Pikes Peak – Dressed for a Wedding

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Pikes Peak was showing off this morning when I got up. All dressed up and magnificent.

Retirement and the Sleep Factor.

You must all have noticed how great you feel when you wake up after a really good night’s sleep. As slumber drifts from your body and mind, you feel good, ready to handle anything the day throws at you. You’re rested and in control.

So why is sleep so elusive? This past week has been awful! Much too stressful, long hours at work, followed by coming home and worrying if I’d got everything done. Each night after going to bed, I’d remember something important I’d missed. That paid to my sleep.

Last night was the first night in almost a week that I slept long and hard, and woke up feeling refreshed. If only I felt like this every day. I think my massage and reflexology helped, but that’s a luxury I can only occasionally afford. How do I manage to sleep on a regular basis? I sleep well on vacation, because there’s nothing to worry about.

I’m wondering if perhaps its time to retire.

Comments anyone? Advice?sleepless01

Ravello – not long now!

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75 Days to go before I board the Lufthansa flight to Naples. Counting the days, hours and minutes. Can’t wait to return to Ravello and the Amalfi Coast and excited to see Naples and Capri for the first time. Wish I could stay there forever.

Lake Garda – Wish I were there!

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I still dream of retiring to Italy, but would one home be enough. Ravello and the Amalfi Coast is the place I think of most, but Lake Garda and its beautiful scattering of towns, is always in my heart!

Memories of Campania

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I could wander those beautiful streets forever.

Sunset to Soothe my Soul

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Green Lady

Walworth Castle“Show your friend around the castle while I clear away the dishes.” Christine’s mum has said, “I’m sure you’d like to see it wouldn’t you sweetie.”

“Oh yes I would, is it really haunted?”

Christine and her mum looked at each other, “Och no, it’s a story to scare folks and attract visitors, no ghosts there.”

Christine led me out of the huge dining room and through several doors to the front entrance of the wee castle. It wasn’t huge like most castles, but a miniature version, maybe a quarter the size, but it was perfectly formed and beautiful. I gazed at the ornate ceilings that looked like upside down wedding beautifully iced.

It was cold in the castle, even in August.

“Why is it so cold?” I asked, but got no answer.

My friend Christine had disappeared.

“Christine!” I yelled, alarmed.

The door in front of me slammed shut. I turned and ran to the door at the opposite side of the room. I was scared, although I didn’t know why. It slammed shut too,  just before I got there. Grabbing the handle I tugged on it, willing it to open.

“Christine it’s not funny, let me out”

The temperature dropped quickly and I began to shiver. The sun blasted through the huge windows and I ran to them, hoping to get someone’s attention. The wooden shutters closed on their own. I was trapped in darkness.

The door behind me opened slowly, its ancient hinges groaning.

“Christine that wasn’t funny,” I said as I turned around.

Oh no, please, no!

I wanted to scream, but couldn’t muster up the energy. Terror sapped my strength as I backed slowly away from the green light that seeped through the door. The room was icy cold, my breath formed a cloud hovering in front my face.

The air was full of whispers!

 

 

 

My Addiction to Travel – Piercebridge

PiercebridgeCottagesMy addiction to travel surfaced when I was ten years old, it would hit me in about March. I’d get itchy feet. You can’t go far when you’re ten, but I’d take off on my bike, usually on my own, and have a little adventure. I’d visit villages I’d never been to, or just pack my lunch and enjoy the countryside. I lived in a picturesque little village in Northern England called Summerhouse. It was safe to be on your own back in 1967.

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My first solo trip found me in Piercebridge and brings back happy memories. It was quite a ride! I should go back and visit, see how things have changed, but its a long way from Colorado, and this is where I ended up. The travel bug was a family affair!

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Final Journey!

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I opened my eyes and stretched, it was a Saturday, not that one-day is much different from another when you’re retired, but I remembered it was a Saturday because I had a hair appointment. Maybe I’d go to the mall early and enjoy a little retail therapy. I sat up in bed and stretched again. It was a good morning, no aches and pains, no creaking bones.

I washed and donned my PJ’s. No crazy rush to get the washing done over the weekend, I was retired; I could feed the washer any day I chose. I padded down the stairs to Bob’s man cave. Even at seven o clock in the morning the television was on. Arsenal was playing, and for once it seems, they were winning! No Arsene Wenger at the helm these days.

“Bob, what do you want for Breakfast?”

No answer, he was engrossed in the game, didn’t even look up. Not unusual when he was engrossed in football.

“I’ll bring some toast and coffee down.”

I switched the coffee machine on and cut some bread. Yup, still made my own bread, neither of us liked the doughy mess the American supermarkets sold. I wasn’t hungry though so I took a tray down to the man cave and left it on the coffee table. You could at least say thank you, your team are winning for heavens sake!

I walked out onto the porch, it was a beautiful day. Sunny and warm. Bird’s song was the only sound I head. I love living out in the country. I inhaled the atmosphere. When I die, this is where I want my ashes scattering, I feel comfortable here.

No time to linger today, I have a hair appointment and shopping to do. Maybe some new sandals, we’re flying to Italy next month. Maybe I’ll have my ashes scattered on the Amalfi Coast? No, maybe not, its beautiful there, but I don’t speak Italian, I’d be lonely. Why am I thinking about where I want my ashes scattered?

I went back upstairs to the bedroom, ignoring the dishwasher that needed to be emptied. Not in the mood today, it’s a ME day and I’m going to enjoy it.

I was lost in thought, wondering what I should buy. Maybe a new sun dress too, can’t wait for the Italian sun to kiss my shoulders. I giggled as I remembered the last time we were in Italy, and getting my 65-year-old bum pinched!

I froze in the bedroom doorway. If I’d had any breath left in me I’d of gasped. There was someone lying on the bed, still as a church, it was me!

NO! NO! NO! How could this happen?

I ran downstairs to Bob; he was engrossed in the game. I tried to shake him, but he didn’t see me, didn’t feel me.

Bob! Bob! I think I’m dead!

It was useless. Slowly I went back upstairs and looked around our bedroom. It was full of memories, photos of my daughter, and paintings of Italy. I touched the cold face of the “me” that lay on the bed, hoping I’d wake up. I didn’t, so I sat next to me and waited.

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It was 10:30 when Bob went upstairs. Sheila normally rose around seven, but he hadn’t seen her yet. He worried she was sick.

“Hey, are you staying in bed all day? I thought you had a hair appointment.”

He saw his wife lying on the bed. She was pale and still.

            “I’m sorry Bob, you’ll have to get your own breakfast today.”

He didn’t hear of course. He wasn’t a romantic man, but he bent over his wife’s body and gave her one final kiss on her forehead. They’d been married over 50 years, he’d be lost without her.

 

Art!

I love taking photographs, they bring back all sorts of beautiful memories. I’m a budding writer with one novel published and two in the works. I can’t paint though. I’d love to be able to. My daughter however is an Artist. She’s also an Economist and a Lawyer, not sure how they all fit together, but they do. This weekend she’s at the Spectrum Indian Wells Art Show in Coachella Valley where she’s working on a new painting as she displays her gallery.RichmondArt

Tempestuous StudiosTempestuous Studios

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