Lake Walcott last fall, are just now beginning to bloom again. My hope, however, is that one day we will live in a kinder, more caring, gentler world where such acts would never even enter anyone’s mind.

History tells me that will never happen, but I, for one will never stop hoping. If Mother Nature can change her face day by day, then so can we.

Bean’s Pat: Goodnight Precious http://tinyurl.com/d6dfkr3 A kinder picture for all of us who grieve Aurora. The wondering wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

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 “Does the road wind uphill all the way?

Yes, to the very end.

Will the journey take the whole day?

From morn to night, my friend.” – Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894

Discovering the Wondering Wanderer


You’re on a journey, whether you travel or not, from sunrise… — Photo by Pat Bean

I was a late bloomer, a wisp of a girl who grew up too fast, going from taking care of three younger brothers to a too-young marriage and taking care of five kids of my own.

It wasn’t until I was nearly 40 that it dawned on me that I had no idea who the woman I had become was. Trying to answer that question began a new, and very surprising, journey for me. It’s one that has been full of both heartache and joy, and one that continues to this day.

The truth is, I’m many persons in one: Writer, mother, grandmother, traveler, birder, friend, adventuress, tree-hugger, nature enthusiast, reader, peace advocate, feminist,, animal lover and currently campground host. I’m sure there’s a few more tags somewhere around that I could add.

… to sunset. Make it a memorable trip. — Photo by Pat Bean

But lately I’ve been calling myself the wondering wanderer. It’s a descriptive phrase that I’ve decided fits me as well as a clingy leotard, not that I would put one of those on my over-ripe body these days.

In my own way, I’ve always been a wondering wanderer. And now I wonder why I didn’t understand it sooner.

So how would you describe yourself? This wondering old broad would love to know.

Bean’s Pat: 20 Minutes a Day http://tinyurl.com/77t2488 The Consequences of Being Nice. This blog certainly gave me something to think about. Blog pick of the day from the wondering wanderer.

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 “There is nothing to writing. All you need to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

A morning sky in Garden City, Kansas. It was windy Oz kind of day. -- Photo by Pat Bean


NaNoWriMo update … 47,602 word

Of course these days it’s the computer that takes our blood donations, well at least for most of us, I’m assuming.

The home stretch is in sight. So I’m saving my words for the finish. I need a head start because I have a 2 p.m. appointment tomorrow.

Happy writing everybody.

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This Morning's Texas sunrise was not something I would have wanted to miss. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” — Unknown

Travels With Maggie

At the suggestion of a friend, I watched a video on YouTube http://tinyurl.com/4cr4yow featuring a crowd jumping up and down and singing “I”m Gonna Live Forever,” the theme song from “Fame.”

It got my heart dancing a joyous jig, and my mind thinking back to when I actually thought that was a possibility. I’m both an optimist and a late bloomer so the realization that I was only a mere mortal didn’t completely sink in until I was about 40.

It was only then that I finally understood the words Ian Fleming wrote for his famous James Bond character to quote. “You only live twice: Once when you’re born. And once when you look death in the face”.

Along with the acceptance that the years ahead of me were numbered, also came the realization that I didn’t want to die with regrets for things I hadn’t done. From that minute forward, I had a new zest for life, and an appreciation for each day given me.

It seems odd that this second life of mine, simply because I accepted that death is a part of the whole, has been so much better than the first. Perhaps it’s because I take time to enjoy each sunrise because I know there’s always the possibility it might be my last.

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Camden, Arkansas, sunrise -- Photo by Pat Bean

My perfect day begins with a beautiful sunrise. What makes up your perfect day?

“If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.” Yogi Berra

Travels With Maggie

Most of my days begin with cream-laced coffee, which I drink while tapping away at the keys of my computer. If one is a klutz like me, that can be a dangerous combination. Coffee and a computer keyboard don’t go well together.

My early morning northern cardinal visitor -- Photo by Pat Bean

I should know. I’ve mixed them a couple of times, one of which cost me $100.

I’d have to say that a morning that begins with spilled coffee usually doesn’t bode well for the rest of the day. While I’m not particularly suspicious, it does seem that catastrophes are quite likely to follow my grandmother’s conviction of coming in threes.

This morning, thankfully, didn’t begin with my favorite Sumatran coffee spilling out onto my computer. It begin with a beautiful sunrise and a bright red northern cardinal outside my window. I took that as a good sign, and then begin thinking about what went into the making of a perfect day.

I had the first three: luscious coffee; blazing pink, orange and purple sunrise; and a cheery bird. What else did I want? Name seven more, I ordered myself. Here’s what I came up with.

            *Learn something new.

            *Finish rewriting a chapter in my travel book

           *A long walk in the sunshine with Maggie – Old Sol’s  supposed to come out today.

           *A flyby of the red-shouldered hawk that has been hanging out nearby.

           *An e-mail from my son who is in Afghanistan.

