Happy Summer everyone! I am so happy to be back, back from the dark place that I found myself in earlier this year after pushing too hard. Dark, because being tired has a way of dimming everything that usually brightens my life. A dear old friend once sent me a card reminding me that I was not a human doing, but a human being. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to slow down and savour the moments. Like many of you, my spirit thrives on the beauty and peace of the natural world and too much time indoors, at my desk or even in my studio, will eventually take its toll. Thank goodness it's summer and life's pace slows to allow opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy. I wish I could learn to do this during all four seasons.
Dale had a conference in Colorado Springs a few weeks ago and invited me along. While he stayed busy with meetings most of the time, we managed to work in a few outings including a trail ride in Pike National Forest. Every time we visit Colorado Springs I find myself doing things that are way outside my comfort zone. The truck ride up to the stables on the old Stage Coach road was the most breathtaking and vertigo-inducing part of the day. The trail ride itself was actually pretty tame, but there were times when the trail narrowed and my horse and I found ourselves perched thousands of feet above the ground below. When assigned our horses for the ride, they brought this large old boy named Thor for my husband, and I was sure glad that one was not for me. Then out sacheted Ladybug, and now wouldn't you think that a horse named Ladybug would be mild mannered, but she was not having a good day and seemed to be spooked by just about every little thing, including Thor who was behind us. She would put her ears down and buck if Thor got a little too close for her comfort, or she would try to run me off trail everytime she saw an unfamiliar rock. It made for an interesting ride.
I grew up in south Florida, at the tip of the pennisula in one of the last cities on the mainland at barely six feet above sea level, and driving up a small hill can get my heart racing. So the day my husband arranged a visit to see the Seven Falls, I knew I was in trouble when everyone in our group was wearing shorts and hiking boots, and I had on capri pants and ballet flats, with a leather bag slung over one shoulder. When the guide asked me if I could walk a half mile to the falls, it sounded like a challenge to me and there was no way I was backing down. I led the group on a brisk half-mile walk uphill to the entrance of the falls. Why on earth she was concerned about anyone walking that half mile of parking lot I have no idea, because the several hundred steps that we needed to climb straight up the side of the mountain alongside the falls, would seem to have been the "stumbling point." We all stopped and looked at one another and laughed at this. We could see the falls just fine from below but we had several hours on our hands and trails to hike above the falls. So I put one little ballet flat in front of the other and up I climbed.
This particular conference that my husband attends takes place at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs every few years so this was our fourth visit. (The Women's US Open golf tournament is taking place there right now and there have been some great views of this beautiful locale on television over the last two weeks.) I have had the opportunity to do a lot of exploring in the past, I have been to most of the local sites, museums and shops and this time I decided to simply stay on site as much as possible and explore the tennis and other offerings. There are four one-hour tennis clinics every morning of the week. I started my days with two hours of tennis, and had the pleasure of meeting other guests from all over the world as well as some locals. The pros are top notch and I came home with lots of notes and things to work on. You may recall, when our youngest son went off to Georgia Tech three years ago, my husband and I were really depressed, our home felt so lifeless. But we rediscovered our love for tennis and we play every evening for a couple of hours. We have made quite a few new friends, and it is great to get outdoors, and it keeps us active and fit!
And even though we were in the mountains and not on the beach where I thought I really wanted to be, there were a few mermaid sitings! One evening we enjoyed a casual dinner poolside while mermaids and other whimsical creatures entertained us:
And speaking of mermaids, there were some other mermaids on the grounds. This beautiful statute was positioned in the garden just outside the entry to the pool.
Of course, I have been more alert to mermaids this year since I introduced my She Sells Seashells collection in January, and even made a point to see the new Pirates of the Carribean movie, On Stranger Tides, a few weeks ago just to get a look at the mermaids. They were a bit vampirish but this fourth sequel was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. On the recommendation of a CC devotee, I also recently watched Republic of Love, where there was an undercurrent of mermaid mythology. And best of all, a few days after we arrived back home from Colorado Springs, three little mermaids from Florida paid us a visit. That would be our darling nieces Alexa, Ashely and Hannah. We spent hours of time in my studio happily stamping, coloring and glittering mermaids. My studio is still luminescent from all the glitter.
Sorry these are a little fuzzy, but they are the only ones I have and I had to include them. We had so much fun!
Happy Summer everyone. Wishing you all a little mermaid magic to brighten your days.