          *Something to give me a good belly laugh.

          * Hugs from three young grandsons, whom I’m currently visiting.

Of course winning the lottery would be nice, too. But then I forgot to buy a ticket.

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“The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere, the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling, vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming on sea and continents and islands, each it its turn, as the round earth rolls.” — John Muir

Harker Heights, Texas, sunrise, Jan. 3, 2011. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Maggie, who normally likes to sleep in, woke up early this morning and spoke loudly to me with demanding eyes. I am ready for my walk now.

Yes your majesty, I told her as I put on my shoes and bundled up. My MSN home page said it was 35 degrees outside here in Harker Heights, Texas, where my RV is parked in my son’s driveway for the coming week.

A chill went through my body when, with Maggie on her leash, I stepped down from my RV. It wasn’t from the cold, however. It was from the thrill of seeing this morning’s glowing sunrise. I quickly grabbed my camera and captured its warm brilliance  so I could share. 

John Muir has it so right. We don’t have to travel to see the wonders of Mother Nature.

When we got back from our walk, I gave Maggie extra treats for dragging me out into the cold so early. She gobbled them down, then retreated to her favorite spot on our shared bed. She is now serenading me with her funny, soft snores. Life is good.

Travels With Maggie

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  “A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” — Nernard Meltzer

Great-tailed grackles entertain me while I eat my eggs. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

   My long-time Utah friend, Kim, cooks the best eggs I’ve ever tasted. Nothing fancy, just plain eggs cooked in butter. Her whites are solid and firm while her yolks are left soft enough to spread out over the plate when broken. The image of these beautiful eggs on a plate beside a piece of buttered toast that I would use to sop up the last drop of golden goodness flickered through my head during my walk with Maggie.

I think the golden sunrise I had just viewed made me think of the gooey roundness of Kim’s perfectly cooked eggs. Or it could be I was just hungry, I decided when the image stayed with me.

Now while I consider myself a good cook – as do my grandkids who urge me to cook for them when I visit – eggs have always been my nemesis. I either undercook the whites or overcook the yolks. I think it has something to do with my lack of patience. Even so, I knew I wanted eggs before I got back on the road for the 200-plus miles I needed to drive today.

I settled for my version of a quick egg breakfast for the road without leaving a single dish to wash up after the meal. I call it my King/Donald/Jack RV Breakfast.

In a small sturdy paper bowl, I break three eggs and lightly scramble. Two are adequate unless you plan to share with a doe-eyed black cocker spaniel whom you know is going to drool as she watches you eat. To this I add two sliced cooked link sausages and a tiny bit of seasoned salt with garlic.

I pop the bowl in the microwave for one minute – covered with a second paper bowl that I use afterward to hold Maggie’s portion. In the meantime I pop two slices of whole grain bread into my toaster. When the minute is up, I take the bowl out of the microwave, stir it up (using a plastic throw away spoon) and add a bit of grated cheese and pop it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds, or until done to preference. I like my scrambled eggs soft and moist not dry.

Maggie waiting for the last bite -- Photo by Pat Bean

While this cooks, I butter my toast and put away the toaster. After giving Maggie her generous portion of the egg mixture, I laddle the rest onto the bread and sit at my table and stare out at the birds while I eat. Maggie always finishes first and usually gets the last bite of mine.
The dirty bowls and plastic silverware go into the trash and once again I find myself driving down the road. Almost before I get out of the RV park, Maggie is snoozing in her co-pilot seat beside me. We are both contented travelers.

                                                     Copyrighted by Pat Bean 

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Vernon, Texas, sunrise -- Photo by Pat bean


 “To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with Light.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Travels With Maggie

 The 304 miles I drove this day – from Clayton, New Mexico to Vernon, Texas – took me through cattle, oil and agriculture lands with only a few small aging towns scattered between. The exception was Amarillo, but I skirted around this large “Yellow Rose of Texas” city, so nicknamed because amarillo is the Spanish word for yellow.

It was a day when roadside birds were few and flat boring scenery dominated the landscape. In fact, the only interesting thing I recorded in my journal about this day’s drive was a sign I saw in Chillicothe, Texas, where a tinge of poverty pervaded everything. This sign let me know that not all had given up hope.

“Cute Texas stuff for sale,” it read. Not a bad sales ploy I thought. Texans do like to display native doodads.

Meanwhile, I did what I usually do when I have miles to go and scenery that becomes mindless. I put a book on tape in my CD player. The one of choice for this day was a recording of early Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot stories.

Before I knew it, I was pulling into the Rocking A RV Park in Vernon, This city of about 12,000, located on the Old Chisholm Trail and home of rock-and-roller Roy Orbison, had the only decent RV park for miles around.

That evening when Maggie and I strolled around the park, I looked out over an industrial site and though how drab it looked. Fortunately I looked again early the next morning. The above photograph changed my mind about the local scenery. Suddenly things didn’t look so dull at all.

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